10 Outdoor Spring Activities for Families with Young Children

Spring is almost here, and oh, how we've missed the sun! It's that magical time of year when everything starts to bloom again, and what better way to celebrate than by heading outside with our little munchkins? As a fellow mom, I can tell you the effort to get the family out for a little outdoor play is worth it. Not to mention, it's the perfect scene for those adorable family memories we all cherish. So, grab your sun hats, a diaper bag of snacks, and a warm sweater, and let's dive into this mom-approved list of safe, entertaining, and super-engaging outdoor activities perfect for our tiny explorers.

Family friendly outdoor activities for babies and toddlers

1. Nature Walks

Embark on nature walks through local parks or nature reserves. A comfortable stroller ride or backpack carrier is a great way to introduce babies to the natural world. Toddlers can explore the environment on foot, touching leaves, watching insects, and listening to the birds. This sensory experience promotes curiosity and learning about the natural world. One of our favorites is turning over any rock or log to see what kind of critters are hiding underneath!


2. Picnic in the Park

Organize a family picnic in a local park. Spread your crew out on a colorful blanket and enjoy snack time by the shade of a tree or next to a pond. Bring along some toys for the baby and let toddlers roam around or attack the playground. It’s a fantastic way for them to enjoy the outdoors, burn off some energy, and for you to have some relaxing time. If you're up for some play time, ‘chase’ or ‘hide and seek’ are always crowd pleasers for our toddlers, and babies can even join in. Although, from experience, I can say my baby will get so excited playing hide and seek that she screeches and gives away my spot, which is arguably more fun!


3. Bubble Blowing

Who doesn’t love bubbles? Bubbles are magical for children of all ages. Whether you're blowing them for your baby to watch as they float and pop or teaching your toddler how to blow their own, this simple activity can provide hours of entertainment and help in developing visual tracking skills. If you get really into this activity, I highly recommend buying concentrated bubble mix to always have some cost-effective bubble juice on the go!


4. Gardening Together

Start a small garden and involve your toddlers in the gardening process. Last year was the first time we attempted vegetables and herbs - mostly for me. I was surprised at how much the kids loved checking on them, and they were even excited to eat the vegetables at harvest time! This year, we made it a family trip to pick out the seed packets and a fun activity for the toddlers to plant the seeds. Come summertime, we’ll water and watch them grow. It’s a hands-on way to teach them about nature’s life cycle and the importance of caring for the environment, and you might even coax them into trying a new favorite vegetable! For babies, just being outside and observing can stimulate their senses.


5. Water Play

Set up a small, shallow water play area in your backyard on warmer spring days if the space allows. Babies can splash in the water with supervision, and toddlers can enjoy playing with water toys. This activity is not only refreshing but also excellent for developing motor skills. You’ll be amazed at how fun just filling up a bucket of water can be for kiddos.


6. Visit to the Zoo

A visit to the zoo can be a thrilling experience for toddlers and an engaging outing for babies. Seeing different animals up close is exciting and educational. Talk about the animals, their sounds, and their habitats to make the visit more informative. We recently took our entire crew to the zoo, which included a wagon for the toddlers and a backpack carrier for the baby. If you have one, I’d highly recommend taking baby in the backpack carrier - they get the best view!


7. Outdoor Story Time

Choose a quiet spot outdoors and have story time with your children. Reading together while enjoying the fresh air and the sounds of nature can be a calming experience for both you and your child. It’s also a great way to foster a love for reading from a young age. If your kids have difficulty sitting still, combine reading time with snack time.


8. Sidewalk Chalk Art

Drawing with sidewalk chalk can be a fun and creative outdoor activity for toddlers. They can draw pictures, write letters, or even practice counting. It’s an excellent way to express their creativity and develop fine motor skills. A fun idea to next-level your chalk experience is to mask out their design or animal with painter's tape in a mosaic style. Just google ‘mosaic chalk art with tape’ and let your little one’s creativity go wild!


9. Bird Watching or Bug Hunting

Introduce your child to bird watching by pointing out different birds and discussing their colors and sounds. You can even hang a bird feeder to attract more birds to your backyard. Our little ones also love trying to find bugs. Lift a rock or roll over a log and see all the hidden little critters. We have some bug classification cards and magnifying glasses that allow the kiddos to learn all about what they find. These activities encourage observation and can spark an interest in wildlife.


10. Playground Adventures

Lastly, visiting a local playground can provide endless fun and opportunities for social interaction with other children. Climbing, sliding, and swinging help in developing strong muscles and coordination. We like to pair ours with a snack time, whether it is to the park and then walking around to find a pastry shop or letting them work up a hunger to eat some packed sandwiches before nap time, making sure park time is flexible but still fits into our schedule is key.

Spring is a beautiful time to introduce your baby or toddler to the joy of outdoor activities. These experiences contribute to their physical and cognitive development and offer precious moments of bonding and joy for the entire family. So, pack your bags, step outside, and embrace the beauty and learning opportunities that this season has to offer.