Now that Spring is officially under way, you may find yourself sounding like a broken record of "Go play outside!" But what exactly do you expect them to do out there?
Once your crew has exhausted their go-to activities for outdoor action, check out our list of 15 ways to have more fun in your own backyard (and beyond). From the tried-and-true classics of hopscotch and hula hoop to some new additions sure to up your toy collection's ante, we've got ideas for every age and every stage.
1. Make Mushroom Spore Prints
Send them foraging for the materials for this back-to-nature mushroom spore print project that reflects the veggie's intricate composition.
Photo: Sarah Lipoff
2. Go Mud Sliding
What little kid doesn't want to roll around in the dirt? To keep the house clean, wear a bathing suit and hose off after, or put on clothes you can throw away.
Source: Flickr user Freakinbutt
3. Hula Hoop
The added bonus to this old-school fave? Mom can get in on the fun too, and it's a great workout!
Source: Thinkstock / Bec Parsons
4. Shoot 'Em Up
Does it get any more basic than this? What kid doesn't love a bottle of bubbles and a plastic wand? Hours of entertainment.
6. Bake a Mud Pie
Your tot may be too young to use the oven, but that doesn't mean they can't whip up a mean mud pie. Just make sure they don't try to eat it!
Source: Flickr user teddy24668
7. Feel the Rainbow
Climbing comes naturally to tots, encouraging the arms, body, and legs to work together for one goal — getting higher and higher! Get outdoors and climb a tree, or head to your local park for some jungle-gym fun.
Source: Flickr user the paessels
10. Play Sidewalk Chalk Pictionary
Spring and sidewalk chalk are a perfect pair! Hit the pavement and start an alfresco game of Pictionary.
Source: Flickr user ACPL
11. Paint Rocks
Put your little artists to work by transforming a pile of rocks into mini masterpieces.
Source: Instagram user drugaya
12. Make Ice Cream in a Coffee Can
You've likely seen terrariums popping up as decor accents all over the home-design world. Now your kids can craft their very own self-contained eco-environment.
Source: Parent Pretty
15. Go on a Photo Safari
Encourage your little shutterbugs to get snapping by creating a list of "photo missions" and accompanying them on a photo safari. Include things you're apt to see around your neighborhood — a red door, a mom with a double stroller, a white dog . . . get creative!
Source: Thinkstock / christingasner