With spring in the air, it's time for outdoor play! As part of Fun Month on Circle of Moms, we've asked parents to share their children's all-time favorite outdoor activities, and here are seven of their great ideas. Next time you face any reluctance from your kids about playing in the yard, give one of these games a whirl!
1. Soap Paint
"My kids love it when I make soap paint. You just mix a little food coloring and cornstarch into liquid dish soap and you have paint. They love to paint the [glass] doors and all their toys. I love that they clean everything for me. I hose it all down when they're done. I haven't had to wash my doors for months since they clean them for me." -Allison Bonar of Twingle Mommy
2. Make-Believe Creations
"More than any other game, my kids love to build things. First they have a vision: pirate ship. Then their imaginations go wild, and using a wide variety of supplies, they build a pirate ship in the backyard. They ask for duct tape, sheets, and the broom. They use the benches from the picnic table and chairs, and fashion telescopes from old wrapping paper tubes. They don costumes and bring out stuffed animals as the crew. And then, when their ship is complete, they set sail. It's magic. All it takes is some imagination on their part and lots of supplies provided by a mom who is a willing partner in their games. Yes, I might have to wash some extra sheets, and I have to find a place to save things like old wrapping paper tubes, but it is worth it to see their dreams become a reality. It's worth all of it!" -Greta Eskridge of Lilly and the Brothers
"My twin girls (age 4) love to build "fairy" houses. They gather bits of nature and assemble a little habitat for the fairies to move into. They read one of the books by Tracy Kane about the fairy houses along the Maine coast, and ever since, they've been caught up in the idea of doing it themselves. Whenever we go for a walk, they gather nature bits to bring home for their fairy house construction." -Lara of Twice Blessed Life - Raising Twins Heartistically!
3. Chalk Doodling
"My kids love fence doodling. We have this big ol' gate that spans our driveway and is broken beyond repair from one too many windstorms battering it. My twins love sidewalk chalk but hate drawing on cement with it. Broken gate = instant canvas. They doodle to their hearts content and, if I decide I want it gone...I take the hose to the gate. It's awesome!" -Cori Nicholls of Read.Write.Run.Mom.
4. Freeze Tag
"We still love the old fashioned Freeze Tag. Our six-year-old and our three-year-old can both play it since the rules are pretty easy. And it's great because it can be played anywhere. Sometimes we change up what is considered the 'safety place.' Sometimes it's touching a tree, sometimes it's touching something plastic, [and] sometimes it's making it to one of the two doors in the backyard. Bonus points if you're able to catch a grown-up!" -Gina Jacobs Thomas of Full of it...
"When my boys were younger they liked to play with toy swords. The problem was that they would whack each other and get hurt. We had a large cedar tree at the time. I told them to pretend it was a dragon and fight the dragon instead of each other. Worked like a charm! They are much older now but I still catch them practicing their 'fencing skills' on our trees and bushes!" -Amy Marshall of How To Be Superwoman
6. Wiffle Ball
"We are a baseball family. I coach and two of the five [kids] play. Wiffle Ball is a family favorite. We have games with three generations playing in the field and we always have a blast. I always have a bat and a few balls in my trunk in the summer time in case we go somewhere and there is no Wiffle ball equipment available." -Rob Merlino of The Hot Dog Truck
7.Biking a Mini City
"Okay, so it's really a front yard game in our home, but I create a mini city in chalk on our driveway. My boys ride bikes and scooters around 'town,' sometimes racing, sometimes stopping for gas/groceries/ice cream. When it's not raining, it can last for days." -Amy of Using Our Words