Tuesday, April 3, 2012

10 Things to do Outside with your Toddler

I'm back with another "10 things" post.  I love reading these kinds of posts, so I've been writing some!

10 Things to do Outside With Your Toddler
part of our back yard- its half forest!

These are some things to do outside that you might not have thought of!
LJ's nature picture

1.  Make some nature art
Gather up some leaves, flowers, weeds, seeds, etc.  Anything outside in the yard or park that your toddler wants to pick! (If at the park, they will probably frown upon you letting your toddler pick any of their landscaping though!)  Give your toddler a glue stick and some paper and let them create something pretty.  If they are older they might make an actual scene using the items, and if younger they will probably just be random.  Praise either!

2. Find a hill
Find a hill somewhere and roll things down it- including your bodies.  I really had fun demonstrating that one!!!  You can also have races with two types of ball (whose will go down faster?) Somersaults downhill are also a fun adventure! 

3.  Compost
Make a compost pile.  Your child will have fun taking the "trash" out to the pile.  This could attract unwanted animals so you may want to keep it to lawn clippings, coffee grounds, and non-coated paper unless you have a container made for composting.  Then you can toss in those banana peels, apple cores, and egg shells too!  Beware of composting potato peels- my aunt did this and when she used the results in her yard the next Spring she ended up with potato plants growing all over her yard, haha!

4. Old-Fashioned games
Remember Red Rover?  And Red Light Green Light?  What about Simon Says, Mother May I, Freeze Tag, TV Tag.....teach them your favorites.  Then if they ever play these in school someday they will have a head start!  It is also fun for them to hear about things you liked as a kid.

5.  Bug Hunting
Arm them with a butterfly net, a jar, and a magnifying glass and send them hunting.  Be sure to teach toddlers about bees and other insects that could hurt them.  It is best to hunt with them just in case!  I teach my daughter that bugs are cool, not yucky.  I want her to be fascinated by the world, not scared of it!  It is my opinion that you are doing your kids a disservice to deter them from worms, bugs, etc.  And don't teach them to kill them!  Teach them how insects spread pollen , worms loosen up soil for plants, ladybugs eat pests...look up some info about their favorite "catch" on their hunt!

6.  Rain and mud play
If there is no lightning, then why make your kids come inside?  Let them dance in the rain, splash in puddles, and make mud pies when its over.  Rain boots help so they don't ruin any shoes!

7.  Relaxation
Show your kids how to relax outdoors.  Climb in the hammock and nap together, put down a blanket and read books together, rock in rocking chairs while singing their favorite songs.  Who says "quiet time" has to be in the living room?

8.  Water fun
Get some cups, pitchers, watering cans, funnels, turkey basters...anything you can find that will hold water.  Take them outside and fill a baby pool with water and let them have at it!  Stay close to prevent drowning.

9.  Target practice
 Make a slingshot with a rubber band and a branch, get out a potato gun, or a water gun. Set up a target (you can draw one on a posterboard) and let them take aim! 
our local park has this balance beam!

10.  Obstacle course
Take your plastic slide, balls, cones, hula hoops, etc, make your own obstacle course!  Go through it in front of the kid(s) so they can see what action to take at each station.  Some ideas- hop on one leg through the hula hoops, jump over the "river" (a jump rope?) zig-zag through cones (use rocks or books if you don't have cones), ride the tricycle to the next station, slide into the baby pool.  Use your imagination to build a new one every time!

I hope this gives you some new ideas!  Its so nice to get out there and bond while having fun :)


  1. Owen loves to find animal tracks outside. He will hunt all around the house and describe what he found. Then we try to figure out what animal it may be from. This is especially fun in the snow.

  2. Those are all great ideas and I love to spend time outside with my kids. I hope I help you reach your goal of 100 followers, I'm now following on GFC and Linky. I would love it if you stopped by to visit me @http://www.arosiesweethome.com/
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  3. Nothing makes you sleep better than a few hours outdoors. These are great ideas for passing time together and learning. Thanks so much for sharing at our party this week.

  4. It can be a challenge to keep such curious but hyper-active minds busy. Thanks for the ideas!


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