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Summer has arrived, and with it comes the opportunity to go outside and get some fresh air! Most young children really enjoy the sun on their face, the wind in their hair, and the freedom to run and play!

Our society has become so structured, that it can feel daunting to know that you are taking the kids outside….you may feel obligated to have something “planned” for them to do. Then you have to find all the parts/pieces, load up the scooters, call to organize with another family, arrange meals…forget it! Now, you probably don’t even want to go! And who can blame you.

Just remember that impromptu, unstructured time outside with minimal planning and preparation IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE, and is just as beneficial for you and the children!

Here are the top 10 outdoor activity ideas that you can try with little to no preparation:

  1. Have lunch or dinner outside. Make it a picnic. Nothing fancy, just the simple act of eating in the outdoors makes it fun! Plus it’s away from the television and iPad. Bonus!
  2. Pick flowers…dandelions and buttercups are perfect for little hands, and it doesn’t matter that you pick them. They are weeds! But the kids won’t mind!
  3. Go on a nature walk. Take a little bag of some sort. Collect buckeyes, acorns, little helicopter seeds, different leaves.
  4. Read books outside! Reading is a wonderful hobby to encourage ANYWHERE…why not outside?
  5. Play in a pan or bucket of water!
  6. Paint on the sidewalk with water….you only need a bowl of water and something to paint with…how about a sponge, a loofah or even an old toothbrush. Try a basting or pastry brush!
  7. Allow your toddler to bring a baby doll stroller on a walk.
  8. Use a laundry basket as a goal, and kick any ball in to it…instant soccer!
  9. Dig for worms! You don’t need anything special, just a stick and some dirt. Kids love it, and its okay to get a little dirty!
  10. Dance! Most of us have music downloaded on our phones. Play some music and dance together. When you’re done, lay on the grass and look up at the clouds. What do you see?

Being outside doesn’t have to be structured. The best memories are often created just simply being together!

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What are your favorite childhood memories of playing outside with little preparation? Share with us! Keep the conversation going!

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