Spending time outside provides many great benefits to you and your children (and ExploraToy even has an article about those great benefits, which you can read here). Now that summer is finally here, the weather is perfect for getting outside and playing with your kids.
To help your family get maximum enjoyment from the summer months ahead, we’ve compiled a list of seven fun activities you and your children can enjoy outside together.
- Have a picnic together.
Picnics are an amazing way to get outside with the whole family. Pack a meal and head to a nearby park. Either set out a blanket or choose a location with picnic tables, then enjoy eating your meal in the sunshine together.
After they eat, your children can run around and enjoy playing outdoors. You can also pack a quiet activity like ExploraToy’s Magnetic Chunky Puzzle, which your children can play with after they’re worn out from running around.
- Create an outdoor scavenger hunt.
Whether you put together clues and lead your children to treasure or simply tell them to go find certain things in their outdoor play area, scavenger hunts are a great way to enjoy the outdoors with your children.
Some parents enjoy doing a color scavenger hunt, where they list colors and have their children find something with those colors. For example, you can tell your child to find something yellow and they might run and grab a yellow dandelion out of the grass. Not only will this entertain your child, but it can help them learn their colors.
- Go bird watching together.
Bird watching is a hobby enjoyed by people of all ages. During the summer months, bird watchers can enjoy seeing a wide variety of species, even in their own backyards. If you and your children really love the activity, you can check out books at the library to learn about the different species in your area.
If you’re bird watching in your backyard, you can also set up bird feeders or bird baths to encourage visits from more feathered friends.
- Enjoy child-led imaginative play.
Child-led imaginative play has a bunch of benefits for your child. Let your child decide how you’ll play outside. Not only does this take all the pressure off of you to plan your next activity, but it helps your child to use their creativity to stay entertained.
If your child needs a little extra prompting, make up scenarios and enjoy imaginative play together. For example, you might say, “Let’s pretend we’re cooking a meal! What do you want to cook?” These prompts can inspire a world of creative play with your child.
- Draw with chalk.
Take some time to draw with chalk on your driveway or on a sidewalk near your home. Sidewalk chalk is a great way to help your child develop fine motor skills and foster their creativity.
We talked to one mom who used to take her children to a nearby parking lot that was abandoned for most of the week. They enjoyed having the huge canvas to draw anything they wanted. Don’t be afraid to get on the ground and draw with your child, even if you don’t think you’re artistic.
- Work in the garden together.
If you have a garden, have your children go outside to work with you in the garden. Preschool and elementary children can learn how to pull weeds and plant seeds. As an added bonus, your child will get to see all the hard work that goes into making something grow!
Children will love spending time with you in the garden, especially if they have their own set of tools. ExploraToy’s Kids Gardening Tools Set is perfect for letting your child dig around in the dirt with you. You can even set aside a little patch of the garden just for your child to manage. They’ll love the independence and you’ll love seeing them step up to the challenge.
- Play ball or toss a frisbee.
Enjoy playing outdoor sports with your child. You don’t need an entire team to play games outside. Whether you kick a ball back and forth or toss the frisbee across the yard, outdoor sports are a fun way to enjoy time outside with your child.
Not only do these activities help you get good exercise, but they offer a great opportunity to bond with your child. Since you and your child will be directly interacting, this type of play is particularly helpful for bonding with your child.
Spending time outside with your children provides many physical and emotional benefits. Your children will benefit from the exercise and from conversations with you during play. This summer, try at least one of the items on the list above. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can try all seven!
If you’re looking for high-quality wooden toys to keep your child busy this summer, check out ExploraToy’s full selection of toys for children of all ages. They offer the perfect activity to enjoy indoors when the weather is too hot. Check them out here.