Outdoor activities are an amazing way for older kids to get their daily dose of exercise, breathe in some fresh air, and soak up the sunshine while having a blast.
With many options out there, picking the right activity for your child can tough. But don’t worry, from timeless games like kickball and capture the flag to contemporary favorites like geocaching and parkour, we’ve got you covered!
Engaging in outdoor games helps older kids with their coordination, balance, and strength, while also improving their social skills. Plus, these activities offer a much-needed break from screens and inspire kids to discover the world around them.
Whether it’s a casual game of tag or an elaborate scavenger hunt, outdoor activities offer lots of benefits for older kids.
In this article, we will delve deeper into some of the best outdoor activities for older kids, featuring both traditional games and modern pastimes, to help you identify the perfect activity for your child.
Team Sports and Games
Team sports and games are a fantastic way for older kids to build teamwork, communication, and leadership skills while staying active and having fun.
Here are some popular team sports and games that older kids can enjoy:
Kickball: This classic game is like a combination of soccer and baseball, where teams take turns kicking a large rubber ball and running the bases to score points. Kickball is an excellent activity for building teamwork and coordination.
Capture the Flag: This exciting strategy game involves two teams, each trying to capture the other team’s flag and return it to their base without being tagged. It’s a great way to develop strategic thinking, cooperation, and endurance.
Ultimate Frisbee: This fast-paced, non-contact team sport involves passing a frisbee down the field to score points by catching it in the opposing team’s end zone. Ultimate Frisbee is a fantastic way to improve agility, hand-eye coordination, and teamwork.
Flag Football: A safer alternative to tackle football, flag football involves players grabbing flags attached to their opponents’ belts instead of tackling them. This fun and active game promotes teamwork, communication, and physical fitness.
Soccer: Known as the world’s most popular sport, soccer requires players to use their feet (and sometimes their heads) to maneuver a ball down the field and score goals. Soccer helps develop endurance, coordination, and teamwork.]
Adventure and Exploration Activities
Adventure and exploration activities allow older kids to challenge themselves, learn new skills, and connect with nature.
Here are some adventure and exploration activities to consider:
Geocaching: This modern-day treasure hunt involves using GPS coordinates to find hidden containers called geocaches. Geocaching is a fantastic way to explore the outdoors while developing problem-solving and navigation skills.
Orienteering: This exciting sport combines map reading, compass skills, and racing to find a series of checkpoints in the fastest time possible. Orienteering encourages kids to develop spatial awareness, navigation skills, and resilience.
Rock Climbing: Whether it’s at a local climbing gym or a natural rock face, rock climbing challenges older kids to build strength, flexibility, and problem-solving skills as they navigate their way up a wall or cliff.
Parkour: This urban exploration sport involves creatively navigating obstacles by running, jumping, and climbing. Parkour can help older kids develop strength, agility, and spatial awareness.
Nature Photography: Encourage older kids to explore the beauty of the natural world through photography. This activity can help them develop their creativity, observation skills, and appreciation for the environment.
Community Service and Conservation Activities
Teaching older kids the value of giving back and protecting the environment can be a rewarding and enriching experience.
Here are some community service and conservation activities to consider for older kids:
Park Cleanup: Organize a cleanup event at a local park, beach, or nature reserve. This activity not only promotes environmental stewardship but also helps kids develop a sense of community and responsibility.
Community Garden: Encourage older kids to participate in a community garden, where they can learn about gardening, sustainable agriculture, and healthy eating habits while fostering a sense of accomplishment and connection to the environment.
Tree Planting: Participate in tree planting events organized by local environmental organizations. This activity helps older kids understand the importance of trees in combating climate change and promoting biodiversity.
Wildlife Rehabilitation: Older kids can volunteer at local wildlife rehabilitation centers, where they can learn about native species, their habitats, and the challenges they face. This hands-on experience can inspire a lifelong commitment to wildlife conservation.
Environmental Education: Encourage older kids to educate their peers and younger children about environmental issues and conservation practices. They can create educational materials, give presentations, or organize workshops to share their knowledge and passion for the environment.
Tips for Encouraging Outdoor Activities
To ensure your older kids make the most of these outdoor activities, keep the following tips in mind:
Offer choices: Provide a variety of activities for your child to choose from, taking into account their interests and abilities.
Encourage socialization: Invite friends or organize group activities to make outdoor experiences more enjoyable and foster camaraderie.
Be a role model: Show your child the importance of spending time outdoors by engaging in these activities yourself or as a family.
Ensure safety: Teach your child about outdoor safety, including proper attire, equipment, and awareness of potential hazards.
Set achievable goals: Encourage your child to set realistic goals for their activities, and celebrate their accomplishments.
In conclusion, there are countless outdoor activities that older kids can enjoy, ranging from classic games and team sports to adventure and exploration activities, as well as community service and conservation efforts.
Encouraging frequent outdoor activities boosts your child’s physical, mental health and nurtures a lasting love for nature.
Ensure safety and customize activities based on your child’s interests and skills for a fulfilling, fun experience.
Encourage and inspire your older children to remain active, healthy, and engaged with nature through creative activities.