10 Backyard activities to do with children

Summer is a great time to get outside and have some backyard fun with these activity ideas.

Being outside can be fun and help children learn and build their skills.

Being outside can be fun and help children learn and build their skills.

Summer weather makes it the perfect time to get outside and have some fun in your own backyard. Don’t have a backyard? That’s OK, you can do these activities in any space outside. These activities are not only fun, but will help your child work on developing skills like coordination, grasping and hand-eye coordination. If you add in other children, they will also work on teamwork, communication and cooperation. Use these fun activities to get outside and have some fun!

  1. Use a pillowcase or sturdy bag to have a sack race. Put both feet in the pillowcase or sturdy bag and hop to the finish line!
  2. Water balloon piñatas. Fill balloons with water and hang them from a tree branch, then use a broom handle to hit them and get a little wet.
  3. Nature painting. Collect different objects from around the yard such as rocks, leaves, clumps of grass, tree branches, flowers or other natural objects. Dip the objects in paint and use the paint brushes to create a unique work of art.
  4. Water music. Collect different glass containers and fill them up with different amounts of water. Use a metal fork or other utensil to lightly tap the containers to see what different sounds they make. Try and play a song.
  5. Three-legged race. Use a scarf or tie to tie one of your legs together with another person so that you have “three” legs. Then see how fast you can run across the backyard or race others.
  6. Water balloon baseball. Fill balloons with water and use them as baseballs or softballs. Have someone pitch them and try and hit them with a bat or broom handle. Don’t forget to run around your bases!
  7. Outdoor bowling. Grab some empty plastic bottles and set them up like bowling pins. Use a ball (basketball, soccer ball, softball) and play a game of bowling.
  8. Sun art. Grab some dark-colored construction paper and different objects such as toys or natural objects such as leaves or flowers. Place them on the paper in different designs and then set them outside in the sun for a couple hours and see what happens to the paper!
  9. Scavenger hunt. Place different items around the yard and let the kids loose to try and find them. You could also create clues or a map to help kids find the hidden objects.
  10. Have a picnic. Take a blanket outdoors and place it on the ground, eat lunch or snacks outside together.

Being outside can be fun and help children learn and build their skills. For more ideas about activities and articles on child development, academic success, parenting and life skill development, please visit the Michigan State University Extension website.

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