12 outdoor learning activities for kids


Struggling to find fun ways to keep your kids entertained as the weather warms? Do not worry. It just takes a few simple supplies and a little imagination to get them moving, creating and experimenting outside this summer.

Plus, you can learn a bit to make sure their brains stay engaged all summer long. Here are some outdoor learning activities to get you started.

Toddlers obsessed with tiny crawling creatures will have fun looking for bugs in the yard. When the hunt is over, create a compiled list of every variety of insects, from worms to ants. The game combines both math and science and is a great boredom breaker.

Get the tutorial on No Time for Flash Cards.

View Words Water Play

Do you have an early reader? Kids will have so much fun playing this visual word game that they won’t even realize they are learning. In addition, the activity can be personalized according to age and used to teach shape and number recognition.

Get the tutorial at Homeschool Preschool.

Nature Journal

Have the children record all the interesting sights and sounds of nature throughout the summer. Grab a blank notebook and explore a local park, forest reserve, or even your own backyard. Once there, kids can take photos, collect items like flowers, berries, and rocks, and make observations of the world around them.

Get the tutorial on Thimble and Twig.

This hunt is perfect for little ones learning their colors. Pick a color, then send kids for a hike in the yard for items that match your selection. From pink flowers to gray stones, the possibilities found in nature are endless!

Get the tutorial on Fantastic Fun and Learning.

Bag explosion

What kid doesn’t light up with joy mixing baking soda and vinegar? Make sure to take some food coloring to make the tiny chemical reactions even more exciting. The biggest benefit of this experience is that the sparkling mess stays outside.

Get the tutorial on Kids Activities Blog.

Fairy garden

Bring some magic to your garden by creating a whimsical fairy garden with your children. Children can use their imaginations to make the garden as elaborate as they want with figurines, stones and flowers. The project will stimulate their creativity, encourage sensory play and is also a great way to teach the basics of plant care.

Get the tutorial on Rhythms of Play.

Nothing could be easier than this science and art project – just make sure you finish it on a really sunny day! Kids can choose their own items from your yard (or around the house), then watch the solar power work. Suggested items include leaves, shells, clovers, and pods.

Get the tutorial on PBS Kids.

Alphabet rocks

Have your children look for large, flat rocks outside, then take paint pencils and write each letter of the alphabet on them (double the letters if you want to build words). Once the rocks are finished, use them for letter recognition, spelling, yard letter hunting and more.

Get the tutorial on Childhood 101.

Sensory trash can with water pearls

Grab your paddling pool and oversized water balls to create the most epic sensory tub you’ve ever seen. Cover the pool when you’re done and the water beads will last for several days, perfect for repeating the game.

Get the tutorial on Busy Toddler.

The playground favorite can be used to play educational games like 2, 4, etc. Expand the chalk board to incorporate larger numbers.

Get the tutorial on Math Geek Mama.

Dish soap bubbles

Take blowing bubbles to an epic new level with this easy dish soap bubble activity. Using just a few ingredients and a giant homemade wand, kids can create bubbles as big as their own bodies and learn the science behind surface tension.

Get the tutorial on Scholastic.

Rainbow fish painted with sponge

Encourage your kids to get creative this summer with this simple sponge painting activity. They won’t mind getting their hands dirty as they use different colors to paint the rainbow fish.

Get the tutorial on Happy Toddler Playtime.

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