Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10 Ways to Have Fun Outside With Your Kids!

I have this great little deck of cards full of fun things to do outside. (I think I bought this way back when I was in high school!) It's called 52 Nature Activities. Well, now that Fall is here I thought it was high time I pull it out and enjoy the crisp air and bright colors with the kids! I just thought I'd share some of my personal favorites that we enjoy, and maybe you will, too. (By-the-way, these are totally fun to do with adults! Kevin and I used to do some of these back when we were dating.) I paraphrased the descriptions of each activity and added in some ideas of my own. I highly recommend the whole deck--for about $6.00 it's a bargain for such a comprehensive set of ideas! They are great to do over and over again and in different seasons. Especially great for homeschoolers!
(Disclaimer: I haven't been compensated to say any of this. I'm just sharing them because I *heart* them!)

1. Soft to Hard
Go outside and gather a bunch of things around you of varying textures (e.g. moss, rocks). Line them up from the softest to the roughest/hardest. You can also line them up by other attributes like coldest to warmest or longest to shortest.

2. Shapes of Things
See how many different shapes can you find outside in nature. Can you find a square? A circle? How about an oval? Can you find any obscure shapes like a parallelogram?

3. Seed by Seed
How many different seeds can you find outside? Can you identify what plants they come from? Do you know how they're transported and how they grow? Find out! Take a picture of each seed and find pictures at home of the plants they will grow into. Make a chart of the seeds and their adult equivalents.

4. Postcard Designer
Cut a rectangle out of a piece of paper to make a "frame. " Go outside and find your own "postcard" scenes by framing your surroundings. Bring a camera and take pics of your favorites! Print them out and send them as postcards friends and relatives wishing them a happy Fall!

5. Nature Crown
Round up a bunch of items outside. Attach them with pipe cleaners to create your own crown! What are you the king or queen of? Rake some fallen leaves into the shape or pile of your choice and rule your kingdom!

6. Nature Alphabet
Gather a bunch of items from outside (e.g. rocks, twigs, leaves) and arrange them to create your own alphabet! Take a camera with you and photograph each letter. Print them out and put them together to make word art!

7. Leaf to Leaf
(The perfect time of year for this one!) How many different types of leaves can you find outside? Can you identify what type of tree they come from? Find out! Make rubbings of them in the appropriate colors and label each one.

8. Designs in Nature
Head outside with a magnifying glass and look for beautiful patterns in nature. Look closely at the intricate spirals of a pine cone or the scattered array of pine needles on the ground. Examine a splotchy patch of moss on a rock. Get lost in the natural beauty of patterns. Take a nature journal with you and sketch your favorite patterns. Or bring your camera and create "pattern art" by putting together a photo collage of your favorites!

9. Blind Walk
Head outside with a blindfold and let a partner lead you around. What do you smell? What do you hear? Have your partner put objects in your hands. Can you guess what they are by feeling? Record your "blind observations" in a nature journal. Try this in the same location in different seasons to observe the changes.

10. Colors of the Rainbow
(Another great one for fall with the changing colors of the leaves!)Round up as many objects outside as you can. Try to make your own rainbow of colors using the items you find. You can also turn it into a race to see who can find each particular color first. Take a picture of your own special rainbow!

I hope this list helped inspire you to get outside and enjoy to beauty of Fall with your littles! :)

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  1. Love these ideas. Nice to meet you. Visiting from the HHH.

  2. great ideas. my kids will love them!here from the hop.

  3. Wow, that set of cards looks so cool! I love how hands-on and explorative they look. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great ideas. I am going to pin this on pinterest so that I can find my way back to your list. I have two little boys and sometimes it is hard to entertain. Really love these ideas!!!

  5. @LeslieI have 2 boys, too, so I know exactly what you mean about needing to come up with ideas! :) So glad to like them!

  6. @CarolineIt really is a great deck little set. I have a couple of their other decks, too and they're all awesome!

  7. @katieThanks for stopping by! Nice to "meet" you!

  8. this list is so much fun!

  9. I have this deck! I won it from Pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com and you have inspired me to go dig it out of the abyss and put it to use today! Thanks!

  10. @AprilHow cool that you won this! I know what you mean about forgetting about it--I do sometimes, too LOL! I was hoping this post would help cement the awesomeness of it in my brain! :p

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  12. Just ask the sales representative where to find it. Or, if you don't have time for shopping at the mall, you could simply order them online Aaron



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