A lot of time and effort has gone into finding the best toys and products to write about. I wanted to take a step back from that and write about activities that require no toys. As summer comes to a close and the fall begins there is no better time to be outside.
Here is a list of 7 activities that you can do with your little ones that don’t cost a dime.
1. Go on a hike
This can be in a park or in your neighborhood. It doesn’t have to be in nature or in the mountains. Just get out there with a baby carrier or stroller and explore your environment. Take the time to notice the surroundings and take in the sights and smells.
2. Visit a farmer’s market
In our area, there are several options within a short driving distance. Most take place on the weekends but each has its own unique style. Some have live music and others have magicians. I really haven’t been to one that isn’t entertaining in some way. Plus, we almost always see someone we know.
3. Play “I Spy”
This is a great game to play outside because there is so much to see. It goes something like this: the spy finds an object and says “I spy with my little eye something [insert color of object]”. Then the other person guesses what it is until they get it right. Take turns spying until you are tired of playing. This simple game will help grow observation skills.
4. Make mud pies
I wrote a post about this a few weeks back, but it isn’t hard. Add water to dirt and enjoy.
5. Nature scavenger hunt
Make a list of objects you are likely to find in your area. Then take a walk in the woods or park and see how many of the objects your child is able to find along the way. This allows for hiking and exploring to take place at the same time.
6. Swim in a local lake or creek or river
Township pools are great but so are natural bodies of water. I can remember countless summer days of foraging a creek with my friends. There are no memberships required and the feeling of the cool water is refreshing on a hot summer day.
7. Run, jump, skip, hop
Play tag, chase, red rover or race. There are a number of running activities that require just a little imagination and the ability to walk or run. Pick a landmark a few hundred feet away and race your kids to that finish line. See who can hop over all the cracks in the sidewalk. Who can jump the highest? Who looks the funniest when they skip? The possibilities are endless and can lead to lots of laughs and memories with the family.
With just a little thought and some nice weather, you don’t need toys to enjoy an afternoon or evening outdoors. Give it a try I bet you’ll remember those times way more than the latest episode of Sesame Street.