With school out and the weather becoming sunnier, most kids are eager to get out and enjoy the sunshine. This presents a special opportunity to use that extra time for fun activities you can plan with your child that will also benefit his or her physical and mental health. Here are ten outdoor activities you can do with your child right in your neighborhood.
- Break out the sidewalk chalk: Starting out low intensity with this one, sidewalk chalk can be used to play hopscotch, tic tac toe, draw, or improvise with other games. It can also present a special opportunity to bond with other kids in the neighborhood as well. Remember to be mindful of people passing on the sidewalk and of cars driving by.
- Play Red Light, Green Light: this classic game can be played even in smaller backyards. The nature of having to carefully follow directions can be helpful with impulse control, concentration, and motor skills as well.
- Take a ride through the neighborhood: whether it’s riding a bicycle, skateboard, or a scooter, engaging in an activity involving movement and balance will be exciting and beneficial for developing motor skills and concentration as well.
- Play Simon Says: you can find ways to get creative with this one. Involve fun items like hula hoops or balls to interact with. The more engaging you make it, the more you will be having fun along with helping build focus and understanding of social cues.
- Make an obstacle course: you can use simple items like lawn chairs, boxes, or pool noodles to construct a fun course for your child to solve. You can mix it up in many different ways by adding different stations with fun sensory activities for him or her to engage in.
- Make some bubbles: You can find bubbles in all sizes to give your child options to choose from. Finding scented bubbles can act as an additional stimulator to help with attention.
- Cloud watching: a more peaceful and less motor-focused option, this activity can be helpful in engaging language skills by having him or her identify what a cloud looks like. This peaceful setting can also be a great opportunity to have meaningful conversations with your child.
- Create a scavenger hunt: you can go about this in a couple ways. You can put out different items from your home hidden in the yard, such as toys, or you can simply have your child find things in nature. This highly integrated activity will be help with attention and language skills.
- Start a garden: This activity is both therapeutic and teaches a useful life skill. The sensory stimulation of digging through dirt along with the feeling of making something grow can be very rewarding.
- Create a map of the yard: so, this one may not be very relevant for the summer, but in the fall and winter this can be a blast. Shovel snow or rake leaves into a series of paths in the yard with your child and create little “landmarks” with items you find in your yard. Next, have your child go through and create a map of your landscape, complete with a compass rose, labels, and pictures. This will be fun and help your child through art therapy and directional skills.
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