Spring is here and it’s time to get your toddler back outside!
Some of these ideas you have probably already used with your toddler, but I tried to come up with new ways for you and your toddler to play with common items. Make a box of outdoor goodies up to take with you wherever you go outside- bubbles, chalk, etc. But think outside the box when it comes time to use them and keep your toddler busy and engaged outdoors while enjoying the fresh air.
Sidewalk Chalk– Instead of just setting down a box of chalk beside your child for them to free draw (although this has it’s merit too) get involved in the process. Draw half of something- a simple cat head or a triangle for instance and encourage your child to finish your drawing. Draw in different colored circles or shapes scattered around the concrete, call out colors/shapes, have your child run, hop, or twirl to it- a great learning game.
Hide and Seek- Even if it just you and your little one this classic game will surely bring squeals of delight and wear the little buggers out!
Hula Hoop– They are not just for spinning on your hips. Hang one from a tree and take turns tossing a ball through it. Place several on the ground and jump across them in hopscotch fashion. See how far you can roll them across the yard.
Car Wash– When the temperatures warm up it’s the perfect time to cool down in the hose. Rather than just letting the hose run, give them a purpose. Hand your child a bucket of soapy water, a sponge, and let them wash their cars, tricycles or bikes (if they get really into it you might be able to sneak your lawn furniture through their carwash-bonus!).
Bug Hunt- All you need for this awesome activity is a jar with a couple holes cut in the top, with a stick and a few leaves tossed inside. Most little ones are naturally drawn to creepy crawlers.
Gardening– Let them help you in your garden or give them their own little plot of dirt, and a few tot sized tools. They will have a ball even if nothing pops up.
Hide it, Find it- Hide small rubber bugs, balls, cars, or any other small object you like around the yard. Like an Easter Egg hunt it will give them a reason to explore and discover.
Scavenger Hunt– Provide your child with a basket, then you can either draw a list of items for them to find or call out an object. Ask for general objects like- something green, or more specific like a stick shaped like a Y.
Lawn Picnic– Toss a blanket on the ground and serve your little one finger foods that are easy to eat. Point out birds and bugs, then lay on your back and look at the clouds when you are done.
Mudpies– One option is to just let them dig in the dirt, or you could add some old pots and pans to a low shelf and give them a whole kitchen to create their “recipes” in. Leaves, sticks, dirt, sand, acorns- let them mix it up. Just toss them in the bath when done.
Play Ball– Yes a good old fashioned playground ball, this is a must for summer time. Tossing in the air, kicking, weaving in and out of obstacles, bouncing on the head, the possibilities are endless