We all know that kids playing outside is a good thing (and a bonus when you’re trying to get dinner on the table). They return from their forest frolics and playground romps with rosy cheeks and big smiles. Have you ever wondered why? To get to the bottom of this mystical transformation, we sat down with three experts to discuss the benefits of outdoor play. Read on to shed some light on the topic.

73,498 BEST Fall Baby Girl IMAGES, STOCK PHOTOS & VECTORS | Adobe Stock

1. It improves focus.

Parents, raise your hand if you’ve ever mistaken your kiddo for the Energizer bunny because they’re always on the go. As Megan Fitzgerald, the Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer at Tinkergarten explains, this need to move has to do with kids’ developing sensory systems. They’re learning to take in information and integrate it. And when it comes to stimulating environments, the ever-changing outdoors provides that just-right balance that kids need—not too much and not too little stimulation.

Fitzgerald points out that both kids' proprioceptive system (our sense of body awareness that plays an important regulatory role) and vestibular senses (related to balance and our sense of spatial awareness) are fully engaged in outdoor play. Whether they’re on the playground or walking along a trail, kids are doing the hard work of moving their bodies (think jumping, pushing, bending, swinging), which means both of these ultra-important systems are activated. The result? Those systems get turned on, so kids are better able to focus.

photo: iStock

2. It encourages creativity.

If you’ve ever seen your kiddo turn a simple stick into a magic wand, bake a pinecone pie or jump from rock to rock to avoid the “lava” below, you know how imaginative they can be. When kids spend time in nature, they’ve got lots of room (both literally and figuratively) to imagine and create. Beyond proving just how adorable our kids are, creative play is important to their development. According to Fitzgerald, spending time outside promotes the kind of flexible thinking that helps kids generate new ideas. That’s why that simple stick can be a fishing pole, a knight’s sword or a pencil that makes amazing dirt drawings. The possibilities are endless—and that's the point.

photo: Trinity via Pexels

3. It engenders empathy.

Alongside all this creativity that comes from imaginative play, kids can explore empathy through it too. As it turns out, fresh air and blue skies are the perfect backdrops for this type of learning. By pretending to be that bee flying from flower to flower or a squirrel chasing another around the yard, kids make a connection with the animal they're pretending to be, according to Fitzgerald. And oh, the things they’ll think of when they do! Imagining the experiences of other creatures, especially those smaller than themselves, builds cognitive empathy in kids. It helps them understand different emotions and recognize them in other people. And most importantly, Fitzgerald notes, it leads them to care for and about others.

4. It cultivates curiosity.

If you've got kids, you know how much they love to ask, “why?” As in, "why is the sky blue?" "Why can’t I do that?" "Why are you so tired all the time?" (We think we know the answer to that one). When kids play outside there’s a lot of natural wonder and curiosity around them.

Leah Carlson with the Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, Washington sees the effects of time spent outside on kids’ curiosity every day. Often kids in the program create their own stories about what they see around them. And within those stories, kids learn to recognize patterns and ask important questions. They may notice animal tracks after a rainfall that weren't there before or that they can hear certain birds in the morning but not in the afternoon. Noticing these little differences (or similarities) leads them to formulate questions and develop ideas of their own. In other words, they get to both ask and answer their own "why" questions.

5. It improves mood.

Maybe it’s the fresh air. Maybe it’s the vitamin D boost that comes with playing on a sunny day. Or maybe it’s the endorphins from all that exercise they’re getting. Whatever it is, all three of the experts we spoke to emphasized that time spent outside improves mood. According to Derrick Soong, MD, FAAP with Virginia Mason Medical Center in Issaquah, Washington, playing outside “helps to improve mood” with the bonus of “reducing the risk/severity of depression and anxiety.”

Another part of that mood elevation is the calming effect nature has on people, kids included. Remember that vestibular sense we mentioned earlier? Research has shown that when it’s activated (think: sliding, spinning, swinging) it helps to keep you calm. Calmer and happier kids? Count us in!

6. It builds problem solving skills.

When it comes to life skills, our kids can never have too many. The fact that they can build foundational problem solving skills while on a hike, riding a bike or climbing at the playground? That’s what we call a bonus. As Carlson explains, spending time in the outdoors connects kids to nature, community and themselves and can have a profound effect on the way they approach the unknown. It gives them the chance to plan, prioritize, try different solutions, even negotiate in a safe environment. In the end these skills leave kids more resilient for the future.

photo: Anete Lusina via Pexels

7. It encourages healthy habits.

As parents, we’re always trying to pass along healthy habits to our kids. It’s why we puree kale alongside their applesauce and sing Daniel Tiger’s greatest hits to our tantruming toddlers. Turns out that playing outside can pass along many healthy habits to our kids, too. As Dr. Soong explains, outdoor play “helps provide children with the exercise they need to maintain a healthy weight.” Playing outside is the ultimate stealth workout for kids. Whether they love playing soccer, hiking or surfing, outdoor play can help them stay healthy as they grow.

—Allison Sutcliffe


Have you ever taken your kids on a hike only to run into something on the trail that captures their interest even more? A fallen log, a natural dam in the creek, a beautiful collection of wildflowers?

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.

When we first started hiking as a family, my husband and I thought of these as distractions, deterrents from finishing our goal. (To be honest, on occasion we still do!)

But it didn’t take many outings for us to realize that kid-directed outdoor adventures are exactly that: adventures.

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.

Once my husband and I adjusted our mindsets, we found that if we hung back and let the kids take the lead, they experienced nature in a way that they never would if we focused single-mindedly on the adventure we planned.

We began to watch them immerse themselves in nature—exploring it with their hands, not just their eyes and the soles of their feet.

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.


1. Hang back and let go of your end goal.

This doesn’t mean every outing needs to be child-directed; some outings are best suited for reaching a destination or improving a skill. We do want our kids to practice setting a goal and following through, even when it gets hard.

That said, we’ve found that for our family, variety is key. Just know that sometimes letting go of the end goal or the vision you had for that activity can be incredibly relieving—even liberating!

For some amazing new places to adventure in, check out these posts: 5 National Parks to Visit as a Family and 5 Family-Friendly Hiking Trails in Banff National Park.

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.

2. Communicate your hopes for each adventure to your kids.

When they know what you have in mind, from skill-building to free-form exploring, they will be much more likely to take things in stride.

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.

