As a parent, your children’s health is always top-of-mind. What if we were to tell you the key to health and development is as simple as a little sunshine and playtime? Research shows that the health benefits of outside playtime for children of all ages is key in development of the mind, body and creativity.
There are many fundamental tasks that children can learn through exploring and risk-taking. Fine motor skills are also developed through experience and is more effectively accomplished through outdoor play. These development principles are key for all ages.
Below, we have listed a few fun outdoor play options for your child’s age range:
- Lay a blanket down and have tummy time outside
- Introduce grass, leaves and sand in their hands as they exercise fine motor skills of touching and holding these items
- Play with small colorful balls or blocks
- Face the infant toward children at play to stimulate their eyes
- Place the infant in a safely secured swing
- Play in a sand box
- Stimulate noises and point out the various sounds
- Push an infant in a stroller around the neighborhood or park
- Blowing bubbles and trying to catch them
- Peek-a-boo around trees, bushes, playground
- Explore in a sand box
- Tap on various outdoor equipment to stimulate noises
- Build with small blocks
- Play with colorful balls
- Take a stroller ride around the neighborhood, naming objects you see
- Water play with cups and plastic containers
- Anything that incorporates pretend play and use of the imagination
- Build with Legos, large blocks, or cardboard boxes
- Climb through tunnels
- Push anything with wheels
- Explore nature, trees, grass, and cars driving by
- Wagon rides through a park
- Plastic cups with water
- Build a fort outside
3-5 years of age:
- Create a garden! If there is not much room in your yard create a mini garden with small pots and seedlings.
- Nature “hike” with a scavenger list of items to find.
- Sidewalk chalk to create beautiful masterpieces!
- Have them help you clean and wash the car or even have them wash their bikes!
- Gather old kitchen containers and create a kitchen outside!
- Collect twigs, branches and sticks to create makeshift campsite for “roasting” marshmallows and hot dogs!
- Collect pinecones for making peanut butter bird feeders.
- Two adventures in one! The kids can collect the pinecones, put the peanut butter on, add birdseed and wait and watch for new friends to feed!
- Glow sticks in water bottles make for a perfect game of evening bowling!
- A nature walk is a great way to enhance children’s appreciation of the natural environment. Ask them to tell you what they are seeing, hearing, and smelling.
- Set up an obstacle course with old tires, boxes, crates, tote boxes and tree stumps
- Sledding is a great sensory activity that activates the vestibular or balancing system
- Run outside and kick a ball around
- Jump rope, run, dance, play hop-scotch
- Outdoor sports like basketball or soccer
- Go on a hike
- Plant and maintain a garden
- Ride a bike
- Play tag or kick the can games with friends
- Build forts outdoors out of things found around the house
These activities create an enjoyable time outside for your children and to think it’s only going to further develop their health, mind, body and creativity! For more options of outdoor play, check out our play sets, basketball hoops and trampolines. We’d love to be a part of your children’s growth!