Outdoor Fun You Can Create for Your Children
With the level of luxury available in many homes today, luxury like comfortable seats, big screen televisions, air conditioners and video games, it may be a bit hard to get some children to spend enough time outdoors.
If your kids don’t usually play outdoors without encouragement from you, it may be time for you to take the lead by creating fun outdoor experiences for them.
This is because enough interaction with nature is necessary for a child’s proper development. There’s a whole lot for children to see, do, and explore outdoors; and such spaces provide lots of opportunities, not just for play, but also for learning.
Here are some fun outdoor activities you can create and even take part in with your children whenever the weather is looking nice, so that they can enjoy themselves, discover and appreciate nature, and learn useful lessons.
In case you don’t know this already, mud play happens to be one of the best activities your children could take part in outdoors. It’s not only fun, but it has also been shown to be healthy, therapeutic, and capable of helping young children develop in several ways.
From jumping and sliding in mud, to piling and digging around in it with their hands and fingers, there are many things your kids would enjoy doing while engaged in this open-ended activity called mud play.
They could even try to build things like a cave or tunnel out of a pile of mud!
Sand and water play
Play with sand and water can be an exciting and highly sensory experience for children.
It can involve very simple activities like drawing different shapes on sand, or less simple ones like building sand castles. For the later, all you have to do is to take your kids to a place with lots of sand, provide them with small buckets and spades if necessary, then let them get creative and maybe even compete to see who can build the nicest-looking sand castle.
Another way your children could spend a nice evening outdoors is by making some “food” with sand, water, and maybe other “ingredients” like grass and small stones.
This can be done in a pretend food kitchen which you can easily set up outdoors with a small table, some old pots, plates, spoons and other kitchen materials.
Art with paint
Splatter painting is a good way for your children to have fun while creating art.
All that is needed for this action art activity that is best done outdoors are a few sheets of paper, cardboard or even an old bedsheet to serve as the canvas; different coloured paints in cups; and brushes or spoons.
Whether they are toddlers or preschoolers, your children will enjoy dipping a brush or spoon into cups of paint and splattering the paint on cardboard repeatedly to make a piece of art they could even display in their room or use for something else later on.
Role play games
By engaging in roleplaying or pretend play, children can be entertained while improving their creative, imaginative and social abilities
Not sure what role play activities you can create for your children? If you have a kitchen garden you can start by teaching them some basic gardening activities like how to plant seeds and water them, as well as how to pull out weed, then let them spend time pretending to be farmers or gardeners.
They can also gather objects they find around your home, such as cardboard boxes and pieces of wood, and then pretend to be builders by using their imagination to construct their favorite kind of building outdoors with the materials they find.
Acting like a chef by making “food” with sand, water, etc. (like we talked about earlier) is also another interesting form of roleplaying.
Music making for young children is one play activity that just works better outside in the open air because it tends to be loud, and there’s usually more space outdoors for constructing something like a music wall.
Many objects can serve as musical instruments if they can make a sound, so for this fun activity there’s usually no need to purchase toy musical instruments.
All you may require to create an outdoor station where your kids can express themselves through music are objects easily available in and around your house, such as plastic buckets, empty beverage containers, old pans, pots, and loose parts.
Your children will be sure to enjoy a nice evening under a tree, singing songs and matching them with different sounds from their homemade musical instruments.
If you live in an area with lots of natural outdoor space, consider taking your children on a “treasure” hunt.
During such a hunt they can look out for, and collect rocks, shells, pine cones, acorns, and other items commonly found outdoors, especially those with unusual and interesting shapes or colours; and at the end of the day you can count to find out who discovered the highest number of objects.
You could even motivate your kids more for this activity by promising additional treats for whoever finds the most “treasures.”
Riding & driving
Bike riding is another very fun outdoor activity that promotes physical fitness as well.
Think of supplying your children with age-appropriate bicycles and, if necessary, some basic protective gear, and let them ride around within the enclosure of your yard if it’s spacious enough, or even up and down the street if you live in a nice, calm neighbourhood.
Getting them off-road toy cars would be great as well so they can enjoy the tactile experience of driving over the twigs, rocks and dirt at your local park.
Plant study is a recommended way of observing and learning, while bonding with nature. Whether it’s in their garden, by the roadside, or at the park, there’s always an abundance of plant life available for kids to get familiar with.
So why not take your children on a plant-discovery adventure? They could observe the several types of plants they come across; talk about their colour, shape, or smell with you; try to spot small insects living on them; take pictures of them; etc.
And while they’re at it, you can as well get them to pick some fresh flowers for your living room.
It’s now up to you
The outdoors is a space where unmatched fun, learning and development await your children. Get them to see it as a destination in itself, and not just an area they have to go through to get to school or elsewhere; create interesting activities through which they can enjoy and benefit from the outdoors; and watch as they grow into well-rounded adults with a proper appreciation of nature.