Life as we know it has been turned upside down right now as we collectively go through this period of isolation and (for many) extreme stress. Perhaps it’s made us realize what is truly important: our health, ourselves, our families, our kids, our pets, and our planet Earth. So, why not try to let go of what we cant control and find some fun (in our own backyards!). And, if you don’t have a backyard, substitute the focus of this article to your local park, patio, or even your window.
Eye Spy With My Little Eye….
Something rainbow! Oooooo something shiny! Something green! Something bright! We can use our senses to play and find the “small miracles” that lie just outside. Today in fact, one of my friends told me about the discovery of a squirrel home in their tree. It had always been at eye level, but they had never seen it before, until today! That squirrel had made a nice little bed for itself in nook. Their children had so much fun looking at it and imagining that little squirrel tucking itself in a little ball at night all cozy in its little bed of carefully shredded leaves. Home sweet home for that little squirrel!
Who’s that flying by? It’s your kiddos or baby in a new swing for the tree. And, bonus, there are tons of swings you can even make yourself. Just Google a how-to (make sure you feel good about the safety of the swing). Or, if you’d rather look online, try supporting a local business. Regardless of how you purchase, a swing is one of the most inexpensive outside toys. And, it’s a time-tested fun activity for kids (and adults!). No tree? How about a kite? Anything to spur the imagination and pretend we’re flying!
Magical Micro Lands
For bigger “little” kiddos, creating a fairy “land” or a dinosaur “town” can be like a nature scavenger hunt. Need “furniture” for your land or town? Try some rocks! How about some decorations… maybe some twigs, a leaf, or a flower will do. Have your kids scour the area for natural objects and use each one as a teaching moment to explain what they all are. Add some household items to keep the game going longer and weave in natural elements. At the end, take pictures and share with your friends!
Good, Old Fashioned Dirt (or Sand)
We’ve talked about this a lot on our Facebook page and it is definitely still true that playing in dirt can be one of the best ways for kids to build and boost their immune systems. The healthy microbes in dirt support many different systems in the body. Same goes for adults and gardening.
So, get on out there, get dirty, have fun, and explore in nature, right in your own backyard!
COVID-19 has changed everyone’s summer plans/vacations completely, but that isn’t a reason to not have fun in our backyards! There are so many things you can do in this quarantine that are productive and fun for you and the whole family! Social distancing isn’t as bad as it seems when you can get the creative mind going. Here are even more ideas!
Some great ideas for the toddlers and little kiddos:
- Sand box
- Swings (buckets, old wheels, hammocks)
- Climbing tires
- Playhouse/fort (use sticks and branches)
- Outdoor mud kitchen… mmm, mud pies! (Don’t actually eat them)
- Outdoor puppet “theater”
Things to build/put together with the fam (6+ years old):
- Climbing wall
- Small or big sports field (use chalk)
- Custom zip line (make sure this is safe!!)
- Butterfly and bird feeders
- Garden teepee/willow den
- Mini golf course
- Angry Birds in real life! (bozes+stuffed animals)
Even more activities:
- Scavenger hunts
- Plant a garden
- Fly a drone or a kite
- Water balloon fight or piñatas
- Bury the trampoline (safer than a normal one)
- Water slide (tarp+water)
- Twister (paint the dots yourself or use bubble wrap)
- Tin can bowling
- Obstacle courses
- Make tiny homes out of the nature’s resources for the toads (or even the fairies)
Most importantly while enjoying the outdoors at home, remember to take Covid-19 precautions. Also, parents should supervise at all times to make sure no injuries occur. After all the building, I recommend that relaxing chairs are set up where the children are visible at all times for the parents or guardians to watch!
There are so many things we can do as spring comes along. Take advantage and bond with the kiddos. Stay safe, you got this!