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3 Fun Outdoor Activities for Toddlers (That are Free)

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It’s always a blast doing activities with your toddler! Summer in particular is a great time to find new things to do and explore with your little learner. However, many activity ideas require a copious amount of materials, some of which you may need to buy. This can get costly and result in time spent in the store that you’d rather be spending with your child.

Thankfully, Erin Buhr’s book Little Walks, Big Adventures provides countless activity ideas that you can do for free. These simple excursion ideas will nurture the curiosity in your child and provide hours of entertainment as you watch your toddler explore the simple wonders of the world. Here are a few simple outdoor activities you can try with your toddler today.

Water Pictures

Materials:

What to Do:

  1. Fill a bucket with water and place it with paintbrushes near a smooth surface you can get wet. Flat surfaces are best. Fences, sides of buildings, and sidewalks all work well
  2. Model how to paint the wall with your paintbrush
  3. Remark on their painting and talk about the different types of brush strokes they can use

Sort Big and Small

Materials:

What to Do:

  1. Gather items for sorting. Some ideas include sorting pinecones or animals by size, sorting trains by color, or sorting dinosaurs by what they eat. The younger your toddlers, the simpler this needs to be
  2. When and what toddlers are interested in varies. Some toddlers may want to sit and sort every item in your basket. Some toddlers will be only moderately interested in having you label which item is big and which is little
  3. Repeat this activity with different materials and at different times. For example, you could ask “Who has a really BIG carrot?” or “Who sees a really small blueberry?” at snack time

Bark Rubbing

Materials:

  • White paper
  • Crayons
  • Masking tape

What to Do:

  1. For bark rubbings, go outside to a tree and put the paper over the tree
  2. Hold it (or tape it) while your toddlers use crayons to rub the tree’s impression into the paper
  3. When they are done, invite them to compare the image with the real bark. What do they notice?


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