Skip to Content

16 fun things to do outdoors with kids when it’s cold and rainy

16 fun things to do outdoors with kids when it’s cold and rainy

At BritMums we love getting outside with the kids. Outdoor play is great exercise, stimulates the imagination and teaches children valuable new skills. But when the weather’s a bit iffy it’s all too easy to make excuses and stay indoors. We had a Twitter chat with our community of parents and curated a list of parents’ favourite rainy days out activities with children, cold-weather outdoor fun and things to do in the snow with children.

The chat was sponsored by Learning Resources, which has engaging, hands-on outdoor toys and explorational tools that give children the chance to discover their natural environment while having adventures too! Learning Resources is the #1 resource to spark children’s curiosity and encourage exploration of the world around them. Their toys are designed to help children build key educational skills and get ready to take on the world! 😍

Why outdoor activities is important for children

Time spent outdoors makes a huge difference to children’s mood, attitude and mental wellbeing. According to the Wildlife Trust children are happier, healthier, less stressed and more creative when they’re connected to the natural world.  Plus if you wear them out sufficiently, you’ll have no problems getting them to sleep.

1. Hit the beach

Don’t limit yourself to the garden or local park. An off-season trip to the beach means you’re more than likely to get the place to yourselves for a proper adventure. As BritMum Maria Tumolo commented on our recent Twitter chat, a beach visit really helps ‘blow the mental cobwebs away’.

2. Visit a nature trail

Conservation parks like the National Trust have a wealth of outdoor spaces ripe for exploring no matter the weather. They’ll often provide activity sheets or nature trail activities for children to do too.

3, Get birdwatching

Get your kids twitching early! Head out to the local park in search of birds with a pair of child-friendly binoculars from Learning Resources. Or go semi-pro and visit a RSPB nature reserve where kids can hire binoculars, pick up an activity sheet and observe birds from the safety and shelter of a professional hide.

4. Build a den

Den building teaches teamwork while carrying logs and branches helps to improve balance and gross motor skills. Plus it’s a great place to sit and enjoy a snack in once all the hard work is done.

dad with dog and child in forest den

5. Hide and seek

It’s a classic for a reason, and games like hide and seek come into their own outdoors. Climbing trees and venturing inside bushes is way more fun than hiding behind the bedroom door.

6. Spot the difference

7. Get gardening

Sowing seeds, digging and planting can be really rewarding for little ones. Being in charge of a plot of land however small will make them feel empowered and grown up. Plus getting messy in the soil is all part of the fun. Opt for fast-growing seeds like sunflowers or grow some simple veg, salad or herbs. They’ll be so chuffed when something they’ve planted and nurtured actually grows — and even more excited when it’s on the family table in a meal or in a vase.

8. Go on a treasure hunt

There’s no need for elaborate clues and answers, although that’s definitely a possibility. Yet a treasure hunt could be as simple as asking the kids to explore and report on anything interesting they find along the way. This could be curious-looking stones, leaves, flowers, twigs or bird feathers — even an unusual cloud could be classed as nature’s treasure.

9. Row row row your boat

Rowing is great for building upper body strength and coordination. Hire a paddle boat or canoe and explore the great outdoors from the water. Don’t forget your life jacket!

10. Try bark rubbing

You can tell a lot about a tree from the pattern on its bark. Grab some crayons and plain paper and see if your children can take bark rubbings from various trees. Pop them all in waterproof folder and make a collage when you get home!

11. Unleash their inner wildlife photographer

Encourage your children to take photos when outdoors. Taking close-up shots of flowers and insects or leaves and trees requires creativity and imagination. They could use your smartphone camera or a child-friendly tablet in a weather-proof case.

12. Look for minibeasts

Grab a magnifying glass or bug viewer and lift up logs, twigs and leaves to find minibeasts. Remind them to put the bugs and beasts back when they’ve finished exploring. Or…

13. Make a bug hotel

Create a mini-ecosystem in a bottle or inside a critter habitat. Or scale up and pile some hollow logs and twigs to provide an attractive habitat for creepy crawlies.

14. Explore and enjoy snow

Yes sometimes it can be freezing outside but outdoor fun in the snow really knows no bounds. From making snowmen to sledging and snowball fights. Kids just can’t get enough of the white stuff.

15. Go litter picking

This activity not only provides an important community service but teaches children about the importance of keeping their environment clean. Equip the children with litter pickers and see how much rubbish they can collect.

16. Continue the adventure at home

Set up a nature table at home where they can put all their treasures from outdoors. Examine the finds under the microscope or with a magnifying glass. Have them present their collection to another parent or via a video call to grandparents. You can also create some impressive nature-inspired collages and artwork.

Be sure to follow Learning Resources on Twitter to @LRUK to keep up with resources, advice & toys that make ALL learning fun – whether outdoors or indoors! #GetOutdoors #ad

Pin it for later!

Is the weather rainy and cold? Here are 16 ideas for things to do with the kids outdoors when it's cold and rainy!


BritMums is the UK’s original collective of lifestyle bloggers and digital influencers, fueling the country’s most influential social content. We lead the online conversation with members who are parent social influencers creating content on topics ranging from food, parenting, travel, politics, style and more.

Fun ideas to #GetOutdoors with BritMums - Learning Resources UK

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

[…] was encouraged to share stories, fun ideas, and suggestions for ways to get the most out of outdoor play. We had a fantastic time talking to everyone but if you missed out, don’t worry – we’ve […]

Comments are closed.