Go Outside and Play! 8 Fabulous Ideas for Kids


I grew up in Idaho with four sisters and brothers, and a father and mother who wouldn’t take no for an answer. On summer days, after our chores, my siblings and I were herded out the back door. Play, my mother ordered. And we did. We had no choice. We played baseball and had lemonade stands. We caught frogs and rode bikes. We collected soda bottles from the weedy margins of the road and spent the pennies they fetched on jawbreakers. We climbed trees and had green apple wars that left bruises on our arms and legs. There were no adults to govern us or tell us how to share, be fair, or be careful. We learned the hard way—we made up our own rules, fought and made up, and scraped our elbows and skinned our knees. They were lasting lessons taken into adulthood, and for me, even more importantly, my mother’s imperative all those years ago grew into a love for the outdoors that has never left me, that grew into one of the great consolations in life. A bad day can be transformed to a good one with time spent in the garden, on a run, or a bike ride into town instead of taking the car.

The sun is shining! Turn off technology, and push your child out that door with one word: Play!  Here are some ideas to get them started:



For an afternoon of water play fill a wading pool and add:

• Plastic bowls or a muffin tin filled with shaving cream. Stir in a couple of drops of food coloring and use it for body paint or create floating boats and buildings on the surface of the water.98047790e5bd0fc69662c06440292e0a
• Fill latex gloves with water, use a rubber band to P1040644secure the end tightly, and freeze. Peel off the glove for floating ice hands to play with in the pool!
• Juggle bubbles. Use your favorite bubble recipe, or buy the solution at the store, and wearing cotton gloves, juggle the bubbles you blow
• Make a bubble bath. Pour a small amount of bubble bath or shampoo into the pool and use hands or whisks to shake and stir the water into bubbles
• Cut a small nail-size hole in the fingertips of a rubber glove. Attach the glove securely to a hose with a strong rubber band, turn on the water for a crazy sprinkler
P1040646• Make homemade icebergs by filling plastic bags 2/3rds with water. Secure the opening with a rubber band and freeze. Unwrap your berg when solid and add toy boats with them into the pool for their own personal Titanic play
• Give each child a small can of shaving cream. Cover their arms with the cream and they can “shave” it off with popsicle sticks.SCN_0003
• Make a water slide from a tarp. Place the tarp away from any stationary objects they could run into. Hose the tarp down with water then place it near the top with water running slowly to keep the tarp wet and slippery

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  1. I remember playing outside because it represented independence and freedom. That is exactly what I want for my children and grandchildren because it fosters decision making; a lot of hard life decisions can be made through a developed sense of what Mother Nature offers. Outside you are free to breath in fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun and the chill of winter, watch things grow and die too, you have the opportunity to learn process; in process we become independent. I love this outside advise, even in the winter, dress for the elements and get your family away from the plug ins…

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