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Spring weather is finally here (hopefully to stay!) and that means a lot more outdoor time for us!
Being a stay-at-home mom, I am always looking for ways to entertain my preschool-aged daughter outside. Something simple – I’m generally not one of those Pinterest moms, although I’ll do a Pinterest craft every now and then.
Usually, I want something we can go outside and easily do with no planning necessary.
So I’ve come up with a list of 25 easy spring outdoor activities for preschoolers!
Starting with the classic – bubbles! I feel like most people can get on board with bubbles, and you can find them super easily.
Whether you prefer a classic can of bubbles from the Dollar Store, or a bubble machine (get a better quality one so you don’t have to replace it every year), they are one of the simplest outdoor spring activities for preschoolers!
One of our favorites is making giant bubbles! We found our Wowmazing Giant Bubble Wand Kit on Amazon. Once we ran out of the bubble mix that came with it, we just started using basic bubble solution and it still works great!
2. Sidewalk Chalk
Another classic and easy-to-find option is sidewalk chalk. These days, there are so many fun options! In fact, I was just at Target and saw glitter sidewalk chalk! My daughter would love that!
Amazon now has something called Walkie Chalk – Stand-Up Sidewalk Chalk Holder, which at first, I dismissed as ridiculous. Then I realized, this would be perfect for kids who are in a wheelchair to reach the ground, or for grandparents who don’t want to get down on the ground but still want to play along with their grandkids!
Other options include spray chalk, stencils for your designs, and chalk holders so your hands don’t get covered in chalk dust. Melissa and Doug make really cute gift-worthy chalk sets in different fun shapes!
While you have the sidewalk chalk out, why not do some old-school hopscotch? I’ll explain the classic rules (although there are several ways to play) because I know younger adults who don’t even know how to play!
- Draw the hopscotch diagram and number each square.
- On your turn, throw a rock (or any other kind of small object that won’t roll away) into the first square.
- Hop into each empty square (skip the one your rock is in) on one foot, in numerical order. On the side-by-side squares, hop with both feet (one in each square.)
- At number 10, hop with both feet, then turn around and hop back to the start, picking up your marker on the way back.
- On your next turn, throw the rock into the next square, and repeat the hopping.
If you make a mistake (hop out of the square, fall over, or miss a square), you lose your turn and have to repeat that number on your next turn.
The first person to complete the whole course is the winner! (So you would have thrown your rock into square #1, hopped through, square #2, hopped through, etc. all the way to square #10.)
The benefits of this outdoor activity for preschoolers are physical activity, improving balance, and working on focus.
While we’re sticking to the classics, hide-and-seek is a game that’s stood the test of time!
Have one person count to a specified number while the others hide. At the chosen number, the seeker goes and finds all the others. Whoever is found first will be the next to count.
Because some preschoolers can’t yet count too far, you can choose to set a timer or have them sing a song they know well instead of counting.
5. Sandbox or Sensory Bin
If you have a sandbox or sand/water table at home, awesome! Easy enough! I love this sandbox because the cover folds into bench seats when you open it!
If you don’t, you could plan a little ahead and make a sensory bin with sand and small toys, along with a shovel, cup, and anything else you want to include.
If you didn’t plan ahead for a sensory bin, use whatever you have on hand – rice, beans, dirt. Just contain it in a plastic tub (or don’t contain it at all – you are outside after all!)
I love when parents make themed sensory bins. For example, ocean themed with seashells and ocean creatures. Or dinosaur themed. Or whatever your kids are into at the moment!
6. Dirt Pile with Trucks & Tractors
Speaking of not containing your sensory bin, kids love good dirt pile. We literally have a mound of dirt in our yard where all the Tonka trucks and tractors live.
My son AND daughter love playing here. We started this when our 9-year-old was about 3, and it still lives on today.
If you don’t have space for a dirt pile, or just don’t want a mountain of dirt in your yard, you can contain it into a sensory bin type of activity.
Ok, this one is obvious. Take your kids to a playground, or use your own swing set in your yard.
Besides sliding and swinging on our swingset, my kids like to pretend it’s a boat or a castle. I love seeing their imaginations at work!
8. Feed the Ducks
If your local playground has ducks or geese (and allows it) feed them! My kids have always loved doing this, and I remember loving it too.
We always fed the ducks bread, but I now know that bread has no nutritional value for them and can actually cause problems.
Better options to feed include frozen peas, oats, birdseed, sliced grapes, or chopped lettuce.
Remember to keep a respectful distance and remember that geese can sometimes get aggressive!
9. Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder
Speaking of feeding feathered friends, here’s another of the super easy spring outdoor activities for preschoolers – make a pinecone feeder!
All you have to do is let the child roll a pinecone in a plate of peanut butter (or spread it on with a rubber spatula) then sprinkle it with bird seed.
Hang the feeder outside with twine. Easy peasy, no crafting skills required!
10. Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Nature scavenger hunts are so fun, especially for younger kids!
You can download and print free scavenger hunts online, or make your own. There are also several fun ones you can buy on Etsy or Amazon.
