Are you looking to get your kids off their screens and outside? It’s not always easy to convince them to put down the game controller and head out into the fresh air for some much-needed Vitamin D. It might be tricky, but not impossible. So, how do you do it? We’ve put together a list of the best 7 backyard activities and toys for kids of any age to make spending quality time in the great outdoors an easy task!
1. Create a backyard obstacle course
A backyard obstacle course is a great way to get your kids outside and run off all that excess energy. The best thing about creating your own obstacle course is that you can include as many or as few obstacles as you like to suit your child’s age and how much space you have.
If you’re short on space, challenge your child to complete the course three times in a row, do it backwards, or even with their eyes closed!
Outdoor games and activities perfect to include in a backyard obstacle course are:
- Monkey bars
- Climbing ropes and slides
- Hula hoops (hang these from a tree branch for kids to jump through!)
Set up a series of challenges for kids to complete, set a timer and let them race against the clock!
The options are endless – just use your imagination!
2. Create a treasure hunt (complete with treasure map)
A treasure hunt will keep your little ones entertained in the fresh air for hours. It’s also a great way to encourage teamwork and help them develop problem-solving and creative-thinking skills.
Hide some small toys and lollies around your garden for your kids to discover. If they’re a little older, hide clues around the garden that they need to collect first that will lead them to the true buried treasure!
Of course, no treasure hunt is complete without a treasure map! Just remember younger kids will need plenty of helpful clues, while older kids can jump into the game and have fun creating maps of their own to challenge each other.
You can even take this to the next level and encourage your kids to get into the spirit with costumes and themed hints to create an interactive experience.
3. Backyard bowling
You can create all the fun of bowling, without actually having to head to the bowling alley. Make your own bowling pins using pretty much any form of recycling – empty tin cans, glass or plastic bottles.
Simply lay down a yoga mat to create the bowling alley, and if you have some pool noodles handy, you can create your own bumpers too. Find any ball or round object to use as your bowling ball – from a bouncy ball to a soft basketball.
Host your own competition or just have a few friendly rounds!
4. Fly a kite
Kite flying is great fun for kids of all ages (and for supervising adults, too!). It’s also a great way to develop hand-eye coordination and motor skills, while learning about physics and aerodynamics.
You could buy a kite, or why not help them make their own – that’s a whole extra activity right there!
5. Have a game of croquet
A spot of croquet can provide hours of fun for the whole family! In croquet, a mallet is used to pass a ball through wire hoops in the ground. A point is scored each time a player passes a ball through the hoops.
Croquet is an entertaining outdoor activity for all ages. The nature of stopping and waiting for others to have a turn helps kids practice patience, while the actual sport helps develop arm strength and coordination.
6. A remote control toy race
Get your kids revved up for a remote control toy race. All you need are some remote control toys and a large flat surface, like a decking or a paved area. If you don’t mind digging up some of your lawn, you could even make your own race track.
You can make the race track as difficult or straightforward as you like. Young kids who are yet to master their hand-eye coordination skills will find a straight track easier to tackle, while older kids will relish more of a challenge – the windier the better!
If you’re building the track on a hard surface, draw tracks and lane markings with some outdoor chalk.
7. Ring toss
This is a classic outdoor activity. It may be a little old-fashioned, but it’s great for improving hand-eye coordination. You can buy a ring toss set at most toy shops – but if you want to get your kids involved in an extra activity, you can also make the base yourself out of Lego. Simply make a cross shape for the base, plus the five vertical poles that you can toss the rings onto.
No matter the activity, outdoor play is incredibly important for a child’s development, plus it can act as a much-needed break from screen time. However you encourage your child to get outdoors, we’re sure they’ll love spending hours in the fresh air!
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