Keeping those stir-crazy little bodies busy during quarantine is not easy! So I have come up with 10 fun activities to do in the backyard to keep those little imaginations busy, energy to be set free and family bonding to grow.
Create a Fairy Village
- A little magical world to play with and enjoy. Welcome! Let’s explore.
- At the base of this fairies house are little finds. Old broken bits from dishes and such. A little story in and of itself. And stepping stones of little sliced wood that I got from Micheals.
- Our collection of seashells from the beach are put to good use as we used them to line our fairy village and make a creek. Little sparkle blue beads made for an extra touch of magic. One day I will make a fairy village with a running water creek and mini solar power pump.
- A little lantern sits on this table as fairies like to flutter and light up the night as they enjoy their mushroom pie
- With all our nature walks recently, we enjoy finding unique sticks like this curved one and imagine what use we could make of it for our fairy garden. This is where the imagination and engineer aspect of building fairy gardens comes in. A perfect three-pronged stick perfect for a supportive swing set. Little wired roses decorate the base.
- Fairies are most welcoming with an open door.
- Since is it only springtime this little autumn fairy is taking a snooze on one of her pumpkins. She won’t be needed for a while.
- This green thumb fairy is the keeper of springtime and always has fresh blooms right in her own garden.
- We skowered the yard for our own little mini flowers to add to her collection.
- A little rocking chair awaits this fairy when she comes home from collecting fresh forest finds for her soup.
- Little fairy crossing the stream to her friend’s house. Fairies are too small to get the coronavirus and may visit their friends as they please.
- I used a small drill tool to drill holes through two sticks and smaller sticks to weave through them. This little ladder is a cute detail.
- When I find little things around the house, like this little bottle, we add it to the fairy village. Perhaps a bit of extra fairy dust is stored in it.
- These vibrant flowers we found on our walk around the block and collected as many whole leaves as we could find. Then attached them to a teepee base with some good old red duct tape.
- Other little critters make their way around the fairy garden. A slug of a friend.
- Slice of gooseberry pie anyone?
- A red mushroom chimney top.
This fairy house (below) was built by myself and my 5 and 2-year-old. It was not hard and they enjoyed helping! We had a round block of foam (like the kind you put in fake flower vases) and collected sticks from around the yard and stuck them into the foam. We painted the base and put a floor of glue then fake moss for the carpet flooring. I used green wire to weave the structure together is a sturdier fashion and small vines and flexible sticks to weave it all together like a basket. A few large fake leaves made for the roof.
- Come fall we will collect all the fairy village pieces, clean them and put them away to be pulled out and enjoyed next spring. This activity had the kids entertained in their imaginary play world for hours! And it is a very calming activity too. With all that is going on in the world right now, we could all use a little escape of a project that is calming and soothing for the soul and something that is a fun little bonding activity.
Build an obstacle course
- This was actually part of a school assignment! For fun! My daughter had to build an obstacle course she planned and drew out and pick a song that you had to accomplish the course before it was over. We had fun hopping around the yard to “Happy Birthday to You”
Have an Easter Egg Hunt, no candy required
- No need to prefill eggs for this one! We had to teams of our group of four. Two would hide the eggs with the others were inside then they would come out and run around and try to collect the most with their little baskets. I found these cute foam decorative eggs at target earlier this year. But any will do. The kids just had fun with the whole process and played this game for over an hour.
Make a paper mural of the Solar System
- We rolled out a giant roll of art paper across our front sidewalk for this last summer… but the back deck/ patio will do. Creating a group art piece like this one was a fun team effort. We learned the names of the planets and painted them out and were not afraid to get a little messy. Markers followed for details like aliens and space ships.
- Realistically this is a two-day project. One for painting/ spraying paint for the space sky… and then let it dry. The next for the planets and details.
- We hung this up in our home school area for some time and it made for a wonderfully colorful addition to our outdoor classroom area.
Play Nature Bingo
- Write or print the ABC’s 4 inches apart on a poster board OR use chalk and draw the abc’s on an open space. Then have the kids collect as many items around the yard to fill in those abc’s. L for Leaf, R for rock, S for stick, D for dirt, T for Toy, F for Flower etc.
Put on a Backyard Play
- Last summer we hosted a talent night and it was a special event to bring our neighbors together. While we are limited for a full audience, we can still facetime in a few family members to enjoy the children’s rendition of a fairytale.
For our play, we merged a few favorite fairytales and characters together for a humourous outcome. Robinhood joined Rapunzel and took her on an adventure as an escape from her boredom (sound familiar). We didn’t need to go all out on costumes. Mr. Robinhood wore his “hooded” sweater as his costume. Rapunzel’s hair was created from some yellow yarn and ribbon.
- I seem to have too much fun playing the cackling witch for my character. And my nose I made out of air-drying clay haha.
Have a drive-in Movie Night
- As it starts to warm up take your family movie night to the backyard with a projector. We found a basic $99 one off of amazon some time ago. Add to the fun with making it drive in style. Let the kids make their own box cars our of cardboard or let them bring their car toys if they have them. Take turns being the service to bring popcorn and drinks.
Put on a pretend restaurant
- Since going out is on hold, why not bring the restaurant to you! Have the kids make menus of the planned dinner with a few simple varieties such as milk or juice. Don’t forget to tip your server!
- We have done all kinds of fun themes and even did a fairytale banquet once… When else do you really pull out the nice stuff.
- My daughter wanted me to be the queen. Well alright, I guess if I have to lol.
- I found this cute outfit by Melissa and Doug. Kids love to do pretend. Playing a waitress is a hit! There is also this adorable waitress costume from Princess Paradise. We loved that one too doing a donut themed family costume one year for Halloween.
- I save everything! Here are some old menus from a restaurant I use to work at. Great inspiration for dinner and making a menu for fun!
Build a fort and put on a backyard Salon
- My daughter got this idea from Fancy Nancy’s book: Fancy Nancy: Ooh La La! It’s Beauty Day! Where she gives her mom a beauty treatment in the backyard.
We love to do little spa days around here so what a fun idea! We used a big lightweight pink canopy tent intended for a teenage girls’ bed, leftover from my college dorm days lol. But has sense had many uses. The kids love this instant “fort” effect and it shaded us on our sunny back lawn. We laid a thick quilt down and even had treats.
We’ve enjoyed “spa days” for birthday parties too! But since those are also on hold, at least we can do the spa part.
Work in the Garden as a family
- With this extra time together as a family, we have fewer things keeping us busy out there, and more time to spend slowing down together. Yes, those little ones keep up busy but the garden provides many learning opportunities in teaching our kids. Faith. Consistency. Working hard. Not letting weeds take over. Many examples of hands-on activities that can lead to a deeper more meaningful discussion to engage with our littles.
May you stay healthy and be safely gathered in and out in the backyard during this time of turbulence.