Spring is the perfect time of year to get out into nature. Here are some fun games and crafts you can do with your toddler outside.
Crayon Rubbing and Guessing Game
- Crayons with the paper wrapping removed
- Lightweight paper or newsprint
- Items you can use to make rubbings: leaves, grass, flowers, bark
- Collect all your materials together: rubbings, paper, crayons.
- Place item under newsprint or lightweight paper. Try to keep the paper from shifting.
- Demonstrate how to hold the crayon for your child and rub your crayon over the newsprint or lightweight paper. See what magical surprise shows up!
- Talk about the different shapes, colors and textures that you see: Does it look different with different leaves? What other objects in nature might you want to try?
- Put small flat objects into a sealed envelope and let your child guess what is inside and then rub on top with a crayon to see what it is. This is a creative way for you and your child to communicate, make guesses together, and play a game.
- Here are some items you could put into your sealed envelope: coins, feathers, puzzle pieces, foam shapes, buttons, piece of lace, or ribbon.
This is a fun game to play with older toddlers and young children
- Water-based paint
- Paper cups
- Popsicle sticks
- Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty and wet
To avoid the person who is "it" and get all the colors of paint on your arm.
Put your paint colors in cups with one popsicle stick each. Place the paint cups in different places around your yard or an open space. Have your family run around and find the paint and put a stripe on their arm. The person who is "it" has a sponge.
When they tag someone, they wipe the paint off of their arm. You might need to help your toddler wipe off the paint. The goal is to get all the colors in the game on your arm. This is a great game to play with your toddler when they are learning their colors.
Plant a Seed
- Seeds: flowers, veggie seeds, etc
- Prepare your space by talking with your child about what you will be doing.
- You can say something like, “This is the time of year to start planning our garden” or “Today, we will plant tomatoes—your favorite fruit!”
- Take your pot and fill it about three-quarters full of soil. Have your child help you fill the pot with soil. In the center of the pot, make a small hole with your finger.
- Open your seed packet and place a few seeds in the small hole.
- Cover the seeds with soil and then water them!
- You and your child can watch the seeds grow and make predictions about what is going to happen.
- Your child can have the job of watering their seeds once a week or whenever they need to be watered.
- Once your seed starts to grow, you can draw pictures of what is happening from day to day to see the change.