27 Ways to Play Outdoors This Spring

Spring has sprung here in the Midwest, and we couldn’t be more relieved to be spending more time outdoors!

This last winter and fall, most of our outdoor activities were walking the dog, playing at the park, and swinging on our swing set. This spring I wanted to set a goal to think of new ways to play outside, and get both our minds and bodies moving more outdoors!

So far, we’ve enjoyed about half of the things on this list. Bundle especially enjoyed hunting for (and counting and sorting) acorns and rebuilding her fairy garden from last summer. We’re eager to continue our way through this list, and hopefully being outdoors will help our brains think more creatively about even more fun outside activities to engage in this spring!


27 Ways to Play Outdoors This Spring

Go Puddle-Jumping (after a big rain)

Draw a Sidewalk Chalk Path – for bikes, tractors, trucks, and all your kids’ “modes of transportation.”

Create an Obstacle Course – Use everything from permanent yard fixtures (clothesline, fence, etc.) to larger outdoor toys!

Make a DIY Water Table

Blow Bubbles – even our Pup loves chasing bubbles!

Swim ‘n’ Slide – put a plastic kids slide in a kiddy pool and fill it up on a hot day! Sometimes we add a tablespoon of dish soap to the water just for fun.

Try a New Park

Make a Fairy Garden


Ride Bikes (to a Place in Town You Frequent) – we went to the library last night on our bikes. It was great exercise, and we got new book checkouts!

Make “Tractor Trails” in the Sand or Dirt

Read in a Tent – one we’ve yet to do, but I can’t wait! It’s like camping without the summer bugs!

Set Up a Sprinkler

Make a Jam-Jar Garden/Habitat – fill a mason jar with soil, pebbles, leaves, sticks, and plants. Add a bug or two and top with a lid with holes.

Look for Shells – at a local beach or lake. Use them to create pictures (see below) or shell jewelry.

Create Pictures with Nature Treasures

Water Plants and Track Their Growth


Make a Boat using recyclable materials – perfect for Earth Day!

Make Dandelion Chains

Make “fairy food” for your Fairy Garden – Use nuts, seeds, crab apples, leaves, flower buds, etc. to create a one of a kind feast for your little ones’ fairies.

Create a Roly Poly Maze with Sticks

Make an Easter or Spring Tree with Small Limbs – I think it’d be so cute to hang little dandelions and clover wreaths from the branches.

Press Flowers

Make a Stick Village in the Mud

Make a Secret Message – write a message with liquid glue on a piece of paper. Then cover it with sand or dirt and shake off the excess to reveal the message!

Build a Dam Near a Rain Gutter – assuming that parents would supervise and give the okay for materials and digging spots! 🙂

Create Nature “Rubbings” with Crayons and Tree Bark

Go for a Nature Hunt and Sort – we use a small, inexpensive tackle box to hold all the treasures we find. This week we turned this into a math game!


Hopefully the more time we spend outside, the more creative we’ll become. Maybe by summer we’ll have a whole new list to post!

I recently stumbled across the book Born to be Wild by Hattie Garlick – a fun read full of inexpensive, low-prep, outdoor activities to do with kids. If you’re looking for more ideas, this is definitely a great resource.


Happy spring, and happy playing!





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