My husband loves being outdoors. His job doesn’t allow for much time outdoors admittedly so on the weekends he’s a bit like a caged lion and can’t wait to be in the backyard or local park with the kids.
Equally, my kids are at their happiest when they are outdoors. There seems to be less tussles and arguments when they are playing outside than in.
So if you’re going to be in the backyard – here are 5 things you can do:
Water the Plants
Here is a simple, inexpensive watering can to make with the kids. Simply punch some holes in the top of a milk bottle lid with a thumb tac and you have a watering can. The best bit is, they aren’t too big and awkward for the kids to manage and they have a ready-made handle. The kids can even personalise their watering can by adding a bit of bling!
Make a pet rock
There is bound to be a rock in your backyard or nearby that can soon be their new best friend. You can paint or draw on the rock, add googly eyes and even wool for hair. Monster rocks are my son’s favourites… They can either live downstairs in the garden or beside their bed. They are a cheap pet to keep….haha
Create an Obstacle Course
Using things you already have, create an obstacle course in your backyard that the kids have to complete. It doesn’t have to be labour intensive, in fact, it is better if it isn’t because (if you are like me) you are likely to set it up more often. It may involve throwing coits, scrambling through a pop up tunnel or under a table, jumping through various hula hoops, throwing balls into a bucket, skipping around a set path etc. It doesn’t have to be elaborate for the kids to enjoy it. Time them going through the course to keep their attention – focusing on them beating their own PB each time.
Plant a few veges
This reinforces the whole knowing where your food comes from concept which is invaluable for little ones. Planting and maintaining a few veges can be a fun way for them to learn to take responsibility for growing their own food. The absolute delight they get when they start seeing the ‘fruits/veges of their labour’ is priceless.
Catch & Step Ball Game
This is a game my father-in-law started with my kids from a young age. You start by standing about 1 metre from the kids and throwing the ball. If they catch it, they get to take one step backwards. If they drop it, they have to take one step forwards. This continues until the person who is the furthest back (or you run out of backyard), wins! Depending on the age of your kids, it can be played with either a tennis ball or a larger bobble-type ball for littlies.