101 Things To Do Outside with Printable Poster

Whether school’s out for summer for your family, or you are just looking for kid friendly, fun things to do outside at home, we’ve created a great list of 101 Ways to Play Outdoors that is perfect for inspiring kids to head out into the backyard to play! Plus we’ve listed these on a handy outdoor play poster that you can print for your home or out of school care program.

101 things to do outside

The poster lists all 101 fun outdoor games and activity ideas, that are perfect for playing in your backyard, with the simplest of equipment – if any.

I suggest printing the 101 ways to play outdoors poster out, and then hanging it on the front of the fridge – or some other obvious place in your home …it makes an awesome prompt for kids complaining, ‘I’m bored!’ Download and printing instructions can be found at the bottom of this article.

101 Things to Do Outside

Below you will find guidance for trying out many of the ideas alongside links to even more fun ideas for things to do outside! Click on the links to get started with some of our favorite outdoor activities for kids.

Things to Do Outside for Kids: Sensory Play Ideas
mud pies, puddle jumping, bubbles, washing toys, bubble painting, water painting, sand castle building, wash the dog, make a rainbow, watch a sunset

Outdoor Sensory Play Ideas

Sensory play is a wonderful way to encourage exploration and learning through the sense. Here are some fun outdoor sensory play ideas to try in your own backyard.

  1. Catch raindrops on your tongue
  2. Play with playdough outdoors
  3. Make a rainbow with the garden hose
  4. Build a sand castle
  5. Paint a fence with water
  6. Eat breakfast outside
  7. Decorate mud pies: Check out our list of 15 fun ways to play with mud and this simple idea for making a mud play kitchen in your backyard.
  8. Toast marshmallows
  9. Blow bubbles
  10. Try bubble painting: Here’s out tutorial for super cool bubble painting.
  11. Wash the dog
  12. Wash your toys: This one really is good, clean fun, and check out our other easy water play ideas.
  13. Jump in puddles
  14. Watch a sunset
Outdoor literacy ideas

Outdoor Literacy Ideas

Support literacy learning across all areas of language development – reading, writing, listening and speaking, with this super fun list of engaging outdoor literacy ideas.

  1. Make a set of story stones
  2. Make your name with sticks: Explore more ideas for learning about letters outdoors in our Alphabet Fun ebook. It includes hands-on alphabet games and activities for 3 -6 year olds.
  3. Start a nature journal: We share our top tips for starting a nature journal with young children.
  4. Read a field guide: Here are some useful tips for reading field guides with kids and our pick of the best field guides for kids.
  5. Write in damp sand with a stick: Check out this collection of 20 ways to play with sticks.
  6. Share a story inspired by the shapes you see in the clouds
  7. Make a tin can telephone: Check out our instructions for making a DIY tin can telephone – it’s lots of fun!
  8. Make a collection of some kind
  9. Write a letter on a leaf to a friend
  10. Make a nature ABC book: Or try an Alphabet Scavenger Hunt.
  11. Read a book that is set outdoors
  12. Make a map of the space you are in
Outdoor play ideas for active kids

Active Things to Do Outside

Nature provides the perfect environment for active kids to play and explore, with more space to move their bodies. We’ve collected together some classic active play ideas that use simple play equipment – or no equipment at all!

  1. Jump rope
  2. Kick a ball
  3. Walk along a wall
  4. Throw a frisbee
  5. Learn to do a somersault or handstand or cartwheel
  6. Walk as you balance a small bean bag on your head: These DIY mini bean bags are great for all sorts of active play. Alternatively, grab a set of mini bean bags from Amazon.
  7. Ride a bike or scooter
  8. Spin around until you make yourself dizzy
  9. Make an obstacle course to run
  10. Climb a tree
  11. Fly a kite
  12. Roll down a hill
  13. Try hula hooping: Check out this post for fun ways to play with a hula hoop.
Outside construction play ideas: make a pinwheel, paper boats, car and truck sand play, drip castle, bug hotel, stick sculpture, bird bath

Outdoor Construction Play Ideas

If you have children who love construction play, then why not take their passion for construction outdoors – it is simple to do with this list of outdoor construction play ideas.

  1. Build a fort
  2. Make a pinwheel: Here you’ll find instructions for making a sweet DIY paper pinwheel.
  3. Make a paper boat to float
  4. Dig a deep hole and fill it with water
  5. Make a drip castle with wet sand: You’ll also find this idea on our big list of things to do at the beach!
  6. Build the tallest stick tower you can
  7. Take wooden blocks or toy cars outdoors
  8. Make a bird bath: Here’s a simple idea for making a DIY bird bath.
  9. Make a bird feeder
  10. Build a bug hotel
Creative things to do outside: Outdoor art, feather painting, stick sculpture, photography, nature collage, leaf rubbing, leaf prints, tree decorating

Outdoor Art Ideas for Creative Play

Taking art outdoors generally means less stress about mess – which is great for kids. Try one or all of these fun, hands-on outdoor art ideas at home, camp or the classroom and enjoy seeing your children create.

