Spring is here, bringing with it warmer temperatures and lots of blooming nature! There are so many simple ways to get outside and enjoy spring with your children.
I have created a list of 30 of my family’s favorite things to do outside in the springtime. Most of them are totally free and do not require advance planning. Go ahead, grab your kids and go play outside today!
Please help me grow my list. Feel free to leave a comment below telling me YOUR favorite spring outdoor activities for kids.
30 Simple Spring Outdoor Activities For Kids
1. Picnic. You don’t even have to leave home for this one. Simply take whatever food you were planning to eat and lay down a picnic mat or blanket outside in the yard. My kids love to go on at-home picnics.
2. Sidewalk Chalk. Little and Big Kids (and grown-ups like me) love to color with sidewalk chalk. One of our favorite things to do is lay down and outline our entire body, then color it in. The kids make silly poses and we have a lot of fun.
3. Hike. Find a local hiking trail, put on your walking shoes and go explore the outdoors!
4. Neighborhood Cleanup. This idea gets bonus points for community service. Take a garbage bag and go around your neighborhood picking up trash. You may be surprised at how much you end up with – and your neighborhood will look nicer.
5. Fly a Kite. Even when my kites don’t like to fly, my kids have a ball watching and trying to get our kite to go up. We found out that even kids’ kites from the Dollar Store will fly! It was a dollar well spent.
6. Go For a Bike Ride. Riding bikes is a great way to get exercise and enjoy being outside together. If your little one is not quite old enough to ride a bike, I recommend getting a bicycle trailer that can attach to your bike. We bought one in good condition at a second-hand store. I have used it for several years now with my youngest children.
7. Blow Bubbles. For extra fun, use one of these simple recipes to make your own bubble solution. If your child loves to have you blow bubbles for long periods of time, I highly recommend getting a bubble blower machine. It saves your breath plus entertains the little ones with lots and lots of continuous bubbles!
8. Plant Flowers. Kids love digging in the dirt! Visit your local greenhouse and buy some inexpensive flowers to pretty up your yard. My kids put on some kid-sized gardening gloves and are ready to help. See how we planted a butterfly garden. It really works to attract butterflies!
9. Plant Something You Can Eat. Last summer, my kids ate raw zucchini for the first time and loved it because they had watched it grow and picked it themselves. Ask your local gardener for advice about what grows well in your area. If you do not have space for large garden, consider planting a small container garden or vertical garden.
10. Backyard Hotdog Roast. We have a small firepit and roasting sticks that my family uses to cook hot dogs and marshmallows. The kids especially love to make S’mores…of course!
11. Make a Bird Feeder. It does not need to be fancy. Simply spread peanut butter on a pine cone, roll it in bird seeds and hang in your yard. Hopefully birds will be headed your way in no time!
12. Bird Watching. My family loves to count and watch for birds in our area. A backyard bird watchers guide really helps us identify the different birds we see.
13. Backyard Camping. My kids love to play and sleep in tents. Set up your tent outside in the backyard. Let the kids play and enjoy a family night out under the stars. My kids enjoy their play tent during the day, too.
14. Wagon Ride. Once my kids were old enough to sit up, they were big enough to love going on rides in our little red Radio Flyer wagon. We love our wagon!
15. Feed the ducks. If you have a local duck pond, take your stale bread and go feed the ducks. It’s one of our favorite things to do.
16. Play Tag. Kids love to be chased and it’s good for the whole family to run and be active in a good old-fashioned game of Tag.
17. Visit a Garden. Enjoy a stroll through a local garden. Don’t forget to take time to smell the flowers with your children.
18. Climb a Tree. Kids love to climb, just remind them to be careful not to go too high.
19. Wash the Car. Have a sudsy good time keeping the car clean at home. For some reason, this is one chore my kids don’t mind helping out with.
20. Find Shapes in the Clouds. Spend time watching the sky and exercising your imaginations by finding different shapes in the clouds.
21. Go on a Treasure Hunt. My boys get so excited about any sort of treasure hunt. I spend a few minutes drawing a Treasure Map and hiding clues, and let them have fun trying to find the treasure. See how to make a Pirate’s Treasure Map.
22. Run Through the Sprinklers. Put on your swimsuits and turn the sprinklers on full blast for some fun! A few summers ago, I spent less than $10 for a slip-n-slide.
Believe it or not, it has survived multiple years’ of use! I can’t believe what a great investment that turned out to be. The Melissa & Doug Patch Blossom Sprinkler attachment is also good for lots of outdoor fun in the sprinklers.
23. Flower Garden Photo Opp. Take your child’s picture in or around colorful, blooming flower gardens. I think some of the best photos are often candid shots, so don’t stress out if the kids don’t want to look at the camera and say Cheese. Just keep shooting pictures and see what happens!
24. Nature Scavenger Hunt. Make a list of natural things to look for outside. For example: clouds, a bird’s nest, dandelions, a stream. Go for a walk and see what nature you can find!
25. Nature Collage Craft. Go for a walk and collect small items such as leaves, acorns and twigs. Bring them home and glue them to a heavy piece of paper to create a nature collage.
26. Make a Splash on a Rainy Day. Enjoy spring rain showers to the fullest when you put on your rain gear and head outside to play. See who can make the biggest splash in the puddles!
27. Potato Sack Race. An easy way to enjoy an old-fashioned “potato sack” race is to use a large sturdy sack or pillowcases and hop into action! We have also used the ToySmith Sack Race Game set, which holds up really well to lots of action.
28. Get out the Sports Gear. Play a game of catch, kickball or Frisbee. I highly recommend getting an Aerobie Sprint Ring. These are so easy for the kids and me to throw and catch (I think they are much easier for me than a Frisbee). They are so much fun!
