Free activities to get the grandkids outdoors

Imagine the average Kiwi kid enjoying their free time. Perhaps in your day you might have pictured a little girl learning to ride a bike, or a little boy building castles in the sandpit.

While many kids today love getting in their screen time, the current Ministry of Health recommends less than two hours per day of recreational screen time for kids aged 5 to 17.

So if you want to get your grandkids away from the screen and out into the green (the outdoors), we’ve put together a quick list of free things you can enjoy doing with them.

Outdoor activities at home 

Grandfather and grandson gardening together
  • Make a pine cone bird feeder: You’ve probably already got everything you need to make one, and you’ll have an excuse to keep an eye on the cute birds as they come to enjoy their snacks.
  • Make a terrarium: All you need is a large jar and whatever you can find in the garden to create a cute mini garden in a jar. This is a great option to get the kids learning about different plants available in your garden!
  • Paint pots: Do you have plain terracotta or stone pots lying around that could do with a makeover? Or even a watering can? Get the grandkids to add some colour for a brighter style in your garden.
  • Get planting: Get the kids interested in growing things at home by starting (or maintaining) a sustainable herb and veggie garden.

Outdoor activities at the beach

Grandparents playing in the sand with granddaughter at the beach
  • Embrace your inner mermaid/man: Encourage the grandkids to create a mermaid’s tail and body for you out of sand, all while you lie back and relax.
  • Dig mini rivers: When the tide is coming in, you can dig out small rivers in the sand and watch as the water races through your course. It’s a fun alternative to sandcastles, but you can also add bridges and castles around the course for extra difficulty. 
  • Explore with a magnifying glass: Bring along a magnifying glass or two to take a closer look at all the incredible items at the beach. From grains of sand to shells to seaweed, everything is extra fascinating up close. 

Outdoor activities at the park

Grandparents and granddaughters playing with bubbles at the park
  • Scavenger hunt: Either create your own list (bird’s feathers, a seed or seed pod, a stick shaped like the letter of an alphabet) or take a shortcut and use an existing one, then head to your local park and see if you can find everything on the list.
  • Sports day: Host a sports day together, complete with egg and spoon races, hide and seek, sack races, and hopscotch. Don’t forget to bring a picnic for a much-needed rest. 
  • Draw a map: Head down to your local park and map it out together. Add paths, trees, rubbish bins, play areas, and any extra points of interest. You can map as many parks as you like, and put them all together in a folder for a hand-made collection of great memories. 

Protecting the things you treasure the most

Spending time outdoors with grandkids is the kind of simple, wholesome activity that you’ll treasure forever. These activities are all free, but if you want to help protect your family’s finances for the things that do cost, you can check if you are eligible for Seniors Term Life Insurance.