Fun & Easy Outdoor Activities to Spark Discovery and Imagination in Children

I think one of the best things about being a parent is being able to witness the joy of discovery through a child’s eyes. I love watching my children as they take in the world around them, try to figure out how things work and all the questions that they have. With a one and three year old, each day is spent discovery something new.

With spring emerging we’ve been spending so much more time outdoors when the weather cooperates and my children are absolutely loving exploring the outdoor world around them. The warm sunshine, brisk breeze and rebirth of everything around us is so invigorating and really pumps our senses into overdrive. Being outdoors inspires my children in new ways and I love being able to utilize that for learning and growth.

I’m sharing Teddy Soft Bakes in my life as part of a sponsored series for Socialstars™

When outdoors I try to utilize the world around us to spark their sense of discovery, creativity and playfulness. Here are a few activities that we do when outside to help foster those senses:

Play I Spy

We love taking walks, but my 3 year old son can get a bit restless after about 20 minutes. While we walk, we’ve started playing I-Spy to keep him entertained and it’s a great way for him to really take in and notice his surroundings. Often times it leads to questions and conversations that we would never had had if he hadn’t noticed certain objects.

Look For Shapes in the Clouds

This simple, yet fun activity is great for spurring imagination. I love hearing my son explain about the objects that he sees in the sky. Sometimes he will spin his images into stories that are quite elaborate and it’s great observing him be so creative.

Sticky Nature Frame

This is such an easy activity that kids love! Simply take some packing tape (the super strong and sticky kind) and make a square or rectangle out of it with the sticky side facing up. The tape your sticky tape square to a flat surface (side of house, garage door, window, etc.) with the sticky side facing out. Let the kids collect nature items (grass, leaves, small twigs, rocks) and place them on the sticky surface. Kids love this simply activity and being able to see all their treasures placed on the sticky surface.

Nature Bracelets

This activity is very similar to the one mentioned above with one small change: make a bracelet with the sticky tape! Place the tape sticky side up on your children’s wrist and place nature finds and treasures on the sticky side of the tape. My son loved showing off his “bracelet” to everyone.

Picnic

We love setting out a big blanket (or large sheet) and having a snack together. Eating outside seems like such a precious experience (especially when we’ve been stuck inside the last 5 months). We always pack along a few drinks and out favorite snack, Teddy Soft Bakes. These tasty treats are made with ingredients I approve of – no high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors – and have a surprise filling (chocolate or vanilla), that made my son gasp with surprise and delight the first time he tried one. Plus, the fun bear shape is perfect for playing a bit of make believe and pretend as we enjoy the outdoors together. Teddy Soft Bakes are the perfect way to recharge after a busy afternoon playing and exploring in the outdoors.

Chalk Drawings

Bringing a bucket of chalk out to the driveway and going crazy is always fun! Whether it’s creating murals, tracing each other, making hopscotch ladders to jump through or simply writing out our ABCs, this is one of our favorite outdoor activities.

Open Ended Questions

If possible, try to avoid yes and no questions. They often lead to dead-end conversations and you’ll be amazed at what you might learn if you keep your questions open-ended. Open-ended questions allow your child’s mind to wander and question the world around him a bit more. Keep the 5 W’s in mind: who, what, when where and why.

I’d love to hear about any fun and creative crafts or activities that you do with your kids outside! Please share them below!

 

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By | 2017-04-13T21:00:43+00:00 April 4th, 2017|family|14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Sheila April 4, 2017 at 11:08 pm

    I love the sticky nature frame idea! We love filling up bucket with water and I will gather measuring cups and spoons for my son to transfer the water from one bucket to another. He loves it! Haha

  2. Kristen April 5, 2017 at 10:11 am

    Love your ideas!! Never thought of the sticky frame idea! I think the girls would love that!

  3. Sarah April 5, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    We are loving the warm spring weather as well! I also have a 1 year old and a 3 year old- I think they will love the sticky frame and bracelet ideas, they’re always finding treasures for our nature basket. Thanks for some great ideas!

  4. Lauren | also known as mama April 5, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    I love the idea of the sticky nature frame! My 3 year old would love it too!

  5. Charissa | thenotsobusymom April 6, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Great ideas here! I love a simple picnic, and my kids are big fans of chalk drawing. My kids are 10, 8 & 4, so they really love evening bike rides through the neighborhood.

  6. Carolyn April 6, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I love the idea of sticky side tape for the nature collection. Brilliant idea. I also need to try that snack, my daughter needs some new snacks.

  7. Rochelle April 6, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    Those are my favorite kind of days! One thing we also like doing is giving them a color scavenger hunt where they have to find items in nature that match the colors I give them.

  8. Christina Shoemaker April 9, 2017 at 9:31 am

    We do I Spy and Hopscotch too! I’ve never heard of the Sticky Nature Frame! What a fun idea!!

  9. Shahla April 10, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    That sticky frame is genius!! I can’t wait for us to try!

  10. Angela Amores April 11, 2017 at 12:34 am

    This looks like such a fun day!! I love the sticky wall. That is such a good one!!
    Angela

  11. Nicole Banuelos April 11, 2017 at 1:09 am

    These are such great activities!

  12. […] Sticky Nature Frame is such an easy activity that kids love! Simply take some packing tape (the super strong and sticky kind) and make a square or rectangle out of it with the sticky side facing up. Tape your sticky tape square to a flat surface (side of house, garage door, window, etc.) with the sticky side facing out. Let the kids collect nature items (grass, leaves, small twigs, rocks) and place them on the sticky surface. Kids love this simple activity and being able to see all their treasures placed on the sticky surface.” – Amber, Mommy Gone Healthy […]

  13. b camacho April 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    We love to paint on cardboard of things we see in nature.

  14. steve jones April 26, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    it w9ould help children stay busy

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