Some work as card games, some are Bingo cards, and some are lists. There is something out there for everyone!
We are lucky to live along a forest, but if you don’t, you can do a scavenger hunt just in your yard. Make your own list with things you know are out there. Bugs, flowers, “something yellow,” a specific shape, etc.
11. Play “I Spy”
We usually play “I Spy” in the car, but it works anywhere! Have one person say “I spy something (insert color.)” and everyone else guesses what they spy. Take turns going back and forth.
Instead of just using color, you could say “I spy something that starts with the letter (insert letter) or use a beginning sound if they don’t yet know all their letters.
You could say “I spy something BIG” or “small” or “something that can fly” or anything you want!
12. Catch frogs or tadpoles
You may have to head out to a pond or nature area for this, but a lot of kids love catching frogs!
If they aren’t into touching frogs (my youngest isn’t yet), catch tadpoles in a net! Just make sure not to leave them out of the water too long, and not to get too rough with them!
13. Float Paper Boats
This is such a fun spring outdoor activity for preschoolers! You can find a lot of paper boat-making instructions online. If there’s more than one person floating a boat, make them out of different colors of paper, or decorate them first so you can recognize who’s who.
Have a race with them! We’ve had boat races in our creek at home with bathtub toy boats too. Or you could use rubber duckies!
14. Play Sink or Float
For this activity, just fill a tub or large bowl with water. Then find a handful of items and have your preschooler guess whether that item will sink or float when they drop it into the water.
There are so many different things you could use – literally anything that can safely get wet and fits in the tub you are using!
15. Paper Airplanes
Similarly, you could make paper airplanes to fly! Just YouTube a quick how-to. See who can fly their plane the longest or farthest.
You could also opt to buy inexpensive foam airplanes. My kids had so much fun with these! We got ours at the National Museum of Transportation, but these are similar and have great reviews!
16. Fly a Kite
One of the most classic spring outdoor activities for preschoolers! Fly a kite!
Just make sure you are in an open area and choose a day with enough wind!
17. Roast Marshmallows
We love having a little campfire in our home fire pit and just sitting out roasting marshmallows, or making s’mores.
Besides having a delicious snack, you can use it as a learning opportunity about campfire safety.
Teach them about not getting too close, no running around campfires/bonfires, don’t touch the end of a roasting stick, and don’t throw things in the fire (it seems harmless to a kid to throw a rock in the fire, but certain rocks will explode and pop in fire!)
I believe that teaching these things while actually around a fire gives it a lot more meaning because they can actually feel the heat coming off the fire and the fact that it’s dangerous sticks in their minds better than if you were to just tell them about fire dangers with no actual evidence in sight.
18. Have a Picnic
You don’t even have to be at a park to have a picnic, or do any kind of planning. Just take whatever lunch you would normally have outdoors!
19. Make Mud Pies
Little kids love mixing and squishing things and making a mess! That makes this the perfect spring outdoor activity for preschoolers!
Bring out a bowl and you can let them gather dirt, add water, mix it up with a stick, and pour it into another dish. Then they can decorate it with flowers, rocks, small sticks, and whatever else they can find around the yard!
20. Build a Fairy Garden
We recently built a fairy garden and Ella plays with it still every day. We bought a really cute unicorn fairy garden kit, but that’s not even necessary.
You can use found items like acorns, pinecones, rocks, and sticks. Search your house for little objects that can be used too, like clay, paint, yarn, and popsicle sticks.
For some fun ideas, check out the Pioneer Woman post with 25 different fairy gardens!
21. Paint Rocks
This used to be such a big thing. I don’t know if people are still doing the whole hiding painted rocks thing, but it’s still fun to paint them and just keep them!
We always find our own rocks out in nature to paint, but if you don’t have access to any, craft stores sell them!
22. Bug Collecting / Catching Fireflies
Capture some bugs in a jar and observe them with a magnifying glass. For another idea, catch fireflies and watch them twinkle!
23. Create a Flower or Leaf Crown
Cut a strip of cardstock or construction paper to fit around your preschooler’s head. Staple it together. Then let your child collect flowers and/or leaves to glue onto it.
If your yard has a lot of clover growing, you could skip the paper and make a “daisy chain” out of them by keeping the stems as long as you can and braiding them all together.
24. Nature Stamps / Rub Art
For nature stamps, just dip anything you can find into paint, and stamp it onto paper. Easy and entertaining!
For rub art, collect several leaves in different shapes and set a piece of paper on top of them. Use crayons to scribble all over the paper. The leaf design will show up!
25. Nature Picture Craft
Collect leaves and arrange them into animal faces. Glue your faces onto paper and use markers to draw eyes and other features on them.
Before you go, check out these other relevant posts:
- 17 Entertaining Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids
- The Best Hiking Carriers for 3-Year-Olds
- 12 Family Spring Break Destinations in the Southeast US
My preschool-aged daughter loves spending as much time as possible outdoors, and these are just some of the spring outdoor activities for preschoolers we have done and will be doing this season!
Have fun playing outside!
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