3. As motivation, know the research.

This book {The Last Child in the Woods} and this article {Why Kids Need to Spend Time in Nature} are great places to start.

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.

4. Think of “invitations to play.”

Most of the time, nature does the inviting in our family. All our kids need is a pile of big rocks and their imaginations are off and running. But occasionally, depending on the moods of the kids (and when the last time they ate was!), they need a little nudge.

For that reason, it’s great to have a few “invitations to play” in your back pocket.

  • Challenge your kids to see how many different shapes (or colors) of leaves they can find.

  • Tell them you definitely DO NOT THINK they could make it across the creek without getting wet. 🙂

  • If your family is familiar with the book Roxaboxen, casually start outlining your “home” with rocks.

  • Start counting squirrels or deer.

  • If you’re at the beach, walk over to a tide pool, gather driftwood to build a small shelter, or start digging a trench in the sand that runs from the waterline up.

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.

5. Keep all five senses in mind.

On your family adventure, challenge yourself to help your kids engage all of their senses. Point it out when you notice the smell of wildflowers (or a skunk!) on the breeze. Point out the different textures of moss of the trees. Some feel wet to the touch, while others are brittle.

Sight, smell, touch, sound, taste—see if you can engage them all.

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.

6. As always, keep the kids hydrated and well-fed so their imaginations are easy to ignite.

I can always tell when our kids are getting sluggish between water or snack breaks.

One of them, in particular, hits a wall whenever she’s hungry. It’s so obvious to my husband and me that it’s almost comical. She might not put a finger on what it is that’s affecting her, but I see her arms start to hang heavy, and if we’re hiking, she starts to lag behind. A simple snack later, and she’s back at the front of the line, ready and eager to explore whatever is around the next bend.

We like to keep a stash of kid-friendly snacks—especially CLIF Kid bars—in the car, so that we can fuel up on our way to a destination. I also always grab a handful and put them inside my backpack or camera bag, for easy access on the trail. I picked up the newest CLIF Kid bar, the Zbar Fruit & Veggie, at Target, and it was our kids’ top choice of snacks on our most recent trip to Waterton Lakes National Park.

These organic, soft and chewy bars are available in three flavors: Awesome Orange (carrot, mango and orange), Keen Green (apple, sweet potato and spinach) and Purple Power (sweet potato, beet and berry). The bars fit well with CLIF Kid’s larger mission to encourage kids to “come out to play.” Join me in tagging your Zbar adventures with hashtag #OutToPlay!

For families who would like to leap from observing to exploring, here are 6 tips to help kids EXPLORE nature with all of their senses.


Arch formations

Arches National ParkNPS Photo / M. Reed

On August 25, 2017, the National Park Service will turn 101! Celebrate and explore nature in one (or more!) of these 101 ways.

