Backyard exploring – Child

backyard child - CopyLaying down and watching the clouds go by – quiet, slow breathing and listening to the silence helps kids practice relaxation, stillness and calmness.

Did you know?

Time spent in “green space” (areas with grass, trees or plants) helps with self-regulation, mental health, and improves attention and concentration.

Add language

Add some comments or ask some questions that include more thinking and reasoning e.g. “That cloud looks like a horse running”, “What do you think that one looks like?”, “That bird is collecting sticks. I wonder why it’s doing that.”

Use some more technical language e.g. “This tree is deciduous – it is losing its leaves for winter.” “This tree is an evergreen – it doesn’t lose its leaves all at once.”

Other development

Helping to care for animals helps children develop an awareness of, concern for and understanding of how to care for others. Pets are great, but children can also learn this through keeping a bird bath or pond clean and topped up for wildlife, or looking at and respecting nests in the bushes or trees.


You could make a simple bird bath together with your child and watch the birds come to wash and drink.

Backyards are wonderful places for cubby houses or impromptu picnics!


Supervision is required to ensure children are safe from harmful animals or plants. Check the backyard for any dangers before exploring. Always use sun protection when playing outside & supervise around water. Make sure children wash their hands after playing outside.
Kid Safe has put together a fact sheet on toxic plants and kids, you can view it here.

Across the ages

All the activities listed on our “Play Ideas” page can be applied across different age groups. See how backyard exploring can be fun for babiestoddlers and playgroups.


Activities listed under “child” are suitable for children 3 years and older.  Children of this age enjoy more complex activities where they can develop their skills and use their imagination while playing with friends.

Play ideas

Mud pies

Mud pies

Grow seeds

Grow seeds


Birds nest

Honky Nut Family

Gumnut family