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Parents & Families

Play, Explore, Learn Outdoors

Playing with your children outdoors is not only fun. It’s beneficial for both children and parents. Check out these simple ways to interact with your children while outside and see how many additional ways you can think of to help your child learn from the great outdoors.
  • Have a picnic! Eat lunch or dinner or a snack in your backyard or in the park.
  • Collect leaves, acorns, pecans or pine cones. Compare the items in your collection. Do they all look alike? What differences do you see?
  • Look for different types of trees near your home. Find out the name of each tree.
  • Blow dandelion “puffs.”
  • Plant some seeds and watch them grow.
  • Take a flower walk. Look for different colors and shapes.
  • Lie on your back in the grass and watch the clouds. Use a pencil and paper to sketch the cloud shapes that you see. What do these shapes remind you of?
  • On a rainy day, press your nose to the window and watch the rain. Take a walk during a gentle rain. Splash in puddles.
  • Hang wind chimes or a wind sock where you can hear and see it from a window. Listen to the sounds the wind makes. Try to re-create the sounds using household items.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Wiggle your toes in the sand, dirt or mud.
  • Draw in the sand or dirt with sticks.
  • Collect rocks. Make up a game to play with pebbles and rocks.
  • Sit quietly on the ground and watch ants. (Be sure these are not fire ants!) Sprinkle bread crumbs on the ground and watch what happens.
  • Watch the birds. How many different birds do you see in your yard?
  • Hang a bird feeder or put out a bird bath. Keep a list of the birds that visit.
  • Run barefoot through the grass
  • Closely observe a small area of grass (about one square foot). Describe what you see.
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Click here to visit our Family Resource Library. You’ll find activities and tips to help you prepare your child for life.