After being inside for a few weeks, your kids probably have cabin fever. There are only so many ways to entertain kids indoors and too many of them involve a screen. Now, screentime has a place, but as spring weather emerges, you might be ready to give the kids a gentle nudge outside. But how do you get them to make the switch from inside stuff like screens to the sunny outdoors? Here are some simple Backyard Activities for Kids to get them outside enjoying the sunshine.
BACKYARD ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
GETTING CREATIVE WITH CHALK
It might surprise you that something as basic as chalk can be so much fun. Chalk is an oldie but goodie. I remember spending hours drawing on sidewalks as a kid and my kids enjoy the same activity now themselves. One thing my kids have been doing during this time is writing inspirational messages on the sidewalk outside our house. As neighbors walk by, these messages help to brighten their days.
There are lots of simple ways to add some fun and interest to outdoor chalk play. You can supply kids with a small bucket of water and have them dip their chalk into it before creating their sidewalk masterpieces. The results will be textured, vibrant creations that are quite eye-catching.
Kids can also use chalk to create fun games. In addition to the traditional hopscotch, chalk can be used to create learning games, like Dinosaur Toss, that are so much fun, kids won’t realize they are learning. Activities like this get kids learning and moving. Win-win!
PLAYING WITH ROCKS
Rocks are another item that most of us have access to. Whether you use small rocks for landscaping, or have larger ones in your garden, they are typically easy to come by. Kids can sort rocks by color or size, use them to create patterns, or paint them. They are also great for pretend play. Kids can pretend rocks they find are people or cars and use them in outdoor play.
GOING ON A SCAVENGER HUNT
Kids love scavenger hunts! They just take a few minutes to set-up. Choose some items, hide them in the yard and provide kids with clues or a checklist. Besides getting the kids outdoors in the sunshine, scavenger hunts encourage them to be active as they run all over searching for items.
WEEDING THE YARD
This may seem like a weird suggestion. I mean, adults don’t enjoy weeding. However, for some reason, my kids find this incredibly fun. I discovered this quite by accident as my kids started pulling weeds and placing them in sand buckets. They would try and see how many buckets they could fill. I am thinking part of the fun for kids is the fact that they are playing in the dirt.
This can be a win-win for parents as you get free yard work done while your kids have fun. Provide kids with a pair of gardening gloves and let them go to town. Of course, you’ll want to make us re your kids know the difference between weeds and actual plants.
PLANTING SEEDS AND FLOWERS
Now that your kids have pulled the weeds, it’s time to get started on a garden. This is a great way to have them dig in, get dirty and learn about the growth process. If you have younger kids, you can simply set up a bin with potting soil and some cups and let them play and plant on a smaller scale.
An added benefit of planting seeds with kids is that it can teach them a sense of responsibility. When my kids have planted seeds, they have been very involved in the caring of those seeds, making sure to water and check on them each day.
PLAYING WITH OUTDOOR TOYS
Some simple outdoor toys will entertain kids for hours. A jump rope, hula hoop and ball can be used in countless ways. Since my kids are competitive, they like to hula hoop together and see who can do it the longest. Jump rope competitions are also a frequent sight around here. With a simple ball, kids can practice rolling, throwing, and dribbling.
As you can see, you don’t have a spend a lot of time or money to encourage kids to get outdoors to combat cabin fever. If your kids have screen-time, you might want to hold off on digital devices until sundown. This lets kids enjoy the outdoors without feeling like they are missing something. You’ll be surprised how quickly they get lost in their outdoor activities. Don’t forget about yourself mom! Try to occasionally take a break from everything you have going on, to enjoy some outdoor fun.
YOUNG WOODWORKERS CLUB
If you are also looking for some fun ways to keep your child busy indoors, check out the Young Woodworkers Club. The Young Woodworkers Kit Club is a woodworking craft kit series designed for children from 7-12 years of age. This is the perfect age for kids to develop a love of woodworking. You’ll get tools, instructions, and pre-drilled wood pieces. A new kit arrives every 4 weeks. You’ll love how proud and accomplished your child feels as they master a new skill. Subscribe here.
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