Fun Eco Outdoor Activities For Kids
These fun activities are aimed at enticing your little ones to get outside into the fresh air and get a little grubby. I think all parents today would agree that our children need to get outside and play more in the fresh air.
Now more than ever before, kids need to learn how to engage socially with each other, rather than just with a TV or computer screen.
Healthy Benefits Of Outdoor Playtime
Creative outdoor play helps children to exercise not only their bodies, but also their imagination.
Outdoor play ideas such as the ones listed below, help develop both fine and gross motor skills. Playing outside in nature from a young age also fosters a love for the outdoors and natural world.
Our children need more regular vitamin D, through safe sun exposure, outdoor playtime will give them this, plus they will really benefit from breathing in fresh air, rather than stale indoor air.
Fun Outdoor Play Ideas For Toddlers
With toddlers and preschool children, go back to basics and play simple fun games of chase and hide and seek. Encourage them to take some of their washable toys outside and play with them in the grass and dirt.
- Try giving your toddler a small plastic cup of water and a clean paint brush and let them go wild painting the outside of your house, the trees and anything else they find.
- Get them to collect and make a big pile of leaves and then have them throw them up in the air and all over the place.
- For a very fun messy time, give them a small bowl of some organic plain white flour, and a small bowl of water and see what they can do. Add to this mix, some leaves, flowers and grass and then be sure to have a camera ready!
Fun Outdoor Activities For Kindergarten & Primary School Children
Kindergarten and school aged kids often need a little more encouragement and guided activity to get them out in the fresh air and using natural materials.
Here is just a few fun and eco-friendly games and activities to get your square-eyed, screen watching children, outside, creative and active.
Eco- Friendly Kids Treasure Hunt
Arm each child with a list of things they must hunt and find either in your backyard or at a park. Ask them to find and collect the following eco-friendly things.
Some of the objects you will have to first go outside and hide.
Use your imagine as to what to hide, but remember to keep it completely eco-friendly.
Here is an example of a Treasure Hunt List
*Note -for younger children who can’t read, simply draw pictures of what they have to find.
1. A super straight twig
2. Three perfect leaves
3. One small carrot – you place an organic carrot somewhere, which once found you can wash, peel and eat.
4. Two paper butterfly – you can make these by cut these by cutting them out of colourful recycled wrapping paper.
5. One of each different type of flower in your garden
6. One banana – also eat later:)
7. A note with their name on it – again used some recycled scrap paper
8. Ten pointy grass tips
9. Three pebbles
10. One orange or mandarin – another healthy edible treasure.
Outside Games Using Eco-Friendly Chalk
I found some great eco-friendly chalk available at Buy Eco Green – see here
You can simply arm smaller kids with some chalk and let them draw all over the concrete and bricks of your house. I wouldn’t recommend they draw on rendered or painted houses though, as it might stain.
Get older kids to lie on the ground and trace the outline of each other and then fill in all the features and create a portrait.
Grab a piece of chalk and draw up a hopscotch grid.
* Tip if you want the chalk to last . Make up some water with sugar and dip the tip of the chalk into this before you draw. The colours will be much more vibrant and it helps it to stick.
Using your chalk draw 3 large circles one inside the other.
- The outer circle has the number 5 on it
- The second circle number 10
- The center circle or bull eyes number 20.
Using a few biodegradable latex balloons, do not blow them up, but instead, fill them up with some raw buckwheat or rice till they make a small ball shape, tie a knot and give them to the kids to use to toss into the circles and try and get as many points as they can.
Human Snakes and Ladders
Draw with chalk a simple snakes and ladders board and use a couple dice from a board game and get the kids to be the playing pieces. You can also get them to alternate between jumping and hopping from one space to the other.
Older kids can also play games such as Hang-Man, Boxes and Tic, Tac, Toe, outside on the pavement with chalk. Or they can draw up a checker board and find stones, or flowers to use and their board pieces.
Make a Forest Cubby House
Using a natural, safe, home-made glue recipe (see here), give your children an old cupboard box and get them to collect old leaves, flowers and grass stems and glue them onto the box and decorate around it with chalk. Again wet the chalk with sugar water, will make the colours pop. Then with your help cut in doors and a window and voila they have made their own forest cubby house.
Create A Leaf and Flower Collage
Using a piece of 100% recycled paper find flowers and leaves and using the same natural glue recipe as above, get them to use individual petals and bits of leaves to create a beautiful collage.
Make An Eco-Fairy or Elf Garden
Arm your children with an old small cupboard box each and get them to create a fairy garden (or for boys an elf garden) inside, using leaves, pebbles, small rocks, dirt, sand, twigs and flowers.
You will be amazed at what they can do.
With younger children you will first need to show them how to do it, but then leave them to create something all be themselves.
Create A Nature Obstacle Course
This one is fun and really helps children with hand and eye co-ordination!
Set up an obstacle course using natural and recyclable objects, such as a pot plant, cardboard boxes, buckets, a pile of leaves or some sticks. Then give each child a lemon or orange, (yes you can use a tennis ball if you have one, but fruit is more fun) and using their hands or feet, they have to guide the ball/fruit, around each object. They must not physically pick up the ball/fruit, but must only use little hand pats, or small soccer type kicks to get to the finish line. Alternatively older children can use a stick to guide their ball around the objects, much like croquet.