Things to do Outside with Your Kids

Social and Emotional Learning in ChildrenWhether it’s going on a walk, playing in your yard, or exploring a new park, getting your kids outside is a great way to positively impact their development!  Many activities address multiple areas of development including gross motor, fine motor, sensory, communication, and cognitive skills!

  • Draw in the dirt or mud with a stick! Talk about what you’re drawing and/or see if your child can copy your simple lines and shapes.  Try this in different positions such as squatting or kneeling.
  • Have a scavenger hunt! Draw or write a list of things to find on a paper bag before you go out, then use the bag to collect all of the treasures.
  • See how many different colors you can find in nature! Point to them and talk about them!
  • Talk about and point to what you see, hear, and feel: birds, wind, insects, clouds, grass, leaves, trees, etc!
  • Pretend to be animals, cars, etc! Fly like a bird (flap arms while running), walk like a bear, “zoom” (run) fast like a car, waddle like a duck, hop like a frog, etc.
  • Puddle jumping! Jump over the puddle, into the puddle, stand on 1 foot in the puddle, stomp in the puddle.
  • Draw with sidewalk chalk! Make “tracks” to walk on or draw shapes and jump or step from 1 to the next.
  • “Paint” with water! Dip a paintbrush or rag in a bucket of water, draw on the sidewalk, mailbox, etc and then watch it disappear!
  • Count how many sticks or rocks you can collect!
  • Blow bubbles! Have kids chase them, stomp on them, and even let the older kids practice blowing them!
  • Water play! Use buckets or shovels to scoop water and dump it out or transport it to different places. Older kids can play catch with water balloons.
  • Find new surfaces to walk (or crawl) on such as hills, grass, outdoor stairs!