Some weeks my kids practically live outside. But certain days they need a little nudge to go outside to play. Once I actually get them outside, mother nature usually takes care of the entertainment. Here are some ways I have successfully enticed my kids to go outside during our 30 x 30 Nature Challenge.
PopsiclesPopsicles are an outside treat only at my house. We keep it super simple by mostly freezing 100% fruit juice or leftover yogurt and fruit smoothies. Before I invested in stainless steel popsicle molds we simply used ice cubes with toothpicks in them. Serving lunch or snacks outside works too.
ChalkLet your kids use chalk to practice letters or create drawings or make a hopscotch game. My kids now spend a lot of time drawing road lines and signs for their tricycle adventures. If you dip the chalk in water it's more like painting (but the chalk gets used up much faster). Check out this post for links to making homemade chalk or sidewalk paint.
|Photo credit: Tim Pierce|
|Photo credit: Barbara Hobbs|
|Photo credit: Aaron McIntyre|
CameraWe have a cheap kid-friendly one that really only works well outside. I won't be handing my kids (6, 4, and 2) my Nikon or smartphone anytime soon. But I think I should get out my old Canon point-and-shoot that I never use anymore.
BugsSend your kids on a bug hunt! Add magnifying devices, temporary bug houses, or a camera (see above) for extra appeal! When we find spiders inside the house, we often trap them and release them outside where the kids love to watch them until they escape into the bushes. Lizards, birds, and squirrels and other wildlife are also enticing, but harder to catch a glimpse of with little ones.
|Photo credit: Various Brennemans|
Play DoughHere is my favorite recipe for homemade play dough: Combine 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 cup water, and food coloring. Cook over medium while stirring until mixture forms a ball. Allow to cool and then knead until smooth. Store in airtight container in fridge (we use old yogurt containers). I love this recipe because it lasts forever if refrigerated between uses (we've been using our last batch for 6+ months). We love to use with cookie cutters (I picked up a bunch for next to nothing at the thrift store), children's knives, and small rolling pins.
Check out additional 30 x 30 Nature Challenge posts here.
How do you get your kids outside?
- 30 Ways to Enjoy 30 Minutes in Nature with Your Kids
- 13 Benefits of Spending Time Outside - Week One of the #30x30Challenge
- Gifts that Encourage a Child's Sense of Wonder About Nature
- Kids and Nature
- Choosing Arts & Crafts Materials that Are Safe for Kids
- Eco-friendly and Budget-friendly Arts & Crafts Supplies
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