Easy, Fun & Creative: DIY P.E. ideas for Virtual Learning Breaks

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Do you feel ready to start another school year? Over here, we’re in for at least another semester of e-learning, and that means I have to come up with even more ways to entertain my kids. Luckily, I have known that this was going to be our new normal for a while, so I’m in prep mode. I’ve actually been working on compiling a list of the best backyard activities for creative kids.

One thing I learned in the spring was that my kids didn’t spend nearly enough time being active. Without the daily recess breaks they got at school, they just didn’t run off their energy enough. So, my plan for this semester is to work in recess activities in our at-home school schedule. I expect better sleep and better moods. I mean, we grown-ups certainly don’t feel our best when we’re not working out regularly, right?

So, I hope they’re ready, because this mama has plans. Now, I have to preface this by saying that I’m not naturally as creative as my kids. They’re both very artistic. My son can spend hours drawing, and my daughter has been known to put together an entire show complete with wardrobe changes all on her own. But how do we bring that creativity to the great outdoors? Well, thanks to Pinterest, the creative world is our oyster, my friends. 

After spending only a few hours perusing all the fun backyard activity ideas on that platform, I walked away with a slew of inspiration for our creative/active breaks. I’m sharing five of my favorites — each activity should appeal to your creative kids but are attainable for parents like me, who typically struggle with that sort of thing. 

My goal is to go into this new school year as prepared as possible. Hopefully, this list of the best backyard activities for creative kids will help you do the same. We need to keep both our kids' bodies and their creative brains active.

1. Family Olympics 

My kids love it when we play with them, so adding their mom and dad to the equation ensures willing participants. I love the water bucket relay idea in this one. It is sure to tire those little bods out. Plus, there are plenty of crafting opportunities. Those DIY medals aren’t going to make themselves.

2. Giant Bubble Recipe 

Regular bubbles might keep preschoolers busy, but giant bubbles are another story. They tickle even the most reluctant big kid. No one can resist chasing a huge bubble. And the iridescent rainbows that come with them are a bonus.

3. Animal Tag

This is similar to a regular game of tag, but your kids race around as their favorite animals. I’m all for anything that will get them running. And creatives will love the drama that comes with acting out an animal.

4. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt 

There is no limit to the amount of things you can hunt for in your backyard. Bugs, leaves, rocks, worms .... The longer the list, the longer they’re out there. And after they’re done, you can have them create an art project with their finds.

5. Tin Can Bowling

Not only is the bowling aspect of this project super fun, but kids get to decorate the cans with plenty of spray paint first. My daughter hasn’t yet met a can of paint she didn’t want to immediately dig into. 

So, are you ready to get your offspring outside for some creative backyard fun? I guarantee these activities will lead to hours of entertainment.


This piece is part of a series focused on helping parents prepare their kids for back-to-school. For more tips on getting organized, mastering multiple schedules, and prepping for the 2021 school year, see our full back-to-school guide.

Tags: Education, Navigating the Pandemic, Overcoming Adversity, Activities for Kids

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Kristin Swenson

Kristin Swenson is a content creator, influencer marketing pro, travel fanatic, c... See Full Bio

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