Active Outdoor Play Ideas for Kids

by Brandon Bailey, Certified Personal Trainer

Active, outdoor play is essential to healthy children. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that active toys and games help to burn off a child’s boundless energy as spring grows warmer. 

With the balmy weather, why stay inside when you can enjoy easy outdoor activities with your kids? Put on old swimsuits and try drop-and-splat painting, create a leaf and tree bark rubbing, or build a fort. Go bird watching, nature scavenger hunting or frog catching (and releasing!). You won't need much time, energy or money for these easy activities; in fact, most of the supplies needed can be found inside your home. To learn more about any of these activities or for some ideas, just do a quick search online. 

Here are a few of my favorite, simple outdoor activities that are fun to do with kids: 

Popper Stomper (balloons and string): Have the kids run around like in flag football, but instead of grabbing a flag, the goal is to pop a balloon that is tied to their feet. 

Bean Bag Tic-Tac-Toe (bean bags of two different colors and tape): Set up the squares just like you would on paper, but be creative and play the game on pavement, a basketball court or any other hard outdoor surface.  

Broom Soccer (brooms, dust pans and a foam ball): Play soccer while using brooms! This game is a full-body workout.

Four Square (lines for the squares, chalk, tap, etc., and a ball: kickball, volleyball, basketball, etc.). Set up this classic game and let the competition of king (or queen) of the square begin. 

Musical Hoops (hula hoops and music): Why play Musical Chairs when you can play Musical Hoops? In this game, the kids will hone their listening skills while burning calories. To play, turn on the music to get the kids to hula hoop and turn it off when you want them to stop. If someone keeps moving after the music stops playing, they are out. Last one hula hooping wins! 

Hankie Hop (all you need is a handkerchief and a finish line): Have the kids balance the handkerchief on their foot as they hop to the finish line. First one to cross the line with their handkerchief intact is the winner.

These are just a few of the many outdoor activities you can get your kids to participate in during the springtime. Modify the games any way, shape or form to keep things interesting – or use your imagination (and your child's) to create a game all your own. What are you waiting for? Get your family outside and get moving!