  1. Find Your Park – There are over 400 national park units to choose from, where will you visit?

  2. Go hiking

  3. Sleep under the stars at one of 130 campgrounds in national park units

  4. Go climbing

  5. Hit the trail on your bike

  6. Observe the world around you, watch wildlife in any season

  7. Learn about the stars at a night sky program

  8. Take a deep breath in nature (ahh, fresh air!)

  9. Enjoy the view from home – check out the NPS Air Quality webcams and get current air quality information

  10. Sink your toes in the sand at one of the ocean parks

  11. Earn a badge in one of the Junior Ranger programs

  12. #FindYourWay and float down a wild and scenic river

  13. Have a picnic and be sure to store your food properly!

  14. Go on a ranger led tour, see if you can spot #RangersPointingAtThings

  15. Bring a kid to a park – thanks to the Every Kid in a Park program, 4th graders get free admission to national parks

  16. Explore biodiversity in parks

  17. Bee pollinator friendly, plant a pollinator garden

  18. Discover the secret lives of bats

  19. Learn about an endangered species

  20. Lay down and watch the clouds roll by

  21. Visit a park with bears

  22. Be bear aware

  23. Create art in a park

  24. Watch an episode of Outside Science (inside parks)

  25. Explore the seashore with these seashore activities

A person fishes on the seashore

Fishing at Fire Island National SeashoreNPS Photo

  1. Go fishing

  2. Boost your mood with a Park Prescription... Simply spend time outside!

  3. Browse the Explore Nature photo gallery on Flickr

  4. Rummage through a scientist’s desk

  5. Explore a cave

  6. Make your own cave at home

  7. Learn about America’s Natural Wonders – the National Natural Landmarks

  8. Hug a tree! Examine the bark, how does it feel and smell?

  9. Discover what’s beneath the surface of the ocean

  10. Dive into a park and learn about submerged resouces

  11. Find bison at home on the range

  12. Find evidence of an ancient life with Fossils and Paleontology

  13. Explore America’s geologic legacy

  14. Explore science in parks at Research Learning Centers

  15. Go paddleboarding on a lake

  16. Go water skiing

  17. Learn about your favorite wild animal

  18. Learn about the different ocean habitats

  19. Experience a natural phenomena

  20. Experience the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017

  21. Celebrate our geological heritage on National Fossil Day

  22. Go for a bike ride in your neighborhood, notice the weather

  23. Strike a pose in a park! Share your photos with us using #ParkPose

  24. Take a photo in a park that matches a historic one, use hashtag #retrogram and #tbt

  25. Plan a field trip to a national park

Visitors at Great Sand Dunes

Visitors at Great Sand Dunes National ParkNPS Photo / M. Reed

  1. Take an urban hike through a city park

  2. Go tubing on a scenic river

  3. Visit one of the famous trees in national parks

  4. Follow a journey of Science at Sea in the Gulf of Mexico

  5. Get a senior park pass

  6. Find a career in science

  7. Get up to speed on nature news

  8. Become a volunteer

  9. Become an artist in residence

  10. Travel a trail by horseback

  11. Take a closer look – examine the petals of a flower

  12. Watch a video and get your eye on science

  13. Explore a national heritage area

  14. Take Instagram-worthy photos like a pro with these quick tips

  15. Go on a nature photo scavenger hunt

  16. Build your own compass to help you get around

  17. Go birding, check out these helpful tips for beginners

  18. Host a "bativity" to learn more about bats

  19. Watch the sunrise

  20. Watch the sunset

  21. Get some vitamin sea – go surfing!

  22. Take a photo at the same place in a park at all 4 seasons, notice the changes.

  23. Go kayaking or canoeing

  24. Go boating

  25. See fish up close – go snorkeling or diving!

Two people snorkeling above a coral reef

Snorkelers on Elkhorn Coral in Biscayne National ParkNPS Photo

  1. Go on a bug hunt in your backyard – what kind of insects can you find?

  2. Discover the different types of ocean life

  3. Travel through geologic time online

  4. See the power of tectonic plates

  5. Learn about different land surfaces and park landforms

  6. Get immersed in caves and karst with these children’s books

  7. Dig into prehistoric paleontology and learn about fossils in parks

  8. Geology is extreme! See a list of highest, deepest, and widest geologic formations in parks

  9. Find a conservation internship program with Geoscientists in the Parks

  10. Experience your America everyday by working with the NPS

  11. Go dog sledding

  12. Go snowmobiling

  13. Go snoeshoeing

  14. Stargaze

  15. Explore natural sounds from home in the sound gallery

  16. Listen closely – enhance your soundscape with these listening tips

  17. Learn the 7 ways to safely watch wildlife

  18. Watch wildlife from home

  19. Camp in your backyard

  20. Visit a park and keep a journal about what you experience

  21. Tell a friend about your favorite national park experience, inspire them to visit!

  22. Draw a picture of your favorite place outdoors

  23. Visit Explore Nature online

  24. Be a friend to nature. Like Explore Nature on Facebook

  25. Tweet! Follow Explore Nature on Twitter

  26. InstaLike! Follow Explore Nature on Instagram

The sun's shining and it's never been a better time to get the TV and the electronic gadgets turned off and get outside.  Just like play indoors, there are lots of opportunities for storytelling and role play outside.  Encouraging and promting these opportunities can help children develop their storytelling, literacy and pretend play skills, widen their imagination, and help with an understanding of some maths and physics principles, as well as the more obvious development of physical and social skills.

Here's how you can create opportunities for imaginative play outdoors:

1. Create Child-Friendly Areas

You may not want children marauding across your prize-winning courgettes or marigolds, so create areas where they can interact with the earth or other natural materials, and let them play.  Try not to place too many restrictions on what can and can't be taken outside.  Plastic animals, dinosaurs, dolls etc will all wash fine, so let them play!

One of our plant pots is currently a Lalaloopsy adventure playground:

Plant a special area with herbs and child-friendly plants, maybe with some whimsical objects (Fairies, dinosaurs, frogs, action figures) or interesting shells or stones to spark all sorts of imaginative adventures and tales.

2. Encourage Role Play

Dressing up and role play doesn't have to end at the back door.  Remember when we made dressing up costumes with odds and ends according to to our kids interests. Provide kitchen equipment, or a play kitchen or barbecue, and some tea sets.  Hours of fun! 

You could also join in with re-create a playsize your local high street, complete with signs and shops; or play shops with petals or leaves for pennies, with which to buy exotically shaped stone and leaf goods; and never overlook the potential of a simple cardboard box or length of pipe.

Just as you would hoard junk for creating indoors, start an outdoor junk collection too.  That massive appliance box would make a brilliant car/space rocket/house.  Just add some play silks, stones, sticks, leaves, pine cones, shells or seedpods. and they're away.

3. Provide a Sun Shelter

Whether to shelter from the sun, to set up as a camp or home, a place to have a snack and a drink, or just to lie down for a rest, make sure the children have some shelter to relax in.  A playhouse is great, a bamboo, willow or bean tent amazing, but for more creative opportunities a play tent or wigwam is ideal.  And of course it works indoors too if the weather changes its mind.

Instead of pretend tea parties, why not get the children involved in making their own picnic breakfast, lunch or dinner?  (Or all three!)  Ask them to plan the menu, help you shop for it, prepare, serve and eat it.  Lots of opportunities for learning - maths, literacy, science, nutrition, cooking - and fun!

4. Let Them Get Mucky

Or wet, or both.  A mud kitchen would be ideal of course, but most of us don't have the room for one alas.  Instead, gather a selection of equipment in a large bucket or wheelbarrow and let them get stuck in.  Raid your cupboards or ask around of friends and family for items such as:

  • old colanders or sieves, metal or plastic

  • plastic containers, plates or bowls

  • jugs, metal or plastic

  • old utensils

  • beach toys

Although some of you may want to make it a rule that everyone strips and hoses off at the back door, or provide a bucket to wash up in before they come indoors covered in mud.  And all that mud is fantastic for the immune system.

Sensory play is also ideal outdoors, whether in a permanent sand pit or simple containers or a tuff spot; ditto paint or bubbles or chalks, rice or porridge oats. And why can't art and craft activities take place outdoors?  Go all Jackson Pollock on a sheet, or buy a cheap roll of wallpaper to doodle on, or just take your easel outside.  Who knows what creating in the great outdoors will inspire. 

5. Create a Scientists Lab

Encourage children to examine the natural world and everything in it.  Investigate the water cycle, or floating and sinking, don't shy away from the wind or rain, measure it; create habitats for mini-beasts or identify the species you find; create bird tables full of treats and then see who visits.  Lend them an old digital camera and let your budding nature photographer snap away at caterpillars, butterflies and ants. Outdoor STEM Activities

Gardening is science too, and what better way to learn about the life cycle or needs of plants than to help them grow.  Plant some fast-growing salad leaves or vegetables, such as radishes, and give the children sole responsibility for tending and watering their plot.  Involve your child in caring for the garden, teach them how to sow and grow, how to safely look for and gently handle the mini beasts that live there.  And best of all they get to eat their plants too!

See: How to Teach Children to Garden

6. Don't Overlook Active Play

Make sure there is space to move and toys and games to encourage the children to be physically active too.  Running races or chasing is great, but encourage other skills such as hopping, balancing, jumping, throwing, skipping, sliding, swinging, rolling.

The pound shops have a great selection of skipping ropes, balls, foam javelins etc from now onwards, so stock up.  There's no reason why your swing set or climbing frame can't become a pirate ship for the afternoon, or a simple hula hoop a treasure island.  A bubble machine is ideal for chasing, running and jumping, with or without a paddling pool.  Just imagine how many fairies may be lurking in those bubbles... Active Yard & Water play

7. Allow Plenty of Time

The magic ingredient of all imaginative play is not the resources, but the time to enjoy them.  Provide lots of blocks of time for free, unstructured play, either alone or with friends or siblings.  Freedom to enjoy the outdoor space, plus their own imagination, is the main ingredient for all play.

