Yes! It is FINALLY spring! Say adios to those cold winter months and howdy to sunny, warmer days. Do you know what the warmer weather means to me? FREE outdoor entertainment! And who doesn’t love free?! Not sure where to start? You are in exactly the right place. This ultimate guide to free outdoor springtime activities will keep you and your whole family busy all spring long!
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Spring is the perfect time of year rededicate yourself to your savings goals. You can start by saving money on entertainment and instead take advantage of springtime weather to get outside and enjoy free activities with your family. There are just so many fun, free things that you can do outside. Instead of spending a fortune on family entertainment, dedicate your spring to FREE outdoor family fun.
These are ideas you can always dependable outdoor activity.
Head to your local playground
Indoor parks are so popular right now. But they’re expensive, super crowded, and even dangerous sometimes. Skip the indoor parks and head to the good old outdoor playground. After all, they entertained us just fine when we were kids, didn’t they? This website has a complete list of parks and playgrounds near you.
Go to a local field
There are so many things you can do with your family on a big grassy field. You can play a sport, if that’s your thing. Or just throw a ball around. Play Frisbee or tag. Or simply let your kids run around. You can chase them, they can chase each other, you can all chase butterflies. The possibilities are endless.
Go for a hike
Hiking benefits your body by giving you exercise, your mind by giving you a peaceful way to clear your head, and your wallet by keeping you from spending money.
This website can help you find a place to hike near you!
Have a picnic
You do not need a fancy basket, blanket or lunch to have a lovely picnic. Seriously. Grab an old sheet. Take along whatever you were going to eat anyway. Use any travel container you have. Your picnic will still be just as much fun without all the extras.
Sit under a tree and read a book
You could sit anywhere outside really. I’m lucky enough to live by the beach and one of my favorite things in the world is to sit on a bench by the water and read. Find a spot that you enjoy near you. You can gather your kids in your spot and read to them outside too! Because reading outside is just more fun.
Take a walk around your neighborhood
Great, easy exercise (easy is what I look for in exercise) and it can be fun too!
Another great form of exercise, although slightly harder than walking! Of course, you could just ride your bikes around the neighborhood, but if you live in a busy area and don’t feel comfortable riding in the road, you can throw the bikes in your trunk and head to a bike trail. Here’s a directory of local biking trails.
Take pictures of nature
You don’t need to be a professional photographer, your phone will do. And you really don’t need to be anywhere exotic or special. Find a beautiful tree, a simple pond, or a pretty garden and snap away. They might come out better than you think. And they’ll be fun to look at later!
Go on a nature hunt
This will give your kids purpose and organization for their outdoor play. It also has the added bonus of being educational! Here are 8 great ideas for outdoor nature hunts.
Make a nature suncatcher
This is so fun and easy to do! Simply gather some cool things outside like small leaves, little flowers, even grass and use them to make a suncatcher that your kids will love. Here is a tutorial of how to make one. And here is how to do this with toddlers.
Go on a bug hunt
Maybe your kids think bugs are gross. But if they don’t, a bug hunt can be lots of fun! It’s another activity that will give purpose to them walking around the yard (or neighborhood or park, wherever you want). Here is everything you need to know to have a great bug hunt.
Outdoor color match
I love this fun activity from Inner Child Fun. All you need are some free paint color sample swatches and you’ll be having fun finding all the colors of nature in no time.
Play I spy
In my former life as a teacher, I spy was always my go-to way to kill 5 minutes. Just as my 26 kindergarteners were starting to get rambunctious, I’d say “I spy with my little eye….” and all of a sudden I’d have their attention. Little did they know, this game is way more fun to play outside where there are a lot more things to spy!
Gaze at the clouds
If you want an outdoor activity that is more laid-back and calm, try birdwatching! It can be way more exciting than it sounds. Here are some tips to get you started.
Throw an old sheet or blanket on the grass, lay on your backs, and watch the clouds. You can play the game where you decide what the cloud shapes look like. It’s a great imagination building activity. If you need help, here is a simple explanation of how to do it.
