Let's Go Play Outside!

backyard projects, hikes, and other outdoor family fun

#5 Set up a toy wash outside {52 outdoor activities}

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{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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We had some sadly dirty baby dolls around our house, so, inspired by this post at Simple Kids, we gave them a bath outside. When it’s hot, it’s the perfect time to do some water play. One of my children is rather…finicky about getting wet or dirty, but it was warm so she didn’t mind splashing a little out on the porch.

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I’m seen some great ideas to set up bigger toy washing operations too, which we probably need to try out as well. Back in 2008, No Time for Flashcards suggested washing toy cars as a perfect outdoor activity for toddlers. Mummy Musings and Mayhem added shaving cream to ride-on car washing. And if you’ve got more money and time, this drive through kid bike wash sprinkler contraption featured at momfluential is pretty awesome.

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#4 Go to an outdoor musical event {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.

Maybe this is only the case in the area where I live, with lots of small towns desperate for tourist traffic, but I feel like every town I visit is advertising some kind of a free “Music on the Square” weekly or monthly event during the summer months.  What a fantastic family outdoor activity.  While attending an outdoor concert probably won’t get your kids dirty or particularly tired(though we got pretty wet this week), it does reinforce the idea that much of what we do inside is just as enjoyable – if not more enjoyable – outside.  And you get some fresh air and cultural education while you’re at it.  Bonus: these types of outdoor concerts don’t usually expect one to sit still and only make noise when one is clapping politely at the end of a piece.  Perfect for kiddos!

drum circle

We were on a little weekend getaway with friends in the Asheville area, so we hit the Asheville drum circle.  (Go look at the pictures and videos at that link. That’s easier than me trying to describe it.) It sounds hippie-dippy, but there are truly people of all ages and all backgrounds there.  Also, what kid doesn’t want to go bang on some drums with a crowd of other drummers?  Or bust out their own unique dance moves? And, it’s FREE.

IMG_20130705_181428_953IMG_20130705_181658_153c at the drum circlec loves to drum!

We were having a great time.  Unfortunately, it started to rain pretty hard and most of the drummers left.  We also were blocks away from our cars and had no umbrellas.  So we danced for a few minutes under some trees then headed off to French Broad Chocolate Lounge.  Who cares if we were wet and we only got to drum for a few minutes?  Now we’re eating chocolate!

C and I dancing in the rain

C and I dancing in the rain

My guess is that it is not too hard to find an outdoor concert in most areas, but I figure it would also be a fun activity to make your own outdoor concert.  Take a guitar to the park.  Bring the karaoke machine out into the backyard.  Start your own drum circle in the town square.  Good times.  (Actually starting your own drum circle in the town square probably requires permits or something.)

You can see the other activities in the {52 outdoor activities} series by clicking here.  Check back next Monday for #5!


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Great Ideas: 5 Inspiring Mud Pie Kitchens

It’s been raining here for days.  Days.  Our kitchen ceiling sprung a leak the other day.  Our yard is pretty much a big mud puddle.  Which got me thinking about making a mud pie kitchen.  Then my mom sent me a link to a sweet little outdoor play kitchen, so I looked for a few more ideas and found all these great ones!  Click on the pic to visit the sites for more details.

Pretty little outdoor kitchen from Parents Magazine.

This is a great one for multiple kids and a large yard.

Look at this beautiful herb salad! Garden Mama has lovely pictures and sweet details in her outdoor play kitchen.

This one is made from an old side table! So easy.

This one over at Owlet includes pots hanging on a fence to make a banging wall!


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#3 Go on a Rainbow 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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This is such a satisfying, easy, and adaptable idea!

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Doing a rainbow scavenger hunt was a great thing for us to do one morning last week. The parameters for our hunt were: find something natural (not a toy, piece of clothing, etc.) inin our yard that could be put into our pail for all the colors of the rainbow. I knew those guidelines would work in our yard and wouldn’t be too easy or too hard. I think it would be fun to make this a camera scavenger hunt. That would have enabled us to include birds and larger things, but it would also be ideal for doing a rainbow hunt in a park, on a hiking trail, or around your neighborhood-anyplace it wouldn’t be so nice to actually collect items. With more kids, I think it would also be fun to do the hunt in teams. Older kids could be kept interested with time, size, or shape challenges (like, find something blue and round, or, find something red in 30 seconds).

Here’s what we found!

Red leaf lettuce, red berry, orange leaf, yellow flower, green grass, blueberry, teeny purple flowers, wild pink rose (because pink always makes it into our rainbows)

Red leaf lettuce, red berry, orange leaf, yellow flower, green grass, blueberry, teeny purple flowers, wild pink rose (because pink always makes it into our rainbows)