Top Ten Outdoor Activities To Enjoy With Kids
By Laura Sussely-Pope, Pregnancy.org
Summer is here and that means fun in the sun! Time to shed the winter clothes, open the windows, drag the kids away from the T.V., put on that sunscreen and go outside! What kinds of activities can you and your child participate in together? Here’s our list of favorites:
1. Hopscotch: There is no minimum or maximum amount of players and kids love using sidewalk chalk! In case you need a primer on how to play, make a hopscotch grid and number the squares from one to nine. Pick a rock to toss as balls will bounce too much. Start by tossing the rock onto Square 1, hop over the rock with the single foot or both feet (to follow the pattern) all the way to the end. Turn around and come back, stopping on Square 2. Balancing on one foot, pick up the rock in Square 1 and hop over Square 1 to the start. Continue this pattern with Square 2, and so on. If you toss your rock and miss the correct square, your turn is over. It’s all coming back to you, isn’t it?
2. Tag: Everyone knows how to play this and you only need a small group. You could have as few as 3 people and the game is on! You probably haven’t been “it” in a long time so dust off your sneakers and get ready to run!
3. Sprinklers: Is it hot out? Does the grass need watering? No pool? Turn on the sprinklers! There are few things kids enjoy more than running through sprinklers. And the cherry on top? Watching you run through the sprinklers with them!
4. Hide and Seek: This one is self-explanatory and everyone knows how to play it. You’ve probably already played it with your kids, at least inside. There are variations on this game. You can count to 20, 10 or 100. You can have a “home base” that you run to and tag or you can wait to be found. This is a great outdoor game because you can play with as few as two people.
5. Duck, duck goose: While this game requires more than two people, it is one of the most fun games that kids enjoy. Everyone sits in a circle and the person who is “it” walks around the outside of the circle touching each person’s head saying “duck” “duck” and when they choose to crown someone “goose”, the “goose” gets up and chases the one who was “it”. Then that person is it “it”.
6. Painting: Clip a large piece of craft paper on the fence or lay it down on the patio and give the kids free reign to create. You can even mix paint with water and put it in a sprayer bottle!
7. Swimming: If you have a pool, this is a pretty obvious one. But if you don’t, you can go to a local community pool or use a blow-up pool. Little ones are happy as clams to play in a blow-up pool with boats, buckets, etc. But of course, safety first! It doesn’t take much water for the worst to happen. Even if your child knows how to swim, this does not make them water-proof.
8. Walk: Go for a walk or hike with the kids. Make it a nature walk by pointing out different leaves, rocks, and trees. Ask them to find different colors, bugs, flowers. It is a nice, relaxing way to enjoy the outdoors, learn and spend some nice bonding time.
9. Ride bikes: If you each have a bike, go for some bike rides together! It is great exercise, of course, and your child will enjoy leading the way. Pack your lunch and have a picnic before heading back home.
10. Garden: Have your child help you garden by planting seeds, watering the flower beds, watering the lawn, pull weeds. This is good, messy fun (kids love getting messy!) and is a nice time to spend outside together. It is also a great opportunity to teach kids about the life cycle of plants, flowers and foods.
How do you enjoy outdoor time with your little ones? Do you have any ideas to add to our list?