Here are some great ideas for kids outdoor activities in New Jersey or any where you are. 1. Ribbon Sticks: For this you need nothing more than some strips of wide ribbon and some bamboo sticks. A few 4ft sticks will do. Snap them in half and tie a length of ribbon to one end. Make the ribbon length no longer than what the kids can handle. Let the kids loose with the sticks and tell them to try to make shapes, circles, and snakes etc just like the gymnasts do on T.V. My 8 year old who has ADHD absolutely loves this one, and it’s one of the few things he’ll actually do for longer periods of time. 2. Garden Fun: Buy a cheap plastic double sided sandbox for the garden. Fill one half with sand and the other half with water. Add a whole lot of kitchen utensils and containers, and the kids will occupy themselves for ages. Make sure you always cover the sandbox when the kids are done, or you might find that your neighbour’s cats may think it’s their litter box… 3. Picking Berries: Find a place with lots of berries, be it blackberries, strawberries, redcurrants, raspberries or whatever and go berry picking for the day. Sometimes you may have to pay for the berries, but there are a lot of places where berries grow in the wild and are free to pick and use. Kids LOVE picking berries, so take this chance to make it into an educational thing by bringing along a book about berries. This way you can teach them which berries are safe to pick and which ones they need to stay away from. Use the berries you pick to make desserts, jams and cakes. Scrumptious fun! 4. Organize a Treasure Hunt: This can be done in the house, garden, park or even on a short walk. Hide some small items, toys or sweets in various places. Draw up maps with “X Marks the Spot” and easy to follow directions. Let the hunt begin! 5. Vegetable Patch: If you have a garden, or access to one, see if you can get the kids involved in making a vegetable patch of their own. Seeds are pretty cheap and a lot of vegetables are extremely simple to grow and cultivate. Try with carrots, lettuce leeks, spring onions and pumpkins for starters. Herbs are also really easy. Some extra simple ones are watercress, parsley, chives and basil. 6. Nature Walks: Nature walks are one of the most inexpensive boredom busters ever created. All you need is energy and wide-open eyes. Of course, you can make the whole walk a lot more interesting by having something specific to look for. Luckily for townsfolk and city people, nature isn’t just about being out in the country. Wherever there are trees, there’s going to be birds. Where there’s grass growing, flowers and weeds grow etc. Borrow a book about wild flowers, birds or animals from your local library and refer to it every time the kids see something of interest. Take along a notepad and pencil for each of the kids to write down what they saw on the walk. 7. Borrow A Pet: A great way to beat boredom in the school holidays is to get the kids involved with animals. If you don’t own a pet of your own, you could offer to look after the schools gerbils and rabbits, or for that little bit “extra”, why not offer to take your neighbours dog along with you on your nature walks? 8. Camping Out: One thing kids never tire of is camping out somewhere. The easiest and cheapest place for that is in your own back yard or back garden. You can buy tents pretty cheap these days, and you don’t need something huge. If you don’t want to go to the expense of buying a tent, you can always make your own “temporary tent” by using a few sticks, sheets and tarpaulin. Give the kids lots of snacks, a few flashlights and some sleeping bags. Warn the neighbours that there could be some noise. (If MY kids are anything to go by, there WILL be noise). Please make sure that don’t lock ALL of your doors when you go to bed, as even though the kids may seem ready to “camp out” they might possibly get a bit wary late at night when the rest of the gang is asleep or it might even get a bit chilly and then it’s good for the kids to be able to snuggle up in real beds. 9. Toy Sail Boats: This one is a really old pastime, but tons of fun. Get a plastic bottle and cut it in half lengthways. Make the sail from a wooden Kebab stick and some paper. There are tons of other household items that can be used, so look around and use your imagination. Make sure you hang some weight to the bottom of the boat to make sure it doesn’t keel over. A lollypop stick with some oil based play dough will work for a short while. (Practice in the kitchen sink to see what works best for you.) Once the boats are ready, walk to your nearest pond or stream, or even fill up the bathtub and go sailing. Hours of fun for free! 9. Neighbourhood Walk: Believe it or not, most kids like to actually learn about the area where they live. Take them out for a walk in your neighbourhood and let them explore the houses, parks and shops in the area. Talk about the older buildings and imagine what life might have been like in the “olden days” A trip to the local library can be good fun and useful for researching “the way it was” in your area, and it can use up a lot of otherwise fruitless hours of kids having nothing to do. 10. Ring Toss: You need a few plastic bottles filled with water, sand or small stones (2 litre bottles are best) and some paper plates. Buy a packet of at least 20 cheap paper plates. Glue 2 paper plates together and cut out the middles to make a ring. When you glue 2 together it will add weight to the rings. Paint the newly created rings in bright colours and hand them out to the kids. Make a line with chalk or rope for them to stand behind and place the bottles at various intervals and distances away from the children. Anybody who manages to get a ring over a bottle takes one step back and tries again. See how far away they can get and still manage to ring the bottles.