Outdoor Problem Solving Activities for Children Aged 10-14Years

Updated April 17, 2017

Problem-solving activities are important for developing decision-making skills. When your child learns to solve puzzles and work around obstacles, he will be able to think on his feet and his self-confidence will grow. Set up activities in your own backyard that will help your child make smart choices, conquer difficult problems and complete projects.

Blindfold Activities

Gather a group of kids and designate a leader. The leader will give instructions and direct the rest of the kids in a project while wearing blindfolds. The team could complete an obstacle course or a maze, clean up the yard or erect a tent. Wearing a blindfold will pose many problem-solving opportunities and the kids will have to work together in order to reach their goal. Ensure the activity is performed in an area that is free of hazards so nobody gets hurt.

Survival Game

Survival games are great for problem solving. Make a list of items that would be useful in a survival situation, such as a small axe, newspapers, a cigarette lighter, a compass, a chocolate bar, a ball of steel wool and a can of shortening. Tell the kids that they've crashed landed in Alaska in mid-January. The nearest city is at least a day's walk. The team must decide what items they should take with them, ranking every item in order of importance and then tell why each item is vital.

Snakes In The Grass

Pick a large, open field for the game and divide the children in two teams. One team will be "snakes" and stand in the middle of the field, while the rest of the kids will be stationed in a safety zone on one side. Designate a safety zone on the opposite side of the play area. An adult yells, "Snakes in the grass!" to begin the game. The kids in the safe zone will attempt to run to the other side without being touched by the "snakes." The kids on the teams can strategise. Kids that are touched by the "snakes" must join them and try to touch the remaining kids until everyone becomes a "snake."

Scavenger Hunt

Set up a scavenger hunt for your kids. Write a clue or draw a map on a large poster board that will direct them to a prize, and then cut the poster into puzzle pieces. Hide each piece of the puzzle in your yard. The kids must find all the puzzle pieces before they can put the puzzle together. The children must decipher the clue when the puzzle is complete and then go together to find the prize. This activity will help the kids solve problems and will require them to work together.

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About the Author

Tess Reynolds began writing in 2010 for various websites, specializing in parenting, relationships, film and video-editing topics. She has taken private local classes to expand on her interests. She also enjoys writing about computers, family and home improvement.