When the weather is nice you can take learning outdoors with these 25 homeschool backyard activities for toddlers. Your yard is the perfect setting for learning and fun.
There is no rule that says homeschooling must be indoors. The backyard is a great place for stimulating the senses of toddlers. The same activities you can do inside can be done in the backyard.
But the change of scenery and access to a world of fun makes learning in the backyard a great idea. Take your toddlers outdoors for these great activities to inspire learning and more.
With these 25 homeschool backyard activities for toddlers, your kids will stay engaged and learning will be fun. It is important to provide a variety of activities for toddlers because they have short attention spans.
Any combination of the homeschool backyard activities we have below will be sure to keep them entertained. They will be having so much fun, they will not even realize they are learning.
5 Homeschool Educational Activities Done In Your Backyard
There are a number of activities you can organize at home to both educate your toddler and give them fun. The backyard is a great place to do this because you have more space, fresh air, and it is easier to clean.
Your toddler will enjoy learning the alphabet, basic math, and sorting while interacting with the outdoors. Start with any of these educational activities to get their homeschooling started.
1. Pebble School
Have your toddler collect pebbles from around the yard. With non-toxic acrylic paints, your toddler can paint them. Once dried they can arrange them in the shapes of different letters. They can also work on sorting them into different piles according to color.
2. Bigger and Smaller
Start with one item in the yard, such as a flower. Ask the toddler to find something else in the yard that is bigger than the flower, and then something that is smaller.
Then using one of those new items, have them again locate a bigger and smaller item. If you think they need a little more challenge, repeat the same game but only let them search within a specified area.
3. Playdough Nature Search
Every toddler loves playdough. You can either make your own or buy in bulk from Amazon. Lay out all the playdough on a table in the backyard.
Have your toddler collect items from the yard such as flowers, stickers, leaves, and stones. They can make imprints of their nature finds in the playdough. You can also make imprints and ask them to identify which item made the imprint.
4. Mystery Bag
Fill a giant paper bag or cloth bag with items from the yard. Sticks, stones, leaves, flowers, toys, grass, garden gloves, and anything safe to touch. Your toddler can use their sense of touch to try and identify the items before pulling them out of the bag.
5. Flower Painting
Collect different flowers, weeds, and even leaves from the yard with your toddler. With some colorful paints and blank sheets of paper, they can use these items as brushes. Let them try different flowers to see the different designs made when painting with them as brushes.
5 Homeschool Exercise Activities Done In Your Backyard
The backyard may be great for learning, but it is perfect for physical activity. Afterall, who wants a toddler running through the house. Open your back doors and let your toddler run in the fresh air. Try any of these activities to keep them focused as they get their energy out.
Create a different version of hopscotch for your toddler. Use chalk to create the board and the instructions. Use symbols for what activity the child needs to do in each square.
For example, a spring can be used for hopping. When there is a number in the square, they need to show you that number with their fingers. If there is a color in the square, they need to run and find something of that color in the yard and then return to the square.
2. Alphabet Exercise
Exercise is fun when you combine it with the alphabet. Designate every letter with an action that starts with the letter. Examples include:
A – act like a cat
C – chair pose
D – dance
E – elephant steps
Be as creative as you can to get an activity for each letter and let your toddlers work their way through the alphabet while staying fit and having fun.
3. Simon Says
“Simon Says” is a classic game for kids of all ages. Using the standard rules, have your child perform different activities such as hopping on one foot, jogging in place, or marching in a band. Just make sure they only move when “Simon says” to.
4. Hula Hoops Obstacle Course
Setting up a course in the backyard is a great way for toddlers to develop motor skills. Have hoops they can jump in and out of, cones to weave around, and even balls to throw into baskets or rings to throw over cones.
5. Red Light Green Light
Another classic activity for toddlers is Red Light-Green Light. Having your toddler start at one end of your yard, play this game several times. Each time you can vary the movement.
At first, they have to walk, then they have to crawl, and then in another version they can hop across the yard.
5 Homeschool Nature Activities Done In Your Backyard
One of the nice things about the backyard, is that nature is right there with you. Incorporating nature into activities is a great way for children to explore and learn.
Your toddlers will love any of these nature activities and you won’t have to go far to get started. Just use whatever your yard has to offer.
1. Bird Feeders
You can either buy a bird feeder to hang up in the backyard, letting your toddler fill it each day. Or, you can have them make one. Using a pinecone, peanut butter and bird seeds, they can make handy bird feeders.
Having them in the yard invites birds and squirrels to come around and your toddler can watch and learn.
2. Raise Butterflies
With your help, your toddler can raise butterflies from the very beginning. This can be a wonderful experience for them to see all the different stages.
Make sure you explain the stages as they happen. Toddlers will love watching their butterflies develop from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly and can check the progress every day.
3. Nature Detectives
This is a wonderful game that lets kids interact with nature. It is simple but fun. All you need is a notebook, magnifying glass, and an instant camera.
When they find something interesting, take a picture and add it to the notebook. Later you can find information about the item or animal to teach them.
4. Cloud Painting
On a warm day when there are clouds in the sky, get out and lay on a blanket. With blank paper and either crayons or paints, let your toddler create a cloud journal.
They can find clouds of all shapes and capture them in their journal. As the weather changes each day, have them do this a few times each week to see the different shapes and colors the sky holds.
5. Land Care
Find a piece of the yard that you can section off with cones to put your toddler in charge of. This activity gives them a chance to develop an in-depth relationship with nature.
It can include the bird feeder they already made and can involve planting flowers or vegetables. Having them care for small plants develops several skills as well as entertains them.
5 Homeschool Fun Activities Done In Your Backyard
The activities already discussed are designed to keep your toddler focused, moving, or learning. But they are also fun. Combining fun with education is the most effective way to keep a toddler engaged.
We have 5 additional fun activities for you to try with your toddler in the setting of your backyard classroom.
1. Scavenger Hunt
There are several different scavenger hunts you can organize. One involves yelling out a color for your toddler to find as many things as they can that are that color.
Another is to write letters on rocks and scatter them in the yard. As your child finds them, you can spell out simple words together.
2. Parachute Counting
You will need to get a parachute, but these are a wonderful investment, as you can play so many games and they are great for all ages. Under a parachute place number flash cards.
Then as you lift the parachute, your toddler runs under it to collect the number card matching the number you say.
To add more of a challenge, you can place small toys under the parachute. When you shout out a number and lift the shute, they have to collect that number of toys.
3. Skittles Rainbow
Get yourself some skittles, water, and a white colored plate. Place the candies on the plate however you want. Kids usually like to make a rainbow pattern.
But you can also arrange the skittles in a circle around the edge. Pour warm water around the plate, and your children can watch as a rainbow forms towards the center of the plate. Let them shake the plate to watch the colors mix.
4. Feed The Bear Alphabet
Find a bear mask to cut out and stick onto a piece of cardboard. Make sure you cut through all the way so there is a hole where the mouth will be.
Using alphabet magnets or toy food pieces with letters written on them, have your toddler feed the bear with the letter you call out. If they need a challenge as they get older, have them spell simple words to feed the bear.
5. Shaving Cream Writing
All you need is a flat colored tray and some shaving cream. Spread the cream evenly across the tray. Let your child write letters or numbers or even simple words in the foam. You can also use whipped cream or pudding to make the activity tasty as well as educational and fun.
5 Homeschool Water Activities Done In Your Backyard
For those especially warm days, when it might be fun to bring out water, we also have some fun water activities for toddlers too. Learning and playing with water does not always have to mean getting soaking wet.
Water is a fun way to explore new lessons and with these backyard activities for homeschooling toddlers, there will not be as much mess as you think.
1. Bubble Pool
Fill either a large bucket or a kiddie pool with water. As you empty dish soap or bubble bath into the water, let your toddler splash and create the bubbles.
Once you have a bubble bowl, grab several items from the yard, including toys and throw them in the water. Your toddler can try and locate them as they search through the bubbles.
You can also grab some fun shape bubble wands from Amazon, to blow bubbles once they have found everything.
2. Say and Spray
Take chalk and write letters and numbers all over the yard. Let your child take a spray bottle with water, locate the letter or number, and spray it away. They get to sharpen their searching skills as they learn to recognize letters and numbers.
3. Sink or Float
With a kiddie pool filled with water or a large tub, let your toddler discover things that float or sink. Have them collect items from around the yard including rocks, twigs, flowers, and even toys. Ask them if they think the item will sink or float first and then have them test it.
4. Floating Chalk Art
You need a large container such as a roasting pan or tray that a piece of paper can fit in. Add about an inch of water into the pan.
Using as many colors of chalk as you have, scrape the pieces of the chalk into the water. You want to make sure the chalk lands on the surface of the water.
You can also crush the chalk and then sprinkle the powder into the water. Place the paper in the water then remove it by grabbing two corners and pulling it out towards you.
This way your child can see the effects as you lift the paper. They have very colorful art to hang up once the paper dries.
5. Colored Water
With a handful of mason jars and some food coloring, toddlers can play with colorful water. Let them add food coloring to the water in each jar to see the color change.
They can pour colors into another to see if new colors are created. You can also have them add color to water that is in an ice cube tray to make frozen colored cubes. These can then be melted in water later letting them watch as the water slowly changes.
Helpful Tips For The Best Homeschool Backyard Activities For Toddlers
You now have 25 homeschool backyard activities for toddlers to try out. The more you try, the more fun learning your toddler can have. Before you start planning out the week’s activities, there are a few helpful tips to remember.
- Plan age appropriate activities. Each of these can be modified to accommodate different ages and educational levels. You do not want to frustrate your toddler.
- Make sure you have any safety precautions in place if needed in the yard.
- Let the toddler pick. They will be likely to take part and learn if they get to pick the activity they do.
It is no secret that toddlers have short attention spans. Homeschooling can therefore be a challenge. If you are prepared, then you can keep your toddler engaged and educated. Give them variety by incorporating nature, colors, science, art, water play, and games.
It may seem fun to them, but with the right activities they will be developing important skills, preparing them for kindergarten. Learning can be fun when you are a toddler and any of the 25 homeschool backyard activities for toddlers that we have provided will achieve just that.