This doesn’t mean a mother has to set aside her treasured home decor for the sake of childhood discovery. My motto is: Take it outside! The beauty of this season is they can.
3 Preschool Outdoor Activities
The outdoors is an ideal place to stimulate all of your child’s senses. You actually don’t need any of these activities to do so. Just send him outdoors, barefoot, running through the grass, picking up rocks, listening to the birds, smelling the flowers or newly cut lawn, nibbling on a cherry tomato from the garden and simply observing this big, wide world of nature. This alone is a fun, educational activity.
But, little ones may tire of living so wild and free, so we mothers, occasionally step in to provide educational entertainment :-)! In the midst of imaginative play, I do love interjecting a few structured activities. What I like about these simple recommendations below is that they’re “open-ended.”
This means there is minimal structure which operates more like a suggestion to the child. We provide the materials and what they do and concoct is up to them! Less is more! Provide the basics and let their creativity soar!
“Modern psychological research has determined that flashcards, drills and worksheets are not effective ways of teaching young children. …Instead, he learns by doing and by using his five senses” (The Everything Toddler Activities Book: Games And Projects That Entertain And Educate).
For all these activities, I used a water table. If you don’t have one, you can put a storage bin of sorts on the ground or on a short table.
Does your little one like to help you hand wash dishes? The water gets everywhere and the bubbles end up spilling over the sink onto the cabinets below. But they are wild about the texture of bubbles.
Did you know that “splashing and dipping in water is a stress reliever for both children and adults” (The Everything Toddler Activities Book: Games And Projects That Entertain And Educate).
So mom, you might want to go outside and get your hands wet too!
Gather these simple water play gadgets:
- cups and bowls
- sand and water wheel
- shovel to scoop up bubbles
Beans & More Beans
At the end of this activity, I have to admit, beans were everywhere. They made it into toy trucks, the grass, even shoes. Joseph (age 3) himself made it into the water table. He wanted to dig his feet in those beans!
I recommend putting a tarp underneath the water table for easier clean-up. Fill the water table with beans. We hid toy animals in the beans for a fun, added discovery. You can use similar gadgets as you did for water play with the beans.
Moon sand is a colorful medium children love to explore. Without the addition of water, moon sand acts like wet beach sand and will mold to form all sorts of creative shapes. It never dries out. Use it inside or out.
For a larger, exploratory activity like this, I recommend investing in one or two 5 pound bags of moon sand.
This time we used measuring cups, bowls, and drinking cups for molds. I even threw in a few cookie cutters.
These are simple outdoor activities that provide educational, sensory experiences for the young child. Gather things from around the house. Let them make a mess. Enjoy the sunshine and have fun!