I am not naturally an outdoors person. I wish I was. I think God’s Creation is beautiful and all, I just prefer to view it from an air-conditioned room or from behind a bug-proof screen. I know it’s something I need to grow in and being a mom to boys has pushed me out of my comfort zone, in a good way.
It’s easy for my toddler to start bouncing off the walls, couch, or table if cooped up indoors too long. Sometimes a few minutes of fresh air and open space is the answer to any extra energy or attitude problems. This year, I’ve tried to make it a point to go outside at least once a day. So here are a few of the low-hassle activities we’ve been enjoying.
It’s a time to use all those large outdoor toys that get ignored.
Fetching with or just better training the family dog. This is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, get outside time AND a better behaved family dog. Armed with a box of dog treats, it’s a great time to teach your toddler how to give the dog commands such as sit and fetch and teach the dog not to knock down/bully your kiddos.
Swing or Trampoline, if you have been so blessed with some (or have awesome neighbors who will let you use theirs, as in our case)
A few pots, cups, and measuring cups filled with water, with an assortment of cooking spoons and children stripped down to their underwear/diaper. No swimsuits required. Of course, you can also use a more traditional swimming pool or sprinkler, but this has been our latest go-to form of water play.
Also, a little summer play tip… If you live in a hotter climate and don’t enjoy sweating buckets, try going out earlier. Around here, it easily reaches the nineties, which for me = misery. But earlier in the day, say after breakfast, it’s often still in the seventies… nice and pleasant. I’ll often leave the front door open so I can both hear and watch him while I do dishes.
What are your favorite outdoor toddler activities?