Thursday, November 14, 2013
Outdoor Activities For Toddlers and Preschoolers
Toddlers & Preschoolers love spending time outdoors. What can you provide to keep them busy? You don't have to have a large garden to entertain your small children.Some resources for your outdoor area can include, balls, bubble mix & bubble pipes, sturdy cars and trucks to push around, small ride on toys, block trolley or dolls buggy, this keeps them moving and active. Stepping stones made from cardboard shapes. Pavement chalk, good for drawing roads to ride that bike along.Sand box - how many of you remember the fun of digging and building with sand. A sand box doesn't have to be a large architect designed structure. Most toy stores/chain stores sell lidded sand boxes.If your area is a small patio or balcony, or even if your want to keep the sand clean and confined. consider using a lidded plastic tub on wheels that can be found in chain stores and homeware stores. Provide utensils for digging, sifting, pouring and building. Buckets and spades, or raid the kitchen for plastic or wooden spoon, bowls, sifters, funnels, yoghurt cups, or whatever captures your imagination.Water play - for those warm spring and summer days; A plastic paddling pool, A plastic tub, or that outgrown baby bath ( always supervise water play) Use your sandpit utensils and add some plastic bottles for pouring. a drop or two of blue or green food coloring gives the water some interest especially when they lift their hands in and out. Drop some ice cubes in or hot days and let them watch them melt. Of course nothing can beat running in and out of a hose/sprinkler (water restrictions permitting)Discover your neighbourhood - Go for a walk along your street, look at the houses, trees, plants and talk about them. Collect leaves & twigs for collage. Visit the park, use the equipment in the play area. Take a picnic snack or lunch. Visit your local shops, look in the windows at what is happening, buy some fruit , cheese and bread for a picnic. Go to your local library and choose some books. If the weather is cold, rug up warmly and go for a run around your yard, Go for a walk around the neighbourhood & collect some leaves for a craft activity on your return. If you live in a very cold climate build a snowman, throw snowballs. Living in the southern hemisphere it's hard for me to imagine those very cold days when you cant' get out. Our children don't have many days where they have to be inside.Take the indoors out - Bring some of those indoor activities outdoors, A rug, some cushions and a basket of books under a shady tree or on a porch or balcony can be very relaxing for mum and toddler (if he falls asleep you might get to read your book/magazine) Set up a pretend tea party with the doll's tea set and some water in the teapot and jug and maybe some tiny cookies. Take a snack outside and join your toddler in a real tea party.Craft Activities - The outdoors is the best place for messy crafts as it is easy to clean up. Put some large sheets of paper up on the wall or fence and let them paint with non toxic paints & sturdy paintbrushes. Collect some large boxes and let them paint them. If you or a friend has had a large appliance delivered keep the box. Let your children paint it when it's dry cut out a door and windows and you have an instant cubby house, alternatively put a large blanket or sheet over your outdoor table, an instant playhouse. Make up some playdough and use cookie cutters, small rolling pins, Plastic cooking utensils and they will be busy for ages. Provide buckets of water and paint brushes and let them paint the house or fence. This is particularly effective when it is hot as the water dries very quickly.Music and Movement - take a portable CD player outside and play some children's songs or your favorite rock or rap tunes. Provide scarves to wave as you dance to the music. If you have two or three children try a conga line around the yard. Pretend to be ballerina's dancing to the music (swan lake or the nutcracker is good for this) Children love all types of music when I was involved in a regular playgroup a few years ago we declared a no kids music day and played show tunes, 60's 70's rock, and many other styles, the old rock tunes were a big favorite.