You don’t have to have a huge backyard or some elaborate toy set up to get your toddler outside being active.
Physical activity for kids between the ages of 2-5 is so important. In fact it is recommended that kids at this age get at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity every day.
Going outdoors can be a great way to get your young child playing and having fun while being active and learning healthy habits that will continue to grow as they grow.
At this age, a child may not be able to go outside and start a pick-up game of basketball, but there are plenty of great activities that you can do with your child right in your own yard and most you of them you may not even need to buy any extra toys or supplies.
By around 2 years old most children are walking pretty well and most are even running up a storm. Some may be on their way to jumping and kicking a ball but you can always take is slower and help your child develop their skills if they are younger.
By choosing age appropriate activities you’ll not only help your child develop their motor skills and coordination but you’ll also give them the self-confidence to explore and try new things.
10 Outdoor Physical Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers Ages 2 – 5 Years Old
1. Follow the Leader
You can teach your child all sorts of skill like jumping, hopping on one foot, and even simple excerices like arm circles or knee lifts when playing follow the leader. To mix it up a bit, let your child be the leader as well to see what they can come up with as well.
2. Kicking a Ball
Teach your child how to kick a soccer ball back and forth properly as they have fun moving around and learning a new skill. You can always just kick it back and forth, but if you want to get a little more advanced, then consider one of these soccer goal sets for toddlers to encourage them to kick all on their own as well.
3. Freeze Tag
If you have more than one child you can run around having fun playing freeze tag. You can be “it” and see how long it takes to catch one of them and then have the other one try to rescue the frozen person. You could even play the game with your spouse and child if you only have one child and just make it really easy for your little one to tag you both out.
4. Sidewalk Chalk Games
If your child is too young for hopscotch or you are just looking for something different to play, try a “Simon Says” game with your child. Draw different shapes on the ground such as a triangle, heart, circle, and square and have them run around to each shape as Simon says to do.
5. Target Practice
For this game you can use something like a hula hoop or even a large bucket depending on what you have. Have your child try to toss something (bean bags, small balls, beach ball, or even water balloons) into the designated target area. Take turns to see who can get the most into the target.
6. T-Ball Practice
You don’t have to keep score or even play by the rules but just having your child hit a ball and try to catch is a start to playing t ball. You can find some great t ball sets for toddlers that have an adjustable tee, bat, and ball for your child to help develop eye hand coordination by hitting the ball off the tee.
7. Duck, Duck, Goose
This may not work so well if you only have one child, but even some older kids can get into playing Duck, Duck, Goose in the backyard. This gets your child up and running around and plus it’s lots of fun seeing if you can run faster and faster.
8. Red Light Green Light
This is one game that you can even play with just one child as you just adapt the rules a bit. The farther you stand from each other, the more your child will get to run and try to tag you. You can even add in variations such as a yellow light which means they have to slow down and only walk forward.
9. Ring Around the Rosie
You may have done this song with your child indoors, but you can just easily do it outdoors as well. It can be fun all falling down into the soft grass and getting up and doing it again. If you have more than one child, it becomes even more fun as the circle gets bigger and bigger.
10. Bubbles Everywhere
You can find large containers of bubbles at discount and dollar stores and all you have to do is blow bubbles everywhere and watch your toddler run around try to pop all of them. Switch and let your child blow the bubbles and you can show them how many you can pop and see if they can pop more.
11. Outdoor Treasure Hunt
This may take a bit more time to set up than just going outside and playing catch, but it can be a ton of fun for little kids. Print off a piece of paper with different items on it and then hide those items around the yard for your toddler to find. Some items you can hide include a ball, bucket, jump rope, and other smaller toys. If you want to a nature themed hunt you could do that as well and include things like a rock, stick, and leaves.
If you are looking for even more ideas for some fun physical activity outdoors with your toddler that won’t break the bank check out some fun hula-hoop games for toddlers as well as different chalk activities for kids.
There are so many benefits of getting your young child outdoors and physically active from helping them develop new skills to keeping them them healthy. It helps establish a good habit in their life of not only staying physically active but also enjoying it as well.