We know just how difficult it can be to come up with new ways to keep your children both interested and learning. That’s why today I bring you some great activities for you to take your kids outside and enjoy some quality time together.
On top of making wonderful memories, you help them discover new things and learn new concepts through fun and games! These outdoor activities are perfect to teach your children how to enjoy life and also to extract knowledge out of everything.
Here are the best outdoor games for 18 to 24 month olds to have fun and to learn!
This particular activity can be especially fun for your little ones in the fall or springtime! If your child is feeling particularly active, it might be a good idea to take a walk around the neighborhood. To make it fun, give them a basket and while you’re on your walk, see if they’re interested in picking up leaves, flowers, stones, small branches or any other natural treasure they might find.
You’ll be surprised at how interesting this can be for them! You’re not only giving them a task and making them see new things; you’re also helping them build their gross motor and fine motor skills! That means they get to exercise both large muscle and small muscle because they will be walking, and squatting to pick up their findings.
What’s more, you’ll be teaching them a vocabulary! They won’t know the names of everything, so this is a great opportunity to learn new words and new colors as well! When you guys are done you can review everything you learned, and in the future, you could even expand your search area to the park, the beach, the river or any other natural space.
You know how restless and crazy kids can be, so here’s an opportunity to put all of that energy into a fun activity you can do together as a family. The more the merrier! This is simple. All you’ll need is some fun music.
Play the music you think they’ll enjoy the most and encourage them to dance and move like crazy. Explain to them that when the music stops, they will have to freeze! This can be a little tricky at first because following instructions is a new thing for them. But you’ll see that in time they’ll get the hang of it, especially if they see you doing it.
This activity promotes listening skills and self-regulation as they learn when they have to stop and start moving again. If you’re planning on taking them to school really soon, this sort of activities will familiarize them with both understanding and following directions.
Gardening can be as much fun and interesting for children as it is for adults! You also help them exercise their patience! We know how children go a thousand miles per hour and they have very little patience for anything that doesn’t follow that speed. Gardening is a great way to show them that good things are worth the wait!
It’s also a nice introduction to the concept of dedication. They’ll see that work and determination can pay off. Take them to the store and help them choose the seeds. You’ll want to avoid plants that take too long to grow, look for the ones that take just enough time to keep them interested.
Once you’re ready to start your project, take them outside! You can choose to plant them on a patch of dirt or in a pot to keep inside the house so you can see it every day. Make sure they help you shovel the dirt or prepare the pot! Allow them to get their hands dirty and to feel different textures.
Once you guys plant the seeds, give your children a chore they’ll be responsible for throughout the process, such as pouring water to help the plant grow. The point is that they also learn to take care of a living thing! Teach them, simplify the process and explain it to them. This project is great for building fine motor skills and cognitive skills as they learn new concepts about science and nature.
Outdoor cardboard painting
Another great way to enjoy the time spent outside! Just get a bunch of cardboard boxes and spread them out on the grass. Make a big “chalkboard” for your kids to be able to paint with their hands, their feet, and their whole bodies if that’s what they want to do! Just make sure they wear clothes with which they can mess around.
Get non-toxic paint and pour it in plastic plates so they have it available on the sides. You can make sure to refill them as necessary; just don’t leave your kids in charge of that particular task. Have a selection of brushes in case they want to use them and you can even make cardboard templates of different shapes so they can have fun creating abstract paintings.
These types of games help your kids improve their balance, which is key to help them walk better. They’re also a great way to practice coordination and gross motor skills. Play Follow the Leader or Simon Says with them and get them to do different things. Such as hopping on one foot, walking backward, tip-toeing, hoping like a frog, walking like a chicken, etc.
Just get them moving and exercising their limbs while they have a little fun doing silly things!
Get chalk in different colors and take your kids outside so they can make some art on your sidewalk! You can help them think of ideas or you can just leave it to their imaginations. Either way they will have a lot of fun drawing things. Just make sure you keep an eye on them, you don’t want them running around on the street or drawing over your neighbor’s sidewalk!
Once they’re done, you can also have a bit of fun cleaning it up by playing around with water. Take a few buckets of water, some soap and some sponges and get to work! You’ll be helping your kids practice gross motor skills and also fine motor skills, plus they get to let their imagination come through!
I have actually written the article on 12 Fun Sidewalk chalk games. Here it is.
Draw a chalk maze on your driveway
You can draw this maze by either using those thick chalks that are meant for this type of activities or you can make your own “chalk” paint at home. Here’s how: mix water and flour and add some food coloring. That’s it! When adding water, make sure you take into account the fact that it will get thicker as it dries out.
Now you’re ready to go outside to your driveway and paint a nice maze on the floor. If you can’t do it without guidance, you can look for a model online. Just make sure you adjust it to your child’s ability. Once the maze is ready, bring your child outside and give them something to run through the maze. It can be a car, a bean bag, or anything else they might want to use.
Kids absolutely love face painting! All you need is some paint, a few brushes (or your fingers) and your best skills! You can get face paint here on Amazon – HERE. Get some ideas from the internet and bring your kids outside so you don’t make a mess and you enjoy a beautiful day. Set up your little workstation and ask them what they want to be today. Don’t forget a mirror so they can see themselves.
After you’ve done their faces, tell them it’s their turn to paint yours! Allow them to be creative and help them by giving them some ideas if they can’t figure out what to do. The point is that they have fun!
You can also choose a theme to paint your faces so you can play afterward in the yard! You can be animals, explorers, superheroes, princesses, or anything your children might enjoy. Perhaps you can take it up a notch and complete the face paint with a bit of dressing up!
Make mud to play with
I know it might sound messy! But it can be worth it. Playing with mud actually improves your child’s immune system by putting it to work. It’s good for children to get used to playing with soil and other natural things. They’re going to do it anyway, so they might as well do it under supervision.
Take them outside and bring a few buckets of water. You can also take out that sandcastle building set you never get to use! Take a small shovel and get your toddler to help you dig up some dirt. Add water to make mud as thick as you’d like so it’s easier for them to manipulate.
Now you can have a little fun by making mud cakes, or having a little mud war. You can also take a few cardboard boxes and spread them on the grass so you guys can make muddy art!
Outdoor alphabet match
You’ll only need some chalk, or the “chalk” paint I taught you how to make earlier, and foam letters. If you don’t have time to get foam letters, you can turn this into a little project by making the letters yourself with cardboard boxes and get your kids to help you paint them. You may also consider buying them on Amazon. For $13.97 you will get 44 pieces set of non-toxic, BPA and Phthalate free letters.
Then you have to write the alphabet on your driveway or sidewalk, from A to Z. Fill a bucket or a baby pool with water and dump the foam alphabet in there. If your letters are made out of cardboard, then you can just have them all in a bowl and cover your kids’ eyes every time they have to pick a letter.
The point is that they have to find every letter and put them in their place on the driveway/sidewalk alphabet. They’ll have so much fun fitting them! And you can have them spell a word for each letter to make it more educational.
It’s time to give Playdough a different use! First of all, take your child out for a walk so you guys can collect some natural things such as different types of leaves, rocks with different shapes and sizes, twigs, branches, flowers and anything else that might be around.
When you get home, go to the backyard and take a tray with you. You’re going to roll down a good amount of Playdough on the tray and now your toddler can make impressions of all of their findings. Your kids will have so much fun doing it! They’ll just love it.
There you have it! These simple activities will allow you to both fight boredom and to help your kids practice their abilities at home.