Good, old-fashioned outdoor diversions for young kids
Here are my ten favourite outdoor diversions for young kids.
In my opinion, the best diversions are those that require very few
supplies and only a little preparation but are fun, challenging and
will keep kids occupied for long enough to make a cup of tea and drink
at least half of it!
1. Water painting
Half fill a bucket with water and give your little one a paintbrush or
paint roller. Encourage them to paint the house, the pavers, the fence
etc. This activity is lots of fun in warm weather!
2. Mud pies plus
Water + dirt = messy fun. Add gravel, leaves and sand to the mix
for texture. Introduce old plastic containers and stirring sticks and
you have your own outdoor kitchen!
3. Chalk drawing
Get some chalk and find a good surface to draw on. Draw a hopscotch, trace around different objects... or people.
4. Snake jumping
Jump over the garden hose snake! If you've got enough people, have two
of them wobble the hose while it's still on the ground. Introduce
degrees of difficulty.
5. Obstacle course
Use what's in your backyard to make an obstacle course. Jump over the
hose, run to the outdoor setting and crawl under the table, turn around
three times and walk backwards to the gum tree, give the tree a hug and
hop to the back fence!
Rake a huge pile of leaves to jump into! Don't underestimate the appeal of this simple activity!
7. Digging a garden
Arm child with a garden trowel and let them dig their own miniature
garden bed. Make a border with rocks or bricks and plant some seeds.
8. Stone throwing
Collect stones and have the kids try to throw them into the wheelbarrow. Introduce variations and degrees of difficulty.
9. Rope walking
Drape a long length of rope on the ground and have the kids walk on the rope and follow the path.
10. Rolling race
race is great fun for large groups of kids, especially if you have a
sloping yard. Check course carefully for dog poo before you start (I
speak from experience!).
|Got your own ideas?
Email me with your favourites and I'll add them to the list. Include
your name so that I can credit you, and if you have a blog or website
let me know and I'll link back to you.
a big circle with chalk. Get a toddler-sized ball, put in the center of
the circle. The child who is 'it' is in the middle of the circle and
pushes the ball with his or her feet, trying to get it out of the
circle. Kids stand around the outside of the circle and try to stop the
ball with their feet. Once the ball is out, another “it” is chosen.
The ball is called the 'hot potato' and the kids are trying to keep it
in the 'oven'. If you have less kids you can make the circle smaller or
use a plain straight line.
“Mouse House” and/or “Fairy Rings”
a "mouse house" from stuff in your yard without breaking or removing
plant material from a living plant. A mouse house is about the size of
a toddler's fist. A real fairy ring, also known as fairy circle, elf
circle or pixie ring, is a naturally occurring ring of mushrooms. In
our version you build a magical Fairy Ring made up of stones,
seashells, pinecones, plant material that is already separated from the
living host. Tell stories about fairies and/or mice who could be coming
to these newly created "hot-spots" tonight.
“Find your Family”
known animals, such as cat, dog, mouse, bird, etc. In secret, give each
child an animal, being sure to give each animal more than twice so that
every child will have a family. When you announce “go”, kids imitate
their animal to try to find their animal family. Kids act like the
animal: walk, make sounds and behave like the animal. No talking. When
all families are found, start another round.
as it sounds- kids dancing in the sprinkler! You can make it more fun
by randomly turning the sprinkler on and off to surprise the kids.
“Whistle with the Grass”
a piece of fat grass that is clean and free of pesticides. Pull the
blade of grass and place it between both of your thumbs holding it
tightly together at the top and bottom. The curve of your thumbs leaves
an opening for your lips - blow hard through the opening.
a couple lawn chairs apart. Get an old blanket, sheet or tablecloth and
put it over chairs. Tie or use clips on corners to hold out sides of
fort. Add toys, books, make a sign about who is allowed in the fort.
spray a strong stream of water as straight as you can, and the kids -
in bathing suits of course - do their best to limbo under the stream as
you move it lower and lower. Can't remember where I saw the idea, but I
predict it's a winner. The kids probably won't mind losing at this
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