18 Mar Social Distancing? Fun Outdoor Activities For Toddlers
Outdoor activities for toddlers are important for so many reasons. Letting our little people spend time in nature helps them learn about the world around them and gives them a greater appreciation for our environment. It’s the first step to creating future eco-warriors!
However, in the current climate, finding creative ways to entertain our children is crucial. With the rise of coronavirus, Australia’s government is recommending we all practise social distancing wherever possible. In addition, there may be a time when schools and childcare facilities decide to close. The world feels very strange at the moment – and we’re all being asked to make sacrifices.
Being stuck at home with bored toddlers is no one’s idea of a good time! But never fear. We’ve compiled a list of fun and engaging activities that you can do in your own back yard. Our fun outdoor activities for toddlers and pre-schoolers will help keep them busy – and help save your sanity, too.
The world is a fascinating place when you’re a toddler. Venture out into your backyard and discover the tiny creatures who make their home under stones and between the blades of grass!
- 1 large wooden spoon
- Clear glass or plastic container with a lid
- Magnifying glass
It shouldn’t take too long to find bugs in your yard. Start by preparing your jar with a little bit of dirt at the bottom. Now peek underneath rocks and stones to discover ants, beetles and more going about their daily lives. Allow the bug to crawl onto the big spoon. Carefully transfer them to the jar and put the lid on. Use the magnifying glass to get a close-up look at your little bug as it explores the inside of the jar. Be sure to release your bug friends back into the garden when you’re done.
Yes, it’s true – the most fun outdoor activities for toddlers often involve mess. But many mums are filled with dread when they hear the word PAINTING. While the weather still allows for outdoor play, grab your kid-friendly paints and head outside with your little artists!
There are lots of simple ways to encourage creativity when painting outdoors including:
- Finger painting – this is such a simple way to get your little one painting as it only requires washable, toxic-free paint, some craft paper, and your child’s hands! And while your little one is busy having fun, they’ll also be developing fine motor skills.
- Window painting – ensuring you have easily washable paint, why not let your little one paint on the outside of your windows. Whether using their fingers or a child-sized paint brush, they can admire their artwork from both sides of the window, and then when you’re ready, you can simply rinse it off.
- Squirt painting – if you have kids’ water pistols lying around, consider filling them with watery paint so that your little one can “shoot” the paint at paper on an easel. Try using a variety of colours to create wonderful patterns.
- Stamp painting with found objects – set up your painting station in the yard. Now go on a hunt for stones, leaves and other natural treasures that can be dipped in paint and used as a stamp on craft paper. What different patterns can each object make?
Other Outdoor Activities To Try With Toddlers
If cabin fever gets too much, think about driving to your nearest nature reserve. With lots of space and fresh air, it’s the ideal way to get out of the house while still keeping distance from the general public.
Do you have weeding or other gardening to do? Consider involving your little ones. It will give them a sense of purpose and achievement as they complete this task with you. They might not be super-helpful and the activity may not last for too long, but even a small opportunity to get outside in the fresh air can offer a much needed mental reset for the family.
Go on a backyard picnic. For toddlers, any change to the usual routine can be fun and engaging. Set up a blanket in the backyard, and perhaps ask your toddler to bring along their favourite teddy friends! Something as simple as a fruit snack and some “tea” in special cups is all that’s needed. And why not bring along favourite books to read together. Afterwards, you can lie back and watch the clouds together. What funny shapes can you see?
And when you’re done with your outdoor adventures for the day, consider having a gorgeously calming Lavender & Chamomile bubble bath. Take a breath, mama! You’ve survived another day.