Today you will get some really good outdoor activity ideas for you and your toddler or preschooler. I love these ideas that Christine from Choosy Kids shares with us. These activities will have your child use all of their senses, provide fun learning experiences and get them moving outdoors. Thank you Christine for sharing with us!
Parents, grandparents, teachers and many other influential people are the individuals who make decisions on behalf of children. At a young age, most of these people are play partners and it is their duty to find plenty of appropriate resources for promoting physical activity, enhancing nutrition, or encouraging healthy dental behaviors. As the Choosy Mom for Choosy Kids, I try to do as many outdoor activities with my 2 year old that I can. We both love to be outside and the fresh air is always wonderful.
Depending on where you live, the seasons may be making a change now. Here in western Pennsylvania, the leaves are falling off the trees, our gardens are slowly wilting away and there is a chill in the air in the morning. I love this weather because it is neither too hot nor too cold during the day which is perfect for taking a walk outside! Walking is a great physical activity that anyone at any age can do. It doesn’t have to be fast or slow. You can walk at your own pace, but if you include children, you have to make it fun and interesting for them.
As a child, I can remember having a homework assignment that pertained to the leaves on the ground. We were given a sheet with pictures of different leaves that could be found in our area. We were to take a walk and try to find those leaves and bring them in to class. I did this with my 2 year old and she found a flower, a leaf and a stick!! Check out our walk in the woods below.
If you choose to do a leaf hunt, you could also talk about the colors, textures, smells and sights that you see during your walk. We often times see wildlife during our journey in the woods, particularly deer and rabbits. Sounds are also great to listen for as the woods has very comforting noises (at least to me!) The leaves on the ground are wet right now but in a couple of weeks they will hopefully dry out and be crunchy and when you hear them crunch around you that may mean animals are near. And let’s not forget about the colors…oh the colors! Our area is very beautiful when the leaves change color. If you have the opportunity, take a drive through western Pennsylvania at this time of the year. You will see hues of yellow, red, orange, purple and many other colors on the trees. And if only I could describe the smell of Fall to you. It is something you just need to experience for yourself.
If you don’t have woods near, you could always make a game out of raking the leaves and jumping in them. Instead of trying to find different leaves, you could name the colors of leaves that you have in your yard or neighborhood. And you could even incorporate a craft project using the leaves on the ground. Or, you could arrange leaves in a pattern on the ground (straight, curvy, zig zag) and ask you child to jump or hop on each leaf in the pattern. Then make a new pattern!
Being outdoors and physically active is very important for everyone, no matter age. However, starting healthy habits, whether physical or nutritional, at an early age will lead to better health decisions throughout life. Choosy Kids provides resources for parents, teachers, caregivers and many others to help teach children about nutrition, exercise and dental care at an early age. Join us and “Be Choosy, Be Healthy.” Visit our website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for more choosy ideas!
About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy.
In West Michigan our colors are past peak, but I know the boys would still have fun with these activities on our next walk.
What are your favorite fall activities? How do you encourage your toddlers and preschoolers to enjoy the great outdoors?