Flashcards challenge- so many things to do outside

Need to add a bit of excitement to outdoor adventures? Try listing all your options on 3X5 cards and letting kids choose a card (without looking) Cards should be reviewed ahead of time to ensure that choices are seasonally appropriate, age appropriate, and compatible with available equipment, available personnel and present weather conditions. Be prepared to negotiate if the kids really want something different. A few to start you off.....

Fly a kite

Go Ice skating

Go skiing,crosscountry or downhill

Lie on the ground and make snow angels on a wintery day

Look at the stars and learn a few constellations

Rollerskate on level ground, have a few band aids on hand, just in case

Go Snowshoing

Build sand castles

Check out some exhibits at county fairgrounds

Shop at an open air farmers market

Collect seeds for a wildflower garden

Learn about the patterns of the year, solstice, eqinox and phases of the moon. Celebrate all seasons

Build a tiny stonehenge in the garden

Foster pets for the local humane society

Plant a garden

Go canoeing or kayaking

Try rock climbing, with an experienced teacher

Go bike riding

Try letterboxing

Set up an orienteering course and challenge your friends

Look into local 4h projects

Borrow a microscope and look at pond water or bird feathers

Take pictures of fungi, plants, trees and animals. Try to identify each one.

Take a picture of your sister making a silly face outdoors and then post it on the fridge

Identify 5 new birds

Find 3 different butterflys

Plan a Cairns and Castles event ( see my blog for details)

Throw a stick for the dog

Learn how to raise chickens or bunnies

Try tent camping

Draw or paint

Skip stones at a local pond

Visit a local fiber festival

Visit a local farm/ pick your own fruit

Build a primitive loom and weave a potholder or small rug from yarn or fabric scraps.

Cook with a dutch oven over an open fire.

Build a model village from bits of stone and little sticks

Build a fairy house in the woods ( see video on this website)

Picnic at a local park

Knit or crochet on the back porch

Swing on a swingset

Spin fleece for a homespun scarf

Plan a first aid talk at a local pavillion, (ask a member of the local red cross, doctor, nurse or EMT to give suggestions)

Invite a park ranger to describe local wildlife

Collect craft supplies and make a wreath or dried flower bouquet

Make a sachet if you have extra herbs in the garden, let the kids sew the litttle bags by hand

Build a birdhouse

Identify local snakes and discuss how to tell poisonous from less harmful ones

Visit a local nature center or outdoor museum

Draw a picture of your favorite outdoor place, using only natural materials that you found yourself

Make a dreamcatcher from natural materials

Perform trail maintenance under supervision of local park ranger

Go swimming, learn a new stroke

Try snorkeling with a guide

Go splashing in puddles (keep dry socks and shoes available)

Play frisbee

Throw a ball

Arrange a karate class on the beach

Get some sidewalk chalk and have an art contest

Play hopscotch

Learn to sail a boat

Make a wooden toy boat and float it in the pond

Jump rope


Play horseshoes or bacci ball on the lawn

Play badminton or tennis

Play volleyball

Kick a soccer ball around

Take a nighttime hike and make scary faces in the flashlight

Make a snowman

Build a snowfort and defend it

Plant some flowers to attract butterflys and hummingbirds

Build a campfire and tell happy stories (OK maybe a few scary stories after the little kids went to bed!)

Pick out a Christmas tree at the farm

Arrange an informal concert or attend a professional concert in the park

Play musical intstruments, guitar, harmonica, banjo, violin, tuba , whatever you can carry outside

Hike a mountain, or just a garden path


Turn over rocks in your yard and see what lives underneath

Chase lightning bugs, but don't ever catch them

Do yoga


Have a sidewalk parade in the neighborhood, complete with marching band, tricycles, bicycles and flags


I hereby challenge the readers of this blog to provide other outdoor suggestions. Maybe we can get 1 or 2 hundred suggestions for the list.

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Comment by Nancy Bunker on October 30, 2010 at 6:01am
A few more suggestions:

Rake leaves
Sweep sidewalks
Volunteer at the Humane Society walking dogs (older kids only)
Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, building houses or landscaping (older teens only)
Get a job , paid or volunteer as a camp counselor or CIT
Take lifeguarding classes and help out with swim classes at your local pool (check in with your local "YMCA")
Teach or coach your favorite sports (soccer, basketball, softball, track and field....)
Help out at Special Olympics
Volunteer to guide nature walks at your local preserve
Mow the lawn (older kids only)
Trim the shrubbery
Participate in a walkathon with your parents
Organize a fun run or relay race at a local park or school field ( donate proceeds to Heifer International, the host park, or to another charity which helps children and/ or animals. )

Volunteering for a community service or local nature program is a great way to get exercise, meet people , obtain work experience and professional contacts, build strength and self confidence and enjoy the great outdoors.

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