20 After School, Outdoor Activities

My son only gets one 30 minute recess per 7 hour school day. Personally, I think this is very pathetic. Kids need time to play outdoors; and I'm not the only one who thinks so. Some of my favorite articles right now on this subject are Green Schoolyards as Havens from Stress and The Decline of Play in Preschoolers - And the Rise of Sensory Issues.

It is obvious my son isn't going to get much outdoor time at school; so, I am extremely committed to spending some time after school or in the evening outdoors. The easiest way for us to do this is to visit local parks/playgrounds or play in our own yard. But honestly my kids get a little board sometimes if there aren't other kids to play with. So I have to come up with activities that keep them interested in being outdoors and aren't much work for me. Here are a few of our favorites, so far.

1) Go on a playground scavenger hunt. Or try a nature scavenger hunt.
2) Race toy cars down the slides.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
3) Collect & Sort: A Spring Nature Walk or what ever season it happens to be.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
4) Make a video for grandparents. Our parents don't live close and they just love watching videos of the children playing.
5) Have a water gun fight. Easier than all the clean-up from water balloons, not as much work as going to the pool and more environmentally friendly.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
6) Make homemade Popsicles or hot chocolate (depending on the season) for a park visit treat.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
7) Create an obstacle course using the playground equipment. Race or just see if the kids can make it through the course.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
8) Bring binoculars & bird watch. Some of the time birds are close enough to see without binoculars.
9) Bring sidewalk chalk for tic-tac-toe or hop scotch.
10) Bubbles - you can never go wrong with bubbles!
11) Color hunt - pick a color & find as many items in that color as you can.
12) Have a pizza picnic - order your favorite pizza & eat it at a park.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
13)  Explore trees in the spring, winter, summer, or fall. Help your kids notice how the trees changes with the seasons.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
14) Pick up trash - may not be extremely fun but it teaches respect & responsibility. We always leave a place cleaner than we find it.
15) ABC game - find letters around the park; both on signs and shapes in the playground equipment.
16) Catch and release fireflies or butterflies.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
17) Pick wildflowers, press and make sun catchers or bookmarks.
20 After School, Outdoor Activities
18) Go on a bug hunt.
19) Read a book.
20 After School Outdoor Activities
20) Make nature bracelets. We used duct tape and it held most of the items my kids collected.

Bonus - Play nature bingo. This is really cute.

What are you favorite activities while at the park?

20 After School, Outdoor Activities


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