We are truly lucky to live in a country with such a beautiful climate. The Australian sunshine is just begging for you to step outside and enjoy it. Being in the great outdoors is fun for the whole family, especially your little explorers.
However, you don’t have to go all the way to the Outback to have fun in nature. In fact, you don’t even have to go to your nearest park. All you need to do is open the door to your very own backyard and try some of these activities.
Going Green with Gardening
If you as a parent or caregiver are already interested in gardening, this is the perfect way to introduce your little ones to it as well.
Prepare to let their imaginations run wild. Let your little gardener start by clearing a space for their little garden while you explain some interesting facts about the seeds that they’ll be planting. Next, let their creativity come out to play and have them decorate the area with whatever they choose. They could also make their own garden gnomes or even mini scarecrows.
To make it more fun for the little ones, allow them to plant seeds and herbs that are used in their favourite dishes. Let them plant some fresh tomatoes and onions as well as some basil and other aromatic herbs.
While your little gardener will enjoy getting their hands dirty, they will also learn patience by waiting for their seeds to grow and become more responsible as they will be taking care of their garden. They’ll also learn about biology while watching the seed’s life cycle.
This will take some preparation on your part, but your child’s excitement will be well worth it. First, find some special items to hide. These could be some of their favourite toys or even ingredients for a meal. In the case of the latter, you could ask them what dish you could make from all the food items they’ve found, and they could even help you cook it.
Now it’s time to draw the map. Depending on how many children will be taking part, you could decide to let two or a few share one map to encourage teamwork. Based on their age, you could do a picture map or a more complex puzzle map.
If you really want to up the excitement ante, have the hunt at night and have the little ones use flashlights.
Build a Secret Hideaway
Children love the idea of having their own special and, of course, secret place. Why not have them build it themselves? All you need are some large empty boxes, some old sheets or blankets, and plenty of imagination.
Let them build it themselves, with some help from you, and allow them to decorate it however they choose. Just be warned that it will most likely be child-sized, so no adults allowed.
In addition to creativity, the activity will encourage little ones to use strategic thinking when deciding on the next steps in their building process. You could even have your little learner design a “building plan” before they start construction.
What would the outdoors be without camping? Giving your children a chance to sleep outside on a balmy evening is such a great experience.
They can put on their thinking caps to set up the tent properly and for older children, you can even teach your little explorer the correct way to start a fire, if you have the space to do so.
You can play a range of thinking games while enjoying the outdoors. How about broken telephone or even allowing them to create their own stories? This could also be a great opportunity to do a night-time treasure hunt.
The most important thing is that you find games and activities that they will enjoy which also have the ability to mentally stimulate your child. Little ones, especially younger children, learn best through play.