Below you’ll find outdoor autumn adventures that will get your child outside, running around, and having fun.
A quick note from our sponsor….
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children should have 60 minutes of daily physical activity. CLIF Kid agrees and teamed up with America’s Nutrition Expert® Mitzi Dulan to create 60 Minutes of Motion, so kids and their families can easily make activity and play part of their daily routine.
The FREE 60 Minutes of Motion deck of cards includes:
- 10 Motion Cards: one minute bursts of motion that have a specific movement, like star jumps, crab walks or planks.
- 5 Activity Cards: sustained 10 minute activities that kids can do solo or with friends and family.
- 5 Adventure Cards: wild cards with inspiring words and phrases that prompt kids to choose their own imagination-filled adventure.
- 2 Game Cards: motion-filled games (inspired by CLIF Kid Backyard Game of the Year) for hours of family fun and play.
- 1 Snack Card and 1 Hydration Card: tips on how to nourish yourself before, during and after outdoor play and activity.
How do you keep your kids active and eating healthy?
Let’s chat in the comments.
10 Must-Do Outdoor Autumn Activities for Kids
1. Classic Games
Don’t underestimate the value of the classic games. There is a reason they continue to get passed down from one generation to the next. Here are five of my personal favorites:
2. Color Walks
I’ve seen this idea floating around on Pinterest and it makes me smile. Pick one color, get outside, and have your child start searching. The website Playful Learning explains, “If you have a digital camera that your child can use, it can be fun to let them take pictures of all the yellow things, or green things, or whatever color you’ve chosen.” Get full directions on how to take a color walk below:
3. Scavenger Hunts
Kids love the details of autumn. Grab a scavenger hunt printable below or create your own list. It doesn’t matter if you head out on a hike or to your backyard, it is a guaranteed adventure.
- Nature Scavenger Hunt for Toddlers
- Backyard Photo Scavenger Hunt
- Simple Scavenger Hunt + Printable
- Fun Autumn Treasure Hunt
This has been on my personal to-do list all summer. FamilySponge.com explains, “Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt using handheld GPS units (and even your iPhone!). The treasures are containers of all sizes that may be camouflaged to blend into their surroundings. Some are in locations you pass every day, others take you off the beaten path into a whole new world. Inside the cache, there will be a at least a logbook to sign. The larger caches (usually Army ammo boxes) are filled with inexpensive trinkets for trade (like bouncy balls, stickers, Happy Meal toys, etc).” The site’s ultimate guide below is one of the best posts I’ve read on the topic. Read it now or pin it for later.
5. Leaf Play
Grab a rake and “put your kids to work.” They’ll love it. There is nothing more satisfying than jumping into a pile of freshly raked leaves. Below are three unique ways to play with autumn leaves this fall:
6. Create an Obstacle Course
My daughters are constantly creating crazy obstacle courses. You can get fancy and use noodles, PVC pines, and tunnels (see links below) … or simply make one using natural supplies like sticks, pine cones, and leaf piles. Either way, the kids will have a great time.
Insider’s Tip: Time your kids using the stopwatch on your phone. This adds a new level of excitement.
- Build Your Own PVC Pipe Obstacle Course | Pin it for later
- Build & Play Obstacle Course
- Pool Noodle Backyard Obstacle Course
- Backyard Triathlon
7. Tree Investigators
Sometimes being a good parent is as simple as learning how to frame things to your kids. We no longer go on traditional “hikes.” We do things like, spend the day working as “tree investigators.” We are lucky to live in an area with beautiful scenery within a short drive. If you live in a more urban area don’t be discouraged; you can take a trek to your backyard or a local playground. Any place that has trees will do. Click here for four tools to help ensure your tree hike is a success. Below are a few additional resources for enjoying the woods with your children:
8. Apple Orchard Adventure
Get your kids out to an orchard and they are sure to run around as they pick. This is a wonderful family tradition. Below you’ll find additional apple resources for after your trip:
9. Make-up Your Own Game
The great thing about children is that they are so open minded and creative. Let your kids create their own variations of games:
10. Run, Run, Run
Moms are always looking for kid-friendly activities, but the truth is, sometimes children just want to do what you’re doing. Take care of you. This summer I was inspired by this post, Running After a Dream, and I started jogging for the first time in my life. I began exercising by myself, but then my eight-year-old daughter asked to join me. The girl can hold her own! Tonight both of my daughters ran with me [See Instagram]. It has been a wonderful bonding experience.
Parents can influence their children at any age. My father started doing triathlons when he retired. You can see a photo of him running above. His passion has inspired his grandchildren and children to also compete. This weekend my little Quinn is doing her first race, a 1K Chipmunk Run. Our family is also signed-up for a food charity 4K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Whether you’re running in your neighborhood or at an organized event, you make it special simply by including your child.
Find more outdoor activities, family exercise tips, and healthy eating ideas on the dedicated “Nourish Kids in Motion” ZParents Pinterest board.
Image Credits via Flickr Creative Commons:
Running home by Emma Freeman | See Website
Themed Walk by Sarah at Playful Learning
Sun for a cloudy day by Tim Sackton
Yellow flour by Steven Depolo
Lady Bug Kickball & Kickball Keep Away via Melissa & Doug
Running by John Morgan
Kids at the park by gusmaru
Geocaching by Johan Larsson
Geocaching Container – Micro by Cache Mania
Geocaching Cross Heath by Martyn Wright
Kent County Girls on the Run | Image one & two by Steven Depolo
Shoes by Kim Love
Looking high with binoculars by Shaunna Evans
Acorn Hats and Acorn Bucket by Kim Love
Acorn in Fall by Steve Hankins | See Website
Sunfall (Backlit Autumn Leaves) by H. Matthew Howarth
CLIF Kid Backyard Games
Traffic Light by grendelkhan
Leaves Incoming by Tim Sackton