A bucket table provides a storage space for things you don’t want to leave out in the rain, like citronella candles and pillows. | 41 Cheap And Easy Backyard DIYs You Must Do This Summer

Build your own happy place so you love being outside too! Go Wild or Go Boho but don't forget to make a safe spot to stash the camera.

Open-Ended Active Play Prompts for Outdoor Spaces

Create a fun and exciting backyard play prompts for your child or your daycare for free or for few dollars!  You don’t need expensive toys and fancy equipment to have an outdoor play area that will thrill your kids.  These inexpensive ideas for a backyard play space will make your yard the funnest place in the neighbourhood.

The far corner of the backyard draws the kids in like a magnet.  It’s the play space in our backyard that’s entirely dedicated to active play prompts, and it’s where the  most care-free and magical moments of our day take place.

The old-fashioned simplicity of our outdoor play area makes it an enchanting place for kids to play, explore and learn.

best diys for a backyard play space

There’s our play-house, and sandbox, which are popular for sure, and there is a myriad of other inexpensive play features that entertain, challenge and engage the hooligans for hours every day, all year long. It’s these play features I’m going to tell you about today.

Having an extraordinary outdoor play space doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

You may be thinking “But, how much does it cost to create a backyard playground like this?”

Well, that’s the beautiful part!

Aside from the playhouse and sandbox, which my husband built, most of the play features in our backyard cost next-to-nothing. In most cases, I’ve used items from around the house, thrift-shop finds, and various bits and pieces from nature to create this outdoor play area for the hooligans.

Tight-ropes, pulleys, water walls, balance beams…  all just pennies to make, provide countless hours of fun and learning.

They spark the imagination,  challenge gross motor skills and co-ordination, and encourage critical thinking and creativity.

Be sure to grab our printable list of 100 Fun Things To Do At Home This Summer too! Your kids will never be bored again!

Ready to have the funnest backyard on the block?


Click the links or photos below for the full instructions for each play yard feature.


mud pit in a wheelbarrow

Want a mud-pit without sacrificing your lawn?  Click here to check out our mobile mud-pit!  Easy set up, easy clean up, and you can tuck it away at the end of the day.

Alternatively, you can buy this mud pie kitchen on Amazon.


play logs for the backyard play space

If you know anyone who’s having a tree cut down, see if you can score some play logs!   They’re one of the most versatile and popular features in our backyard.  Click here to see ours in action, and to find out more about them.

No space for logs? Check out these balancing buckets for indoor and outdoor use.



A backyard “abacus” is simple to make and provides lots of fun and learning. The toddlers love this one.  Click here to learn more about our pool noodle abacus.


white board in the backyard

Got a white board that’s too marked up to use anymore?  Move it outdoors!  The hooligans got a couple of seasons of outdoor art out of this white board that was headed for the trash.  Here, we’re painting with mud on International Mud Day.



A few scrap pieces of wood make a toddler balance beam for a budding, young gymnast.  It provides hours of pretend play and exercise and I can tuck it out of the way at the end of the day. Click here to see more of our outdoor balancing activities for toddlers and preschoolers.


bucket and a rope backyard activity

Without question, this simple contracion is one of the best things I’ve ever added to our backyard play area.  The hooligans play with it all  year round.  Not only is it great for strengthening muscles and co-ordination, it also fosters team work, critical thinking and co-operation.  See how I rigged up our Bucket & Rope Contraption here.


water wall activity

I made this water wall out of recyclables 4 years ago, and the hooligans are still playing with it.  It’s provided them with hours and hours of fun and learning over the years.  See how I made our water wall here.


horizonal tire swing

Our tire swing is another one of the most loved features in our back yard.  An old tire, hung horizontally is perfect for one or for a bunch of kids to gather on.   If your vehicle is due for new tires – perfect!  If not, check with a local garage or service station.  They may happily donate one to your backyard project. (photo only/no link)


kid's clothesline activity

I rigged up this simple toddler clothesline years ago.  Secured tightly so it’s not a safety concern, it’s just at the right height for the hooligans to use.

toddlers and preschoolers clothesline activity

Our clothesline provides lots of opportunity for pretend play, and it’s great for teaching life skills, and developing co-ordination and fine-motor skills.  Read more about our clothesline activities here.


rocks for open-ended outdoor play

We’ve picked up loads of rocks and stones and even pebbles at the beach over the years.  The children always have access to the rocks and stones in the yard, and they play with them daily.  They’re kind of our backyard version of the building block – completely open-ended, they can be whatever the hooligans want them to be.  See 10 ways that we use our stones and rocks here.


toddler sand wall in sandbox

Much like the water wall, our sand wall is also made entirely out of scraps and recyclables. It’s positioned in our sandbox, and it’s provided loads of entertainment over the years.  Read about our sandbox and sand wall here.


artificial flowers for play in the backyard

Pick up a bunch of artificial flowers at the dollar store or at a thrift shop.  Ours played with every single day.  The kids hold “weddings”, they decorate the playhouse with them, they “plant” them in the sandbox.  Not a day passes that these don’t get used in some creative manner.  Check out one of my favourite artificial flower activities here.



Water tables are awesome, but there was no way I was going to spend big money to get one when you can make your own so easily.  I pull one of these together almost every day when the weather is nice.  A storage bin set a top a bench or patio table or even an overturned (larger) storage container are all you need for all your water and sensory activities.  If you don’t have storage containers, no worries – a child’s wagon also doubles as a water table for a group of kids to gather around.  You can check out the way we use it for our water activities here.


Back Yard Tight Rope

Best thing ever!  This is right up there with the tire swing and the rope and bucket contraption.  We’ve had our toddler tightrope set up in the yard for years. The hooligans use it every day, all year long even when the snow practically buries the bottom rope.  It’s the best for co-ordination and gross-motor development.  I’m not kidding when I say our tightrope has provided hundreds of hours of fun for kids from ages 1-7 over the years.  Read all about it, and see how to make your own here.


