10 outdoor activities for kids, and why they are good for them
Looking for an outdoor activity to get your kids out the house and off their devices?
Getting outdoors is not only about exercise and fresh air, it will also help them top up on Vitamin D, which kids need for healthy bone growth and development. Being active outdoors also gets them moving, which has been shown to help control weight, reduce anxiety and boost overall wellbeing. Kids who are physically active also tend to perform better at school, with improved focus and on-task behaviour.
With this in mind, we approached kids activity booking platform Kidsbook for some help compiling this list of 10 outdoor activities to inspire you.
10 outdoor activities for kids
Outdoor activity 1. Skateboarding: balance, co-ordination and mental agility
Skateboarding is not only a great alternative to screen time, it is also an effective way for kids to develop their coordination, flexibility and mental agility. Mastering all the moves – especially the more advanced ones – requires patience, resilience and calculated risk taking. Sure they are going to fall, but it’s all about bouncing back and giving it another go!
Outdoor activity 2. Parkour: navigating the urban jungle
Parkour is a relatively new activity which really appeals to adventurous kids, who love the challenge of navigating the urban jungle by running, jumping and leaping over a variety of obstacles – like stairwells and anything else. Besides the obvious benefits like body-eye coordination and agility, it also helps build mental toughness. This is also an activity you can do indoors, on a dedicated parkour course.
Outdoor activity 3. Surfing: full-body cardio workout in the great outdoors
If you live anywhere near a beach, then surfing is a great full-body cardio workout for kids who can swim. Mastering the technique also requires patience, a healthy dose of resilience and respect and engagement with the ocean. Just wait till they stand up for the first time, though you will need to stock up the fridge as surfing causes serious hunger 🙂
Outdoor activity 4. Soccer: rules, respect and team building
The great thing about soccer – or football – for kids is that it is a team sport which helps develop friendships as well as wider lessons, such as learning respect for the coach, teammates and opponents. They also have to absorb the rules of the game, and the importance of sportsmanship – being a good winner and loser.
Outdoor activity 5. Bush walking: fresh air, exercise and time to think
Hit a trail with your kids and they will be getting a lungful of fresh air, time away from technology and some good old-fashioned exercise. This activity will also help build a connection with nature, something that our planet really needs at the moment. Pick a tough route and you will also be testing your kid’s ability to stand up to a physical (and mental) challenge – otherwise known as character building!
Outdoor activity 6. Tennis: next stop Wimbledon?
When it comes to hand-eye coordination tennis is a perfect activity to develop a child’s gross motor control, fine motor skills and balance. The game also helps develop a solid work ethic, discipline, sportsmanship, as well as strategic and problem-solving skills – especially if they want to beat an opponent. Just think, your child could be on Centre Court one day…if they knuckle down now.
Outdoor activity 7. Cycling: get on your bike for fun and fitness
Once you have made the investment in a bike for your child and they have learnt to ride, it opens up a world of possibilities. They can ride to school, go to the shops, or explore with friends or family. Cycling is also a great way to improve their general fitness, develop road safety skills while strengthening and toning those leg muscles.
Outdoor activity 8. Orienteering: problem solve with a map and compass
Orienteering – using a map and compass to navigate a course of set points against other teams – is a fantastic activity for kids and the whole family. Not only will they learn how to read a map and use a compass – navigating makes them use their brains (and bodies) to problem solve and refine their decision-making abilities. It is also a team-based activity held outdoors – which are both pros in our view!
Outdoor activity 9. Jogging: have sneakers, will run
Running or jogging is a great way for your child to improve their cardiovascular fitness, strengthen muscles and learn some honest self-discipline. It doesn’t matter how fast they are running – sprints, middle or long distance – just as long as they are active. You also don’t need much to get started – a pair of sneakers will get you going, and you can run alone, with friends or with a group. Location is also not important – the pavement, beach, trails and track all await you!
Outdoor activity 10. Rock climbing: strength, endurance and flexibility
Rock climbing may not be top of the list of many parents, but it is a safe activity if you take some professional instruction. For kids the benefits are many, from improving hand/eye/foot coordination to enhanced strength endurance and flexibility. Confronting a vertical wall of rock for the first time can also be a teensie weensy bit scary, which means they are outside their comfort zone. Overcoming these fears will only build their self-confidence, something which will help them in other areas of life.
Looking for a kid’s activity near you? Kidsbook is a new booking platform dedicated to making it easy for parents to find, book, pay and share kids activities. Activities are hand-picked by the team to make sure that your kids have access to the best of what’s out there.
CEO & Founder, Kidsbook