44 Ideas for Getting Kids Outdoors

Image Courtesy of the National Park Service

Cover Image Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife.  Kids don’t realize it but their parents care about them and want them to know that more exists to life than video games, computers and television. In order to change where and how kids use their electronic devices, parents need to find activities that can compete with video games and movies. How about dinosaur tracks, seeing and feeding thousands of fish at a fish hatchery, swimming at a local lake, going on a fossil hunt, seeing the rings around Saturn through a telescope, flying a kite or camping out.

To make these activities even more successful parents/adults should plan to have food when the children are hungry, plenty of water to keep them hydrated and happy, sunscreen to prevent painful sunburns, insect repellent, the appropriate clothing in case the weather changes and patience to let the children explore to their hearts delight.

Below is a starter list of activities and links that should help get kids outside.

44 Fun Ideas for Getting Out of the House with Children

1. Sea Turtle Release



2. Watch bats come out from under the Congress Street bridge in Austin, TX or check out bats in your area



3. Visit a fish hatchery (call ahead to check on tour availability)

National Fish Hatcheries http://www.fws.gov/fisheries/nfhs/offices.html

Texas State Hatchery http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/management/hatcheries/

State Fish Hatcheries of the U.S.A. State Fish Hatcheries

4. Construct a planter box or stand for the back yard or for the railing at an apartment

5. Grow plants that attract monarch butterflies


6. Grow vegetables, strawberries, watermelons, sunflowers and/or pumpkins at home




7. Harvest sunflowers or pumpkins and roast their seeds in the oven

8. Plant and tend to flowers that can be cut for the dinner table or taken to a nursing home

9. Take an evening away from the city to see the stars or a meteor shower


10. Take a walk at a local park with binoculars and Frisbee in hand

11. Take swimming lessons at a local park or pool

12. Pick apples at an orchard



13. Try camping in the backyard or get instruction through a state sponsored “How to Camp” workshop by searching Becoming an Outdoor Family or calling your state parks to see what programs may be available






14. Check out backyard Birds with younger children


15. Go hunting for fossils


16. Put water outside and see how long it takes to freeze

17. Visit a park to see alligators



18. Visit a park to see where maple syrup comes from

19. Take a walk in the snow and look for animal tracks

20. Take a walk along the beach or the edge of a lake or pond and look for animal tracks

21. Go sledding on a sand dune or on a local hill in winter





22. Go ice skating

23. Try ice fishing

24. Put a rain gauge in the backyard to see how much it rained

25. Put a thermometer in the shade near the house to know the temperature

26. Start a compost pile to be used on the garden the next year

27. Put a bucket under the bath faucet to see how much water is wasted when warming up the shower and use that bucket of water to water the plants in the garden

28. Have a water balloon fight and then pick up the broken balloons on a hot summer day

29. Go see dinosaur tracks at a park





30. Go to the beach at low tide and look to see what is there

31. Listen for as many sounds as possible in the backyard (wind, birds, cars, raindrops, dogs, cats, coyotes)

32. Go for a picnic, lay out a blanket and watch the clouds for different shapes

33. Go for a bike ride

34. Play catch with your parent, sibling, friend or cement wall

35. Build a fort out of fallen branches in the backyard

36. Fly a kite in a park

37. Go to a kite festival

38. Go cross country skiing

39. Go snowshoeing

40. Rake leaves to make money

41. Go skateboarding

42. Kick the soccer ball in the yard or at a local park

43. Walk to the local fishing hole and fish

44. Visit Science and History Museums (and remember some days are free admission)




Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply