Spring has sprung, the grass is green. Hello, sun! Where have you been???
I’m very excited to say that after a very long winter, the snow in our backyard is FINALLY gone. While I love snow, I am much more of a warm weather gal. Now that the snow is gone, it is much easier getting the kids outside because I don’t have to throw on their hats, mitts, snow pants, winter jackets, and snow boots.
I love the idea of being able to send my kids out into the backyard only armed with hats and sunscreen. Shoes aren’t even necessary in the soft grass. My husband and I are big fans of the outdoors, and now that our daughters are almost three, it is much easier to do more things together as a family outside.
This week, I’m doing a shout out to My Baby Care. They are a great resource for moms and dads. From nursery ideas to feeding to tips on toddlers, they feature a wide range of information for parents. One article I loved is about how you can get your kids playing outdoors. Sometimes, it can be a challenge to pull them away from the tv or toys inside and get them out into the backyard. The article has some creative activities that will be sure to get your kids outside. Be sure to check it out!
Here are some outdoor activities I love to do with my family when the weather gets warm.
Walks and Hikes
One of my favorite things to do this is going on walks with my kids. Whether it is through town on the paths, or in the mountains on a hike. If your kids are little, you can pack them up in a stroller and go for a walk with them that way. Throw a bunch of snacks, water, and diapers in the bottom and then head off. I used to do three hour walks with my kids in the stroller. They loved being outside and looking at the river, trees, animals, and saying hi to the people passing by.
If we wanted to do a trail that was not stroller accessible, we put the twins in a carrier and had Jack walk. I can tell you that carrying a baby up a mountain on your back is a really good workout.
Now that my girls are older, we can now do longer walks with them. It can be hard to keep your children’s attention when doing a long walk, so it is important to make the walks fun and engaging. While you are walking, you can point out different animals, rocks, bodies of water and take a look at them. Give them places to aim for so they have an idea in their heads of what to look forward to. If you just go for a walk, that doesn’t sound very fun to a two-year-old. If you say you are going for a walk, and first you are going to find the bridge, then the river, and then go up the big hill in order to get to grandmas house, they know exactly what they are going to do and what they are going to look for. If you are familiar with Dora, it’s the same kind of idea that they use with the map.
It is also important to remember that when you first start doing long walks with your kids, don’t expect to move quickly. They dawdle, but it keeps them interested, and it’s great exercise. If you need to speed things up a bit, you can try suggesting a race. When we yell “Ready, set, go!” The kids all start running, which does speed things up a bit. Plus, racing is another fun game kids love.
This year, I’m very excited to take kids camping for the first time. We will be able to spend an entire weekend together outside playing games, visiting a beach, sitting around a campfire, and looking at the stars. I have no idea how it will go, so stay tuned for updates on that adventure, but it is definitely a great way to get the kids outside and enjoy summer.
Play with Water
I’m not sure what it is about water, but kids love it. Whether it is playing outside with a water table, splashing in an outdoor pool or splash park, playing with a sprinkler or kid pool in your backyard, or visiting the beach. No matter where you live, there is some time of water that your kids can play with. Last summer, we had a pool and a water table set up, and the kids would spend hours playing with their toys in the water table, and wading around in the pool and going down the little slide that comes with the pool. A great bonus is that it cool them down on hot summer days too. We are also lucky enough to have access to a lake with a beach, and the kids absolutely love playing in the water and playing in the sand.
While these are just three things that my kids love to do outside, there are lots of other activities you can do outside. The important part is that everyone is having a great time!