Sometimes it takes a bit of work and effort to help our kids find the things that interest them and keep them focused. Sometimes the typical toys just won’t do it; sandboxes, slides, swing sets and balls can lose their charm after a while. The truth is our children can become bored really quickly because they just don’t have a very educated attention span.
That’s why it can be frustrating as a parent to not know what to do with your kids when they’re outside. Not to worry though! That’s why I’m here to help. I bring you some crazy fun activities for the little ones to enjoy their time in the yard. Most of them don’t involve toys because we really want our kids to use their minds as much as they can. It is essential for their development!
So here are the top 11 activities for two-year-old children!
You can never go wrong with an outdoor obstacle course! It’s great for your children to practice gross motor skills. You just have to make sure the course is very varied. It has to include activities like running, crawling, tip-toeing, jumping, and even climbing if it’s possible.
To build your obstacle course you can use items kids can jump over, a tunnel made of cardboard boxes, use hula-hoops for a race, and even get that tarp you never use out of your garage and make a soapy slide. You can even include challenges such as hopping on one leg to get to the other side or balancing an egg with a spoon in their mouths, etc.
It all depends on your child’s skill set! It should be challenging, but at the same time, it shouldn’t discourage them. Remember that your primary goal is to get them to have fun while exercising both their bodies and their minds!
This is a fun activity to keep your children entertained while they exercise their fine motor skills through the use of their hands and fingers. All you need to do is get a recent picture of your children’s face, cut it out and glue it to a sheet of paper. Make several of these just in case one is not enough (it won’t be). Kids will love it!
Next thing you need to do is hand over some paint and a few brushes! Tell them to draw themselves a body and have fun looking at their creations. If you want to make it even more fun, you can get them to make prints of their hands and feet on a separate sheet of paper. Once the paint is dry, you can help them cut these prints off and then glue them to the painting they already made.
Sensory walking path
It’s very important for kids to start recognizing textures. A safe and fun way to expose them to different kinds is by making this sensory path. It’s very simple and you can put it together by using what you have at home. One of the things that’s special about this activity is that children get to use their feet!
The first thing you need to do is collect all of your different sensory items. If you take one quick look around your house you’ll see that the possibilities are endless. You can use whatever you feel like it could be a good example of texture, but here are a few recommendations: wet cotton, heating pad, bubble wrap, dry cereal, rice or beans, cooked noodles and a textured fabric.
Once you’ve chosen the items, make a plan for the path and choose the order. Remember to have towels around. The cereals, rice and beans can get stuck to the children’s feet, so you might need to wipe them off before the next station. Give them the liberty to jump around on the items so they can really feel the textures!
Target practice… with mud!
A little-supervised mess is always fun! All you need to do is draw targets on your sidewalk or driveway. You can give these targets different numbers to collect points, but trust me when I say no one’s going to be keeping count! Once you have your targets ready, bring out the kids!
Hand them a bucket and tell them to get a good amount of dirt. They’ll be very excited, especially if they don’t know what the purpose of the dirt is! Once their buckets are full, help them make mud by adding water. Now they’re free to make mud balls and see who can get further! There will be giggles for days.
Scavenger hunts never get old! Solving mysteries never stops being fun and the pleasure of using your mind’s powers to find something is always an amazing feeling.
There are literally hundreds of ways for you to do a scavenger hunt. You can use any theme you wish! Just think about what your child would enjoy the most and go from there. Make sure you make the scavenger hunt challenging enough to keep them engaged! Hide things around your yard and think of clues to lead them to the hiding spots.
Your kids will just love it! They will have so much fun figuring out what each clue means. This can even turn into a tradition! Every year you can make the search range bigger and bigger, but let’s just start with our backyards, shall we?
In case you don’t have that much time to spare to come up with a clever scavenger hunt, you can leave it to nature! Just take a few baskets and have your kids walk around your backyard and your neighborhood to find nature’s hidden treasures.
Hop! Skip! Jump!
This is a very simple game to play on the sidewalk or the driveway. All you need is paper plates of different colors. Just take your kids outside and have them arrange the plates themselves. Once they’re done, they can hop along the paper plates. You can increase the challenge as the game goes on.
If you have more than three paper plate colors, you can challenge them to hop on only one or two colors. You can rearrange the order of the plates or get them a bit further away from each other. Instead of having the plates be organized in a line, you can make simple patterns as well! Your kids will have way too much fun and this is an activity with very little preparation time.
This one is great to get your kids practicing those much-needed listening skills! We know that sometimes children have a hard time listening to adults; they tune us out or only pay attention if we’re yelling. To avoid that, we can use playtime to our advantage!
The key is to not include anything on this activity that’s new to them. They shouldn’t focus on understanding anything new; they should only listen to instructions. However, this is actually a great activity to teach your kids numbers and colors!
All you’ll need are building blocks in different colors but you can use whatever you have at hand (Legos, Tupperware, etc.). You’ll also need to make some cards with directions. The game goes like this: they’ll have all of the blocks available, you’ll get a card and give them an instruction; for example: “place one yellow block on the tower”, which they’ll have to follow. That’s it! Make sure you don’t show them the card, the point is they have to listen.
This game can be a bit tricky if your child doesn’t do a very good job at listening. They can get frustrated but they’ll always come back to the game. You just have to keep telling them that they only have to listen to make it!
This one really depends on the weather, but if the sun is shining you can definitely make your own rain. If it is raining, this activity makes for a great opportunity to enjoy it instead of just staying inside watching TV.
Get your kids some sheets of paper and chalk. Have them color their papers however they like! When they’re done, lay your papers out in the backyard and make sure you hold them down with something so they don’t fly away! All there’s left to do is wait for a little rain. If doesn’t come, maybe you can turn on the sprinklers and have a little fun! The hose will work too.
Take a large piece of white paper outside and let’s have some fun! Draw a big circle and divide it up like a pie. Get your children to help you paint each piece of pie with a different color, following the example of the rainbow! Now get some squeeze bottles, fill them with white glue and then send your children looking for things to match each color!
You can start the search in the backyard, but if they don’t find enough things you can always have them go inside and then come out so they can glue everything on! This is a perfect way to teach your kids the colors.
Ice cube paint
That’s right! This is a really fun activity to do with your children so they can continue practicing their colors. They also get to have a lot of fun painting in a whole different way! All you need to do is freeze different colors of paint in your ice cube trays. Make sure you put an ice cream stick in them so the kids can pick them up without trouble. Or you can just allow them to use their hands! It will be messy, but it’s worth it.
All there’s left to do is take your kids outside and spread large sheets of paper on the grass so they can lie down and paint whatever they like!
Shaving cream and Kool-Aid
This combination makes for great sensory play! Shaving cream is the go-to sensory item because it’s really cheap. Adding Kool-Aid just makes it more fun by adding both color and scent.
Just take an empty tray and cover it with shaving cream. Grab different flavors of Kool-Aid in different colors and use them to make a rainbow. Now take your children outside and allow them to play around with it! They’ll love to feel the texture and mix the colors with their hands.
There you have it! Try these amazing activities at home so you can create all of these beautiful moments with your children. Not only they get to have fun, but they also get to learn.