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The best outdoor activities for kids that keep them close to home

Kids of all ages love to go out and play. They have tons of energy to burn off and can only stay indoors for so long before they start going a little crazy. Encourage physical activity and maintain your own sanity with a wide range of games and hobbies that they can do outdoors without going too far from home. That way, you can keep an eye on them as you continue to work from home. The following is a list of ideas that your little ones are sure to love and that will make bedtime much easier on you.

Set up an inflatable pool

family with inflatable pool
Jade Albert Studio, Inc./Getty Images

If the weather is nice and you have a backyard, why not set up a kiddie pool where you and your children can splash the day away? Water play is beneficial for kids of all ages, and they just can’t get enough of it. Water centers with wading pools, slides, sprinklers and hoops are ideal for young ones. Hook one up to your water hose and let the fun begin!

The best thing about inflatable pools is that kids can go in and out as they wish. Make a morning out of it, and when the kids start getting cold, they can sunbathe for a bit. This is an opportunity for them to get some much-needed vitamin D, have a snack and relax before going right back in the water.

Write sidewalk chalk messages

Everyone loves inspirational quotes and encouraging messages — especially when they are written in adorable kids’ handwriting. Don’t stress out about spelling mistakes or backward letters — they’re part of the charm! Arm your children with a box of colorful chalk and let them create drawings, notes, or scribbles that lift the neighborhood spirits. You never know whose day they can change with a simple act of kindness that can also provide hours of entertainment for your kids.

Let nature inspire artwork

If you have a budding Van Gogh at home, this is the perfect opportunity for them to sit outside and paint or sketch everything around them. Trees, cars, pets, or siblings can make excellent subjects for your little artist.

girl painting outside
Stephen W. Morris/Getty Images

Other mediums are also more enjoyable when practiced outdoors. Let your child use old magazines to create collages or give them clay and see what 3D art they can produce. The idea is to let the imagination fly and use free time to sharpen your kids’ artistic skills.

Practice sports

If you’ve got more of a Sporty Spice at home, you can easily use down time to sharpen their athletic abilities. For those with a yard, it’s as easy as setting up a basketball hoop or a soccer goal and letting the kids do their thing. If you live in an apartment, you can always order some exercise equipment and plan a few drills for your kids to do on their own. Cones, ladders and jump ropes are great to keep your kids in shape and give them something to do while you get some work done indoors.

Make a mandala out of leaves

If you’re looking for a Zen activity for your little yogi, we have an excellent idea that checks several boxes. First, take a walk around the neighborhood and gather leaves of all shapes, colors, and sizes. It’s a great opportunity to connect with your child and talk about their feelings while you both get some steps in.

Then go back home and have your child sort the leaves. This is an especially great exercise for early learners to practice numerical concepts and grouping.
Finally, you can use the different leaves to create a beautiful mandala in your lawn. You will love the relaxation and distraction that this activity provides. When it’s complete, you can take pictures and share them with friends to spread some love and tranquility.

Hula hoop

Keeping your kids entertained is often a lot easier than you think. It doesn’t take much for a child to go outside and have fun on their own, with siblings, or with parents. An old-fashioned toy like a hula hoop can be your best ally when options are limited and the days seem endless.
The best thing about hula hoops is that they are a challenge for kids – and adults – to master. But the process is so much fun and provides tremendous exercise. Give your child a Bluetooth speaker and a hula hoop, and watch them spend hours on end with one of the simplest toys ever created.

Start a garden

family gardening outside
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you’ve been meaning to grow your own food for a while or simply love to see flowers bloom, then gardening is the perfect activity to keep your kids entertained. You can start your own garden in the backyard or on the balcony and teach your children how to plant and care for other living creatures. Your child will be thrilled to see little sprouts and will develop a sense of responsibility when they tend for your plants.

Spending time at home with your children is a beautiful opportunity for parents. Challenging as it may be at times, the most important thing is to be patient and understanding of your child’s needs and impulses. With the activities on our list, you will keep your kids active and give them plenty of freedom to have fun outdoors. Give your child options and provide them with exciting toys to express themselves, release tension and bond with you.

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