Great Outdoors Month is June! Celebrate by spending quality time with your kids.
It is NOT the quantity BUT the quality of time spent with children (Or QT 30) that helps prepare kids for school and gives them a head start to learning. By playing with your kids or those in your care, they unconsciously learn social end physical skills that help with their growth. This summer, take advantage of the nice weather! Try these fun outdoor activities that will teach your kids new skills! (Need help finding a park? Look here!) Play does not have to be for hours – 30 minutes of quality time goes a long way!
Swing Fun (Ages 0-3) – Go to a playground and put your baby on the swing. You can push the baby gently and tickle their feet.
Do you have a toddler? Hold your hands out while standing in front of them on the swing, and tell them to aim to hit your hands with their feet. This motion encourages them to learn the kicking they need to swing on their own.
Once your kids reach preschool age, have them lay on their bellies on the swing and push off with their feet, narrate a superhero story for them! This not only helps with physical growth but with their language, memorization, imagination and creative skills.
Shadow Tracing (Ages 0-3) – Go outside with your child on a sunny day. If your child will stand still long enough, trace his or her shadow on the sidewalk or driveway. Make several tracings. Then see if your child can fit his or her shadow back inside the tracings.
Trace shadows on a big sheet of newsprint or other paper for a fun alternative. Let your son or daughter finger-paint the shadow tracings or color it with crayons or markers.
Balloon Kites (Ages 0-3) – Kites can be a little too challenging for toddlers and preschooler. Have your kids make these types of “kites” to entertain them until they get old enough for the real thing.
Take a helium balloon and attach different lengths of paper streamers for a kite tail. Then tie a long length of kite string around the balloon and the other end to your child’s wrist. Let them have fun flying their kite in the backyard or a park without worry about crashes or tangles.
Pick your own (Ages 4-8) – Take your child to a local farm or farmers market that allows you to pick your ownfruit, vegetables or flowers. There are farmers markets that offer programs for families in need (find out more here.) Make a dessert or favorite dish with your kids once you get home. Remember, fresh fruits and vegetables should always be incorporated into your child’s diet. In addition to the benefit of being physically active, this activity boosts a child’s sense of accomplishment – building confidence.
Fun Fact!: You can sign up for the Community Support Agriculture (CSA) through the Food Bank of Delaware. The program is new, but a great opportunity to buy local produce. Half shares are available for $5 a week for families with limited incomes. A full share is available for these families for $10 a week.
Seashell collection (Ages 4-8) – Take a road to trip to a beach or lake. Search the beach together for seashells, rocks, or sea glass. Bring sea glass home to put them in a decorative glass jar. You can place the shells, sea glass or rocks in flower beds for decoration. Painting seashells and rocks is another fun activity.
Outdoor Concert (Ages 4-8) – In the warmer months many towns, libraries, and parks have free outdoor concerts. Take along some blankets, folding chairs and snacks and enjoy the music performance with your child. Teach them the names of the instruments being played, and what type of music they are listening to!
Every time you do things with your child they learn and grow. Even the simplest activities, such as pat-a-cake, breastfeeding, cuddling, reading, singing, and playing together help your child have a happy healthy life. The first 1000 days of your child’s life fly by, but how those days are spent will determine your child’s behavior and success in school. Aim to spend 30 minutes of quality time with your son or daughter a day. Your attention should be 100% on your child.
You can find more activities here: http://dethrives.com/qt-30/activities.