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12+ Creative & Inexpensive Outdoor Activities for Toddlers


As a parent, there’s nothing more frustrating than being cooped indoors on a beautiful day. But don’t worry – we’ve covered you with fun and inexpensive outdoor activities for toddlers.

From exploring the backyard to taking a trip to the park, your little one is sure to have a blast! So get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

Children are a bundle of energy! Outdoor activities for toddlers are essential to healthy development. Toddlers, in particular, need to be outdoors to release energy and regulate. Getting outdoors for fresh air, learning, and moving bodies is critical to a child’s development.

Years ago, I wrote a post outlining Outdoor Learning Rules to Teach our Kids. I still refer to this article when I need a bit of inspiration! You should do the same! Below we share some outdoor activities for toddlers to do.

a toddler playing outside with a watering can

Why is getting outdoors so important?

Getting outdoors is necessary for kids, especially young kids, for many reasons, including:

  • Outdoor education & learning about nature
  • Gross motor skill development
  • Executive functioning skill development
  • Appropriate risk-taking
  • Vitamin D

If you don’t believe me, check out this research article on why kids need to get outdoors, published by Harvard University!

Some outdoor activities are physical, and some only require creative flow. You can plan to do several of these toddler activities each day or just do one. It depends on how much you will have and the toddler’s attention span.

I know it is not always easy to get outdoors on rainy or cold days, but it is essential.

12+ Creative & Inexpensive Outdoor Activities for Toddlers

Children often do not have many physical outlets or toddler activities. They are told to sit down and do work at school, leaving little time for unwinding outdoors.

Additionally, children are introduced to screen time on computers and tablets, so their curiosity ends before they get the chance to become acquainted with their outdoor environment. Add some of these toddler activities to your child’s agenda to promote a better lifestyle.

Going outside can be filled with learning activities for toddlers. Outdoor activities for toddlers can be contagiously fun, but it is ok because you can join in too! Be creative and add your own or add something different to the suggestions below.

12+ Creative & Inexpensive Outdoor Activities for Toddlers

Toddler Activities for the Outdoors

Yard Work

Do this series of outdoor activities for toddlers now before they become teenagers. Toddlers will not realize that yard work is actual work. Do not call this outdoor activity work. Sweeping the porch, raking leaves, digging in the dirt, and refilling bird feeders.

This will not only help the toddler to become more independent but will also lay the groundwork for being more responsible. Activities for toddlers at home can also include other outdoor facilities.

Play in the Sand

Get to the beach or create a sandbox in your yard. What can come about from a plastic container and a scoop is incredible. The more props, the better. Add some plastic molds, cups, and dump trucks that can move around in the sand.

a young boy jumping through a sprinkler

Be Artistic

Take the art project outside. Art does not just paint and paper; you can also use chalk. It takes physical movement to use the sidewalk as the canvass.

The toddler is no longer confined to a piece of paper, and their imagination can soar on the sidewalk. You could take turns tracing each other’s bodies. If your toddler prefers paper, take the easel outdoors and become inspired by nature.

Have a Scavenger Hunt

This is going to provide hours of fun! Create a list of things you have around the house, then hide these items around the yard and in the area. If your toddler is not reading, draw a photo and help them cross off each item as they find them. Many toddlers love this activity.

a toddler blowing bubbles

Blow Bubbles

Bubbles can be bought cheaply, or you can make your bubble solution. Take the activity outdoors and enjoy it as your toddler will chase the bubbles and pop them. Toddlers that are able can also blow the bubbles.

See how long they can keep the bubble in the air. Keep moving and let the bubbles roam. This is another learning activity for toddlers because of the scientific learning with the solution and how it reacts to touch, the grass, or the wind.

Create a Fun Obstacle Course

You can use many items around the house to create an obstacle course. This can include toys, boxes, chairs, and whatever the imagination can create. Crawl under the chairs then rolls on top of the blanket.

Jump a few times and then run a few times around the tree. Add a whistle and create a reward of ribbon, coins, and construction paper. It’s a great day for a fun obstacle course, no matter who wins.

Play Red Light, Green Light

Do you remember playing this game? Instead of the toddler being escorted around in the car and seeing the lights, you can now create activities for the toddler to do. For example, green light for anything that means go, such as running.

To stop running, you say, “Red light.” Toddlers can exert a lot of energy in this game.

outdoor activities for toddlers

Play Hide and Seek

Everyone has played some form of this game. Hide in obvious places. You can also make noises so the toddler will find you easily. This makes it fun and gets them comfortable with playing the game. You may need to count for your toddler or count slowly.

Bounce Balls

Have a seat on the ground and roll the ball to each other. Or, take turns throwing and kicking the ball. You can also add hula hoops and boxes as targets to throw the balls inside.

A child playing with a truck in the sand

Take a Walk

Taking a walk is a simple activity that does not require anything. This can be a good morning or evening routine. Walking around the block can be refreshing and just the outing your toddler needs. Many moments are teachable in a simple walk.

Nature is happening outdoors. If your little one does not walk well enough yet, make the walk shorter and take a walking toy.

Water Fun

The hot summers warrant having the sprinklers on or having a fun balloon fight. You can also buy a kiddie pool and enjoy this too. This is an activity that little ones seem to enjoy the most.

Making this activity a regular part of the day or week will bring great joy to your little one’s day.

12+ Creative & Inexpensive Outdoor Activities for Toddlers

Fly a Kite

It’s a windy day, and its the perfect time to get outside and fly a kite. There are small kites and big ones that look like dragons. You can also sit with your toddler and make your kite.


No matter where you are, balloons always seem to attract children. Buy some of your own and have fun blowing them up. Add some string and a sprinkle of imagination; the balloon can become anything.

Outdoor activities for toddlers at home do not have to be limited to indoors (although it is okay and often necessary to identify indoor activities for toddlers). Try your best to connect the indoor and outdoor classrooms for optimal learning. There are so many things to do while outdoors.

Just bring some imagination and a few props, and you’ll soon be in another make-believe world. The point is to get outdoors and get your toddler active. You may discover some new activities on your own that you can start doing together. I hope you enjoyed these outdoor activities for toddlers!

one kid playing outside

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