Hose and funnel run through chain link fence

A couple of old pool hoses (or vacuum hoses) pushed through a chain link fence provide hours of fun and learning.  Pop a funnel (or the top section of a water bottle) into the top each hose, and little ones will be kept occupied and entertained for ages.  Read all about our hose and funnel runs here.


used coffee table as activity table

One of the best but least expensive investments I ever made for my daycare was this thrift shop coffee table.  I got it for 6 dollars at a second-hand shop a couple of years ago, and we use it every day.  In summer, it’s our backyard activity table, in winter it’s our art table in the craft room.  Big enough for a crowd to gather around and water and paint spills don’t matter at all.  See it in action here.


DIY water slide

For the price of an inexpensive camping tarp, you can give your kids a whole day of wet, water, slippy-slidey fun! !  We’ve been doing this for years here in my daycare, and the kids never tire of it.  See how to make your own waterside here.


water jug in the play yard

Lastly, my inexpensive trick for adding a source of running water to your child’s backyard play area.  A camping jug!  Theyr’e in abundance at the second hand-stores around here, so if you don’t have one of your own, you can probably scoop up a used one for a couple of bucks!  See some of the ways we use ours here.

And there you have it!

18 inexpensive, super-fun, super-cool things you can add to your outdoor play space this summer!  Your kids (and your neighbours’ kids) will love you for it!

80 Backyard Activities For Kids To Try

Looking for ways to get your kids outside and away from screens? Here are 80 fun backyard activities for kids of all ages! We scoured the internet to find all kinds of fun ideas that kids will love. We’ve got everything from active games to science experiments. So, let’s get this show on the road.

children climbing in an apple tree

How Do I Keep My Kids Entertained In The Backyard?

Hey there, busy parents! Finding new and exciting ways to keep our kids entertained outdoors can be a real challenge. But don’t worry; we’re here to help! We’ve compiled a great list of backyard activities for kids that’ll make your yard the go-to spot for fun. Our selection of family-friendly and simple ideas will get your kids outside. These activities will keep your kids busy and spark their curiosity, creativity, and love for nature. So, let’s jump in and discover what kind of fun awaits in your backyard!

Pinterest pin with a collage of backyard activities for kids

Fun Backyard Activities For Kids- Active Games

Do your kids love being active outdoors? Grab your kids and get outside for some good old-fashioned fun! Here are some fun backyard activities for kids that involve energy-busting games to keep them on the move!

  • Hide and Seek: One of the all-time classic games for kids! This fun game is great for all ages and is excellent for the backyard.

  • Tag: Another game that is fun for everyone! Tag is fun, fast-paced, and active. There are loads of variations. This link will take you to a post with ten fun tag games for kids.

  • Hopscotch: This game never goes out of style. Click on this link to find the rules for hopscotch.

  • Blowing bubbles: Kids love bubbles, and we have the ultimate list of bubble activities for you to try with your kids.

  • Backyard Scavenger Hunt: A backyard scavenger hunt is the perfect way to keep kids entertained! Your backyard is the ideal place to set one up. This post explains how to set up a scavenger hunt. Download the free printable to get started.

  • Color Match Scavenger Hunt: Get ready for an exciting color-match scavenger hunt! Head to your local hardware store to grab some green and brown paint cards, then challenge your kids to find items in your backyard that match the colors on the card.

Fun Backyard Games With Equipment

  • Cornhole: Cornhole is fun backyard activity for kids. Why not make a cornhole game board and teach the kids how to play? The post comes with easy-to-follow instructions. Grab these building plans today, and get ready for family-friendly fun! You can also buy a set.

  • Croquet: Croquet is a classic and engaging activity perfect for backyard fun! This timeless game encourages friendly competition and promotes physical activity and strategic thinking. Set up the course, grab your mallets, and prepare for a delightful afternoon of laughter as you introduce your family to the enchanting world of croquet. Need a croquet set? Check out these.

  • Bottle Bowling: Take a few empty plastic bottles, and make your own bowling pins! It’s easy, fun, and will get your kids outside. Plus, it’s a great way to recycle empty plastic bottles. Get the full instructions here.

  • Jump rope: Jump rope is fun for kids of all ages and a great way to exercise. This link will take you to a post with fun jump rope games and rhymes.

  • Kicking ball: Kicking the ball around can be fun and competitive! You could play soccer or make up your own game rules.

  • Childhood Games: Introduce your kids to the joy of classic games like marblesankle skipping, and jacks for hours of simple, screen-free fun.

You can find lots more outdoor games here. They are great for families to enjoy. Sometimes all you need is the right equipment. We’ve got loads of ideas for active, outdoorsy kids here.

Fun Backyard Activities For Kids- Art Projects

Summer is the perfect time to get creative with your kids and encourage their artistic talents! The great thing about outdoor art is that you don’t have to worry about the mess. We hope you enjoy these fun outdoor art projects with your kids!

  • Swing Painting: Combine swings and paint for swing painting. Your kids will love this fun and messy art activity.

  • Water Pistol Painting: This is a lot of fun for kids. Load some water pistols with paint and provide a blank canvas. This post provides the details.

  • Bubble Printing: Use straws and whisks to create puffy clouds of colorful bubbles to create fabulous soap foam prints. This is messy play at its best!

  • Pendulum Painting: This is a fun way to combine STEM and art. First, your kids must create a simple pendulum, and then they can use it to make a work of art. Find the instructions for this activity at There’s Just One Mummy.

  • Exploding Paint Bombs is definitely an outdoor activity! Fill some small canisters with paint and an Alka Seltzer tablet. Pop on the lid and stand back. Get the full instructions here.

  • Pour Painting: I love these bright and colorful pots decorated by pouring acrylic paint freestyle. Make sure your kids are wearing old clothes for this activity. You can find the instructions at Happiness is Homemade.

  • Nature Resist Tie Dye Shirts: are a fun outdoor art project. Combine nature items and some dye to create one-of-a-kind T-shirts. Get the instructions here.

Rock Painting

two children painting rocks

Rock Painted Insects: Do you want to make something creative and fun with your kids? Rock-painted insects are the perfect backyard craft and only need a few simple supplies.

Rock Painting: Take a walk to find the perfect rocks, then enjoy rock painting. It is the ideal outdoor art activity. Check out our list of easy painting rocks ideas for kids.

Sidewalk Chalk

Sidewalk chalk is a staple for kids’ outdoor fun, but have you tried sidewalk paint? Check out these fantastic recipes to create sidewalk chalk paint for endless entertainment.

  • Making homemade sidewalk chalk paint is easier than you think. With just a few ingredients, you can make your own set of colors for summer fun. Get the recipe here.

