The school year is winding down and soon summer will be in full swing. Since many of us (or at least our kids) will have a bit more free time on our hands, I've compiled a list of play-filled outdoor activities to keep those little ones busy while also enriching the mind, body, and spirit.
Play for Body & Breath
- Bubbles are a great way to introduce breath to children. Have them focus on how their breath controls the bubbles. Experiment with different types of breathing: long breath, quick breath, slow breath, fast breath.
- My favorite bubbles are Bubble Blitz by Imperial (see link in sidebar)
- Dandelions (the ones that have gone to seed)
- Dandelions are another great tool for breath. As an added bonus, they are plentiful and they are FREE!
- Make a wish and use your breath to send that wish off into the universe.
- Many neighborhoods provide an abundance of free balance training in the form of curbs. If you don't have curbs where you live, or if the novelty of the curb as a balance beam has worn off, listed below are some great products (at varying price points) that develop core strength, body awareness, and balance while playing.
Wonder Wave by Hearth Song (pictured above) I especially like this one because multiple kids can use it at the same time.
Balance Boards (pictured above) There are many on the market, and the price range is all over the board. I posted pictures of two different models above. One is a gorgeous, but pricey, piece of bent wood. The other is brightly-colored and more surfboard-like, with a slightly better price point.
Slack Lines (pictured above) This on is on our summer wish list. You can get a line to fit between two trees or, if you don't have trees that would work, you can get a self-supported line.
- Obstacle Courses
- Let your kids get creative by designing their own course with objects they find around the house or yard.
- Try to incorporate as many different movements as possible: hop, skip, run, crawl, and roll.
- We often use cones, hula hoops, bikes, stones, the play set, and trees in our courses at home.
- Chalk Mandala Stencils
- These are a great addition to sidewalk chalk and will quickly help dress up any piece of pavement.
- Create a Nature Mandala
- Have kids use items they find in nature to create their own design.
- Red Light, Green Light
- I like using this game as a tool to encourage focus. Children need to stay present and engaged throughout the game.
- Simon Says
- This is another activity that requires focus throughout the entire game.
- You can change it up by using different themes, such as Yogi Says, where all of the call-outs are different yoga poses.
- Acts of Kindness
- Spring-clean your toys and closets and donate to a local shelter.
- Write letters to our soldiers or to residents of assisted living homes.
- Run a lemonade stand, with the proceeds going to a charity of your child's choosing.
- Give a plant to your neighbor.
- Go on a nature walk and pick up litter.
- This list could go on and on. The point is to do something meaningful to you and your child.
- Plant a Garden or a Fairy Garden
- There is something magical about getting your hands into nature and growing life. Fairy gardens are a fun and imaginative way to engage kids in gardening.
- Start a Collection
- Collections encourage personal responsibility, organization, and categorizing.
- For parents, a collection of your child's choosing can be another great window into their mind.
- At our house, the current collection is a rock collection.
I hope you found some new ideas to incorporate into your summer fun. Wishing your family a play-filled summer together.
Peace + Play