Back Yard Adventures
The weather is getting nice again, and your kids have a lot of energy. Help them channel that energy in a positive direction by getting outside and being active as a family. This doesn't require you to plan a day-long hike or make sure all the family bicycles are in good condition. There's plenty of fun to be had in your own backyard!
The possibilities are endless, but we've got a few age-appropriate suggestions to get you started on some fun Back Yard Adventures with your children.
Back Yard Activities:
- For Infants: Your little one is never too young to enjoy the great outdoors. Once your infant can sit up on her own, sit with her on a blanket in your yard. Roll a ball to her and encourage her to roll it back. Or blow bubbles and watch her try to catch them with her hand. Encourage exploration by letting her hold leaves or flowers (but don't let her put them in her mouth!)
- For Toddlers: After your little guy starts walking, the world gets a lot bigger. Play hide-and-seek by ducking behind a tree or around the corner of the house and calling to him to come find you. Encourage him to mimic you as you hop on one foot or jump over the garden hose. Play chase or kick a ball back and forth. (Check out NFI staffer Vince's humorous anecdote on our blog of some back yard fun with his toddler.)
- For Preschoolers: Preschoolers are old enough to follow simple directions for games. Get a couple of your child's neighborhood playmates or siblings together and teach them how to play Red Light, Green Light or Duck Duck Goose. If it's just you and your child, get a few objects from the house (an extra shoe, an empty milk carton, a ball, a doll) and hide them around the yard for your child to find. Or, make a homemade game of bowling by setting up empty soda cans or milk cartons and rolling a ball to knock them down. (Don't forget to recycle afterwards!)
- For Elementary-aged Kids: Kids at this age love running and being competitive. Invite another family to play a game of kickball. Play a variation of tag with your children plus a couple friends: give each child a 12-inch strip of fabric to tuck in their back pocket or waist band. The object is to snatch the "tails" of other players while protecting your own; the player with the most "tails" wins. Encourage the kids to make up their own version of tag, too!
- For Teens: Take your teen over to the local school and challenge him or her to one-on-one pick-up basketball (yeah, we know it's humbling to get owned by your teen on the court, but it'll be fun anyway!) or a game of H-O-R-S-E. Ultimate Frisbee is a popular game; if you have a large open space in your neighborhood, invite your teen's friends over for a game (hopefully some other dads will join too!) and have snacks and cool drinks at the house afterward. (By the way, this is a great way to get to know who your teen is hanging out with at school!)
Try one of these activities this weekend! What are your favorite backyard activities to do with your kids? Tell us on Facebook.