Mae loves being outside. No matter what the weather, I think she would stay outside all day if I would let her. While Mae loves being outside even in the cold, I am loving this beautiful warm weather for being outside.
Depending on the activity, sometimes I will be right beside Mae, and other times I’m able to sit on our porch steps or in a chair and read a book or write in my journal. Mae prefers when my attention is totally on her, but she is still content to have me nearby as she plays.
As with the previous list of toddler activity ideas, I’m sure this list barely scratches the surface of activities to do outside, but these are some things Mae and I have enjoyed lately.
Mae loves to color, and coloring outside is even better! I bought a small pack of chalk for less than a dollar at Walmart and it has been great. We only have a small space where Mae can use the chalk, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Whenever we go to my parent’s house they have several large spaces for chalk and she loves it there!
Mae is starting to learn colors and shapes, so drawing with chalk outside is also a great time to practice these skills.
2. Playing with Water
Any kind of water! Mae loves using her watering can to water all the plants and flowers in our garden. She loves playing with the hose turned on a tiny trickle. She loves it when I fill a bucket with water and she gets to use all her toys to fill and dump and splash around with the water.
Mae especially loves getting in the pool, but that only happens at Mimi’s house right now. She also gets popsicles at Mimi’s house, which makes playing in water even better!
3. Helping in the Garden
During the spring and summertime the garden is such a fun activity. I need to be out in the garden to weed and water and such daily, so it is nice that Mae loves to help.
Mae has her own little spade, watering can, and rubber boots, so she really feels like she is helping. She will often ask me if we need to water the garden, pull weeds, or plant seeds. I think she is disappointed that we no longer need to be planting seeds.
We have a fairly large yard and Mae loves to walk all around and explore. I follow behind or beside her, going at her own pace. Sometimes she asks to hold my hand, but most of the time she enjoys the freedom of wandering the whole yard!
As we explored recently we found wild blackberries. Now Mae loves to walk down and pick them.
5. Blowing Bubbles
I don’t know if Mae likes the bubbles or just putting the lid on and off her container better, but she loves playing with bubbles! We started out with a bottle from the store, but after Mae dumped most of it out I made some out of water and dish soap. They don’t work as well, but Mae doesn’t seem to mind because she does more playing and dumping than blowing the bubbles.
There are so many benefits to being outside, both for children and adults. From physical to mental, the list of positive outcomes from being outside goes on and on.
There are the physical benefits of breathing fresh air and moving and getting one’s blood flowing.
There are studies showing that outdoor play benefits academic learning.
There are multiple studies demonstrating how being outside makes people happier.
I believe God has given us a desire to be outside in His created world, and learning more about Him is the greatest benefit of all.
What are your favorite outdoor activities for toddlers, or for yourself?