11 Outdoor Activities for Preschoolers in Summer

Ray Cahoy
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Take a hike! If you can, find a small hiking trail that is within a 20-minute drive of your house. If you’re lucky, the park near your house will have a nice walking trail around the lake, where you can feed the ducks on your way back.

Another option for hiking with preschoolers is a nature preserve or park that has a nature trail. If you encounter a friendly person along the trail, introduce yourself. Most people find it fascinating to know that you are out there teaching your children about nature. And when you get home, make a point of talking to your children about the things you encountered on your hike, so that they remember them.

Miniature golf is a great way for kids to enjoy the outdoors. They get to run around a little (although keep in mind that you’ll be carrying your putter with you wherever you go), and putt a little to boot. Most miniature golf courses have food and drinks available, or you can bring your own picnic lunch.


One of the best ways to spend time with your children is fishing. Something about being outside, maybe catching a few small fish, and having a great time with your little ones can’t help but put you in a great mood.

You can’t go wrong with taking your children fishing.


Encourage your tween and younger kids to bike to your destination! It’s best to learn as a young person because it’s an important skill for inexperienced drivers and leads to better safety and more physical activity.

There are many safe ways to teach kids to ride a bike. One option is to find a quiet neighborhood street with very low traffic – maybe one with a wide shoulder.

Take turns letting your kids take short trips from the driveway to the sidewalk. Let them concentrate on balance, steering, and pedaling. To make it a challenge, reward your kids for decent distances. Keep it fun by having them choose a prize to be earned after a certain amount of biking trips. You can either offer a specific prize or let them pick the prize.

You might start out with small tasks like taking the lid off of a basket. Then work your way up to longer distances.


Your preschooler may have a tough time hitting the ball in the beginning, but golfing is a great way to help improve hand-eye coordination and have fun while spending time together.

Choose a par-3 golf course for your first time. Par-3 is the shortest course, which means your preschooler can hit the ball from tee to green (or as close as possible) without waiting too long between shots. You can rent clubs at many courses or simply bring a used set of real clubs, of course, you will have to make sure they are small enough in size.

Make sure your little one wears sunscreen and protective clothing like hats and long sleeves to help shield their skin. Not only will wearing protective clothing be a good habit for your preschooler to get into, it will also mean you’re free to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about sunburns or skin abrasions. To help your preschooler’s first round of golf be a success, take baby steps. This means start by having him or her hit the ball to one marked point. Along the way, you can encourage your little one to keep going by moving the target closer.

If you plan to play 18 holes, bring plenty of snacks and/or water, and if possible, bring a babysitter to help watch your toddler or preschooler. One of you can focus on golfing while the other cares for little ones.

Backyard Obstacle Courses

Set up a series of blocks in a straight line. Have one child stand at the first block, call out, “Go!” and have your child race to the last block and back. After a few tries, have the child count out loud as he or she races through the course.


Place a rope or dish towel over a branch in your yard and tell your child to run over it, back underneath it, and leap to the ground.

Ball Back

Wait for your child to throw a ball into the yard. Then, run to where the ball landed and back. Once your child is ready, have your child throw the ball and count his or her steps as he or she runs back to the starting line.


Have two children face each other a few feet apart. Give one child a ball. When you say, “Go,” have the child toss the ball to the other child. Then have the first child try to catch it. When a child is successful, have the next child throw a ball to the first child. Then, have the first child jump over the ball as it is thrown. Continue until your children tire of the game.

Rock Painting

Take a walk outside with your preschooler to search for colorful rocks. They can be found in a variety of shapes and textures. Bring a plastic tub along so you can collect a variety of rocks on your excursion.

Place the rocks inside a tray and add a few drops of acrylic paint. Give your preschooler small brushes and have them paint their rocks.

Let them dry and the rocks will be perfect for an art project, or you can add your new acrylic painted rocks to a nature themed rock collection.

Outdoor Reading

Before starting, talk to your kids about attention spans in general and what they’re likely to be. For example, that the bigger they get, the less patience they’re likely to have. Think about books you can read that will be interesting to a wide variety of ages.

Comic books can be enjoyed by mom or dad or a combination of both. Choose comics that you both enjoy.

Here are several titles to get you started:

{1}. Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of SteelbyThe Geek Group
{2}. Princeless: The Pirate Princessby Jeremy Whitley, S. Harris, Rosy Higgins, and Ted Brandt
{3}. Star Wars: The Blueprintsby J. W. Rinzler
{4}. Phineas and Ferb: Agent P: The Monstronomicon by Jesse Eric & Candace Scott
{5}. My Little Pony: Friends Forever: Daring Do and the Forbidden City of Clouds by G. M. Berrow, Michael Vogel, and Agnes Garbowska
{6}. Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars by Scott Peterson, J. Bone, and Roberta Zanotta
{7}. The League of Extraordinary Gentleman: The Black Dossier by Alan Moore, Kevin O’Neill, and Gene Ha

Kite Making

Kites are beautiful works of art that are a treat to the eye.

Materials you will need:

  • paper (rag paper best)
  • string
  • ribbon (optional)
  • hole puncher (optional)
  • scissors
  • pencil and tracing paper
  • florist tape


  • Cut a piece of paper (2-3 inches) into a kite shape.
  • Try to make the–kite’s shape like the kites you have seen in the past.
  • Put a long piece of string (–tracing” string) on the–kite’s” back.
  • Make sure it’s enough to fly the kite.
  • Again, using the–tracing” string, outline the–kite’s” shape on a piece of paper.

Petting Zoo Tours

Almost all local farms and orchards offer free or fee-based tours with the availability of farm animals, produce, and plants to see. One stop can satisfy multiple interests. A self-guided tour is easy and fun.

Keep in mind this might not be the right activity for someone with a special diet.

Multifamily Competition Evenings

Call together families and friends for some neighborhood competition nights. Bring your camping tent and sleeping bags and hold an all-night campout in the backyard with a flashlight tag tournament.

Indoor Sports: Put a twist on traditional indoor games and set up stations that mimic outdoor activities, such as a bubble blowing station and a sprinkler in the middle of the gym floor.

Martial Art: Get outside with a martial arts meet-up group. The parents who participate can teach their kids the basics while the kids can show off their new skills.

Neighborhood Night: Hold a neighborhood night with free food and activities like face painting and backyard bowling.

Bed Races: Organize the neighborhood for a day of fun that includes a bike parade and a bed race. The neighborhood’s youngest residents can compete against one another in foot races while the older kids and adults can prepare for the bed races.

Make-Your-Own-Cookout: Set up stations for burgers, hotdogs, bratwursts, and chicken sausage on the grill, and let the kids concoct their own toppings.

Bean Bag Tournaments: Set up a bean bag tournament on the front lawn. Provide family-friendly snacks, beverages, and a kids’ table for the little ones.

Wash & Dry

This might seem like a strange suggestion, but it allows for a bit of sensory play. Throw a bit of water on your fruit to get your preschooler involved and watch the fun begin.

Have your preschooler wash his produce with a strawberry scrubber, wash cloth or any other fruit safe rag. This is good exfoliation for his fingers and is a lot of fun for kids!

You could also spread a towel on your lawn and give your preschooler a bucket of water and a clean concrete paver brush. Add a few drops of liquid soap and let him scrub away.