15 independent outdoor activities for kids so you can just supervise

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After a very long winter, warm weather is fast approaching, and for anyone with kids, that means lots of outdoor play time. Getting your kids outside, even if it’s only in your own backyard, is very important, but let’s face it, it can be a bit exhausting for you as a parent. So for those days when you don’t feel like putting on a swimsuit to jump into the pool or you don’t have the energy to run after them, it’s good to have a list of activities to do. independent outdoor game that children can do on their own while watching you from the side. You can relax in a chair while they are having fun and getting a vitamin D boost. A win-win!

And, seriously, having them play alone is never something you should feel guilty about. Independent play is very important for the development of your child. Independent play encourages creativity, stimulates the imagination, helps them develop their social independence and can even relax them.

For some children, independent play comes easily. For others, not so much. There are ways to encourage indie play, however, and it’s never too late to start. Make sure to offer independent play after a period of attention given to your child. Make sure they are in a safe environment where they cannot hurt themselves, set up the appropriate toys or activities, and try to keep them from being over-stimulated. Then sit down with an iced coffee and keep an eye out for them while they are entertained. Here are some ideas to prepare you for success:

1. Set up an obstacle course

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An obstacle course is a fun way for your little one to get active, use their developmental skills to solve problems, and of course, have fun. And it certainly doesn’t have to be fancy. There are small toys and accessories you can buy for a home obstacle course, but you can also get creative with what you already have. Move around lawn chairs, old boxes, a playground, or large toys. You can have them run under overturned chairs, burn hopscotch with chalk, then jump over toys … the possibilities are endless.

2. Turn on the sprinklers

Water games are a great way for a child to have fun in hot weather, but if they’re in a pool you’ll need to be close enough to them (in the case of toddlers you’ll need to swim alongside them). of them). For independent play, turn on the sprinkler or use a splash pad. They’ll love to run and dodge the water, and you can watch them instead of being there with them.

3. Use a bubble machine

Children are fascinated by bubbles, especially toddlers. Find a fun bubble machine that you can fill and turn on to do all the work of churning endless bubbles for them to chase and watch. You can also get a bubble wand that they can easily use on their own.

4. Have a finger painting station

You might be hesitant to let your kids paint indoors, but outside the mess doesn’t matter as much. Install them with paper, paint, and other props, then let them be as creative as they want without worrying about whether they’ll have their little hands covered in paint all over your couch.

5. Let them sway

A swing looks so simple, but for kids it can be incredibly entertaining. For older kids, you can set up a basic swing or a disc swing from a tree in your backyard and let them swing as they please. For toddlers who might otherwise need help, a small toddler swing (like this one) is a great idea. They can pump their little legs on their own, or they can go up and down the slide.

6. Encourage them to climb

Small children can climb and go up and down something for a surprising time! If you don’t have a full-fledged jungle gym in your backyard (understandably), don’t worry: a little climber is really fun for a wide range of ages. Something like this Step2 Climber is fun for toddlers and toddlers, leaving plenty of room for creative and safe play, but you can also make it their own little climbing space with items you already own.

7. Have them paint stones

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Kids love to find stones outside, but what are they supposed to do with them once they have a little collection going? Get some paint and set up a station where they can paint and decorate their rocks. You can also add stickers for even more fun. It stimulates creativity and they will be very engrossed in the activity.

8. Play water games

Toddlers love just getting water in one place and throwing it in another. You can set up a water play area by filling buckets with water (or just partially filling a kiddie pool) and then installing smaller buckets, spades, and buckets. A water table is also a great toy to have so you don’t have to lift a finger.

9. Let them draw with chalk

Sidewalk chalk has been around forever for a reason – it’s fun, inexpensive, and super easy. Get all the different colors and encourage your kids to draw whatever comes to their mind. You can also use chalk to draw hopscotch or other similar games to keep them entertained and active.

10. Make them bounce

It may take a small investment, but having something bouncy in your garden could pay off in the long run. A mini trampoline with mesh “walls” is a safe way for them to release their energy, or you can splurge on an inflatable lounger that they will probably want to use every day.

11. Let them “garden”

If you don’t want to spend the money on big toys, encourage your kids to play with the best nature has to offer: dirt and rocks, of course. Give them a kit of small gardening tools designed for children, with things like a small rake, broom or shovel. Let them dig up things, sweep things up, whatever they want. It makes them active and makes them feel like they’re contributing and helping, two things they love.

12. Assemble a sandbox

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You can buy a sandbox, of course, but you can also craft one. Just dig a space and have someone build it for you, or do it yourself. Children love to play in the sand and you might feel more comfortable with them rather than dirt and rocks. With buckets, shovels, and maybe even water, it can keep them busy for a while.

13. Organize a treasure hunt

A scavenger hunt is a fun way to entertain your child and hone some of their developmental skills. Take the time to hide a few things (don’t too much difficult, of course), then make a cute map that they can follow. Offering a small prize or an incentive if they find anything might just push them to really take the plunge.

14. Take a sensory tank

A sensory bin is great for toddlers, but can get a bit messy at times, so it’s fun for the outdoors. Place them on a blanket and make a sensory bin with whatever you have on hand. You can fill a plastic box with grain, sand, dirt, or balls (just a few suggestions!), Then bury toys in it.

15. Take out the books

For children who love to read, allowing them to sit outside with a stack of books may be enough to keep them occupied. For older children, you can also add things like activity books or coloring books.


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