Looking for things to do outside? Getting fresh air and sunshine through outdoor activities is loaded with health benefits for your kid. Not to mention, it can help build memories you and your family will cherish for a long time to come!
In this article, we’ll look at 80 things to do outside with your kids this summer in Canada. That way, you’ll make the most out of summer with your family.
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Best Things to Do Outside with Your Kids – Summer 2022
There are many reasons you’d want to plan fun outdoor activities for your kids. Whether a picnic lunch in your local park, or a trip to a neighboring town, being active outdoors can help your whole family stay fit while teaching your children active life lessons.
Not to mention, spending time together as a family can help strengthen your bonds and create long lasting memories.
…So let’s look at these outdoor activities for kids!
20 Summer Activities You can Do in Your Own Backyard
Have a Water Balloon Fight
This summer classic is always a fun way to cool down on a hot summer day. As a tip, designate yourself as the referee. Then, while your kids duke it out, pick up the balloon scraps as quickly as they pop. That way, you can ensure your fun doesn’t result in littering.
Hold an Outdoor Concert
This is a fun way for your kids to showcase their talents and feel appreciated. It’s a great entertainment idea for parents looking for outdoor activities that can occupy a large number of kids.
Plan an Outdoor Movie Night
Another great idea when you’re the parents that somehow end up with all the neighbourhood kids at your house in the summer; hold a movie night! All you need is a movie screen, a projector, and a clear summer’s night.
Build an Obstacle Course
Design a fun course with your kids using things found around your house. To up the stakes, build two courses next to each other and race it out! It’s excellent fun, and excellent exercise!
Have a Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest
No fruit says summer like watermelon! Now go grab the measurement tape and see who can spit those seeds the farthest!
Spin Some Hula Hoops
For a fun twist on physical activity, look to the hula hoop! Don’t let your kids have all the fun. It’s an excellent outdoor workout for your abdomen. How long can you keep it spinning?
Manage a Lemonade Stand
Admit it! You always wanted to try this as a kid, but didn’t know where to start. So why not help your kids get started? Managing a lemonade stand is a fantastic way to spend time with your kids while teaching them a valuable lesson about running a business.
Play Jump Ropes
If your children are already in school, get them to teach you one of the jump rope games they play at recess. Who knows? It might be the same one you played as a kid!
Sail Paper Ships in a Kiddie Pool
If you have a tiny pool and some construction paper, then get folding! Who ever crafts the boat that floats the longest is the winner!
Race Toy Cars Through an Outdoor Obstacle Course
Bring your toy cars and plastic race tracks outside and build an exciting race through the great outdoors. Launch them off your back deck and dodge around the planters. At the car’s scale, your backyard is a jungle!
Make a Scarecrow
They may not have brains, but they sure can be fun to make! Visit a craft store to get the supplies you need, then start crafting!
Blow Some Bubbles
If you have very little kids, this simple outdoor fun will get them their daily dose of fresh air and keep them occupied for a while.
Build Sponge Water Bombs
If it’s a hot day, then this fun activity is a unique way to cool down. It’s similar to a water balloon fight, but with less of a mess!
Plant a Garden
Whether you plant vegetables, or flower bulbs, gardening is so much fun. Older kids and younger kids alike will enjoy learning this life skill, and growing their own food.
Take Your Indoor Cat Outside on a Leash
If your indoor cat has all their shots, then you can let them roam your backyard on a leash. You won’t be able to walk them like a dog, but it’s still fun to watch them explore. That is… if they are interested.
Have A Fancy Garden Tea Party
Get a delicious herbal tea steeping in a teapot, then take it outside! Don’t forget, to make it fancy you also need; saucers, little hats, and your pinky’s held high!
Erupt a Sandbox Volcano
Do you have a sandbox? Bring science to your kids outdoors! This classic science experiment only needs baking soda and vinegar for an eruption of fun.
Try a New Style of Bonfire
Did you know there are more types of bonfire than the teepee? There are many different ways you can get the fire going this summer. Why not try the log cabin form?
Bake S’mores in a Solar Oven
Kids learn the power of the sun with this delicious activity. Only do this one with older kids, as the solar oven will get pretty hot!
