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05 Jul, Tuesday
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Montreal Families

10 great outdoor activities for kids

If you’re staying close to home this summer, why not jazz up the backyard with some of these ideas that will have your kids playing (and staying) outside for hours. Don’t have a backyard? We’ve put together some games and activities you can do on the sidewalk or even on a balcony.

Make your own mud kitchen

Scrounge up some old kitchen items, scavenge for wooden pallets, and hit up garage sales to find knick-knacks to create your own backyard mud kitchen. Add a bowl of water, sand or dirt, and your little chefs will be creating delicious treats in no time. This creative activity is a sensory delight for little ones. You can find plans online, or use your imagination to build something unique.

Backyard scavenger hunt

No need to travel far to make interesting discoveries about insects, flowers, and birds. Use this printable sheet from messylittlemonster.com/2020/04/printable-outdoor-scavenger-hunt or create your own, then set out to find the items on the cards and learn more about them and your own outdoor space. You’ll be amazed at what you find!

Squirtgun painting

Instead of aiming at each other, set up paper or even white sheets and have the kiddos create some one-of-a-kind art using their water pistols. Fill with liquid watercolours and set them loose to see what colour combos and designs they come up with.

Directions available here: firefliesandmudpies.com/squirt-gun-painting.

Baby pool play space

Who says you have to fill up the kiddie pool with water? Add toys and sensory items to a dry pool to create a whole new play space for younger kids and babies.

 

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DIY water blobs

Set the kids to work helping you make these awesome-looking outdoor water blobs and then you can all lie back and enjoy. You can make individual ones, or one huge blob for everyone to lounge on, roll around, and wile away the summer days.

Instructions here: hellowonderful.co/post/how-to-make-mini-water-blobs

If you don’t feel like making one yourself, try searching on Amazon for “AquaPod”.

Start a garden

Herbs are easy to grow and using a wood pallet for the base can make a kid-friendly gardening area. Hang or lean the pallet — which can usually be found for free at garden centres and big box hardware stores. Staple gardening cloth to make a trough, fill with soil, and your young gardener can decorate the wood and add homemade plant markers.

Gardening is an activity that can continue all summer long. Balcony gardening is also a great activity for kids. Find inexpensive containers at the dollar store or clean out recyclables. Then decorate and grow cherry tomatoes, lettuce, and other small-scale plants.

 

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Water wall

Play while learning about motion and cause and effect. Use washed bottles, cups, pool noodles, and containers attached to a board or fence to make a DIY water wall. Youngsters can pour, drip, and splash their way through a fun afternoon.

See an example at learningandexploringthroughplay.com

 

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Active sidewalks

Grab the chalk and set the kids up on the sidewalk to make an active obstacle course that the whole neighbourhood can enjoy. Besides hopscotch, they can draw circles to hop to, zig-zags to run along, spirals to spin through, squares to jump from and even decorate their art with inspirational messages for anyone passing by.

For smooth chalk that’s easier to work with, blend chalk pieces in an (old) blender until it’s powder, add water when ready to use and use a paintbrush.

 

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Oversized games

When the teens are complaining about being bored, set them to work sanding 2 x 4s (you can have them cut to size at most construction stores) and they can have their own giant Jenga game to play outdoors with friends. Google how to make other outdoor games like ring-toss and cornhole so they’ve got entertainment all summer.

Find directions for Jenga at familyhandyman.com/project/how-to-giant-backyard-jenga-game

10 great outdoor activities for kids

Credit: Ramblings From Utopia

DIY racetracks

Bring the Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars outside and build your own racetrack complete with flags and a finish line. Using pool noodles cut in half, tape or toothpicks, and paper, the kids will be racing in no time!

Instructions are available at Ramblings From Utopia at bit.ly/3ys1CKP