Getting out of the house each day ranks essential for little ones. If rain or snow has ever left you trapped inside with a toddler, you know what I’m talking about. Did you know that children need a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity daily? If you’re having behavior problems or sleep issues, check and see if you’re meeting this need. Taking an outing in the morning is ideal. You can use the afternoon for running errands or activities at home. Here are a few simple ideas:
If ever you can walk to your destination, I recommend that you do. And with a nature walk, you have no destination! Hiking through nature provides so many opportunities for learning! Follow the child whenever possible and allow them to collect a few things, like leaves, stones, or pine cones. Some of my fondest memories growing up include exploring creeks and playing house in the hollows of redwood trees.
Sand and sun! The beach is basically a giant sensory bin. Sand varies in wetness from place to place, there are living or once living objects like seaweed and crabs, and of course, the water (take extra caution while playing close to the waves and supervise constantly). You can write and draw in the sand, dig motes and build castles. A few simple toys like a bucket and a shovel will suffice.
Classic. Walk there if you can. Follow your child’s lead at the park, letting them choose how and where to play. Repeated trips down the slide are fun for your little one…instead of carrying them up, let them climb up each time by themselves. Depending on their age, you may be right behind or just waiting at the bottom for the next round.
Take your children with you shopping for fresh, local groceries! You can teach them about foods and colors when they are small, and as they grow you can involve them in food prep and assign them to collect a few items you need. Lastly a lesson in money is built in when it’s time to pay.
The library makes for a perfect outing, especially during the colder months. Check out books or just read them during the visit. Children’s sections often feature educational toys like legos as well. If your little one seems antsy, walk the staircases to burn off some energy.