We don’t have a swing set, pool, or piles of outdoor gear for our toddler son (and with a small yard, we need to keep it that way!). So we create activities as we go using whatever we have on hand! Here’s a few quick, easy, and fun activities we’ve enjoyed as a family!
1. Paint with Water – get buckets of water, and some paintbrushes of various sizes. Have kids “paint” on the sidewalks, house, fences! This activity is virtually no clean up, safe, and easy to do. Plus can be a cooling activity for a hot summer day!
2. Water Balloons – there are so many ways to use water balloons, from simply having a water balloon fight, to relay races, sorting by color, a ‘bean bag’ style toss (also can do by color), or target practice!
3. Nature Sorting – give your kids a few cups in a basket and have them “collect” nature items to sort – acorns, flowers, leaves, sticks
4. I Spy Nature Walks – add interest for your children as you walk through your yard, a park, or a trail, by asking them to find certain objects, colors or shapes (“I Spy something yellow,” etc).
5. Bubbles and Chalk – Always good clean fun for kids!
6. Water Plants – a good combination of life skills and fun times. Give small children what they can handle and show them how to water each plant a little bit (this also builds motor skill control!).
7. Obstacle course – set up cones to run in and out of, a wide board to “balance” on, and buckets to “leapfrog” over and have kids run the obstacle course! Older kids can set up their own course once they get the idea!
8. Spray Bottles – Instead of the constant running of the hose or sprinkler, let kids play water tag, or water the plants with squirt bottles.
These activities are easy, require common household supplies, and give kids a way to get out that energy in the great outdoors!
What are your favorite outdoor activities for younger children?
Bio: Julie Kieras writes regularly at her parenting blog A Year With Mom and Dad (where you can find great reviews and giveaways too), and can also be found chatting on Twitter!