Are you looking for easy, fun kids outdoor activities this summer?
This free printable summer bucket list has 40 things to do outside with kids, and is a brilliant way to keep them entertained and active!
Summer kids outdoor activities
Summer is a great time to head outside with the kids and have some fun. The days are lovely and long, the weather is mild, and there’s so much to see and explore in nature. Add in the long school holidays, and you’ve got the perfect opportunity to have an outdoor adventure.
Why is outdoor play so good for children?
At its most simple level, outdoor play just makes kids feel good. A survey by Natural England in 2020 found that 83% of children agreed that being in nature made them very happy.
There are lots of other benefits of outdoor play for kids too. Kids playing outside is an easy way to keep fit, and perfect for when you need the kids to take a break from screens and get active.
You’ve probably seen lots of news stories explaining how spending time outdoors can also help to combat feelings of anxiety and stress. This is partly down to the sense of perspective that being in nature can provide, but there’s also something going on at a biological level. Trees release chemicals called phytoncides, and research has shown that breathing these in can reduce blood pressure, lower anxiety levels, and make us feel happier.
Spending time outdoors also allows children to engage with nature and learn about the natural world – so it’s good for them from an educational perspective too.
Finally, spending time outside is well-suited to hands-on activities, letting off steam, and creative play – all of which are key elements of a child’s development and wellbeing.
It’s not hard to see why kids love outdoor play, is it?
How to increase kids outdoor activities in fun ways
I’ve found from experience with my own kids that a little bit of clever packing can make getting outside far more likely. We have a ‘grab and go’ box where we keep things like wet wipes, hats, tissues, suncream and snacks. It makes getting out of the house a lot quicker, and much less stressful. You could just as easily pack everything into a rucksack and be even more ready to go!
I also strongly believe that you don’t have to make things complicated in order to increase the amount of time your kids spend outdoors. It’s easy to feel like you need to plan an amazing excursion, or be super-organised, but this can be daunting and may prevent you from enjoying outdoor time on a regular basis. Outdoor play is actually perfectly suited to a more spontaneous approach. Just get everyone outside, and you’ll probably find that the great outdoors will do the hard work, providing you with inspiration and opportunities to have fun.
My book *A Year of Nature Craft and Play also has lots of fun ideas for kids outdoor activities. It’s filled with crafts, gardening projects, games, art and science activities, all designed to inspire kids to get creative and explore nature. There are 52 budget-friendly activities – one for every week of the year – and each one has easy-to-follow instructions and colourful photos.
Last but not least, make sure you download my summer bucket list of outdoor activities for kids! Scroll down for the link.
Summer outdoor fun for kids
Summer is perfect for outdoor play and nature activities for kids – even if it rains!
You can have fun exploring your local area, get creative in the garden, learn about wildlife and nature, try some outdoor crafts for kids, or simply take the exercise and sports outside. The warmer temperatures of summer also means you can use the outdoors as a place to slow things down, relax, and just enjoy your surroundings. Summer really is a brilliant time of year to get the kids outside.
A few fun quotes about summer
To get the summer vibe flowing, here are some inspiring quotes with a summer theme.
“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.” – Maud Hart Lovelace
“Summer afternoon – summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” – Henry James
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.” – John Lubbock
“Oh, the summer night, has a smile of light, and she sits on a sapphire throne.” – Bryan Procter
“Smell the sea, and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly.” – Van Morrison
“Summer is singing with joy, and the beaches are inviting you with dancing waves.” – Debasish Mridha
“When the sun is shining I can do anything; no mountain is too high, no trouble too difficult to overcome.” – Wilma Rudolph
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” – Charles Bowden
Jokes about summer to get them giggling
Get the kids in the mood for summer fun with these silly summer jokes – and a rather well-known song!
What do ghosts like to eat in summer? I scream.
What do you get if you combine an elephant with a fish? Swimming trunks.
Which letter is the coolest? Iced T.
What do you call a snowman in summer? A puddle.
What do sheep love doing in summer? Having baa-baa-cues.
Why do bananas use sunscreen? Because they peel.
What does the sun drink out of? Sunglasses.
What do bees say in summer? Swarm, isn’t it?
Free printable summer bucket list ideas for kids
Are you raring to go with the outdoor fun activities? Here’s a fantastic resource to inspire you.
My summer bucket list has 40 fun outdoor activities for kids, all perfect for trying at this time of year. And it’s completely free to download!
I’ve included lots of easy ideas for fun activities for kids outdoors in summer. There are outdoor games for kids, gardening projects, crafts and nature exploration activities, plus lots of fun ways for kids to let off steam.
Print off this colourful family bucket list, and stick it on your fridge or noticeboard. That way you can easily grab some inspiration whenever you want to get the kids outside and have fun with some outdoor family activities. Remember to tick each activity off when you’ve done them – kids will love being responsible for this!
More kids outdoor activities
If you’d like even more outdoor activity for kids inspiration, here are some additional resources.
My free printable spring bucket list has even more ideas for outdoor activities with kids.
I’ve also got lots of posts on nature crafts and fun things for kids to do that are perfect for outdoor play.
- 60 fun garden activities for kids outside
- Outdoor noughts & crosses
- Painted rocks
- Journey sticks
- Flower pressing
- Homemade bird feeders
- Fun kids gardening ideas: Growing wildflowers, Growing sunflowers, Growing microgreens and Miniature gardens
And if you like sharing pictures of your outdoor fun on social media, my post on the best nature hashtags has a section on nature craft and play to help you do just that.
Brilliant books on kids outdoor activities
Books are another fantastic source of inspiration for outdoor kids activities. Here are a few of my favourite titles to help you add to your outdoor activities list.
I hope I’ve given you lots of inspiration on kids outdoor activities, and that you’re ready to get outside and have some fun! Which idea is top of your list to try this summer?