60 Fun Activities & Tips to Make 1,000 Hours Outdoors Possible

February 10, 2022. Tagged , , ,

Hands up who’s set themselves the challenges of 1,000 hours outdoors with their kids this year? Let’s be honest, for most modern families this is a huge challenge and I’m sure there are lots of you who could do with tips to make it easier! Keep reading for a list of 60 fun activities you could try throughout the year (many of which are simple and completely free). First up, here’s a few suggestions on how to make the whole challenge fun rather than overwhelming:

Focus on the purpose not the hours

It’s fun to track how many hours you manage in the great outdoors, however, make sure to focus on the purpose (more fresh air, more nature, more wonder) and not on ticking boxes. It doesn’t really matter if you don’t reach 1,000 hours at the end of the year if you’ve spent much more time outdoors than you would have and had lots of fun!

Take as much everyday life outside as you can

This is the easiest way to add up outdoor hours without it being too much added pressure. Obviously, you’re less likely to want to eat al fresco when it’s freezing, but as things warm up you could try taking as much as possible outdoors – either in your garden or to your nearest green spaces or beach. For example, reading, meals, snack times, playing with toys, even spending limited time on devices out in the sunshine or making an outdoor cinema could count… You make the rules.

Keep it short and sweet in the Winter months

Set realistic expectations, if you can manage even an hour a day outside in the winter months you are doing amazingly! You’ll have plenty of time to rack up whole days outdoors later in the year. 

Now for the activities… Here are 60 to pick from:

  1. Make mud pies
  2. Splash in puddles
  3. Make paper boats and try them in puddles
  4. Go to the beach and build sandcastles
  5. Paddle in a stream
  6. Take a woodland walk
  7. Have a picnic
  8. Go on a bug hunt
  9. Do an outdoor maze
  10. Go flower pressing
  11. Roll down a hill
  12. Create a garden / park obstacle course
  13. Play sports together
  14. Have running races
  15. Go on a walk and all do silly walks
  16. Do tree rubbings
  17. Make potions
  18. Get out the paddling pool
  19. Do chalk drawings on your drive / pavements
  20. Spend time gardening
  21. Grow your own vegetables
  22. Play your child’s favourite imaginary games, outdoors
  23. Take indoor toys outdoors
  24. Set up garden / playground dens 
  25. Have storytime outside
  26. Take pens & paints to the park
  27. Record interesting sounds outside 
  28. Get out a camera and practice photography
  29. Make your own rain gauge and check it daily
  30. Get out in the sun and play around with your shadows
  31. Use clippings, leaves, soil and stones to make mini gardens in Tupperware boxes
  32. Paint pebbles and hide them 
  33. Go geocaching
  34. Let the kids lead the way on a walk
  35. Have a BBQ
  36. Go sledging
  37. Build a snowman
  38. Lie and look at the clouds
  39. Collect sticks and make a pretend campfire
  40. Build an insect hotel
  41. Go to an outdoor swimming pool
  42. Go crabbing 
  43. Explore rock pools
  44. Go for a bike ride
  45. Take toy cars & trucks into the mud
  46. Spend time stargazing
  47. Take a walk and stop from hot chocolate in a flask
  48. Use water and a paintbrush to mark make on the floor / fences / walls
  49. Make shadows or play shadow tag
  50. Visit a farm
  51. Visit a pond/lake and feed the ducks
  52. Find snails and race them
  53. Find worms and make a wormery
  54. Collect shells
  55. Visit a waterfall
  56. Make giant bubbles
  57. Watch the sunrise / sunset
  58. Grow and pick wildflowers
  59. Make leaf collage
  60. Go out and get super muddy!

Are you taking the 1,000 Hours outdoors challenge? Take a scroll through the Print Play Learn blog archives for more fun outdoor play and learning ideas and please do share your own ideas with me on Instagram!

quick play ideas for kids outdoors



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