It’s the time of year when we like to get our kids outside to play and enjoy the nice weather. The American Academy of Pediatrics says free and unstructured play is healthy and essential. My boys love playing outside and using their imaginations, but also love it when I have different activities planned to get them started. We live in California so we have a lot of outside time. It helps me to keep a list of activities and reference that list when I’m looking for ways to get active and have fun.
Here are some of my family’s favorite outdoor activities…
1. Sidewalk chalk
Get out the sidewalk chalk and get creative. Ask your children to draw their favorite animals, practice their numbers or write their names. I recently drew a hopscotch board on our back patio with chalk and it entertained the kiddos for almost an hour! If you are really creative, draw a pretend city or landscape to encourage pretend play.
My boys and I love to go on walks around the neighborhood, but sometimes they lose interest so we’ve started going on bug hunts. The last time we went out we counted the number of role poly bugs we saw (we ended up only seeing 5 of them on our mile walk). Depending on where you live you could look for worms or other kinds of insects.
Don’t forget to engage your children and ask them about their experiences after they’re finished playing! Some of the best conversations I have with my boys are after they come inside from playing or when we talk about their day each night before bed.
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