  1. Create a nature collage
  2. Make texture rubbings with crayons
  3. Draw on the pavement with chalk
  4. Make a stick sculpture
  5. Try leaf printing: Find instructions for leaf printing in our collection of Preschool Autumn Activities.
  6. Trace a shadow on the ground
  7. Take photographs of the clouds
  8. Find some tapping stones to make music outdoors
  9. Make a sand sculpture
  10. Paint with feathers: Find more ideas like this in our post, 20 Outdoor Art Activities for Kids.
  11. Decorate a tree
  12. Dance and sing

For more ideas for encouraging children’s creativity outdoors, check out our collection of outdoor art activities.

Things to do outside in nature - bug hunt, hug a tree, bird watching, grow herbs

Things to Do Outside in Nature

Nature play encourages the development of physical, mental and emotional health. To experience all the great benefits of nature play you needn’t go further than your own backyard – and below you’ll find a great list of things to do outside in nature that will get kids having fun whilst playing outside and connecting with nature.

  1. Hug a tree
  2. Make a rain gauge: Here are our instructions for making a simple rain gauge from a plastic bottle.
  3. Set up a worm farm: Check out our instructions for making a worm farm with kids.
  4. Rake a leaf maze: Inner Child Fun has a great leaf maze example.
  5. Make a compost bin: Here are out tips for composting with kids.
  6. Grow a grass head
  7. Set up a snail race
  8. Collect flowers to press
  9. Do some bird watching
  10. Grab a magnifying glass and go bug hunting
  11. Plant vegetables: See our top tips for starting a backyard vegetable garden.
  12. Plant herbs
  13. Grow a sunflower
  14. Make a sun dial
Outdoor imaginative play ideas

Fun Outdoor Ideas for Imaginative Play

Taking pretend play outdoors is a wonderful way to encourage children to develop their imagination. Kids will love using their imagination to play make-believe with natural objects they find and their usual outdoor toys. And it’s so much fun to see their imaginative play ideas come to life!

  1. Make leaf puppets
  2. Make a leaf crown: Find instructions for how to make a leaf crown at Picklebums.com.
  3. Make a pet rock
  4. Make petal perfume
  5. Set up a lemonade stand: Be sure to try our homemade lemonade recipe.
  6. Create a home for a fairy or elf
  7. Put on a cape and pretend to fly
  8. Make a cave for a dinosaur
  9. Enjoy a teddy bear’s picnic
  10. Make a teensy world for toy figurines to live in: Here are 18 imaginative small world play ideas to get you started.
  11. Make a nest for a bird
  12. Put on a show
  13. Dig for treasure: You can make it a math game too! See our instructions for Digging for Treasure Number Fun.
  14. Gaze up at the stars
Things to do outside with friends - leapfrog game, paper plane competition, daisy chains, egg and spoon race, hopscotch

Things to Do Outside with Friends

Encourage kids to spend time outside with friends with these classic game ideas that are sure to have them playing and laughing together.

  1. Play hide and seek
  2. Play leapfrog
  3. Play hopscotch: Need a refresher on how to play? Check out our How to Play Hopscotch instructions.
  4. Host an egg and spoon race: Find instructions for how to play in our collection of 21 classic yard games for kids.
  5. Play tag: For fun variations on classic tag, check out our collection of 10 kids tag games.
  6. Play torch tag: Learn how to play torch tag in our list of sleepover games.
  7. Make up a new game
  8. Have a three legged race
  9. Have a wheelbarrow race
  10. Host a paper plane throwing contest
  11. Invite a friend for a picnic
  12. Make a daisy chain for a friend

RELATED: For entertaining larger groups of children, be sure to check out our collection of kids relay races.

Of course, if you are experiencing cold weather where you live, we’ve got you covered with this helpful list for Playing Outdoors When It’s Cold or Wet.

101 ways to play outdoors poster

Printing Instructions: 101 Ways to Play Outside Poster

To download and print: 101 Ways to Play Outside Poster. To print, you may need to select “Fit to printable area” (or similar) depending upon your printer type and local paper size.

Having trouble accessing or downloading the file? Please try a different internet browser.
Please note: All Childhood 101 printables are for personal use only, you may not use any part of this content for commercial purposes-that includes selling the document, giving it away to promote your business or website, or printing the file to sell. You may not share, loan or redistribute these documents. Teachers may use multiple copies for students in their own classroom.

More fun outdoor play resources;

For more fun ideas to do outside, check out these related posts;

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *