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!

  1. Decorating the front porch and driveway with sidewalk chalk. Our favorite is a toss-up between leaving notes for Daddy and pink butterflies.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
  4. “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.)
  5. 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!
  6. 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.)
  7. 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.
  8. 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.)
  9. Riding on a tricycle and in a wagon. Not at the same time.
  10. 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.

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