We all want to get outside with our little ones, but often find ourselves just staring at each other wondering what to do. Here are six ideas for getting outside with our children that don’t cost an arm or a leg.
Nature Scavenger Hunt
My little guy is really into bugs and I use that to my advantage when we are outside. We save the lives of worms baking on a hot side walk, look for caterpillars and announce when butterflies fly past. It happened so often that we decided to make a game of it. Now we look for a list of bugs as well as new animals. We make a list of critters (from cats to bugs) and go looking for them at the park or in the neighborhood.
There are many games that just aren’t right for inside. Tag, Red Rover and other childhood games are made for the outside. You can tell by all the running and jumping around. These are a few of the games that you and your child can play. You can also make up your own games.
Side Walk Chalk
Side walk chalk is great no matter where you live. If you live near a side walk, have a cement balcony or a cement driveway you can use side walk chalk. Use it to draw a hopscotch or tic tac toe game. Or you can just draw pretty pictures. It’s up to you.
Play With Fire
One night have a very well monitored (and legal) fire pit. Roast marshmallows on a stick and make s’mores, they can be the dessert for the roasted hot dogs on a stick. Tell stories and teach fire safety. This will also teach them the basics of outdoor cooking.
Whether you have a potted flower next to the door or an entire vegetable garden, working in the dirt can be rewarding. It can teach your children to have greater respect for the Earth, knowing that our food comes from it and that we need safe and clean places to grow that food. It also teaches them patience. You need to wait to see a plant grow. There is no instant gratification in a garden.
Lay in the backyard or on a beach with your little one and talk about the colors and shapes of clouds. Watch a storm come in together. Just make sure to get indoors before it starts to rain on you. Cloud expeditions can naturally lead to talking about other things in life, which is why you are out with your little one to begin with.
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