One of the most exciting parts of being a parent is introducing your little one to the whole wild world outside of your home. There are many outdoor toddler activities that can be a part of that process. And you can use them to help develop motor skills and teach new concepts too. Check out some of our favorite fun outdoor activities!
Explore The Natural World
Getting away from the screen and the couch gives you and your child the opportunity to get closer to nature. There are a number of fun ways you can wander and learn with the whole family. Some of these outdoor activities are easier to do in good weather or will need adjustments for wintertime.
- Hike. Grab your hat and sunscreen and hit a local trail with your family. Make sure to pick up a guide so you can learn more about the flora and fauna of the area or even its history. Whether you do this as a fall outdoor activity to check out the changing leaves or enjoy this in the middle of summer, it’s a great option.
- Visit a petting zoo. Let your little one feed some of the animals. They can practice animal sounds on the way there and back too!
- Camping. Another multi-season outdoor activity, you and the whole family can get to the woods, start a fire, and don’t forget the s’mores. You can even set up the tent in your own backyard.
- Head to the beach. At the beach you can lay out, explore tidal pools, or make sandcastles.
- Track animals. This is a good activity to combine with a hike. Visit your local nature center. They often have pamphlets with local animal information and see if your child can spot their tracks. They are closer to the ground after all!
- Visit your local zoo. Not quite ready to let your kid loose among animals? Visit ar zoo and they can learn more about animals behind a safe barrier.
- Gardening. Help your toddler learn about the growing cycle for plants from seed to harvest. You can plant flowers, produce, or trees and shrubs.
Nature rubbings. With some charcoal and thick paper, your kid can explore the area and do rubbings of tree bark, stones, and more.
Unleash Their Creativity
Expand the canvas by letting your little one think bigger with their arts and crafts. The best part of being outdoors? Less complicated cleanup! Don’t forget to take photos of their creations.
- Paint with water. All you need is a bucket of water and a paint brush. Let your kid see how different things look once they are wet.
- Make art on the sidewalk. Use washable paint or chalk. Let their imagination run free. It’s also a great way to teach colors.
- Spray art. Load up some mini spray bottles with liquid paint or food coloring. Set up an easel outside and see what they make.
- Clay imprints. Using saltwater dough or playdough, have your child make impressions of what they find outdoors. Or of their favorite toys.
- Boat races. A great DIY outdoor activity is building a boat out of whatever supplies you have on hand and racing them in a kiddie pool.
- Mud bricks and pies. Wet earth can be dried into all sorts of shapes. They can build a tower or house of mud bricks or just have fun making different pieces and baking them in the sun. This is a great option for sensory play. An awesomely messy and free toddler activity!
Get To Know The Neighborhood
You don’t have to go far to have fun. You can find a lot of local adventures or imagine some just beyond your doorstep.
- Visit local outdoor attractions. Start that search engine and see what kid-friendly activities are in your area. This could include mini theme parks, learning centers, and more.
- Find a new park or playground. Heading to the park is a great option-year round. Build snowmen for a winter outdoor activity. Collect pretty leaves for a fall outdoor activity.
- Play in puddles. After a rainy spring day, pull on the boots and splash in puddles.
Let them be the leader. Have your child lead you around the neighborhood for a walk. Build agency and let them tell you when to turn.
- Picnic. If you two made some snacks together trying some of our indoor toddler activities, then bring those along and a big blanket for an outdoor picnic.
Pump Up The Play
If you are staying closer to home, but want to get that excess energy outdoors, try these fun and DIY outdoor toddler activities. Great for a group of neighborhood kids too!
- Design an obstacle course. This is a great DIY toddler activity that works on toddlers’ gross motor skills.
- Hide and seek. Establish a kid-safe radius, and you can spend an entire afternoon playing hide and seek.
- Chase bubbles. There are dozens of toys for making bubbles from tiny to monster-sized. Start with some bubble making. And then your kid can run after them in the yard.
- Dance it out. Invite some of their friends for a playdate. Everyone can come up with their own move and the whole group can imitate it. Don’t forget the speaker!
- Hopscotch. Draw out the diagram on the chalk and practice hopping and jumping. You can have some fun arts and crafts time adding in some more drawing and design too.
- Water limbo. Let’s be honest. Kids love getting into the water. Use your hose to create the limbo bar and see if they get under it or get soaked.
- Frozen toy bin. This is a great summer outdoor activity. Freeze a mix of toys in a bin and then set your child outside. If it’s a hot day, this may go faster. If not, give them a child-safe hammer or shovel so they can free their action figures.
- Snowball fight. A perfect activity for kids getting a better handle of their, well, hands. Play outside and then when you get chilly, head indoors for some hot cocoa.
Now that you are fully stocked on some fun outdoor activities for you and your toddler, the next step is making sure you have the child care you need. Find a professional near you through Sittercity today.