The best backyard games for toddlers and other playtime tips from Huggies.com.
The good news: These ideas are a lot of fun. The not-so-good news: The kids may not want to come back inside.
Chalk it up. If you’ve got a driveway or sidewalk, you’ve got a canvas. Hand your little one sidewalk chalk and let their imaginations run wild, or draw hopscotch squares for her to jump in. Out of scribble space? A hose will clear your canvas.
Dig in. "One of my son’s favorite things to do when he goes to grandma’s house is pretend gardening," says Stacey Spiehler, a mom of one in Jackson, Mississippi. "We give him a shovel and let him dig around in the soil. Sometimes we even give him bulbs to plant!"
Out to lunch. Lay a blanket on the ground and dine al fresco. Your little one will love the adventure; you’ll love that the mess isn’t all over your kitchen floor.
For the birds. "My youngest son and I recently made bird feeders out of pine cones in our backyard," says Tammy Hodson, a mom of six in Salt Lake City, Utah. "Find one and cover it with smooth peanut butter. If your child has a peanut allergy, lard softened in the microwave can work as well. Then roll your pine cone in bird seed, hang it from a tree with a length of yarn, and wait for the birds to arrive."
Daytime camp out. Put up a tent, roll out sleeping bags, read books or tell stories…and don’t forget snacktime!
A-maze-ing. "When my son was too young to enjoy the intricate maze at our local pumpkin patch, I created one in our backyard," says Kim Young, a mom of three in Carbondale, Illinois. "I spread leaves all over—Mother Nature did most of the work—and created a maze with a rake. He spent the afternoon running through it again and again."
Go on Safari: Let the alphabet be your guide as you trek through the backyard or a local park. When you spot something starting with an A (an ant, for instance), say it aloud: "I spy an ant. Ant starts with the letter A!" Then move onto B (a bird, perhaps), and C (clouds), and so forth. "My son absolutely loved this game," remembers Beverly Rose, a mother of one in Rochester, New York. "After the alphabet, we’d move onto numbers or colors. It never got old, and my son learned a lot while having lots of fun!"
Glancing at the stars. Borrow a book from the library about the galaxy and read it with the kids. Then one night, head outdoors at night for a sky-watching party. Explain how far away the stars are; point out the moon or any constellations you recognize.If you’ve got a telescope, bring it out. It’s all free—and fascinating!
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