9 Outdoor Summer Activities for Kids 2021

Now that summer is finally here, it’s time to take advantage of the weather and get outdoors! Here are some fun ideas for outdoor activities, games, and equipment that you can try at home with your kids. Most of these activities can be created with a variety of everyday items that you may already have at home. The activities listed below target the development of gross motor, fine motor, visual motor, bilateral coordination, motor planning, and sensory processing skills.

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Obstacle Courses

Obstacle courses are a great way to foster creativity and imagination while targeting gross motor, motor planning, and sensory processing skills. You can create an obstacle course using really anything you have available at home. Here is a really cool idea for an obstacle course using pool noodles, a basketball hoop, and a kiddie pool:

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Car Wash

Having a car wash at home is a great activity to promote gross motor, fine motor, sequencing, sensory processing skills, and more! For younger kids, you can also have a car wash with toy cars, or give toy animals a bath for a fun sensory activity.

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Tunnels

If you don’t have a tunnel at home, you can make one yourself by connecting large cardboard boxes or by placing blankets, pillows, or sheets, over the top of some chairs. Have your child crawl through as part of an obstacle course or roll balls through back and forth to each other.

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Balance pods or stepping stones

Challenge your child’s balance skills by adding balance pods or stepping stones to an obstacle course. You can create your own balance pods or stones at home by turning over bowls and stepping across!

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Pool noodles

These can be used in an obstacle course by placing them on the ground to jump over, walk across like a balance beam, or play balloon volleyball! You can also make a DIY race track by cutting noodles in half and watching cars race down

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Hula hoops

These can be used as targets for bean bag or water balloon toss, or add them to an obstacle course by placing them on the ground to hop into, or hold them up and have your child jump through! Hula hoops can also be used in a kiddie pool mixed with soap and water to make giant bubbles!

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Bubbles

Bubbles are a great activity to help promote oral-motor skills. You can also challenge your child’s gross motor and body awareness skills by blowing bubbles and encouraging them to pop the bubbles with different body parts!

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T-ball or Wiffle Ball

This is a great activity for hand eye coordination and trunk rotation. If you don’t have a batting tee at home, check out this great DIY option made from a pool noodle!

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Parachute

Parachutes are a great way to practice bilateral coordination, upper extremity strengthening, and postural control. You can add balls or balloons on top to see how high you can make them fly! If you don’t have a parachute at home, you can also use a fitted sheet for a great DIY option.

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By: Ashley Schneider, MOT, OTR-L

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