Build a Blanket Tent Fort
Got a bunch of old blankets? Got some lawn chairs and clothes pins? That’s all your need to build your own tent in your own backyard. …Of course, you’ll also need imagination!
20 Outdoor Activities for Creative Kids
Get Your Kids Paint, And Let Them Make a Mess
Get some non-toxic paint and let your kids go wild! Whether they paint a beautiful picture, or they paint each other, that’s okay. Since you’re outside, you can let them make as much of a mess as they want.
Paint Pet Rocks
If you want your kids to paint in a less messy way, a pet rock is the way to go! Your kids can express their own ideas to create the perfect low-maintenance pet.
Build a Secret Fairy Garden
First go on an outdoor scavenger hunt to collect your building supplies, then find a little nook by a tree to start building a little home for fairies. This is a great activity to do in a forest trail if you use only natural materials.
Build a Tiny Dinosaur Sanctuary
If fairies aren’t your kid’s thing, than use those natural materials you collected to build a diorama for little plastic dinos to live in. As for things to do outside for the dinos themselves, you’ll have to use your imagination!
Let them Go Wild with Sidewalk Chalk
There are so many things to do outside when you have sidewalk chalk! From drawing street art to playing hopscotch, chalk is a simple way to have fun and get fresh air.
Make Mud Pies in a Mud Kitchen
Sometimes it’s fun to just play in the mud! Running a mud kitchen with your youngsters is a fun way to roleplay and find your inner Gordon Ramsay. Word of warning though, the mud pies you make will taste like dirt, so maybe surprise your kids with chocolate cake afterwards.
Try Squirt Gun Painting
If you have some old water guns, rather than filling them with water and squirting them at each other, fill them with non-toxic watercolor paint and shoot them at a canvas! You’re kids will have fun, but moreover, you’ll get some cool abstract art for your home!
Make Puffy Sidewalk Paint
Bored of sidewalk chalk? Make puffy paint instead! This colourful paint is fun to make and will enable your kids to paint fun things chalk just can’t compete with. Don’t worry, it washes away with water!
Make Tie-Dye Shirts
Yes, tie-dye is back in style! So if you have a few old shirts (or other types of clothing to make a full outfit), why not give them a refresh with this fun summertime activity.
Hold a Fashion Show and Photoshoot
Now that you have your cool new tie-dye outfits, why not hold a photoshoot with your kids? Not only will you get pictures you can cherish, but you’ll also make your kids feel really special.
Fashion some Feathered Friends
For a unique craft idea, buy some decorative feathers and googly eyes at your local craft store and make some feathered bird friends. Additionally, you can attach your feathered friends to a string and pole to make an excellent cat toy.
Design a Bug Hotel
Similar to the secret fairy garden, a bug hotel is an interesting way to unleash your kid’s inner architect. Next, you can either fill the rooms with plastic bugs, or let nature do the booking!
Build a Tower with Popsicle Sticks
If that hotel wasn’t enough to satisfy your kid’s inner architect, then build a popsicle stick tower! Model it after a local landmark, or create something entirely new.
Paint a Bird Feeder
Many craft stores have wooden birdhouses just waiting to be painted. Alternatively, you could go to a second hand store to find a house in need of repainting. If you have cats, make sure to hang your feeders in a place they can watch the birds come and go.
Construct Dandelion Crowns
Next time you weed your garden, you can save the dandelion flowers to make crowns. After that, your kids can go wild finding their inner wood fairies. Fashion a wand out of sticks to complete the ensemble!
Film a Movie
Let your kids feel like a star by writing a movie and filming it in your backyard! For extra fun, have your kids do the writing. That way you’ll end up with a great memory that’s also hilarious.
Make the Perfect Sandcastle
Next time you go to the beach (or to the sandbox) be prepared. Bring buckets and other containers to give your castle a unique shape. Next scour the beach for unique shells and trinkets, and decorate the castle to your heart’s content!
Create a Leaf Collage
Nature is already so beautiful, so why not make some art with it? Find some interesting leafs the next time you go on a hike, and glue them to a canvas to make a collage. It’s a simple craft, but your kids will have a blast!
