Edventures with Kids

Kids Activities, Family Travel & Fun Ways to Learn


I'm a toss-the-kids-out-the-door kind of parent. 

Children (along with teens and adults for that matter) just don't get enough time outside these days. I can remember enjoying some wonderfully long days climbing trees, skating, creating, digging & exploring when I was a kid.

But I grew up with siblings and neighbors that were all close in age.  My daughter doesn't have the luxury of playmates knocking at her door. 

So lately I've been looking for ways to entice her to spend more time outside.  Since she really enjoys crafts and also likes to be surprised, we decided to create an Outdoor Activity Jar.



Rock Art

To create these beauties, all you'll need is a handful of decent size rocks and some permanent markers or paint markers.  We chose these Sharpie Paint Markers (affiliate link included so you can learn more about them) for their bright colors and ease of use -- they really show up beautifully on the dark gray and brown shades of the rocks.

First, make a list of all the fun things that the kids can do when their outdoors.  This will vary for each family but I thought I would share a number of the ideas we have on our list:

  • Play hopscotch
  • Draw with chalk
  • Ride a bike
  • Swing
  • Read a book
  • Hunt for butterflies
  • Put on a play
  • Jump rope
  • Observe the wildlife (squirrels, bunnies)
  • Go for a walk
  • Bird-watching
  • Write in your nature journal
  • Head out on a bug hunt
  • Climb a tree
  • Gather nature items for crafts
  • Build a fort
  • Paint a picture
  • Play with the dog
  • Throw a frisbee
  • Practice violin outside (always fun to mix things up)
  • Play bocce or another backyard game
  • Do some gardening
  • Feed the ducks
  • Paint the house (with water & brushes)


Here's a few more ideas for your rocks:

  • Build in the sandbox
  • Play at the water table
  • Make mud pies
  • Go scootering
  • Do an obstacle course
  • Walk on homemade stilts
  • Go for a creek walk

Once you have your list, choose a rock for each item on the list and draw a picture to represent the activity.  For our 'Butterfly Hunt', we drew a butterfly.  For 'Backyard Games', we have a picture of a badmiton net and racquet.


Fun Ways to Use the Activity Jar

There are a few great ways to use the rocks to encourage outdoor time with the kids.


Surprise Activity

Have them choose a rock for a 'surprise' activity.  Kids love to be surprised!  You can ask them to close their eyes or turn the rocks over so they can't see the picture before they choose. 




Challenge Rocks

Randomly choose 3 or 4 rocks and challenge the kids to complete the activities in a series.  You can see in our picture, we chose to look for butterflies, paint a picture, play hopscotch and do some bird-watching.  This idea can be used for playtime in the backyard, at a local park or even with a group of kids.


A Month of Activities

Challenge the kids to complete all the activities on the rocks in a one month period.  If you have 30 items on your list, it would be one activity per day.  This is an easy way to encourage them to get a little more time outside, especially during those busy weeks.




So, what great activities would you put on your rocks?

Have fun getting the kids to explore the outdoors!




This is a great way to motivate kids and grown ups to get outdoors, especially if the weather is a bit naf outdoors. I'm going to share this on twitter :-)

Mary Catherine Saturday, 11 May 2013 · Edit Reply

My son and I are already planning on making our own version of this. I can't wait to see what he comes up with! I'm sharing this post on Stress-Free Sunday this weekend. Thanks so much for linking up!

Debs Monday, 13 May 2013 · Edit Reply

Hi there! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Tots. Great post. I'm featuring it on this week's Tuesday Tots so keep your eye out for it. Look forward to seeing more from you. :)

Coombe Mill (Fiona) Monday, 13 May 2013 · Edit Reply

I've seen these before and must have a go, they are a wonderful idea.

Jen Wednesday, 22 May 2013 · Edit Reply

Such a super fun idea! I love the idea of putting ideas in a jar. My girls always love pulling out new ideas when they are bored! Thanks for linking to the outdoor play party.

Karyn Friday, 24 May 2013 · Edit Reply

This is adorable! Thanks for linking to Share It Saturday this week. I'll be featuring your post tomorrow.

Tina @ Mamas Like Me Thursday, 30 May 2013 · Edit Reply

These are great! My boys will love these :)

Melinda Thursday, 20 June 2013 · Edit Reply

adorable idea. thanks for linking up to #SummerCampatHome

Cathy Sunday, 23 June 2013 · Edit Reply

I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. Your favorite posts, most popular, recent or new! The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. Followed by (Not SO) Wordless Wednesday! http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/. I would be honored if you join us! Have a wonderful week!

Hugs, Cathy

Deceptively Educational Sunday, 30 March 2014 · Edit Reply

I love this idea! Thanks for sharing at the After School Linky Party!

Gude @HodgePodgeCraft Saturday, 16 August 2014 · Edit Reply

Love this idea!
Thanks so much for sharing at the Mumsnet linky.

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Guest Monday, 01 September 2014

About the author

Jacquie Fisher

Jacquie is the founder & owner of Edventures with Kids, a site that shares unique kid’s activities, fun ways to learn and inspriation for family travel.  She is an educator, nature lover and mom to 2 great kids.  Jacquie enjoys exploring new places with her family and loves encouraging kids to be creative & curious!  Visit our About Us section for more information about Jacquie & Edventures with Kids!






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