In an effort to get kids and families outside and engaged with nature and each other, Head Start/Body Start is promoting Take It Outside week.
I truly believe that children who regularly play outdoors are healthier and happier than children who don’t. I also believe that families that get outside together are building experiences that ultimately bring them closer. Observing your child in a new environment is a never-ending source of wonder. And it just stands to reason that children who are encouraged to explore their environment and nurture their natural curiosity will become enthusiastic learners and develop a deeper appreciation for the world around them.
Finally, as a self-confidence booster, adventures in nature can’t be beat; children positively blossom when they discover that they have the creative capacity to make fun and find wonder in things other than toys and electronics.
So this week, gather the kids and Take It Outside! It doesn’t matter if it’s for 15 minutes or 3 hours; just getting out there sets a precedent for spending time together discovering something new and different. With hope, you will enjoy it so much that it becomes a regular part of your day – everyday!
Here are some fall-themed ideas to kick-start your inspiration!
- Have a Crunchy Picnic. Rake leaves into a pile and cover them with a big blanket. Climb on top with snacks and drinks, and listen to the crunching underneath as you move. When you’re done eating, remove the blanket and run through the leaf pile as fast as you can! Watch the leaves fly up into the air and then try to catch them.
- Have a Pumpkin Hunt. You will need about 10 of those apple-sized mini pumpkins and gourds. Toss them in a pile of leaves, and then set out to find them – with your eyes closed!
- Have a Pumpkin Roll. Place the mini pumpkins around the yard and have your child roll a bigger pumpkin around them and through them like an obstacle course. Bonus points for rolling two pumpkins at once!
- Go Color Hiking. Go for a walk and find as many orange (or brown or yellow) things that you can. When you get home use markers or crayons to decorate a piece a paper with the appropriate color, and attach your matching items. Have your child try to think of other orange things, and help them add to the collage by making a drawing.
Finally, and most importantly, dress kids to get dirty. It’s hard to lose yourself in a game of Dancing with the Leaves when you are worried about staying clean. Dress them for mess, and then let them take the lead. You won’t be disappointed!