Toddlers have a never-ending supply of energy. They seem to always be on the move, and it can be challenging to keep them occupied for any length of time.
Now that the weather’s getting warmer and the days are getting longer, it’s the perfect time to burn off some of that energy. These 10 outdoor activities for toddlers will help you do exactly that.
They’re easy to set up, using items you probably already have at home, and provide a variety of ways to play and learn while helping them stay active and healthy.
10 Outdoor Activities for Toddlers that Burn Energy!
- Obstacle Course: Set up a mini obstacle course in your own backyard to get your toddler moving and to burn off some energy. Use items like hula hoops, cones, blankets, chairs, and boxes to create a course that your toddler can crawl under, jump over, and climb through. Add in activities like throwing a ball into a basket or crawling through a tunnel. To make it more challenging, you can time your child and see how quickly they can complete the course. You can also make it a competition by having multiple children race against each other. This is great for helping them to develop gross motor skills. Grab this obstacle course set to make set up quick and easy!
- Bubble Fun: Toddlers love blowing and chasing bubbles, and they are an easy way to keep your little one entertained and active. You can either use a store-bought bubble solution or make your own using dish soap and water. Blow bubbles and let your toddler chase them, pop them, or try to catch them. Get a bubble machine to make it more fun and exciting or have a bubble-blowing contest to see who can blow the biggest bubble. This activity will help your toddler develop hand-eye coordination. Try out this unique recipe from The Artful Parent to make your own bubble solution at home!
- Water Play: Toddlers love playing with water, especially on hot summer days. If it’s warm outside, you can set up a water play area outside. Fill up a small pool or water table and let your toddler splash and play, and add toys like buckets, cups, boats, or water guns for extra fun. You can also set up a sprinkler or splash pad in your yard for them to splash around with. You’ll keep them cool and help them develop sensory skills. Just always remember to keep a close eye on your toddler whenever water is involved.
- Chalk art: Sidewalk chalk is a great way to get your toddler outside and moving. Give them some chalk in a variety of colors and let them draw on your driveway or sidewalk. They can then scribble or color to their heart’s content. You can also play games like hopscotch or tic-tac-toe or draw a map for a treasure hunt. Or take it up a notch by trying one of these do-it-yourself chalk paint recipes from The Farmhouse Life.
- Nature Walk: Take your toddler on a nature walk in your neighborhood or a nearby park to explore the outdoors together and encourage discovery. Let them collect leaves, rocks, sticks, feathers, or other interesting objects they find along the way. You can point out different plants, flowers, animals, and insects and teach them about nature. This activity will help your toddler learn about the world around them and develop sensory skills. Consider this nature exploration kit that has everything they’ll need to observe and collect objects.
- Sand Play: Sand play is a great opportunity for your toddler to get creative and burn some extra energy. A sandbox is a fun way for your toddler to play with sand by digging and building sandcastles. You can get a small sandbox for your backyard, fill it with sand, and give them some sand toys like shovels, buckets, and molds. Or take your toddler to a nearby beach or park with a sandpit.
- Music and Dancing: Toddlers love music and dancing, and they’re an excellent way to burn off energy. Set up a mini dance party in your backyard by playing some fun, upbeat music and letting your toddler dance and move around. Don’t be afraid to join in! You can also give them some musical instruments like tambourines or maracas to play along. This activity will improve your toddler’s coordination, balance, and gross motor skills. Get the party started with some of our favorite tunes:
- “Can’t Stop the Feeling” by Justin Timberlake
- “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus
- “ABC” by the Jackson 5
- “Shake it Off” by Taylor Swift
- “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
- “Who Let the Dogs Out” by The Party Cats
- “I Like to Move It” by will.i.am
- “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
- “All Star” by Smash Mouth
- “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez
- Gardening: Planting a garden with your toddler can be a fun and educational activity. Let them help you pick out all the plants, seeds, and tools. Take the time to show them how to dig, water, and care for the plants. The best part is watching everything grow and getting to taste what you’ve planted. Pick up a gardening kit that’s just the right size for them to add to the fun.
- Paint with Water: All you need for this simple activity are some paint brushes and water. Fill up a bucket or bowl with some cool water and grab a variety of different bristle and foam paint brushes. Then have them ‘paint’ your front porch, sidewalk, deck, or even the side of your house. Warm days are best because the water will dry quickly. You’ll be surprised how long they’ll stay occupied as their little masterpieces dry and they can start all over again.
- Scavenger hunt: Create a scavenger hunt for your toddler by hiding items like rocks, toys, or leaves around your backyard. Give them a list of items to find and let them explore and search for the objects. You can also make the items more specific, such as a smooth rock or a red leaf. This activity will keep your toddler active and engaged and help them develop problem-solving skills. Here’s a list of some items to add:
- Spider web
- 4 different kinds of leaves
- Bird or bird’s nest
- Animal tracks
These 10 outdoor activities for toddlers will keep their bodies active and their minds engaged. Just remember to always supervise your toddler and have fun together!
This post contains affiliate links.
If you loved this list of outdoor activities for toddlers, please share it on Pinterest!
And if you’re looking for more kids activities, please follow our Kids Activities board!