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Children in Plastic Pool

During the summer months it becomes impossible to keep my son indoors. He constantly begs to be outside, enjoying the sun. As the summer is winding down, your ideas for fun family activities may be winding down as well. Though he’s pretty content just to run around in a patch of grass or inspect whatever is crawling through the mud, it’s fun to change things up and surprise him with a new activity. Here are some creative backyard activities for the whole family to enjoy the final days of summer:

  • Bubbles: A little cup of liquid dish soap diluted with water makes for great homemade bubbles. I’ll blow the bubbles; he’ll chase and make them pop!
  • Water fight: My son is surprisingly content with just splashing around with buckets and cups filled with water. For extra fun, soak natural sponges in water and gently toss them at one another in a friendly-to-the-environment water ballon fight!
  • Sidewalk chalk: We draw sprawling murals, filling in the gaps for one another and joining our little pictures together. But sidewalk chalk also allows us to play hand drawn games, like hopscotch or tic tac toe, or to create roads for his little fire trucks!
  • Monkey in the middle: Just one bouncy ball can offer loads of opportunities for fun, but we keep it simple for the three year old. He loves being the monkey in our middle, but even more is thrilled at the chance to try to keep the ball away from mom or dad.
  • Obstacle course: When I’m feeling extra ambitious, I’ll gather everyday things from our yard and house and build a quick obstacle course. A jump rope spread on the ground makes a great tightrope, and tunnels are easily fashioned from boxes, tables or chairs. Hula hoops are great for hopping from space to space, and just about anything can serve as an obstacle to zig zag around.

How do you entertain your toddler in your own backyard?

Liz Moorhead

Liz Moorhead is an English teacher-turned-writer and illustrator. She paints stationery, writes for a top wedding site, and blogs at Happy Sighs between walks to the park with her two boys.