Learn and Play in Your Backyard
Don’t let staying home keep you from being outside. Active play is the best exercise for kids. There are so many ways to learn and play in your very own backyard. Our bodies need the sun for vitamin D to help strengthen our immune systems so grab your family and head outside for a little fun.
READ A BOOK
Books can be read anywhere at any time. Reading a book takes us on adventures, entertains us and teaches us new things. Grab a book and head outside. Sit under a tree or on a quilt. Take turns reading to each other. Share your favorite story with someone in your family.
PLAY WITH CHALK
Playing with chalk is the perfect way to strengthen fine motor and gross motor skills. Draw a rainbow and practice your color words. Write your name or sight words. Play a game of hopscotch. Hopscotch helps with number recognition, balance, and coordination. Use your imagination for hours of fun.
Simulate your senses by experiencing nature. Don’t be afraid to get a little messy. Dig in the dirt, plant flowers, pull weeds, water the grass. How does the dirt feel in your hands? What does the grass smell like? How long do you think your seed will take to grow? Remember that seeds need water and sunlight. Consider creating a Growing Journal and illustrate your plant each day.
Cloud gazing was my favorite as a child. As I grew older, I learned the different types of clouds and how we can predict the weather by learning more about the clouds. Grab a blanket, go out and lay under the clouds. See what shapes you can find. Do any clouds look like people or animals? Pick a cloud, describe it and use your imagination to create a story.
FLY A KITE
Let’s go fly a kite! Flying a kite involves physical coordination and body movement but did you know that you use science too? Flying a kite requires similar physics of having a plane take off. Research to find out how gravity, force and wind all play a factor in flying a kite.
Let’s go on a nature walk! So often, we step foot in our backyards, but we don’t take the time to really look at what is growing or living around us. Take time to smell the flowers, look for butterflies and ladybugs. Research the life cycles on what you find.
Painting rocks is not only fun, it’s a great stress reliever. Walk around your backyard and find a bunch of rocks, small, big, flat, and bumpy. Strengthen your hand eye coordination as you paint different pictures on your rocks. They make great garden decorations. Walk the neighborhood and leave a rock for a neighbor too. Get creative. The possibilities are endless.
There is a big, beautiful world outside your doors, and you don’t have to go far to experience it. Step into your backyard. Spend time outside. Exercise, enjoying nature, and learning about the world around us are all great experiences that happen when we step outside and play. What are you waiting for?
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