Outdoor Play


Spray Bottle Saturday

Next time your little one needs some weekend fun, get out a spray bottle and your imagination! You’ll be surprised at how much there is to do, when SPRAY BOTTLE SATURDAY comes to the rescue.

  1. Make safe spray paint! Mix a 1/4 cup of cornstarch with 1 cup warm water and about 5-10 drops of food coloring. Then spray a large piece of paper or old sheet into a marvelous mural!
  2. Water the plants! Can you spray just the roots? How about only the littlest leaves or largest petals? Your budding gardener will love the challenge.
  3. Give your dolls a beauty treatment. Spray her hair, then brush and style it into your best coif creation! Add a couple tablespoons of fabric softener to your spray for extra stylin’ hold.
  4. Play spray bottle freeze tag! Burn off some energy with a super speedy round. If you get sprayed, strike a funny frozen pose until you are sprayed free once more!
  5. Target practice on tissue paper! Place different color tissue squares on top of white paper. Then spray each, one by one. Watch in awe as the colors run!
  6. Aim for the alphabet. Use chalk to draw the ABCs on the ground. Then call out each letter and let your little spray it until it magically disappears.
  7. Make the old new again. Spray an older painting to see how water affects the colors and changes the whole piece. Add your latest abstract, modern art to your gallery.
  8. Try spray bottle science! Fill your bottle with 3/4 cup vinegar, 1/4 cup water, and a bit of paint. Squirt a pan full of baking soda and examine your experiment’s funny fizzle!

(originally posted on Toddler Blog)

Nature Scavenger Hunt

A trip to the park takes on a new sense of adventure when you create a NATURE SCAVENGER HUNT together!

First, make a list of things you want to seek. Littles will love to find different colors and shapes. But don’t forget to play with finding different textures too! We searched for things that were: fuzzy, smooth, rough, soft, and round.

Bigger kids can explore searching for manmade versus nature-made things. And everyone will get a kick out of finding something beautiful and finding something funny looking!

You can even include your other senses on your journey! Can you find something that smells wonderful or makes sound?

One of the best things we can teach our littles is to pay attention to detail. So get ready to see your local play spot with a fresh set of eyes. Your little explorer will learn and grow each step of the journey!

Taking It Outside

Have toddler and need a fun activity to do to get that little one in the fresh air? Look no further! Here’s your quick reference guide to TAKING IT OUTSIDE! And many of the props mentioned below can already be found in your house or at your local bargain store. So get to playing!

– Make your own sensory bins! You can fill one with a few inches of water and a second with dried lentils or sand. Let the kids use measuring cups and funnels with it. I’m never surprised at how long sensory bins keep toddlers engaged. There’s so much to feel, explore, and learn as they splash, pour, and play!

– Use a parachute! They may be too big for most indoor playtime, but they are perfect taken outdoors. You’ll just need an extra helper (maybe an older sibling) to help raise and lower the chute. Your little one will love dancing underneath the rainbow of colors. Or you can also have your tot sit on top of it while you shake it below them, making waves!

– Use pots and pans, shaker eggs, or toy instruments to make your very own marching band! Play with different speeds as well as curvy backyard paths. Stomp your feet, bang your instruments, and make a loud ruckus that being stuck indoors wouldn’t allow you to.

– Blow bubbles! They never get old. Race to pop them with your fingers or have your kiddo lie on their back on a beach towel and try to pop them with their toes! For big bubble fun, fill a kiddie pool (or large container) with bubble solution and grab some giant wands from your local toy store. The whole neighborhood will want to come over for the bubble magic!

– Do some messy painting!  Use a large craft paper roll tucked under 2 lawn chairs a few feet apart. This oversized canvas will inspire even your littlest Picasso. Brushes, stampers, and Qtips all work great, but the best part is you can even use bare feet to paint! Just rinse those little toes in one of your plastic bins before going back home to keep the messy adventure strictly outdoors!

– When the weather gets hot, the smart get spray bottles! Get them from the 99cent store and use to water plants. Or encourage your little to cool off each individual body part. Sing “Head Shoulders Knees & Toes” as you go! And if you want to get even more more creative, add a little washable paint to your spray bottle to “spray paint” onto paper.

– Plan a Scavenger Hunt! Seek out small household objects (just like you would with Easter eggs). Take turns hiding and seeking the different items on your list. Or simply use chalk to draw pictures for the your tot to “seek.” Hop to the yellow sun, run to the letter A, skip to the smiley face! Let them tire themselves out before nap time!

(originally posted on Toddler Blog)