It was not the nicest weekend. Most of my outdoor plans were thwarted by soggy grass & too many bugs. We planned to go to the local kid gymnasium, but when we got there they never opened. Instead, we went to one of our favorite places, the library. We love the library. With all three of us being such avid readers, we would bankrupt ourselves buying new books. The library offers us an unlimited supply of great reads for each of us.
Spring is here & so is the beautiful weather. There is something about the spring and the summer that just makes you happier. Anyone that has ever had the winter blues knows what I am talking about. The warmth of the season brings calm and contentment. Being outdoors has proven to relieve stress and aid in sleep. This is not just the case for us adults, but also for our little ones.
One of my daughter’s favorite sayings is “Mama, I’m so busy.”. She really is. Toddler’s days are so jam packed with learning, exploring, playing & creating. My kiddo has a lot of energy. After being cooped up in the house all winter she is ready to get out and burn some of it off.
There are so many outdoor activities to occupy their active minds and bodies & most you can do without ever leaving your backyard…
1. Go for a walk or a hike – This is not only great exercise for your child, but for you. A nice family walk after dinner is a great way to bond. Bring your furry baby too if you have one.
2. Have a picnic – Pack up your lunch or dinner and bring it outside and enjoy it in the sunshine.
3. Have a scavenger hunt – Scavenger hunts aren’t just for eggs at Easter. Give your child a list of things in nature to find. Have her find and gather a pine cone, acorns, sticks or place some inside objects outside to find.
4. Do some outside art – Sidewalk paint or chalk, squirt gun painting on a sheet..there are many outdoor mess-worthy activities for your little artists.
6. Make an obstacle course – One of my daughter’s favorite things are her fabric tunnels. Make a course with tunnels, slides, hurdles, cones and other fun obstacles.
7. Play ball – Kick around a soccer ball, throw a baseball or shoot hoops if you have one. This will help with hand-eye coordination.
8. Ride bikes – Don’t forget their helmet.
9. Play hopscotch – I don’t know about your toddler, but mine loves to jump. This also aids in coordination.
10. Fly a kite – I have actually never flown one, but Mai talks about flying a kite often. We will have to make one & give it a try.
11. Gardening – Toddlers love to emulate and help us. They also like to dig. Combine all three and that spells happiness.
12. Go swimming – What is more refreshing or fun on a hot day.
13. Toss water balloons – SPLAT!
14. Take the books outside – Seat on your porch or swing on a hammock and read to each other out into the fresh air.
15. Have a nature lesson – Thanks to Nanna, Mai has learned a lot about different flowers. She can differentiate and name the different flowers in our yard.
16. Pick flowers – My daughter proudly picked some violets for me. They reside in a small shot glass in our kitchen. “Mama, smell the violets that Mai Mai pick.” They smell beautiful.
17. Wash your cars – Sudsy soap and a hose = fun. If they have a little push car of their own, let them clean their own car, while you do yours.
18. Run through the sprinkler – This was one of my favorite things to do when I was little.
19. Blow bubbles – Kids love bubbles. They love blowing them, chasing them & popping them.
20. Play on the swings – Swing on the swings, slide down the slide. Both are so free & liberating. Enjoy the season & be safe. Be sure to use sunscreen and bug spray. Explore, learn, play & just have fun.
What outdoor activities do your children enjoy?