Did you know, playing outdoors improves children’s physical fitness, agility and stamina as well as their gross motor skills as a whole? Here are 10 of our favourite outdoor play ideas. Choosing just 10 was tricky but these work on their communication, maths, science and creative skills too!
Always ensure you supervise children when exploring outside, especially mouthing babies or toddlers.
🌱1. Mud Kitchen
Spoiler alert, you don’t actually need a mud kitchen for this one. A couple of containers and a spoon placed outside can have all of the same benefits. Encourage your child to make mud pies or stick soup, using whatever they can find outside.
🌿2. Water Play
We love water play as it’s so open ended and is really simple to set up and clear away. Have a look at our ‘water tray resources’ photo to give you some ideas on things to include.
🌱3. Chalk/Cornflour Painting
To make chalk paint you simply crush chalk and add water. It’s great! But for an even more vibrant colour, try mixing together 1 tbsp of cornflour, 1 tbsp of cold water and 1 tsbp of boiling water. Add food colouring and stir. Then find somewhere outdoors to paint.
🌿4. Sand Play
Don’t live near the beach? No problem! Our ‘sand tray resources’ photo will give you an idea of where to get started.
🌱5. Nature Paint Brushes
You can use one of the paint recipes above for this one. Then grab a few sticks and a variety of flowers or weeds (see photo). Use twine to attach the two together and get painting.
🌿 6. Family Sports Day
Think wheelbarrow, 3-legged or just a general running race. Get the family outside, running around and having fun.
🌱7. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Adaptable for any time of year. Draw out a few things you might see on a walk and then get outside and find them. Before we go, we talk about not picking living things or licking things we find.
🌿8. Cloud/Reflection Painting
Got an old mirror or even something smaller and reflective like a foil blanket? Pop it down on the grass and see what you can see above. Use paint and get creative
🌱 9. Ice Play
This one is so simple. All you need is a freezer-safe container (silicone works well if you have it) water and some small toys or flowers. Pop in the freezer so they’re ready for another day.
🌿10. Nature Playdough
You can use bought playdough or homemade playdough for this. Check out @everydayplayideas Instagram reels for a ‘how to make your own’ video. We like to find treasures in the garden like sticks or herbs and add them to the dough to make nature cakes.
Looking for more play ideas? Visit everydayplayideas.co.uk