Many kids are now on summer break or will be very soon. A lot of us aren't quite in our new summer groove yet but still want to get the kids outside to get some fresh air and play. Below are some of our favorite quick and EASY activities for you to prep to get your family enjoying some time outside. Most of these activities are things you already have around your house and require very little setup. Happy Summer everyone!! (Click on the title of any activity to be linked to the Instagram post with more specific details).
Doesn't get much easier than this! Place 2 bins outside, add scoops, spoons, cups, bowls, (or whatever you have) and add water. Let your kids play and explore however they want. So simple, yet so fun! This is a great activity that even toddlers can participate in.
If you have a giant box lying around then this is for you! Put it outside, give your kids some stickers, crayons, dot markers, etc and let them decorate it however they want. They can make it into a fort, spaceship, store... wherever their imagination takes them. Sometimes play will be extended if you are in close proximity but I bet you can drink your coffee while it's hot when your kids are doing this activity!
This activity will need to be prepped the night before but it is totally worth the little bit of effort required. Take an ice cube tray and place little plastic counting bears inside each compartment. If you don't have bears, use whatever small trinkets you have. Freeze them overnight. The next day, pop out all of the ice cubes into a large bin and give your child a spray bottle with warm water and have them spray to melt the water and "rescue" the bears. This is a great fine motor activity!
Get a piece of cardboard or thick paper and color different sections of it each color of the rainbow. Grab clothespins to clip to each section. Head outside with your kids to find something in nature to match each color of your board. Once you find something, clip it on that section of the board. For example, if you find a purple flower, clip it to the purple section. You can even head out into your neighborhood to extend the fun or a local playground.
This one is great for all ages but it's always nice when toddlers can participate as well. Give your child a plastic cup of water and a large paintbrush. Go outside and let them paint with water. Kids can practice writing their name or letters on the sidewalk or can paint their club houses, fence, etc.
This is just your basic water table but level it up a bit by adding some figurines, a whisk (or other unique kitchen utensils) and some painters tape. Tape two rows going across the water table to make a great little bridge for kids to put their figurines on.
Take painters tape and make an X on your driveway with all different colors. Spread them all around, not in a line. If you don't have tape, you could use sidewalk chalk but might need to redraw the X during the activity. Fill up a bunch of water balloons and have your kids throw the water balloon at the same color X that the balloon is. For example, throw orange balloons at the orange X, pink balloons at the pink X, and so on. This is a super fun way to practice working on color matching!
Get a tray or bin and fill it with water. If you want to be extra fancy you can add a couple drops of food coloring to the water. Then, let your child find flowers and leaves from around the yard to add to the bin. They can stir, pour, etc. Water and nature play mixed together are always a hit!
Bubble tubes are a popular toy for summer but they always seem to get dumped out by at least one kid during playtime with them. Here is a GREAT tip! Take painters tape and tape the tube to a pillar or table leg in your yard. Now your child can keep dipping their wand in the bubbles without spilling them!
All you need for this activity is sidewalk chalk and a bunch of animals (little character figurines or cars would work well too). Draw a curvy or zigzag line outside and let your child line up their toys on the line.
You will need two bins, a big serving spoon, little toys/trinkets, water, and black food coloring. Place the two bins next to each other, fill one bin with water and a couple of drops of black food coloring (just enough to make it not see through). Drop in the toys. Give your child the big serving spoons and and have them scoop around in the black water to find the toys. Once, they find one they can drop it in the empty bin and then keep looking for more. This was originally a Halloween activity but is fun any time of year.
This activity is such a fun way to practice letters or sight words and get your wiggles out. Take some small soccer cones and use post it notes to label them with letters or sight words (one on each cone). Then call out a letter sound and have your child run to the cone with that letter on it. You can also say a sight word and have your child run to the cone with that sight word on it. There are lots of options to modify this fun activity, even numbers!