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Loose Parts Outdoor Activities for Kids

Inside: 21 loose parts outdoor activities to encourage play in toddlers, preschoolers and children of all ages.

We have had one pleasant week here in Maryland, and I hope the warm weather is here to stay. 

There are so many more options for entertaining toddlers and kids in general when they can explore the outdoors. 

Today, I want to share some of those options with you with these 20 outdoor loose parts activities for kids!

Related posts you might enjoy: 

20 Outdoor Loose Parts Activities for Toddlers

Why outdoor loose parts activities?

In our household, we try to keep toys to the minimum; however, if you are looking for a great list of outdoor toddler toys, click here

Instead of toys, we create fun and imaginative play through loose parts.

If you are wondering what loose parts are, I have an introductory post explaining all of the fun details and educational benefits of loose parts play. 

To recap a bit, two significant benefits of loose parts play is heightened imagination because of their open-endedness, and also increased communication.

Communication is essential in our household since we raise our toddler, Lennox, bilingually. Since we only speak to him in Spanish at home, it is tough to come across toys nowadays that support the minority language. 

That’s why we choose loose parts and open-ended toys over all others.

As Lennox’s wise preschool teacher told me, “ you are never too old for play.”

Keep reading for 20 fun outdoor loose parts activities for kids!

1.Construction Zone Sensory Bean Box - With Bilingual Beginnings“Your toddler will be intrigued for hours with this activity, all while getting some great sensory and fine motor play.”

1. Construction Zone Sensory Bean Box

With Bilingual Beginnings

“Your toddler will be intrigued for hours with this activity involving rice and beans. They will also enjoy some great sensory and fine motor play.”

outdoor loose parts activities

2. Balloon Tennis

with Glitter on a Dime

‘“Keep little ones active and creative with Balloon Tennis! They can design their paper plate rackets with crayons, markers, and stickers before ‘heading outside to play!”

3.Mud Kitchen Play - with Thimble & TwigFun ideas to play with in the mud includes mud kitchen recipes and potion ideas

3. Mud Kitchen Play

with Thimble & Twig

Fun ideas to play with in the mud includes mud kitchen recipes and potion ideas

Loose Parts Outdoor Activities

4. Make a catapult

with Go Science Kids

How to make an easy, upcycled catapult! Kids can learn physics through play in their own backyard.

5. Paint with nature

with Glitter on a Dime


“Go on a nature hunt in the backyard to find the materials for this fun process art activity!”

 6. Build a fairy house

with Red Ted Art


“The idea is simple: make a little house from things you can find in your garden or collected on your walks.“

Animal Washing Station - By Bilingual Beginnings

7. Animal Washing Station

with Bilingual Beginnings

“This animal washing station is seriously such a simple activity to do with your toddler outdoors, and enjoy some fun fine motor and sensory play.”

8. Make a water balloon piñata

with Red Ted Art

9.   Go on a sound hunt

with The Lady Birds’ Adventures


“Teach listening skills and concentration and see what you can hear”.

10. Make a Hapa Zome

with Thimble & Twig

“A fun activity for kids of any age- bashing flowers and leaves to make a beautiful fabric cloth.”

11. Paint some rocks

with Little Sprouts Learning

This is such an easy, no set-up activity that will stimulate, educate, and provide some fun gross and fine motor activity for your child. Give it a try on a nice day!

12. Get academic with loose parts

with The Wise Owl Factory

13. Make mosaic chalk art

with Bilingual Beginnings

“This is such an easy, no set-up activity that will stimulate, educate, and provide some fun gross and fine motor activity for your child. Give it a try on a nice day!”

14.  Go on a color scavenger hunt

with I Heart Crafty Things

Related: Fall Scavenger Hunt in Spanish for Kids

16. Stick and leaf activities

with Mummy Mummy Mum

“Go on a sound hunt. Teach listening skills and concentration and see what you can hear.”

loose parts outdoor activities

17. Make a journey stick

with Growing Family

“Go on a garden journey and make a journey stick along the way.”

18. Play a game of Star Wars Skittles

with The Gingerbread House

“Re-purpose used water bottles to make a fun skittle game for kids. A great way to develop hand eye co-ordination.”

19. Play a color matching game

with Best Toys 4 Toddlers

20. Fine Motor Leaf Imprint Activity

Outdoor Loose Parts Activities

21. Free the ice figurines

with Growing Family

with Bilingual Beginnings

“This Disney in Ice Escape activity in sensory as well as play-based, but it is also a STEM activity.”

I hope you found some inspiration to keep your toddler busy outdoors with some loose parts. Don’t forget to let me know your favorite ideas in the comments below.

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Carolyn Wilhelm

Thursday 21st of May 2020

Thank you! These are very nice ideas and after being cooped up they are very inviting!