We have several of the Aerobie Sprint Rings and recommend them to everyone. Try throwing a glow-in-the-dark disc or football. My tween boys love their night time light-up football.
29. Take an evening stroll. Bring your flashlights and take a walk at dusk or after dark with your family. Listen for the different sounds of night creatures and see if you can identify them. One time, we tracked down an owl!
30. Sandbox. We do not have a traditional sandbox, but that doesn’t stop us from playing in the sand. I buy a bag or two of play sand and fill a large flat storage container. The kids can dig and play – and I can put the lid on it when we are done.
Updated to add: One of the best outdoor toy purchases I have EVER made is the Little Tikes Sand and Water table. It can occupy multiple children for hours (ages 6 and under.)
Love this list? Be sure to check out my other blog post, 30 (MORE) Fun Activities For Kids in Springtime.
What are some of your favorite outdoor activities for kids? Share your ideas with us in the comments below.
Need outdoor activity ideas for older kids? Check out my other blog post for super fun Water Gun Games!
md kennedy says
Further to #24, when I was a kid I always liked the “find as many different _____ ” challenge games. Bugs, flowers, trees, leaves, grasses, even types of sidewalk concrete (one of my personal favorites that even to this day I like to do – amazing how the older concrete sidewalks, circa 1960s still hold up when they are already replacing ones from the 90s! I know, get a life…). A cheap digital camera makes it more nature-friendly (no picking or picking up!) and you can make the pictures into memory books with Snapfish, etc.
Amy Green says
These are all really great, fun suggestions! Kids can still have lots of fun that doesn’t involve a smartphone or a computer.
Jo-Ann Brightman says
I love all your ideas. If there is apond or lake nearby float a boat in it. There also is go to a park or zoo.
Robin O says
What a great list!
I really like the “Plant Something You Can Eat” and “Find Shapes in the Clouds” suggestions.
Katherine G says
These are great activities!!
Dev K says
I would like to plant something next year with my toddler as he is not walking yet. But we go for walks and outdoor play whenever we can. Thanks for sharing these wonderful and practical suggestions.
You are in for so much fun! Toddlers are my favorite age. They keep you busy, though, especially once he starts walking – you won’t sit down very much once he can do that. LOL Thanks so much for stopping by today! –Nicole
He just started walking holding my one hand and we have a upcoming trip to Banff in 1st week of July; hopefully he’ll walk by then.- Dev
Oh wow! That will be so fun. Banff is beautiful. Have a wonderful trip!
I can’t wait until it’s warmer and I can send the kids outside to play! We have a field and stream across from our house and the kids can spend hours there. #HomeMattersPArty
Sara @ finditfixitorbuildit.com says
Lots of fun ideas! My kids do so much better when they get outside. Sadly, we’re still another month out from spring weather here in Anchorage, but I’m excited to go through this list as soon as it warms up:) Thanks for sharing at the Home Matters Party! #HomeMattersParty
Thank you! We lived in Palmer for 8 years, so I know exactly what you mean. I do miss how spring seems to happen literally overnight in Alaska (as far as everything turning green and the leaves popping out on the trees.) It was like a miracle every single year (at least that’s how I felt about it!) 🙂
Lynn White says
These look like fun ideas. I don’t have any kids, but I’ll have to share these with my friends as they are always looking for activities to do with their children. #HomeMattersParty
These all are such a great ideas for springtime, Nicole. I should share this with my friends who has kids. #HomeMattersParty
Jeannee Taylor says
wow! such a great and clever list! The kids are going to love it ! Thanks for sharing@ #HomeMattersParty
Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai says
Oh, sidewalk chalk is a family favorite! The Easter Bunny leaves a special drawing each year ( you can see a post on my blog). Cloud shapes and flower garden photo shoots are other great memories. Fabulous list! #HomeMattersParty
Life With Lorelai
Lorelai, I am definitely going to check out your Easter Bunny chalk drawing. That sounds like a fun tradition. Thanks for letting me know. I’m always looking for new ideas. 🙂
Michelle James says
This is such a great post! Nothing better than running through a sprinkler on a hot day-no matter what age you are! #homemattersparty
Hi Michelle, Thanks so much. I agree about the sprinkler on a hot day! I must have spring fever because I cannot wait for it to be summer again. 🙂
Charlene | High Heels And Fairy Tales says
There’s nothing my little one loves more than being outside. Daddy, her, and I play soccer or volleyball (our versions anyway haha), or just run around with Cocoa (her little dachshund). We have to try the yard picnic soon… and figure out a way to keep Cocoa from eating everything! 🙂 #tttparty
That sounds like a lot of fun, and great ways to make lots of family memories. LOL about Cocoa and the picnic. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by today and for your comments. –Nicole
Ashley (Reining in Mom) says
What a great roundup! I love the idea of backyard camping! I’m definitely trying that this year. Maybe that will prepare us better for summer camping. We’re also going on a wildflower walk and trying an outdoor scavenger hunt with our playgroup. Thanks for all the ideas!
Thanks, Ashley! Have a great camping trip 🙂 So glad to know you like these ideas.
Thanks for sharing.
Jessica J Reynolds says
Thank you so much for such a well-researched and informative article about outdoor activities for kids. Outdoor activities can be like a magic to refresh kids mind. If we want to improve their mental health, we should care about there refreshment. You mentioned 30 ideas on outdoor activities for kids. I think every parent should follow your guideline to more active their kids. As a mother, I would like to apply your idea to my sweet kids. Thanks again for this awesome article.
Every parent should consider those tips. Thanks a lot for such good advice.
#28. I think playing sports is very good for kids. And yes, the Aerobie Sprint Ring is better than the Frisbee.