Yay! It’s spring! Time to run through the fields and smell the roses and . . . ACHOO!
Yes, I’m one of those – a person with allergies. And that has meant, for most of my life, that I am not exactly what you’d call “outdoorsy.” Somehow, though, when you add one three-year-old to this indoorsy mom’s life – and I can’t get enough of the back yard, the park, the great outdoors in general.
Seeing the world through a child’s eyes – what with the beautiful flowers (dandelions) and backyard safari (a medium-sized hill) and all – makes me a lot more likely to put on some shoes and step outside. Add to that a desire to raise Annalyn to enjoy physical activity and the outdoors more than her couch potato mom does, and well, you’ve got a recipe for some springtime playtime.
(Never mind the fact that on May 2, I actually heard the words “frost warning” on the local news.)
Sometimes it’s hard to think of things to do outside, though. I may be a little more outdoorsy these days, but it doesn’t come naturally. So, I thought I’d share our favorite outdoor activities . . . with hopes that you’ll share yours, too, and give me some ideas!
- Decorating the front porch and driveway with sidewalk chalk. Our favorite is a toss-up between leaving notes for Daddy and pink butterflies.
- Chasing a big pink bouncy ball. Mark hates this game, because he always ends up getting it out of the street. (Our driveway and yard are not flat at all, and Annalyn does not have the best aim.)
- Pretending that the paving stones in front of the house are a balance beam. This is part fun and (unbeknownst to my child) part physical therapy, as her balance is still fairly delayed.
- “Helping” rake leaves. Thankfully, this is not really an option for a few more months, but last fall, she loved doing this! (In the spirit of full disclosure, however, she did not like it when I pushed her into a pile of those raked leaves. Lesson learned.)
- Going on a safari. This is my favorite thing that Annalyn does outside! She has a bit stick and some cardboard binoculars that she uses to march all the way up the hill in our backyard. Then she stands by a tree and hollers back to me about all the wild animals she’s seeing. It’s adorable!
- Picking up sticks and leaves and flowers. While she does enjoy building bouquets of dandelions and other various weeds, Annalyn doesn’t stop there. She also picks up seed pod things (Yes, I am using the technical term. Shut up.)
- Chasing the cat. Okay, this is a lie. I don’t find this entertaining in the slightest. Annalyn, however, seems to be averse to leaving the irritating feline outside to fend for herself.
- Splashing around in a kiddie pool. Not ours, because we don’t have one. But anytime our sweet friends invite us over, we’re there with bells on! (Well, you know, less bells and more swimsuits and flip flops.)
- Riding on a tricycle and in a wagon. Not at the same time.
- Playing at the park. When all else fails and we exhaust the play possibilities in our own yard, we can always head to a park.
Speaking of parks, have you heard of the Spark Parks Project? It’s an ongoing effort by Sprite to refresh parks, playgrounds and active spaces across the nation. As Sprite says, “When it comes to supporting today’s youth, we don’t play around.” To learn more about current projects and discover ways you can get actively involved, visit www.spritesparkparks.com.
Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Sprite via Glam Media. As always, the opinions expressed here are mine and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Sprite.
This post will be linked to Top Ten Tuesday at OhAmanda.
Fun post! You had me chuckling several times, although not to loudly, as I am supposed to be sleeping and yet I am up reading blogs. Oops.
Up late reading blogs? I’ve never heard of such a thing…haha! ;)
Great top 10 list!! Sidewalk chalk is the best!!
Do you ever enjoy picnics? On a blanket or a table they can be so fun and limit the crumb cleanup, too!
We like to water the flowers (with hose or watering can) and week our gardens.
We like to wash the van or our ‘bikes’ – which includes a wagon, trike, bikes and or other outdoor gear.
We like to collect bugs.
AND DO BUBBLES!
Our yard is not flat, either, which used to bother me much more than it does now. And I have some of the most extreme allergies of anyone I know – but I love to be outdoors. We walk after dinner almost daily and try to ‘hike’ (slow, steady incline on wide, gravel trail) in the mountains. My favorite place in the world is by the river, where my three can wade, throw rocks (for literal hours), and explore for fish, critters, butterflies and more. It’s wonderful.
Good for you, get out there! Don’t you find that your little one sleeps especially well after being outdoors? I do – just another benefit!
I can’t believe I forgot BUBBLES! She loves them, and we’re always running out! ;)
Oh – fly a kite! This is a good time of year for it!
this project seems really awesome! i’d love to get involved!!
My kids love to take sponges and brushes and have a car wash with their bikes and scooters. It’s hilarious how focused they get on scrubbing away the dirt. Haha! It’s a great game for those hot days. :)
Oh, that’s a good one! We’ll have to try that; she loves to clean!
I think bubbles and the water table are my kids’ favorites.
My daughter played with a water table at her daycare last summer and loved it. I wonder if I could make one for our backyard…
oh, I think I am going to break out the sidewalk chalk again… right after naptime!! :)
Great picture of your darling girl in the pool. SO fun.
Our favorite stuff outside: scooters, bikes, basketball, walks through the neighborhood, raking leaves, shoveling snow, and lately hikes. My kids are a bit older than your daughter though. One of my faves: cloud gazing. See that apple in that cloud? :)
I think we’ll probably do lots of walks, too – with me pulling her in her wagon. It’s like a mini workout, and she loves it!
I love #5! So cute! My kids just yell and scream and run around in the backyard…what? that’s not an organized activity? Bubbles are a pretty big deal with my kiddos as is side walk chalk. but, going to parks is probably our favorite. we recently got a zoo pass (thanks to papa and nana) and if i let them, my kids would go to the zoo every week when the weather is nice.
I haven’t taken Annalyn to the zoo here, so I’m looking forward to that this summer. Of course, she’s a big ‘fraidy cat, so who knows if she’ll get excited about the animals!
Your daughter is kewt! I love that she goes on safari:) The Bubs loves to hunt for bugs and will stop to look at every. single one. For hours. And then some more hours. And then just one more. We seriously need a backyard so I can lounge on my laptop while he bug hunts:)
A backyard and a comfy chair! Our uncomfortable patio chairs keep me jumping up and searching for dandelions with her (obviously – a good thing) instead of lounging! :)
Mary! I can’t believe how big your girl is getting! What an absolute DOLL! :)
Thanks for posting these ideas! I’m excited to get to the point of sidewalk chalk and nature hunts with my son. He loves being outside, and definitely loves bubbles (as someone else mentioned) already!
My daughter keeps calling sidewalk chalk “outside chalk” – and it just makes me giggle!
We have just come across that swimming suit for Sophie : )
I’m starting to think we won’t have one to pass along from this year. I’ve bought two already that were too small. I think we’re going to have to try a size small in the girls section!! How did that happen?? :)