7 outdoor summer activities for kids
1. Make nature wands
Whether your child is a wizard or a fairy, nature wands are a great outdoor activity idea and so simple to make. You can help the children to collect some twigs, flowers and leaves, and attach them together using little elastic bands. If you wanted to get really creative, you could paint the twigs and even add some glitter, but it’s otherwise a completely free, simple activity idea. Kids Allowed nurseries are big fans of nature wands, check out their nature based learning initiative Kids Outdoors.
2. Water painting
I’m sure plenty of you remember this one. A hot summers day, a bucket of water and a paint brush. Have them draw a photo, colour in an area of concrete or even dip their hands and feet into the water and make prints around the patio. Again, such a low-cost activity that will keep your child entertained for hours…and no cleaning up!
3. Giant tree painting
Wrap a tree in some large recycled paper or even bubble wrap, and let the children do the rest. They could use paint brushes or even their hands and cover the tree trunk in bright coloured paint. This makes a great art activity that combines sensory play and nature.
4. Dig in the dirt
Rather self-explanatory. Digging in the dirt may not seem very beneficial, but it helps to develop fine motor skills, an understanding of weight and pressure, and improves physical development. The children can work in teams or by themselves, and you may want to make it more interesting by burying some items in the soil for them to discove
5. Bake mud pies
Baking anyone? Whilst you’re outdoors digging, you might as well ask the children to bake you some (mud) cakes. Add some water and use some kitchen utensils (and hands) to shape the mud, then add some flowers for decoration. A great role play, sensory activity for the outdoors.
6. Den building
Children love to make dens. It builds their confidence, team working skills and imagination. Allow them to test their creativity by trying out different size sticks/twigs and getting them to balance. You may want to get some den building resources to help the children get started and decorate with leaves and all things nature.
7. Nature scavenger hunt
You can either print photos or draw them yourself, of items you may find in the great outdoors. Give the photos to your children and ask them to go and find the item, ticking it off as they go along. A great activity for improving problem solving skills and awareness.
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When looking at Maths, it can be linked with natural resources in a way that is reflective of a forest school approach, but can also always be done on a smaller scale with a play table or play tray. When in nature we can gather leaves or twigs to count and compare. Indoors, we may have resources to hand that we can count, add, subtract and compare, or bring home the leaves and twigs from your woodland adventures.