2 Free, Fun Outdoor Activities for Kids

Digging Dirt Free stock Photo

By Mandy Glasener

Welcome to the first ever blog post by the Lily Garden Child Care Center staff. How exciting that we get to share with you all our combined wisdom and ideas for fun activities at home!

For our topic this month we thought it would be appropriate to talk about getting back to nature. Summer is a wonderful time to get outside, explore and learn all about the great big world around you.

Let’s keep it simple and free. Here is what you need:


Find a nice cozy spot and start digging in the dirt with your sticks or fingers. It’s a sensory EXPLOSION! Smell the earth? Feel the dirt…Is it wet, dry, cold? What color is it?

If you’re lucky you may stumble across a worm, roly poly, grub or ladybug! Talk about if it’s a nice bug or a grumpy bug (one that bites or stings). Help your child to feel comfortable in the great big outdoors!

By you holding a bug and helping your child to hold a bug as well, their confidence will build and the trusting bond you share will deepen.

If bugs aren’t your thing, here’s another fun “back to nature” activity that is once again free and has tons of teaching and fine motor building potential!

We call it “helicopter salad” (for the squirrels, not people, yuck!). Here’s what you need:

*helicopters (those little twirly seeds that fall from maple trees)

Get a couple nice big handfuls of helicopters and start peeling! Once you remove the outer layer and expose the shiny green seed, start piling them up.

Early math skills are easy to incorporate. Which seed is bigger/smaller? How many should we peel? Tell the child that you would like to peel 10 seeds and then have them help you count.

This is also an excellent fine motor building activity. Of course both of these activities are easily adjusted for any child!

Feedback is welcomed! Please share your ideas and the adventures you have outside with your children in our comment section!

Looking for an amazing child care center? Check out the Lily Garden Child Care Center at Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley. The Lily Garden provides full-time and part-time, year round child care to children of all abilities. We serve children, six weeks through six years of age, in a nurturing environment where they can learn and grow together. The Lily Garden is located in our Villa Park Center. For details, please email klopresti@EasterSealsDFVR.org.

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