  • With just two simple ingredients, you can make Sidewalk Paint that is both gloriously puffy and colorful. Find out how to make it here! Your kids will love creating art outdoors with this unique material.

Looking for some more chalk recipes? Try this book

Chalk on the Wild Side: More than 25 chalk art projects, recipes, and creative activities for adults and children to explore together (Art Camp)

Chalk on the Wild Side: 25 chalk art projects, recipes, and creative activities.Check on Amazon

Fun Outdoor Nature Activities For Kids

Exploring the natural world is one of the easiest ways to get kids outside. Here are some of our favorite fun outdoor nature kids activities.

Leaves and Flowers

  • Leaf Rubbings: Have your kids collect various leaves from the backyard or nearby park, place them under a sheet of paper, and gently rub a crayon over the surface to reveal the unique patterns and textures of the leaves.

  • Nature Paint Brushes: These fun brushes use found natural treasures. They are easy to make (instructions here). This is a fun process art idea that will get kids excited to go outside.

  • Grass Whistles: Introduce your kids to the simple joys of nature by teaching them how to create a whistle from a grass blade. This timeless activity will spark their curiosity and develop a sense of wonder for their outdoor playtime.

  • Hapa Zome: Want to do something different with your kids? Why not give Hapa Zome a try? Hapa Zome is an innovative way to create beautiful art prints using the natural pigments in leaves and flowers. You’ll find complete instructions here.

  • Flower Pressing: Teach your kids to press flowers by placing them between the pages of a heavy book or using a flower press. Use the dried flowers for crafts like bookmarks, greeting cards, or wall art.

Nature Art

nature mandala made from flowers and leaves
  • Land Art: Creating Land Art is such a fun project for families. All you need is some open space and creative imagination. This post tells you how to start with land art and has many inspiring pictures to spark the imagination. Remember to take a photo of your creation.

  • Nature Mandalas: These are a beautiful form of Land Art. They are fun to create, and your kids will love the process. Our step-by-step guide will get you started and give you loads of inspiration.

  • Nature Portraits: I love these quirky Nature Portraits from Adventure in a Box. Just go out to gather supplies and then use them to create faces. What kind of faces will you make?

  • Nature Weaving: Discover the beauty and creativity of nature weaving. This fun outdoor activity combines art and the natural world. Engage your kids in weaving found natural treasures, like leaves and twigs, into unique masterpieces. The Chaos And The Clutter shows you how.

  • Nature Collage: Collect various natural items like leaves, flowers, twigs, and stones and then use them to create a nature-themed collage on a piece of cardboard or poster board.

Bugs, Worms and Birds

Child holding a lizard

Credit: Photo by

  • Spider Hunt: Unleash the inner naturalist in your kids by hunting for spiders in your backyard. Count the webs you see. Compare and contrast the intricate webs spun by these tiny architects. Here are some fun ideas for exploring spider webs

  • DIY Bug Hotel: Are you looking for a fun, creative way to attract live wildlife to your garden? Try this easy DIY bug hotel tutorial! You only need a wooden CD crate, a few logs, and natural materials such as pine cones, sticks, moss, and leaves. It’s a great project to do with kids!

  • Make a wormery out of a plastic bottle and watch worms in action. This is a delightful squirmy activity. You can find the instructions at Rainy Day, Mum.

  • Build a BirdHouse: Transform your backyard into a haven for feathered friends by building a birdhouse with your kids! You can find instructions for building a simple birdhouse here or buy a kit.

Other Nature Activities

buy your copy here

  • Fairy Houses: Making Fairy Houses is one of my all-time favorite activities to do with kids. It is a fun way to get creative and helps encourage imagination. The best part? Mother Nature gives you all the supplies free of charge. Our Fairy House post will provide all the information you need to get started.

  • Sun Prints: Every child should try making sun prints. This fascinating and educational activity combines art and science. Children use the sun’s rays and special photosensitive paper to capture the beauty of leaves, flowers, and small twigs.

  • Nature Bracelets: Making Nature Bracelets is a simple, fun outdoor activity for kids. These pretty nature bracelets are fun to make and wear! All you need is some duct tape! Then off you go exploring. Get the instructions from Sprouting Wild Ones.

Toys That Will Entice Your Kids Into The Backyard

Looking for the ultimate playtime bait to draw your kids into the backyard? We’ve found some engaging outdoor toys that will do just that and provide endless hours of play.

Transform your backyard into an exciting balancing playground with the addition of a slackline! This thrilling activity promotes physical fitness and challenges kids to improve their balance, focus, and coordination. Here is our favorite slackline kit.

flybold Slackline Kit | Slack Line Longer | 57 ft Line with Training Line | Tree Protectors, Arm Trainer, Ratchet Cover and Carry Bag | Tight Rope Slack Lines for Backyard | for Kids, Children, Adults

flybold Slackline Kit | 57 ft Line with Training Line | Tree Protectors, Arm TrainerCheck on Amazon

Are you ready to ride the wave of backyard excitement? Check out the surfer swing, a thrilling stand-on swing. You should see kids go on this thing!

Swurfer Stand Up Tree Swing, Outdoor Swing - Swingset Outdoor for Kids with Adjustable Handles, Outdoor Swing For Kids, Outdoor Play, Durable, Weatherproof, Easy Installation, 200lbs, Ages 6 and Up

Swurfer Stand Up Tree Swing, Outdoor SwingCheck on Amazon

Looking for an exciting twist on the classic backyard swing? The Climbing Swing offers a unique, strength-building experience with its sturdy plastic design and easy-to-climb footholds.

Climbing Rope with Platforms and Disc Swing Seat Set Playground Accessories Including Bonus Hanging Strap & Carabiner

Climbing Rope with Platforms and Disc Swing SeatCheck on Amazon

If you have space, a climbing wall will make an excellent addition to your backyard. It helps improve your child’s physical strength, coordination, and climbing skills. Use these climbing holds to make your wall.

KINSPORY 10Pc Colourful Pig Nose Shape Children Rock Climbing Holds Indoor Outdoor Kids Playground Build with Two Blue Handles - Mounting Hardware Kit Included

KINSPORY 10Pc Children Rock Climbing Holds – Mounting Hardware Kit IncludedCheck on Amazon

Pogo sticks are an energetic way to entertain kids in the backyard. These classic bouncing toys offer hours of fun while improving balance and coordination. Here is our favorite.

