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Top 10 Kids’ Outdoor Activity Ideas

Summer is here! And whilst working in childcare, you'll quickly realise that getting children outside is one of the best ways to help them expel some of the never-ending energy they seem to have. Outdoor time is a wonderful opportunity to encourage them to interact with each other, you, and the world around them. So here are JIC's top 10 outdoor activity ideas for children that are easy to set up and, most importantly, will keep them busy and having fun!

 

Something sporty?

Sporty activities are the perfect way to get children active and enjoying their time spent outside, this doesn't always have to involve attending a weekly sports class, and can be done for free in their own back garden! Have a look at these ways to bring the activities to you...

1. Obstacle courses

Setting up an obstacle course for your charges is a great way to work together to create something fun. By using things that you can find around the house and in the garage you'll create a free activity and hours of entertainment. You could use chalk and toys to create obstacles, or even take a wander down to the local park and create a challenging route through the equipment there.

2. Balloon volleyball

A few balloons and a rope is all that's needed to create your very own garden volleyball court. The best thing about this activity is that it's for younger children who are still learning about coordination.

3. Mini golf

Have a look through the children's toys to find everything that you'll need to build a mini golf course! You could use pool noodles, rope and boxes to build the course, and keep score cards for a little competition between the children – and yourself! A couple of coloured garden windmills will really finish the look, you can improvise to create golf balls and clubs with tennis balls or footballs, and badminton or tennis rackets. Just be careful about destroying the garden - an overturned flowerpot may be your best bet for the hole!

 

Get into nature!

There's something thrilling about seeing children interact with the natural world, and with children's natural curiosity for the environment, your charges are bound to love the following activities...

4. Build a birdhouse

Get the children in your care outside and interested in nature by building a birdhouse out of sticks, lolly sticks and any other scraps of wood that might be lying around. You can hang it in a tree and regularly visit the birdhouse to see if any birds start nesting inside! You can buy kits online or you may wish to consult some building instructions.

5. Plant a garden

There's little that's more rewarding than planting your own vegetables or flowers and watching them grow. Ask the parents if there's a corner of the garden that you can use for a gardening project with their children, then take them to choose their own seeds and get planting! A great way to do this is by using old egg cartons – fill each section of the carton with soil and one seed, when they start to grow you can separate the sections and plant them straight into the ground – the cartons will biodegrade. You can see some ideas for vegetables to grow in your garden here.

Grow your own dinner!

6. Nature walk and collage

Take the children to a local green area such as a park or woodland, and get them to collect lots of different things which they can turn into a collage back at home! This is a lovely way to spend a morning or afternoon, and get your charges interacting with nature.

Encourage your charges to use their imaginations!

Encourage them to get crafty!

As a governess, arts and crafts don't have to be limited to Sunday afternoons spent sitting at the kitchen table – although this is undoubtedly a great place to get crafty! By taking crafts outside, your charges can make as much mess as they want whilst spending time out of the house...

7. Cardboard fort

Because what child doesn't want their very own castle?! Head to a local market or appliance store and bring back as many cardboard boxes as you can carry. Make sure that you stay in charge of the scissors when cutting tunnels and turrets into the boxes, but work together to tape everything in place and get the children to paint it however they want to. This is a great activity for young children who love role-play! You can see our short guide to building a fort here.

8. Seashell art

If you're lucky enough to live close to the beach, collect some shells and create seashell art with the children by glueing them onto a piece of cardboard. They could use paint and glitter to add even more personality to their artwork.

9. Sun melted crayons

On a sunny day, take all of those leftovers pieces of crayon that are lying around, along with a tray, foil and cookie cutters. Lay the foil and cookie cutters on the tray, followed by filling each cookie cutter with pieces of crayon; wait for the sun to melt the crayons, allow to cool and harden, and your children will have made their very own new set of crayons!

 

And failing all that, why not go and explore?

Exploring the local area can be perfect for getting children outside and walking, whilst noticing everything around them and keeping them engaged. Have a look at the following activity for making the most of the neighbourhood...

10. Neighbourhood scavenger hunt

Even if you don't work as a nanny in a particularly green area, there are lots to explore in urban areas too. Make a list of things for the children to find in their local neighbourhood and go on a walk to see how many items you can spot together. Some of the items may be able to be brought home and turned into a collage, otherwise, you could get the children to draw a picture of the items as they find them.

 

Working as a nanny, babysitter or au pair can be an incredibly rewarding experience when you're equipped with interesting activities for your charges. They'll have fun, engage with each other, and enjoy their time spent with you! Getting outside can be the ideal activity for children with heaps of energy as well as those who are a little more shy. Try out a few of these ideas and you're sure to create some precious memories.



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