The last few days have finally been spring-time warm! We ventured outside, Shep on his own two feet and Rory in my new Wildbird Ring Sling. (It's gorgeous and I love it, by the way!) I brought a set of washable finger paints, a few sheets of paper, and put Shep in a pair of pants he was on the cusp of outgrowing. Finally! After a long winter, I could finally feel the sun warming my skin. The birds were singing. Later in the afternoon, I started building a list of outdoor activities I can do with Shep and Rory. These are my favorites - what are yours?
Painting with waterQuick, Easy, and Zero Cleanup! Grab a few brushes of various sizes, maybe even a few sponges! Put a few inches of water in a bin and let your toddler "paint" the sidewalk. Older kids might even learn about evaporation!
This seems silly, but it entertains my son and I can just let him have at it. I supervise him with a garden trowel and let him dig in the sandbox.
Pouring stationA classic both indoors and out with zero cost. Fill a few cups with water and place the next to empty cups or bowls. Show your toddler how to pour the water from cup to cup and cheer when they don't spill a drop!
Finger paintsStraightforward, right? Just be sure you have a well-timed bath to follow! (Or a run through the sprinkler on hot days.)
I especially like practicing counting! But doodling is fun all by itself, too.
Collecting sticksI feel like I shouldn't have to explain this one. It's sticks. They're magical because they can be swords or drumsticks or pokey thingys or pencils! Let your kid play with sticks.
Contact paper muralsThis is one I haven't tried yet! I found it on Pinterest because I'm super basic. Tape a square of contact paper to the wall or the fence, and have your toddler create a nature mural by sticking found items on the paper. You could even save it with a layer of contact paper on top of your treasures!
I have found my son enjoys chasing far more than he enjoys blowing bubbles. YMMV.
BasketballWe use our basketball hoop daily! Shep likes to shoot hoops and I like being able to half-heartedly supervise.
DancingSometimes I just like to crank up the music and bust out some dance moves with my kiddo. Lately he's been digging Rock Lobster, so we're hoping to introduce him to the work of David Bowie this weekend. I bet Shep will be a big fan!
Sometimes I take the low-effort option and just take both kiddos on a walk to the park. Shep has been lucky to live near some pretty great parks! Even without a dedicated toddler play area, playgrounds offer lots of interesting colors and textures. Usually there's a comfortable bench where I can sit quietly and watch Shep run across the grass. Thank goodness for Spring - we all needed a break from the winter cold.
What are you favorite outdoor toddler games? Tell me all about them on Twitter @pi3sugarpi3.