Make Music with Elastic Ukuleles
If you have an empty tissue box and some elastics, try making this classic craft! When you’re done, put on your kids’ favorite songs and rock out!
Hold a Slam Poetry Session
If your kids are old enough to write, than you have to hold a slam poetry session. Make sure you save their poems so you can read them back to your kids when they are adults. Trust us, these poems will only get more cute and hilarious with time.
20 Fun Things to Do Outside Around Your Neighbourhood
Walk to the Local Farmers Market
If you have a farmer’s market in your community, why walk there with the kids? Not only is the produce generally more affordable than at the grocery store, but you’ll also be buying what’s grown in your community.
Play a Game of Mini Golf
When deciding on things to do outside, miniature golfing is a summertime staple. Just make sure to wear plenty of sunscreen! Most mini-putt courses are not particularly well shaded.
Go to the Amusement Park
If there’s one near-by, you’ll definitely want to plan a visit. Try to coordinate this trip with other families you trust. That way you have extra parental guardians around in case not everyone can go on a ride.
Go for a Road Trip
While you wouldn’t want to plan something too far away, getting out of town to a nearby beach or roadside attraction can be a fun way to spend a weekend with your family.
Go Horseback Riding
Who doesn’t love horses? Learning to ride these beautiful animals is an excellent way to bond with your kids. Plus, it gets them outdoors and active!
Go Rock Climbing
Older kids love rock climbing because it’s a great way to explore and play while being active. Nothing beats the rush that comes from making it to the top of a wall.
Take a Trip to the Car Wash
While it may seem simple, if your kids have never been to a drive-thru car wash, they might get a kick out of going to one. When you just need to fill time in the afternoon, this one’s worth a try!
Take a Day Trip to a Neighbouring Town
Sometimes the best things to do outside are just the things you normally do, but in a new environment. Drive to a nearby town to sample their shops and restaurants. You and your family might just find a new favourite.
Take a Trip Out of Town on the Train
Rather than plan around a destination, why not plan around the journey? Kids love trains because they’re big, fast, and an exciting experience to have. But parents love them because of their comfort and safety. Find a destination along the route, and get yourself a ticket.
Explore a Historic Cemetery
For a more macabre experience, take a walk to an old cemetery. While there, see if you can find the oldest grave. Additionally, if you have older children, bring some cleaning supplies and restore an old neglected tombstone.
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Plan a Trip to the Zoo
This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about animals and their habitats. Find out if your zoo has any events of programs geared at children. Often times these are included in the price of regular admission to attend.
Borrow Books from a Mini-Library
Have you ever borrowed a book from one of those adorable mini libraries? Go for a walk with your kids to one and see what books they have available. It’s a great way to stumble upon books you normally wouldn’t pick up!
Do your research ahead of time to make sure there are age appropriate karts for your kids. That way, you get your money’s worth while avoiding last minute disappointments.
Go See an Outdoor Play
Look into whether any theatre groups in your area are putting on an outdoor play. Often these types of productions will have discounted (if not free) tickets for children. That means they’re a very affordable entertainment option for parents.
Swim in a Community Pool
Not only will your kids get plenty of exercise and fresh air, but they’ll be doing so under the supervision of a trained lifeguard. Plus, it can be an excellent way for you to meet new people in your community.
Take a Walk to the Waterfront
Even if you don’t want to go for a swim, walking to the waterfront can be an excellent way to cool down in the summer thanks to the cool wind coming off the water. Nothing beats getting some exercise with the family hearing the sound of waves hitting the shoreline!
Tour a Historic Site
History is all around us! Chances are there’s a local monument or museum in your community that your can tour. Many of these museums go out of there way to make learning fun for the whole family!
Look up Nearby Festivals
When looking for things to do outside with kids, make sure you look-up if there are any festivals nearby. If there is, you’ll definitely want to check it out. From country cooking, to carnival rides, there’ll be plenty of fun for the little ones.
Go to a Sports Game
Nothing beats the community spirit you get from cheering on your local team. Get dressed in the team colours then make your way for hours of family fun in the sun.
Have a Picnic in the Park
When it’s a beautiful day outside consider having a yummy picnic lunch in the park! If you’re planning a day at the park, you won’t want to neglect packing a picnic before you go!
