Let's Go Play Outside!

backyard projects, hikes, and other outdoor family fun


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#2 Go to the beach! {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.

let's go play outside: go to the beach! {52 outdoor activities}

let's go play outside: go to the beach! {52 outdoor activities}

Is there a more quintessential summer activity than going to the beach?  And what kid doesn’t enjoy going to the shore?  

Actually, my girls have both been a little hesitant about the beach – the ocean is loud!  The waves are big!  They got over that hesitation pretty quickly though, because they get busy building sandcastles, looking for shells, and wading in the waves.  

So this week’s outdoor activity suggestion is to go the beach.  I realize that not everyone can get to the ocean.  Perhaps your family can visit a lake or riverbed.  If all else fails, buy a bag of play sand at the home improvement store, put on your swimsuits and build a sandcastle.  You can play an ocean waves soundtrack from YouTube, like this one, or maybe your favorite Beach Boys tunes.
let's go play outside: go to the beach! {52 outdoor activities}

let's go play outside: go to the beach! {52 outdoor activities}
If you are looking for ideas to encourage little ones to enjoy themselves, here’s a nice list of 35 free things to do at the beach with young kids.


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#1 Have a tea party-outside! {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.

tea party!C was pretty excited to host a little tea party for some friends earlier this month, and we decided to have it outside.  Sure, we could have had it inside, but that wouldn’t have been as much fun.  Might as well enjoy the fresh air and sunshine with some tea.  And we ran around the yard a bit and blew some bubbles after the refreshments.

tea and cupsThe great thing about tea parties is that they are terribly easy to host.  We served homemade strawberry muffins (made with berries from our garden) and cheese puffs.  C selected peach herbal tea, which we drank iced with a little sugar.

We used some pretty glass plates and cups that used to belong to Matt’s grandmother.  And, of course, there were some pretty dresses.  But to have a tea party all you really need is tea.

p chows down

So, grab some and head outside today!

(And, check back next Monday for the second idea in the {52 outdoor activities} series!)

 

 


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Our Top 5 Backyard Playthings

We are blessed with a great yard to play in (even if it is surrounded on 3 sides by an electric fence and cow fields).  There’s several big trees, and lots of open space for running around.  When we’re playing in our yard, these are our top 5 playthings.

p in the baby swing

1. Swings

We have a regular kid swing, a baby/toddler swing, and what we call the family swing – a bigger wooden one that we can all sit on.

2. Sidewalk Chalk

Chalk seems to hold endless appeal, even for P, who’s not yet 2.  We color a lot on the sidewalk, but there was one time C colored on the garage, and the car, and the trash cans…it washes right off.

catching the bubbles3. Bubbles

Honestly, I love bubbles too.  Especially on a day with a nice breeze, when I can watch them float over the trees.  C likes to run after them to pop them; P still waits until they are stuck in the grass and then goes and stomps on them.  We just buy a plain old bottle of bubbles at the Walmart, but I’m eager to try making giant bubbles, like these.

4. Sand table

sand table These days, what I love about the sand table is that the girls play with it with minimal supervision.  They’re at the right age to not try to eat or throw the sand.  We have some digging tools and a small pail but we also threw in a few smooth rocks from the creek and a couple plastic dinosaurs we got as party favors.  C always has some storyline going about a dino birthday or naptime or, you know, an avalanche (she doesn’t call it that).

c with a stick5. Rocks, sticks, and flowers

It’s no surprise that kids will bypass the toys and go straight to using their imaginations with what they find in their environment.  It’s the old cliché about playing with the box instead of the toy, right?  C is a very girly girl and she still doesn’t hesitate to collect sticks for swordplay or boat oars or just to poke stuff with.  P loves rocks. Somehow she handed me one during the middle of storytime at the library yesterday.  She just figured out pockets and now I have to be more careful to check them when I do the laundry.

p and the rocks

I’d love to hear from readers about your children’s favorite backyard playthings.  Do you love balls?  Your camera?  Your swimming pool?  Matchbox cars? Please leave a comment and let me know!