Getting your kids outside doesn’t have to be an arduous task that requires scheduling and a hefty price tag. Assigning outdoor chores to kids can be a great way to teach life skills while also providing an opportunity for them to unplug and get outside! There are many easy and safe outdoor chores that you can start passing on to your kids! There’s something for all ages so it’s never too early to start.
From physical activity and getting their daily dose of Vitamin D to learning to appreciate nature and caring for the earth, kids can help check off some of the boxes on your list of chores while having fun doing it!
Start with some of these fun and easy outdoor chores and see where else it may lead them!
Fill Bird Feeders
With over a thousand different bird species in the United States, backyard birdwatching is a fun activity that your kids can join in on. In addition to being a great learning tool, attracting birds to your backyard can also help with insect control and flower pollination!
So whether you’ve got a finch feeder, hummingbird feeder, or suet feeder, task your kids with keeping them filled and keeping the birds coming! While they’re at it, encourage them to keep a list of all the backyards birds they see. Be sure to have a bird book on hand (this is a great one!) and let them observe and identify. Who knows, you might even have the next John James Audubon on your hands!
And for a fun activity, they can even try their hand at making homemade suet cakes. Here are some interesting recipes to experiment with. Let them fine-tune their motor skills while making these tasty avian treats!
Even the savviest of lawn care professionals can get caught with weeds in your yard! They steal nutrients meant for your grass and can even contribute to insect infestation. Fortunately, pulling these suckers is an easy enough task that even your littlest kids can get in on this chore. So enlist them to help prevent a hostile weed takeover and keep your lawn in contention for “yard of the month!”
In addition to gross and fine motor skill development, pulling weeds can give kids a cognitive workout as well. Turn the chore into a math activity by giving them a penny for each weed pulled and then having them count their pennies afterward. And making it a competition between siblings can foster a healthy competitive attitude.
Beware though, weeds can be prickly or even poisonous, so make sure they wear gloves (like these cute kids’ gloves!) and wash their hands afterward. You might also want to point out any particular plants to always avoid.
Fun fact: did you know dandelions flowers (one of the most common weeds) are edible? Great to know in case your kids get hungry while working!
Sweep the Porch
From lawn clippings and dirt to leaves and displaced mulch, it seems like keeping our porches and walkways clean and clear is a never-ending chore! Sweeping is a quick and important job that your kids can easily add to their weekly chore list.
For most kids, sweeping is a gratifying task that they’ll happily take on! They won’t even realize that by doing so, they are getting out of the house, off their electronics, and into a physical activity that works both the body and the mind!
And while it may be tempting to take the easy route and hand over the blower, they are heavy and unsafe for your little ones. Instead, pick up a kid-sized broom to make it easier for their little hands, then sit back and watch them go!
Rake the Leaves
Oaks, Maples, and Pines oh my! Raking leaves (and needles!) is essential if you want your grass to grow and the yard to look tidy. However, I’m willing to bet that this activity isn’t most adults’ favorite outdoor chore. But it just so happens that most kids love this task, so why not pass it along?
Raking leaves can be a great mental activity as they learn to identify trees by their leaf. It's also a great physical activity to get their blood pumping and work on fine motor skill development. And of course what kid doesn’t fantasize about jumping into a giant pile of leaves?!
Have them keep a few leaves for fun crafts like this, this, or this.
Water the Plants
Plants need water to transport life-sustaining nutrients and maintain healthy cells. It also happens to be an easy task that any kid can help with. So hand over a watering can or a garden hose and let them be a part of the water cycle!
Caring for plants teaches kids responsibility and respect for living things. Lessons on water conservation and even drought can easily be worked in too!
Each in-ground plant and the potted plant has different needs, so before heading out, let them help you plan a watering schedule to remind them how much and how often to water. But don’t be too upset though if they end up over or under-watering, as that can lead to great conversations about learning from their mistakes!