We have a rule at our house that when the weather is nice, everyone needs to smell like dirt by the end of the day. Where we live spring and fall seasons are short, and summer and winters can have extreme temperatures. So we try play outside and soak as many pretty weather days as possible. Here are the fun, easy, and cheap outside activities that my almost 2 year old and almost 4 year old love.
- Sidewalk Chalk Paint
I was at a discount craft store when I found two buckets of sidewalk chalk paint for $1.50. (If you are in the Oklahoma City area, I was at Basket Market off Meridian and SW 15th. I *think* this is the Hobby Lobby outlet store.) My daughter loves sidewalk chalk AND paint. So I thought putting the two together for a buck fifty, well this would be a great find. It totally was! She loved it.
The buckets contained powder that we mixed with water to make the paint. We had paintbrushes, but we ended up just using our hands. I think we will try sponges next time. The consistency was like paint and it dried like chalk. I tried unsuccessfully to find the exact kind I bought, but I did find some on Amazon here.
2. Set out a couple of translucent containers
I know this one sounds WAAAAY too easy, but if I give my kiddos 4-5 translucent containers they can play with these for up to an hour at a time. I set out nonbreakable containers of different shapes and sizes. I fill them at varying levels with either potting soil or water, and they go to town filling and sorting and shuffling the water or dirt between the containers.
Extra Tip: If you give them dirt you can also give them a sifter. If you give them water you can also give them a funnel.
3. Water slide
If you have any sort of a slide play toy in your yard, place a kiddy pool at the bottom for a homemade water slide. My smarty pants nephew thought of this when he was visiting, and the kids love it. They also race their toy cars down the slide into the water.
4. A Big Bag of Potting Soil
If you checked out my post Gardening Corner for the Kids you know I set some big pots in the corner of the yard and got the kids some gardening tools and watering cans. While they did plant some seeds, the real star of the corner is the pile of leftover potting soil. I know this sounds too simple, but I really could have gotten away with just dumping a big bag of dirt in the corner of the yard. They dig in it. They have dirt fights. They make mud pies. They drive their toy cars through it. They make dirt roads out of it. They just really enjoy this pile of dirt.
5. Eating Outside
Whether it’s a snack or a meal or on a blanket in the grass or on patio furniture, eating al fresco is a fun way to shake up their every day routine.
Do you have an low stress outside activities you do with your kiddos?