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DIY Outdoor Activities for Preschoolers

Ah, summertime. It brings to mind wonderful memories: tree fort battles with the neighbourhood kids; tea parties where all the stuffed animals (and their owners) are invited; and bike rides to the candy store under a blazing, summer sun. Some of our fondest memories as children happened outside, giving us a healthy love and appreciation for the great outdoors.

The benefits of outdoor activities for preschoolers

Nowadays, we spend the majority of our time inside with our children, where they’re easily contained, and easy to keep entertained with tv or tablets. But by bringing your preschooler outdoors, it opens new stimulating activities which actually help their brain to develop.

Outdoor activities encourage:

  • Physical exercise & brain development – Coordination, spatial awareness, balance – all the fine and gross motor senses are stimulated outdoors.
  • Natural exploration – By spending time outside, preschoolers are more likely to develop a natural curiosity and eventual love of everything outdoor play has to offer.
  • Confidence & independence – Exploring outside helps preschoolers to develop both self-awareness and courage as they try new things on their own.
  • An appreciation for the environment – Creating positive outdoor experiences gives children positive memories, encouraging them to look after the environment they are so closely tied with.

3 DIY outdoor activities for preschoolers

Keep your kids active and entertained outside with these outdoor activities:

Toy car wash

Fill up a bucket with soapy water, or grab the garden hose and pull out your preschooler’s toys (their bike, perhaps a toy car, or other larger toys). You can splash away the day with your preschooler, making their toys sparkling clean and showing them that cleaning can be fun! Why not make it a dog wash day too while you’re at it!

*For a spin on this idea, try making your own Kiddie Car Wash for the whole family to keep cool on a hot day.

Nature walk

Take your preschooler on a walk around the block (or to the park) to appreciate all the nature around them. Try both of these activities:

  1. Gather random bits of nature like grass, twigs, flowers, etc., then head to the backyard to create a nature collage together.
  2. Bring paper and crayons to do some nature texture rubbing, where you can help your preschooler transfer the textures of the items you find during your walk.

DIY glow in the dark bowling

On a warm summer evening, create a game of glow-in-the-dark lawn bowling. Place glow sticks inside some water bottles filled with water (option to mix in some milk), then give your preschooler a few bean bags or a makeshift bowling ball to knock down as many as they can! Not only is this a sensory explosion, but it’s also a great math activity, as you can help them count how many bottles they knock over and how many are left.

Keep their wonder burning

Before you head to bed after your busy day, finish off your summer evening with a marshmallow roast (provided there’s no active fire ban), and show them the wonder of a crackling fire to keep their senses churning. After all, it’s never too early to instill fascination, curiosity, and an outdoor lifestyle into your preschooler.

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