5 Activities to Get Kids Outside Now

Raisins, toasted pine nuts and lemon mixed with herbed smashed beans wrapped around grilled zucchini.The last few weeks of summer often find young children bored and parents frazzled. Resist the temptation to turn on the TV; instead engage young kids with these activities that can be done easily in a yard or even on a patio.

Painting rocks: Have your kids collect some rocks from the yard or woods (you can always purchase smooth pebbles at a craft store). Supply nontoxic paint and brushes and let them paint away.

Car wash: Kids love to wash a car the old-fashioned way. Pull your car into the driveway, fill a few buckets with soapy water and sponges, put the kids in bathing suits and let them wash to their delight. Have them rinse it off with a hose or buckets of clean water. The kids can then dry the car with towels or rags.

Concoction: Simply hand the children a bucket, a big wooden spoon and some water, along with the instructions to make a concoction with whatever nature items they find in the yard. Kids love this activity, which allows them to play freely with dirt, water, leaves and such.

Nature collage: Have the kids collect items like leaves, twigs and very small rocks from the yard or when you are on a walk. Hand out thick paper and glue to create nature collages with their found items.

Magnifying glass: Supply your child with a large magnifying glass and send them outside. You can give them a list of things to look at, such as a rock, leaf, dirt, cement, flower petal, bug or blade of grass. Some kids might enjoy drawing what they see.


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