Outside Play!

May 5, 2015


After a long and cold winter, it's nice when the weather finally starts to warm up.  Unfortunately, we don't always know when it will warm up and we may not be prepared for talking our children outside.  The good news is, most children don't need anything to enjoy some time outside.   Following are some ideas to get you started and to get your kids outside!

images-42Scavenger hunt.  Take a couple trips around the yard and pick up debris that has accumulated over the winter.  

Go for a walk.  You can walk around the neighborhood and look for "treasures".  We have a lot of good walking trails around here.  Take your kids on the trails.

Ride in a wagon/stroller.  Go for a ride in a wagon or stroller.  Let your child (of course depending upon their age) push the stroller and pull the wagon.  

Go for a bike ride.  Kids love to ride their bikes, it gives them a sense of freedom and independence.  

Run.  Chase your kids around the yard or let your kids chase each other.  Running is a great way to burn off some energy.

Head to a playground.  Go to a playground that is familiar to your child.  Let them climb and explore the different structures.

images-46Blow bubbles.  Who doesn't like bubbles?  Blow some bubbles and let your kids stomp, poke, clap, kick, and hit them while they fly through the air.  

Draw and color with chalk.  Make a hop scotch and have your child practice jumping.  Draw shapes, letters, or numbers and have your child name them.  Let your child draw something and see if you can figure out what it is.  

Hulla - hoop.  You can use it as it is intended, or you can have your child try to roll it to you, or have them walk while they roll it.  You can also use hull-hoops as targets while your child throws balls or pool toys towards the hoop.

Jump rope.  If your child cannot jump rope yet, put the rope on the ground and have them practice jumping over it.  You can also lay it on the ground and have them jump over it sideways or backwards.  

Difficulty with coordination and gross motor skills.

Difficulty with coordination and gross motor skills.

Play ball.  Some kids just like to chase balls around the yard.  You can practice rolling, throwing, catching, or kicking.  

Dig in the dirt.  Most kids love to get dirty.  If you don't have any gardening tools, get out some spoons.  

Make a sensory bin.  Fill up a container of beans, rice, or noodles (uncooked) and have your child scoop, pour, and dig.  Hide some objects inside the mixture and see if your child can find them.  

No matter what you do with your child, always talk to them about what you see, what you are doing, and use a lot of descriptors when you talk with them.  Examples of his include, "Look at how some of the grass is green and some of it is brown".  "That was a really big bubble!"  Ask them questions, "Why aren't there any leaves on the trees"?  If they have trouble coming up with the answers, give them 2-3 choices so they can be successful.  Going outside is an excellent opportunity to share information with your child while you have fun!

185 S. Marley Rd. New Lenox, IL 60451