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5 Outdoor Activities for Kids that Are Fun and (Surprisingly) Educational

BY: EDITORIAL TEAM | 4.4.2017 |

Remember how excited you used to get in school when your teacher would take the class on an outdoor field trip? Here's the secret they never told you: these fun outings outside of class also taught you something. Shocking.

But you don't need to be a teacher to plan a basic field trip—in fact, many of the most popular outdoor activities for kids have an educational component that you can harness with a little imagination. Below, we highlighted five fun and educational activities that you and your kids will love. And who knows—you might learn something, too.

1. Visit an Amusement Park

Amusement parks put physics in motion (Newton and Galileo would have a ball on a roller coaster.). Our pro tip for tapping into the scientific side of the rides? Visit guest services. Many parks have their own workbooks filled with math and physics activities for kids (Who knew!).

Fun Activities for Kids

  • Rank the park's rides from tallest to shortest.
  • Ride bumper cars to demonstrate that every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
  • Figure out which parts of a roller coaster represent potential energy and kinetic energy.

2. Go to the Zoo

Zoos fit the entire world into a single location, educating visitors young and old about the diversity of life on our planet. Plus, it's really, really cool to watch the zookeepers feed the lions.

Fun Activities for Kids

  • Ask a zookeeper or trainer what they love most about their job.
  • Sort the animals you see by continent. Which one has the most of your favorites?
  • Eat ice cream. You're a kid, after all.

3. Fly Through the Air on a Zipline

It might not be one of the most common spring activities for kids, but it's certainly one that will make a lasting impression on your brood. In addition to teaching them about simple machines—namely, pulley systems—ziplines literally connect them with the forest.

Fun Activities for Kids

  • Time for a history lesson. Before you go, look up the origins of ziplining. This form of transportation has been around for centuries.
  • Ask your guide about the animals that make the canopy their home. Bonus points if you can spot one of these critters during your trip.

4. Explore Your Town

Spring is all about getting outside and enjoying the weather, right? This field trip lets you pack several fun and educational outdoor activities into a single day. So leave the car at home (or if you're too far from Main Street, park it in a public lot downtown) and explore your city on foot.

Fun Activities for Kids

  • Print out some bird-watching guides and identify different species at the local park.
  • Cooking lesson: parents help kids plan and make a picnic lunch, then everyone goes to the park.
  • Visit the local fire station, police station, or blacksmith (parents, many of these places will let you schedule a visit).

5. Play Mini Golf

Already one of the most universally beloved outdoor activities for kids, mini golf also serves up physics lessons and a healthy dose of geometry. Instead of letting kids just putt for the hole, show them how they can use angles to their advantage by bouncing the ball off different objects and hazards.

Fun Activities for Kids

  • Practice math skills by keeping score.
  • Pay attention to the way the turf slopes and the effect it has on the ball's velocity.
  • Post-game/at-home activity: Grab some colored chalk and turn your driveway into a custom mini-golf course.