My kids love to be outside. And it never ceases to amaze me how much they will find to do outside – they just don’t get bored! Even if they’re just walking around the yard they’re perfectly happy just being.
In contrast, when they’re inside the house it seems they are constantly asking for something – to eat, drink, play with, watch, or they’re crying over miniscule injuries. For some reason that doesn’t happen outside! So of course we spend as much of our time as possible outside. :) And although they don’t really need me to direct their play often, sometimes I feel the need for more organized playtime.
Ideas for Creative (Sometimes Educational) Play Outside:
- Have a scavenger hunt! If you need some ideas on what to look for and a printable sheet check out this site or this one. Or if you want to keep it simple, tell your child to find things by color, shape, or first letter.
- If you’re blowing bubbles, count them! This is a great way to practice counting to the higher numbers.
- Create a zoo or farm outside with toy animals and sticks for fences, and let them sort the animals by type. Ask younger children what sounds the animals make and older children about the habitat and what the animals eat.
- Encourage freestyle painting with sidewalk chalk paint!
- Create collage art with things your children find outside (leaves, flowers, sticks, pine cones, etc).
- Have a picnic outside on the lawn and ask your child to tell you the first letter of the foods you eat (ex: a-apple, c-cracker, t-turkey).
- Take a nature book with photos of outdoors items outside and have your kids find the items in the pictures. Then read a few facts about them.
- Let them build a fort outside with an old blanket and lawn chairs. This might be a good time to tell them the story of the Swiss Family Robinson or Robinson Crusoe!
What do your preschoolers like to do outside?