Let's Go Play Outside!

backyard projects, hikes, and other outdoor family fun


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#14-Have a Pumpkin Patch Scavenger Hunt {52 Outdoor Activities}

{52 outdoor activities} is a series featuring a unique idea for each week of the year to inspire you and your kids to get outside for some fun.

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Our girls are right at the age where a visit to the pumpkin patch can be more than just obtaining a pumpkin.  So we had a scavenger hunt.  The first thing we did was find the biggest pumpkin – that’s C pointing it out.

pumpkin Collage

Then we tracked down the tallest, the weirdest (those reddish ones at the top) and the smallest.

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Then we found the bumpiest one.  C was not impressed.

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Even if you’ve already gotten pumpkins this year, there’s still time for more scavenger hunts…


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#13 – Fly a kite! {52 outdoor activities}

{52 outdoor activities} is a series featuring a unique idea for each week of the year to inspire you and your kids to get outside for some fun.

IMG_0724 (2)For her birthday, we gave C a new kite.  (Mainly because it was on clearance at Wal-Mart for only $.50.  But it’s also covered with a picture of Cinderella, so she LOVED it.)

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 Finally, this weekend, we had a day when it was windy enough and sunny enough and not raining and we were all together and we got to fly her kite!IMG_0721 (3)

Daddy got things going with proper kite technique lessons.   For being a $.50 kite, it did really great!

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Then C took the helm.  We didn’t get a picture, but during this part, P asked “Can I lay down?  In grass?” and proceeded to crack herself up laying down in the field and looking up at the kite.

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And all afternoon, I kept singing to myself, “Let’s go fly a kite…up to the highest height…let’s all go…fly a kite!”  It was a lot of fun and we’ll do it again soon.


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#12 – Go to the county fair {52 outdoor activities}

{52 outdoor activities} is a series featuring a unique idea for each week of the year to inspire you and your kids to get outside for some fun.

county fair I grew up in what we can call a more metropolitan area than where we live now.  When we went to the fair, it was crowded, there were lots of loud rides, and I don’t remember seeing any livestock except for the “world’s largest pig” that I paid $.50 to see with my friends when I was in 10th grade.

Now that I am raising my little family in the middle of nowhere, the fair is totally different.  Here in the country, the fair smells like cows, not like funnel cakes.  At the little county fair we went to last weekend, there were no rides.  There were antique tractors though.  It was nice to walk around on a cool, sunny morning and marvel at the animals that still seem exotic to me, but are not quite as fascinating to my children who have seen quite a bit of cows, chickens, and sheep in their brief lives.  Neither of them wanted the cows to be too close to them.  We did watch the FFA kids showing their cows, which seemed to be a lot of standing around while an announcer tried to make jokes about who was doing it best.

We like to hit the exhibits too.  Giant pumpkins!  Giant sunflowers!  Quilts!  Golf carts!  Bunnies! Tons and tons of grade school artwork.

Anyway, it was good times.  You should go to a fair too.

 

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#11 – Go flower picking {52 outdoor activities}

{52 outdoor activities} is a series featuring a unique idea for each week of the year to inspire you and your kids to get outside for some fun.clippersWhen I was visiting C’s classroom last week, I noticed the flower arranging tray and started thinking how much this would be  awesome activity for us at home.  So I gave her some clippers.

off to find moreAnd set her loose in the yard.  To find whatever flowers she liked.  She had to stop to examine all our vases and pick out which ones she would use.

the flowersSome of her selections.  We have a decent variety of flowers in our yard, but I guess you could also go flower picking in a more public area, if you were careful and considerate.

hydrangea bloom

Our hydrangea bushes are huge and full of blooms, so this one is in a vase on our kitchen table right now.

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First arrangement!  C took a lot of pride in finding locations around our house to display her blooms.  It would also be really nice to pick flowers and then share them with a neighbor.


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#10 Paint your sidewalk {52 outdoor activities}

{52 outdoor activities} is a series featuring a unique idea for each week of the year to inspire you and your kids to get outside for some fun.

C paints

Today was one of those days when we just needed something new to do.  I’d been thinking about an activity that would combine playing outside with art, so C and I mixed up some sidewalk chalk paint.  I got the recipe from Hammer and Thread.  Super easy – 2 Tbsp corn starch, 4 Tbsp (or 1/4 cup) water, and 6-8 drops food coloring.  We made blue, green, and pink.

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It was really fun for all of us.  We had to stop to eat dinner, but we’re going to use up the rest of the paint tomorrow.  Don’t tell Dad, but we may paint some stuff besides the sidewalk…like the swingset, a tree, or the side of garage.

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When we first started, I thought the paint was going to be too dull, but once it dries, it gets nicely bright and chalky.

a rose

C and I worked together on this rose – I did the stem and she did the flower.  This would also be really fun for a party – to paint sidewalks with images related to a theme or riddles or welcome messages for guests.

 


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#9 Go on a butterfly hunt {52 outdoor activities}

{52 outdoor activities} is a series featuring a unique idea for each week of the year to inspire you and your kids to get outside for some fun.

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Since our yard right now has sunflowers, zinnias, and butterfly bush blooming we have been seeing a lot of butterflies.  We also have a great picture book called Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert.  The back of the book has wonderful illustrations identifying common types of butterflies, so that inspired us to do a butterfly hunt in our yard.  In the picture above, C was preparing for our hunt with the book and her butterfly net.  Although the net is more for show.  When we finally got close enough to a Tiger Swallowtail on one of the sunflowers, we didn’t want to risk hurting it.

I also missed our picture taking opportunities because we were busy admiring the butterflies (and sort of chasing them down without trying to scare them off – hard when you have an almost two-year-old with you too!).  I did get a picture of this moth on a zinnia bloom. Apparently the moths aren’t easily intimidated.

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English: Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papil...

English: Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And if  you’re like me and you couldn’t tell one butterfly from the next, check out the picture of a tiger swallowtail – just for future reference.  It is fun to know which is which, and now when we are playing outside and C sees one she recognizes from the book, she starts shouting about it.  Pretty exciting stuff.

A few quick internet searches can provide ample ammunition for your own butterfly hunt.  Or go to the next level and plant a butterfly garden in your yard.  Better Homes and Gardens has a nice feature with tips on making your yard butterfly friendly here.

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