10 Low or No Cost Outdoor Family Activities for the Spring and Summer (that AREN'T going to the Beach!)
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When the weather starts getting nice, my family loves spending as much time outside as possible. We are outside on days we work from home (I am writing this from a lounge chair on my deck!), we play outside, eat outside, and generally find every excuse possible to be outdoors. But every parent has had the experience of their child feeling bored with outdoor free play. Here are 10 ideas that are low or no cost, and perfect for keeping the entire family entertained outside throughout the warmer months!
2. Water Play
3. Messy Art Activities
4. Take a Nature Walk
If you happen to live in or around Westchester, I also strongly encourage you to check out Lasdon Park's Dinosaur walk!!! It is an amazing resource available FOR FREE!!! The trail isn't particularly long by adult standards, but it is perfect for little feet. Along the way take time to learn about the different dinosaurs, their environment, and more. The trail also offers a virtual reality experience and stations where you can scan signs to learn more!
6. Outdoor Movie Nights
7. Get Dirty!!
Mud kitchens, dirt play, sand boxes, and mud pies are all great ways to have fun getting dirty! While many parents cringe at the idea (admittedly, I am included in that), kids love it. Warm spring and summer days are perfect for getting dirty, because you can do it in a swim suit. Just spray off with a hose when done!
8. Backyard Camping
Grab a tent, a sleeping bag, and a flashlight; then head outdoors! You don’t have to sleep outside to experience the fun of camping! Get comfy, light a fire in your fire pit if you have one, and roast some marshmallows. When it is time for bed, you can always head inside, but not before taking a long gaze at the night sky! There are some great apps out there that help you discover stars, planets, and constellations.
9. Go for a Bike Ride
Even small children can partake in family bike rides with a balance bike (which is obviously a lot slower than a regular bike, but a great tool for helping kids get ready to use a big kid bike!) or wagon attachment. Biking is great exercise, and allows you to get out and explore faster than using your own feet. My community has some excellent cycling trails, or just take a ride around your neighborhood.
10. Obstacle Course
Want even more ideas? I update my Instagram stories regularly with new activities I am doing with my preschooler, or things we are doing as an entire family. You can also find great ideas from around the web on my Pinterest account!
What are some of your family’s favorite outdoor activities for the spring and summer? Comment below and let me know!
Be sure to share this with other parents looking for creative ideas to stay busy outside this spring and summer!
"COVID-19 has highlighted, to an extraordinary degree, my family’s privilege. It is a word you probably hear a lot of right now in the context of systemic racism, but privilege is multifaceted. My family hasn’t lost anyone to the virus. My husband and I haven’t lost our jobs, though they have become exponentially more difficult. We aren’t struggling to keep a roof over our family’s heads or food in our bellies.............. I’m not saying this because I want to brag. Not in the slightest.... No, my summer isn’t canceled. It may be different this year, but I will not allow my privilege and expectations to ruin it. Things don’t always go as planned, but I am lucky that I have the choice to dance in the rain. I’m grabbing my umbrella. What about you?"
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Over the last few weeks I've been working diligently on tons of new content for you, and in anticipation of the launch, I'm releasing some fun (and educational) printable activities for your toddlers/preschoolers/ kindergarteners. This printables pack includes color, shape, and sight word activities with several levels of difficulty, as well as beach/ocean themed coloring pages.
Perfect for summer (or those who don't want summer fun to ever end!), or a homeschool thematic unit on the beach, seasons, or ocean life.
Plus, the bright and colorful shape activities are great for any time of year.
You can get access to these printables here.
The following is a guide for making the most out of these downloads. And be sure to send me pictures of your little ones enjoying these great activities! I'd love to share them to Instagram and Facebook with links to your social media accounts.
How to Make the Most Out of These Activities
Disclosure: This post contains links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at not added cost to you, nor are there any strings attached. Learn more here.
The shape matching activity offers four levels of difficulty. The first level has shape words written in the same color as the shape itself, plus images of the shape in the same color. The next level has shapes and words on the main card, but no in color. The more difficult levels offers the shape words with coloring, which requires color matching with exposure to site words, while the most advance level offers shape words without coloring, requiring sight word recognition.
There are two great ways to use either level of this activity.
The first is to cut out each shape card, and the word card (you can cut this out into a single card rather than individual word cards). Then have your child use a glue stick and glue the correct shape next to the correct word.
You can also use a laminator and velcro to create a reusable activity. First laminate the entire page. Then cut out the individual shapes and the big words card. Finally, apply velcro to the backs of the shape cards and next to each word. Your child can then use the same cards over and over, rather than you having to print multiple copies and waste paper.
