~Blogged while thinking about my childhood~
As a kid, I had a huge backyard. I probably spent half of my childhood in that yard: running, climbing and pretending to my little hearts’ content.
There’s something very satisfying about watching kids play freely in open spaces; it’s like they are home. But getting kids outside can be a challenge for a variety of reasons: lack of space (no or little yards), lack of safe play areas or maybe even lack of daylight when you get home from work. In my case, the biggest challenge is usually my lack of health. Being outside requires more movement, more careful monitoring and more interaction.
But all that is beside the point. We need to get our kids outside– period.
Below are 5 ‘nature-ish’ outdoor activities for toddlers and young children that don’t require much space, energy or time:
1.Hang a Hummingbird feeder and sit and watch the birds.
My daughter and I hung a feeder and to be honest, it was a bit of a rocky start. (She simply doesn’t understand why she can’t drink the sugar water!) However, we now enjoy sitting on the porch daily ‘ba- watching’ (birdwatching) at the feeder. Pretty exciting stuff 😉
Herbs are cheap to buy and easy to grow. They are the perfect thing to plant with child because they can help plant and water them daily, take up virtually no space and- extra bonus! If your kid is like mine and eats EVERYTHING (including non- food items!), it won’t harm them to eat herbs.
It sounds funny but my daughter loves picking the weeds in our patio area. If you don’t have an outdoor space, my guess is you wouldn’t have to walk far to find weeds to pick.
4.Get a watering can and find ‘anything green’ to water.
Again, if you don’t have any plants, you probably won’t have to walk far to find a patch
of grass or a bush that might need ‘a drink.’ (I constantly have to remind my daughter that sidewalks don’t need to drink water.;) There’s something really exciting to kids about holding watering cans!
5.Buy a packet of wildflower seeds to scatter.
Wildflower seeds are super cheap. (I bought 4 packets/ $1 at the dollar store). We spread them in a nearby dirt patch and I have no idea If they will sprout, but it’s worth a try!