A month of outdoor activities for kids

A printable one month calendar of outdoor activities for kids that require little to no planning or shopping — and that you can do in your own backyard!

Days are longer in the summer. The kids are up earlier and seem to go down later. So what’s a mom of three small children to do all day?

I did an experiment a couple weeks ago and planned out one water activity a day. It worked! We looked forward to it. And even if the kids only played my game for 20 minutes, it put smiles on their faces, engaged them, and usually sparked their imaginations to play something else.

Buuut then I sort of derailed and haven’t planned anything since. So this time I’m thinking bigger and planning a monthlong summer activity calendar. They are simple things that need little to no planning or shopping and you can do in the backyard. (Printable calendar below.)

One more month of summer before school starts, let’s get outside!

A month of outdoor activities - make a habitat
I think this has been the favorite activity so far. I set up two separate, identical stations for the boys (you know, to avoid the arguing) with a container of water, some natural elements and animal figurines. They played for an hour. An hour! My kids normally don’t play anything longer than 15 minutes. This is a repeat.

1. Make a habitat for animal figures
2. Scavenger hunt (simple idea: 3 different leaves, a rock, a flower, bark)
3. Picnic in the backyard
4. Make “soup” with bowls, spoons, water, and nature

A month of outdoor activities - Wash the car
The car wash was also a success. The kids had fun and I got a clean car out of the deal — well at least the bottom half. Kind of. Well, the kids had fun!

5. Wash the car
6.Make a volcano with baking soda and vinegar in a sandbox or cup
7. Make leaf rubbings
8. Fill kiddie pool (or tub) with bubbles

A month of outdoor activities - sprinklers and kids just go together
Kids and sprinklers just go together.

9. Play in the sprinkler
10. Play tag
11. Treasure hunt with simple hand-drawn map of yard
12. See who can melt 5 ice cubes the fastest
13. Take pictures of nature and look up names of plants, animals, and insects

A month of outdoor activities - freeze toys and excavate
I saw this all over Pinterest, so I decided to give it a shot. I put toys in big bowls and filled them halfway with water. I froze them and then added more toys and froze them again. I know it’s an extra step, but if it buys me 15 more minutes of busy boys, I’m in. Again, I made them each one (plus one best friend) to avoid a fight. They played for about 45 minutes trying to smash the ice and get the toys out. Not bad!

14. Freeze small toys in bowl of water and excavate
15. Easter egg hunt (I put stickers inside ours)
16. Blow bubbles  — Try these non-spillable bubbles. Miracle.
17. Start a rock or nature collection (You could organize it in an empty egg carton.)

A month of outdoor activities - sidewalk chalk
They boys love playing with sidewalk chalk. You can trace outlines of your hands and feet, play hopscotch, make circles to use as stepping stones or draw targets for a bean bag toss.

18. Draw with sidewalk chalk/play hopscotch/make targets for a bean bag toss
19. Use spray bottles or squirt guns to wash off sidewalk chalk
20. Make art from nature (Glue leaves, flowers to paper. And if the child is old enough it’s fun to make a face!)
21. Paint rocks

A month of outdoor activities - water balloon fun
I filled a basket with water balloons and took it outside. When I plopped them on the ground, four broke! And then the boys popped the rest in a matter of seconds. What?! I learned my lesson and the second time I filled them with much less water. They had more fun trying to get them to pop than my games. They went down the slide, against the fence, on the back of a brother’s head :/ You could play hot potato or try to toss it in a basket without breaking it or spoon races, though, if your brother won’t let you break it on his head.

22.Water balloon fun: hot potato, spoon race, basket toss without breaking
23. Cloud watch and talk about what images you see
24. Print out a color wheel and find something that is each color — try this one
25. Make a car wash for toys
26. Make an obstacle course

A month of outdoor activities - shaving cream fun
So none of the activities are too messy … except this one! I think I was looking forward to this more than the boys. I was dying to see how the shaving cream texture would change when cornstarch was added. It was cool, but not quite the Play-doh effect I was expecting (it changes depending how much cornstarch you add). Still fun though. They made “pies,” attempted snowmen, and then just made a royal mess. I promise the kids will love this one, but don’t do it inside!

27. Make shaving cream pies and/or balloons and/or mix with cornstarch
28. Put up a tent or sheet and go “camping”
29. Find bugs under rocks (take a magnifying glass if you have one)
31. Play catch
30. Plant seeds — or just water the plants

Here is a printable calendar to stick on the fridge:

Printable one month calendar of outdoor activities for kids that require little to no planning or shopping — and that you can do in your own backyard!

Click the image to get the high-res version.

3 thoughts on “A month of outdoor activities for kids

  1. I’m taking the month of June off from work to be with my kids and I think that they would love to do all 30 activities on this post. They really like to spend time outside and actually spend a lot of time running through the sprinklers during the summer. However, I really think that a lot of these ideas would also go well together. For example, I think that it would be really fun to set up an obstacle course and to go through it with the sprinklers on.

  2. Yes! You could do all of them together for an epic day of fun! But I’ve gotta pace myself or I’ll have nothing to do the next day. haha!

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