20 Things to do Outside with Kids in a National Park or Forest
Hold a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Teach your kids to identify different plants and animals by having a scavenger hunt in which you search for local flora and fauna. It’s outdoor fun that’s educational! Just remember, you don’t need to pick the flowers you find, just check them off a list.
Go Bird Watching
Bust out the binoculars and see how many unique birds you can find. Bird watching is a great alternative to fishing when you don’t have water nearby.
Have a Treasure Hunt
No, not real treasure, but if you have a nearby woods, you can hide a stash of candy and other goodies somewhere inside of it. Next, make a map for your kids to find it. Bonus points if you use a teabag to make the map look aged.
It may be a simple activity, but it can still be fun. There are a lot of unique rocks underfoot that we often miss. Who knows, you might even find a fossil!
Go Fruit Picking
If there are local raspberries or other fruits, bring a basket and start collecting. Of course, only forage for fruits you are fully confident are safe to eat. The last place you’d want to get sick is in the middle of the woods.
Hold a Bug Hunt
Like a scavenger hunt, but exclusively for unique bugs. Just be sure not to harm them. Out of all the things to do outside mentioned in this article, this is more of a “look-but-don’t-touch” type of activity.
Have a Friendly Competition of Stone Skipping
Are you near water? Do you see flat stones? Then you know what to do! See who can skip them the most amount of times. If your kids don’t know how to skip rocks, then let this be your opportunity to teach them.
Climb a Tree
Squat trees with several low branches are excellent fun to climb. The best trees to climb are sycamore trees. Keep an eye out for their iconic smooth bark next time you’re in the woods.
Forage Dandelions for a Salad
Did you know Dandelion flowers are edible? They were one of the first crops humans farmed (which is also why they spread around the world). Don’t eat the stems, but the flowers, leaves, and roots (once properly prepared) are safe to eat so long as they’ve never touched pesticide. Bon appetit!
Find a Quiet Spot and Read a Book
If you’re heading into the woods, bring a book to read to your kids. Then, find a quiet hollow in the forest and read a story to them outloud. Pro-tip: Read an adventure book that’s set in the forest!
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Investigate Nature with a Magnifying Glass
Get the inside scoop on what going on with nature. Your kids will discover things they’ve never noticed before… You might too!
Teach your kids about the constellations overhead. Bring a red bulb flashlight to find your way around, that way, your eyes won’t re-adjust to the light.
Pick up Litter
Help to keep the park you visit clean and safe for animals. This summertime activity is great for kids because it will teach them the importance of taking care of our environment.
Look for Invasive Plant Species
Research what invasive species are in your area. Then, next time your go for a hike in the woods, see if you can find them!
Race Sticks Under a Bridge
This classic game was first featured in the book staring Winnipeg’s own, Winnie-the-Pooh. Drop a stick on one side of a pedestrian bridge, then race to the other side to see who’s stick made it downstream first. Make sure you teach your kids that this is only a safe activity to do when cars don’t use the bridge.
Search the Woods for the Biggest Pine Cones
Another search through the woods, but this time to find the largest pine cone. You might be surprised at how large they can grow!
Take a Trip to the Ol’ Fishing Hole
Yes, no summer is complete without a trip to the ol’ fishing hole. Relax and enjoy the soothing sound of water sloshing against your boat as you soak up the summer sun… and hey, if you catch a fish that’s great too!
Explore a New Trail System
On your next hike, why not take the road less traveled? It might just make all the difference.
Go Camping During a New Moon
Plan your next camping trip during a new moon. That way, you’ll be able to see stars in the night sky like you’ve never seen before. If you and your children have never seen the milky way, this is your opportunity.
Play Scavenger Bingo
In this twist on a scavenger hunt, your kids fill out a bingo card instead of a list. Whoever fills their bingo card first is the winner! BINGO!
Hopefully this list of things to do outside with your kids helps to inspire your next family summer adventure!
Just remember, at the end of the day, planning outdoor activities for kids doesn’t have to be a challenge. After all, kids have great imaginations. That means, you can likely make a fun game out of pretty much anything.
The point is to get outside and bond with your kids, and sometimes all you really need to do is start hiking in the woods, and see where you end up!
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