Think Gizmos Pogo Stick for Kids Ages 5 and Up & Between 40 to 80 Pounds - Master This Foam Covered Kids Pogo Stick for Beginners (White)

Think Gizmos Pogo Stick for Kids Ages 5 and UpCheck on Amazon

Get ready for some easy backyard fun with a DIY ring toss! Learn to create a ring toss set from scratch and introduce your kids to the game. You can also buy a set.

MABUA Ring Toss Game for Outdoor - 25 Ropes, 5 Pegs ,1 Carry Bag - Yard, Outdoor Games for Adults and Family – Ring Toss Rings, Backyard, Horse, Fun, Lawn, Outside, Indoor, Ring Toss Games for Adults

MABUA Ring Toss Game for OutdoorCheck on Amazon

Fun Backyard Water Activities For Kids

Sometimes the best backyard activities for kids are the simplest. Fill some large tubs with water and provide some super soakers. Challenge your kids to an epic soaker battle! Here are some other fun water activities

NERF Fortnite TS-R Super Soaker Water Blaster Toy , Blue

NERF Fortnite TS-R Super Soaker Water Blaster Toy , BlueCheck on Amazon

  • Sponge Bombs: Water balloons are a classic toy but can be messy. These sponge bombs are a fun alternative, and there is no clean-up afterward. You can find the instructions for making them at Inner Child Fun.

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  • Water Balloon Catapult: Make a simple catapult with a wooden plank and launch water balloons or sponge bombs. Talk about fun! Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls has the instructions.

  • Water Slide: Kids love a good water slide any day, especially in the summer heat. Backyard Sidekick shows you how to make a water slide with plastic sheeting and pool noodles.

  • Water Cup Races: This is a fun and easy water game. It is perfect for parties or to keep the kids busy on a hot day. Kids use water guns (or squirters) to race plastic cups along a string. Get the instructions for setting this game up on MomBrite.

  • Water Balloon Piñata: a wet and wild game that your kids will love. Get the details on Fireflies and Mudpies. It is super easy to set up as well.

  • Sprinkler Fun: Nothing beats the thrill of running through sprinklers in the backyard on a scorching summer day. Set up sprinklers and watch your kids delight in the refreshing, splashy fun that keeps everyone active and cool.

  • Water Science: Dive into the fascinating world of water with these 50 fascinating water science experiments to keep your kids entertained and learning. Explore the wonders of H2O and spark their scientific curiosity in your backyard.

Backyard Challenges Kids Will Love

Challenging or engaging their imagination is an excellent way to entice kids outdoors. It is a great way to encourage teamwork, creative thinking, and problem-solving. It can also keep them occupied for ages.

  • Obstacle course: Gather an assortment of toys and household items. These might include jump ropes, bamboo supports, boxes, planters, hula-hoops, cones, and tarps. Put them in a pile with a note saying, “Use all these things (and anything else you can find) to create an obstacle course.”

  • Create a Game: Collect some outdoor game pieces. Things like bats, balls, jump ropes, croquet sets, and pool noodles. Challenge your kids to use them (and anything else they can find) to create a game.

  • Make a Fort: Provide the makings of an epic fort. You might provide tarpaulins, long sticks, blankets, rope, heavy stones, or stick-lets. Let them go to town and create their own den.

  • Boat building challenge: Provide various materials such as waxed paper, aluminum foil, popsicle sticks, duct tape, foam sheets, rubber bands, plastic wrap, small milk cartons, disposable cups, and straws. Challenge kids to build a boat that floats. Once they’ve completed their creations, test the rafts’ buoyancy in a small pool of water.

Backyard Science Experiments

Get ready to have some fun! Summer days are the perfect time for outdoor science projects! The best part? You don’t have to worry about the mess! Here are some of our favorite ideas to get you started.

  • Ice cream in a bag is a delicious science experiment perfect for the outdoors. Why not try it on a warm summer day. It is easy to do, and you can find the instructions here.

  • Parachute Fun: Learn how to make a parachute and experiment with different designs. Hop over to Inspirations Laboratories to get full instructions.

  • Solar Oven: Make a solar oven and then use it to create rainbow crayons. How cool is that? All you need is a box and a few household items. The Craft Train has step-by-step instructions.

  • Human Sundials: Turn your kids into human sundials: This fun play-based activity packs in a lot of learning. Kids will see how shadows are created and measure the Earth’s rotation. Get all of the details at Rhythm of Play.

  • Walking On Eggs: What happens if you walk on raw eggs? The answer may surprise you, and it will really wow your kids. You will need several dozen eggs in the egg carton for this one. Get the instructions from Housing a Forest.

  • Egg Parachutes: Use a few household items and make egg parachutes. Kids will love launching them into the sky and watching them float down.

  • DIY Anemometer: Your kids will enjoy creating an anemometer and measuring the wind speed on a breezy day. All you need are some paper cups and a few household items. Get the instructions at There’s Just One Mommy.

Messy Outdoor Science

hands with slime
  • How about some messy and exploding science? I don’t know many kids that would refuse the chance to make a mess or explode something. Check out 29 of the messiest and loudest science experiments for kids. You will want to go outside for these.

  • Oobleck: It’s no secret that kids of all ages love Oobleck! This magical substance is a hit with kids everywhere. Making Oobleck is a messy activity, so it is a great backyard activity for kids. Get the simple recipe here.

  • Make and launch a rocket. Make the rocket from a film canister powered by an Alka Seltzer tablet. This experiment is bound to impress your kids. You can find the instructions at the Kitchen Pantry Scientist.

  • Exploding Sand Volcano: Impress your kids with an exploding volcano. Set it up in the sandbox. You can get the full instructions at Growing a Jeweled Rose.

Gardening Fun With Kids

Ready to ignite your child’s sense of wonder and nurture their green thumb? Gardening with kids in the backyard is a fantastic way to combine fun, learning, and a love for nature in a hands-on experience! Gardening makes for some great backyard activities for kids.

  • Grow Flowers: Do you want to teach your kids how to grow flowers? It’s not that hard! Check out this post and learn which flowers are the best for beginners and how to grow them successfully at home.

  • Bean Teepee: If you’re looking for a creative gardening project for your little ones, consider building a bean teepee! This natural play tent is the perfect addition to any backyard, providing a unique hideout for little explorers.