If you want to make cloud watching extra fun you can make these adorable cloud watching binoculars.
TAKE YOUR CREATIVE SIDE OUTSIDE
Draw with sidewalk chalk
It is so fun to be able to color on the outside! If you don’t already have sidewalk chalk you can pick up a huge box at your local dollar store. You could even make your own! Here is how to make regular sidewalk chalk and here is how to make sidewalk chalk paint.
If you want to get really clever with your sidewalk chalk creations here is an awesome collection of sidewalk chalk ideas.
Gather some stones around your yard or neighborhood (maybe while you’re out on that walk!) and decorate them! Just use any supplies that you have on hand and turn those ugly old stones into works of beauty. You can make adorable (and easy) ladybug rocks like this, owl rocks like these ones, or even hedgehog rocks. Inspirational painted rocks are also a big hit. The possibilities are endless.
Tree bark rubbings
Here’s an idea from another former teacher, tree bark rubbings. Young kids will love getting to color on a tree. How cool!
Make a fairy garden
Kids love fairy gardens! They seem magical. And you can make one right in your backyard with things you have around the house. Don’t go out and buy special little chairs and decorations. Instead, get creative with the stuff (read: junk) you already have laying around your house. This is the perfect excuse to clean out your junk drawer! Here’s a tutorial of how to make a fairy garden.
Paint with water
All you need are some plastic cups of water and old paintbrushes. Then sit on the porch or sidewalk and paint away!
Rescue some frozen friends
Your kids will be super engaged in this activity! Simply grab some old animal toys from around the house, freeze them, and then let your kids save them! So much fun! Here are the complete directions.
You likely have bubbles around the house but if you don’t, you can buy a multipack of bubbles at the dollar store. You could even make your own. If you want to get really creative, you can even make these giant bubbles or these bouncing bubbles.
If your kids get bored of the game where you blow the bubbles and they run around popping them (I don’t know about you, but that’s my go-to bubble entertainment for kids!) here is a list of 20 super fun bubble activities your kids will love.
Another old-fashioned, but still fun idea. Did you know hopscotch can be an educational game too? You can incorporate math skills like addition, multiplication, fractions, or shapes. You could also use hopscotch to reinforce letter identification skills, or phonics.
Tin can bowling
Pull some tin cans out of your recycling bin, make them pretty, and knock ‘em down! Any ball you have will do. Here are 5 fun ways to play with tin cans from A Girl & A Glue Gun. http://www.agirlandagluegun.com/2016/06/5-fun-things-to-do-with-tin-cans.html
This is so much fun!! While you could simply bring your twister game outside and play it there, it’s a ton more fun if the twister board is huge and homemade. If you don’t mind spray painting your lawn, that’s one option. But if (like me) that’s not for you, here is my favorite tutorial on how to make your own giant outdoor twister board. I had all these things laying around my house. You likely have most of them too. And if you don’t, ask a friend. Preferably a friend that just finished a painting project!
And if you’re really adventurous, go to sleep!
This is only free if you already have camping equipment. If you don’t, ask around! I’d bet you have at least one friend with a tent their not using this weekend. And if you really can’t find a tent, you can always DIY one like this.
Set up your tent in the backyard, grab your sleeping bags and camp out! While you real campers might think this is disgraceful, it’s the only kind of camping that works for me. I always remember camping out in my grandma’s backyard as a kid. It was so much fun!
Don’t let rainy days stop your fun!
Put on your rain boots and play in the rain. Jump in puddles, build mud castles, and make memories that your kids will treasure forever.
If you’re not up for getting wet, sit by a window and watch the rain. Have a window raindrop race – each pick a raindrop and see which one gets to the bottom first.
Here are 10 rainy day activities that are sure to keep your family busy.
These ideas are sure to keep your family having fun all spring long. Get outside, explore nature, get creative, and play!