Product Recommendations from Amazon for This Activity
Fish (Color) Matching
This activity has three different versions; three levels of difficult for one version, two levels of difficulty for a second, and a single level of difficulty for the third.
The first version is similar to the shape matching activity, and can be done the same way (either with glue sticks or a laminator and velcro). Also like the shape matching activity, the fish matching activity asks your child to match colors to the correct color word. The easiest level has the color words written in color with a matching fish. The intermediary level offers site words written in matching colors to the respective fish. The hardest, sight word level simply has the color word written in black ink. A second version of this activity requires no cutting, just drawing lines from the fish to the correct color word.
A third version of this activity is a coloring page, where your child must color each fish with the color word on its body. This requires sight word reading, and is more advanced than the other versions of this activity.
These activities are also great for binder games. Click here to learn more about how to make one!
This printables pack also comes with four coloring pages!
My toddler is already loving these activities!
Get yours today by signing up for my mailing list here!
Not quite ready to sign up? While you would be missing valuable content, I do make select coloring pages available for download without signup on my Craft Corner page, as well as worksheets available for direct download on my Activities page.
Have you done any of these activities with your child?
Be sure to comment below to let me know how it went, or send me pictures (via Instagram, Facebook, or email) of your child enjoying the activities, and I'll post on social media with a tag to your account!
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Disclaimer: This post contains links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program helps support this blog and has no added cost or strings attached for you. Click here to learn more.
What kid doesn’t love a dirt cup? And just in time for beach season, here is a perfect take on this classic dessert. Use the ingredients and instructions below, or just get creative and have fun!
What you will need:
Click on images to view product pages. We've not used these items in our own home, but they have great reviews on Amazon and would be great additions to this project.
You may also like the following products for this activity:
Click on images to view product pages. We've not used these items purchased from Amazon in our own home, but they have great reviews on Amazon and would be great additions to this project.
In three easy steps your child can create this adorable and delicious beach themed dessert.
MAKE IT EDUCATIONAL!
Many readers already know baking is educational. Measuring helps teach fractions and fine motor skills. Baking helps teach sequences, following steps, highlights cause and effect, and for older children, gives the opportunity to practice reading skills.
So, to use the sand cup activity as a homeschool activity, simply have your children help with baking!
You can use prompts below as a guide, and tailor them to your child's academic level:
1. Read the instructions. What is the first step?
2. First we pour 'x'. What comes next?
3. We need [1/2 cup] of [sugar]. Let's look at the bottom number (the denominator). How many parts make a whole in this fraction? (Answer = 2).
4. What temperature do we need to set the oven at? What do you think would happen if we set it higher? Lower?
5. Let's use the food dye to make new colors! What color do you think yellow and blue would make? What about red and blue? What would happen if we added more [red/blue/yellow/green] to this?
6. The recipe says to bake for 30 minutes? 30 minutes is how much of an hour? (Answer: 1/2 Hour). What if we baked for 15 minute? How many parts of an hour would that be (Answer: 1/4)? How many parts of 30 minutes is 15 minutes? (Answer 15/30, 1/2, etc.).
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Summer 2020 isn't ruined by any stretch, but it certainly is going to be more difficult to keep our kids busy this year. Social distancing measures have meant the cancelation of many of summer camps in my local area (and perhaps yours as well), and I've seen first hand on local parents groups the stress this is causing my neighbors. What can you do to keep your kids occupied and engaged this summer if camps aren't running? While I am working on a roundup of some fun activities you can do with your child (stay tuned for more soon!), you probably aren't a teacher or childhood specialist. And let's be honest... you deserve a break after overseeing all that distance learning this spring, right?!
Enter Camp Mave!
I'm truly disappointed my child is too young for this educational summer experience, because it looks like loads of fun. I'm normally not one to pitch products I've not tested myself, but when Megan reached out to me and I started researching Camp Mave, I couldn't help but want to share about it. It is just that cool.
I was excited to see this distance learning camp option relies on certified teachers to implement small group projects each week. Even cooler, this camp offers a STEM based curriculum. By now most of us know that STEM curriculum teaches critical 21st century skills. And as a scientist myself, I'm always passionate about finding ways to help children develop these skills. Camp Mave is designed to help your child develop these critical thinking skills while having fun. You can see the entire schedule below. I was also happy to hear that Camp Mave is donating 10% of proceeds to COVID-19 relief.
Camp Mave is targeted for children ages 11-14 and runs week by week through the month of August.
You can read more about this amazing experience below, on their website, or learn more by contacting them at email@example.com.
Be sure to use code erinm2020 to receive 5% off your purchase price!
Did your child participate in Camp Mave? Be sure to contact me with your reviews! I'd love to get your feedback on the program!
May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
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