  • Sunflower House: Looking for a magical, nature-inspired play space for your little ones? Growing a sunflower house with kids will transform your backyard into an enchanting sanctuary, sparking their imagination and connection to the natural world. Get complete instructions here.

  • Growing Names On A Zucchini: This activity is easy for the whole family. Kids will love watching their name take shape on the side of a growing zucchini. You can find the instructions here.

  • Miniature Gardens: Ready to create a tiny, enchanting world with your kids? Discover the joy of growing a miniature garden in a plant pot or tray, fostering creativity and nurturing a love for gardening in a small yet magical space.

Photo credit: Deposit Photos

Other Activities For The Backyard

  • Campfire: Build a campfire in your backyard for roasting marshmallows and sharing stories. Go one step further by cooking a delicious meal together. We’ve got 11 campfire meals to choose from, making memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Backyard Picnic: Lay out a blanket and have a fun family picnic in your backyard. It is an excellent way to get quality family time while enjoying the outdoors.

  • Mud Pies: Unleash your child’s inner mud-master with this timeless, messy fun activity! Making mud pies sparks creativity and offers endless sensory entertainment that kids can’t resist. All you need is dirt and water.

  • Backyard Campout: Ignite your child’s imagination and sense of adventure by setting up a tent for a playful backyard campout. This fun activity promotes creativity and fun just a few steps from home. Don’t have a tent? Throw a blanket over the clothesline and weigh it down with stones.

group of children playing in the dirt

How Do Kids Benefit From Outdoor Play?

It is fun for kids to play outdoors, but what else do they get out of it? Outdoor play has many benefits.

First, it gets them moving and active, which helps with healthy weight management. It also boosts children’s immune systems helping ward off illness (which means less time lost at school). Active children who enjoy lots of free play do better in school. Exposure to bright natural light means less likely to develop anxiety or depression.

Outdoor play with others also builds social skills. They learn about cooperation, teamwork, and sharing and taking turns with others. They also learn conflict resolution and negotiation skills, which will help them in school, at work, or anywhere they contact others.

Finally, outdoor play helps children build healthy self-esteem. They get to do fun things, test their limits, and discover new talents in a safe space without judgment or pressure from others. All of which help them grow into confident adults.

This article from Parenting Science talks about the many benefits of outdoor play.

How Can You Entice Your Child Into The Backyard?

Turn off the screens.

Scientists have discovered that dopamine levels in the brain double during gameplay. This dopamine hit is why your kids are drawn to the screens and resist turning them off. Getting them to do anything else when the screens are on will be challenging.

Try trading green time for screen time program to encourage outdoor or "green time" for the hardcore screen adicts.

Allow For a Transition

Transitioning from screens to outdoor play can be tricky. Remember that children are coming down from a dopamine high, so everything will seem dull in comparison for a while. As a parent, it is essential to be understanding and patient during this period.

Here are some suggestions to help your kids make the transition:

  1. Offer a snack: A small, healthy snack can help ease the transition from screen time to outdoor play. It can serve as a distraction and provide energy for physical activities.

  2. If you’re a parent looking for ideas on how to get your children more involved in outdoor activities check out the Outdoor Apps section of their website.

  3. Allow for boredom: It’s okay for children to feel bored during the initial transition. Boredom can be beneficial, as it encourages creativity and self-initiated play. Use this genius approach to deal with kids whining about boredom.

  4. Go outside with them: Join your kids in the backyard and engage in activities together. Having you join in makes it more enjoyable for your kids. It creates an opportunity for bonding and making lasting memories.

Allow Plenty of Time For Free Play

Allowing kids plenty of time for free play is one of the best things you can do to encourage them outdoors. This unstructured play lets them explore their interests and try new things.

Final Thoughts

We hope this list of fun backyard activities for kids has given you some fun ways to get your kids outside. There is no doubt that kids need to spend time outdoors. Not only does it make them happier and healthier, but there are many skills they learn and develop through outdoor kids’ play. Why not join them and create some memories?

These outdoor sensory diet activities are great for occupational therapists to use in development of a sensory diet for kids with sensory needs, using outdoor play ideas.


There are so many outdoor activities that incorporate play naturally while meeting underlying needs in the great outdoors! The ideas you’ll find below are naturally occurring play ideas using items found in nature, natural environments. They are outdoor activities that kids can try without any additional equipment or specialty therapy items.

The point with these outdoor occupational therapy strategies is to support motor skill development, motor planning, visual motor skills, and overall development through the natural environment of the outdoors.

Ideas for outdoor occupational therapy:

  • Hike

  • Play in the woods

  • Roll down hills

  • Balance beam on logs

  • Climb trees

  • Collect nature

  • Play at the beach

  • Nature walk

  • Play in the backyard

  • Climb on stumps

  • Jump in puddles

  • Driveway or pavement play activities

  • Swing on tree vines

  • Sensory play on a porch or enclosed space

  • Collect sticks

  • Leaf hunt

  • Water table

  • Move and carry rocks of various sizes

  • Hide and seek

  • Create with nature

  • Outdoor water play

  • Collect fireflies

  • Pour rocks

  • Build with rocks, stumps, sticks, small logs

  • Mix and create nature soup (mud, sticks, flower petals, grass clippings)

  • Mud play

  • Use more of the ideas in our Outdoor Sensory Diet Cards

The outdoor world is full of sensory input that can meet individual needs of every child. The kids with sensory needs as well as those who present as neurotypical will benefit from a lifestyle of sensory play and experiences in the outdoors.

These outdoor sensory diet activities are great for occupational therapists to use in development of a sensory diet for kids with sensory needs, using outdoor play ideas.

As always, these activities should be looked over and utilized along with assessment and intervention of an occupational therapist, as each child differs so very vastly.

Some of the ideas above are going to be described in more detail here on The OT Toolbox. Watch this space for more outdoor sensory play ideas based on the following outdoor play spaces:

Sensory diets and specific sensory input or sensory challenges are a big part of addressing sensory needs of children who struggle with sensory processing issues.

Incorporating a schedule of sensory input (sensory diet) into a lifestyle of naturally occurring and meaningful activities is so very valuable for the child with sensory needs.   

That’s why I’ve worked to create a book on creating an authentic and meaningful sensory lifestyle that addresses sensory needs. The book is now released as a digital e-book or softcover print book, available on Amazon.