This is mostly from the archives, I’ve added a few more ideas. Since the Solstice it will be warming up, so put on your sunscreen and hat and get outside!
- Play in the sandpit. Brilliant for imaginative play – cooking, building, roads, digging, etc.
- Go for a walk. If your toddler makes it to the front gate in under half an hour, slow down. Let them look at every leaf and blade of grass along the way.
- Play with water balloons. See if you can hit the roof with them, or throw them up against a shed or carport ceiling. Water comes down everywhere!
- Start a garden. Seedlings grow really quickly and they stay interested when they can see something happening. Sunflowers are incredibly easy – get a packet of parrot seed and sprinkle it around, cover and water. They will grow.
- Feed the birds. If you’re a gardener grow native plants that attract them, otherwise it’s as simple as spreading a bit of birdseed or even bread around then staying back and quiet. Magpies love mince and sing beautifully, although they’re not the safest birds to encourage!
- Play with water. A big tub they can sit in or splash in with lots of containers to pour, splash and spray. Water guns are cool too.
- Hang out the washing. Little kids just love helping, and don’t you want to encourage them that it’s fun? I quite often have two little ones handing me clothes and pegs, and they have an airer they use as their own line. Even baby girl (17 months) is starting to peg things on it by putting the peg upside down.
- Play chasey. Especially good if you have two. With a little baby, pop them in a carrier and they laugh hysterically as you chase or are chased. Even around and around the car, changing directions and going backwards are ways to mix it up.
- Have a picnic. Take your lunch outside, sit on a blanket and eat. A great way to get fussy eaters to have a go, especially if you have lots of different things in little containers they can do as finger foods.
- Kick/Throw/Roll balls. We play versions of piggy in the middle, or the two girls chase balls and throw them generally because the aim is just not there. They also pretend to be puppy dogs and bring them back in their mouths. I figure they’re building a strong immune system. And you’re more likely to catch something from other people than dirt anyway!
- Role play. They pretend to be puppies, butterflies, caterpillars, buses, airplanes, you name it.
- Collect things – rocks, insects, flowers, leaves
- Watch the sky, the moon, stars or a sunset. Look for satellites and meteors, watch lightning storms.
What do you like doing outside?
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