Outdoor play ideas

There are plenty of simple, playful ways you and your children can have fun outdoors in the fresh air, that won’t cost a lot of money.

To help you make the most of your play time, here are our 36 top ideas in six popular outdoor places to visit and enjoy.

Six things to do in your garden:

  1. create an assault course
  2. have a dance-off
  3. build a bug hotel
  4. play What’s the time Mr. Wolf
  5. make potions
  6. have a teddy bear’s picnic

Six things to do at the beach:

  1. build sandcastles or sculptures
  2. collect interesting shells, pebbles or sea glass
  3. play noughts and crosses in the sand
  4. make sand angels
  5. go rock pooling and look for little critters
  6. go for a paddle

Six things to do out on the pavement outside your home:

  1. draw and play hopscotch with chalk
  2. paint with water using brushes
  3. draw a map and do a treasure hunt
  4. play Piggy in the middle
  5. race paper aeroplanes
  6. have a water fight

Six things to do at your local green space or park:

  1. play tag
  2. look for mini beasts
  3. have a wheelbarrow race (watch out for dog poo!)
  4. play i-spy
  5. create your own Olympic Games
  6. play hide and seek

Six things to do on a woodland walk:

  1. go bird-spotting
  2. hug a tree (give nature a little cwtch!)
  3. count the sounds (lay on the ground with your eyes closed and count how many different sounds you can hear)
  4. make a den
  5. collect twigs, leaves, and stones to make some nature art
  6. climb a tree

Six things to do on a river walk:

  1. play Poohsticks over any bridges you come across
  2. do a scavenger hunt
  3. feed a duck (no bread, please – you can try lettuce, sweetcorn, frozen peas, oats, seeds or rice)
  4. make a boat out of sticks and leaves
  5. look for fish
  6. splash in puddles


Download the Outdoor play ideas list.

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