Sunday, May 29, 2011

Outside Play Ideas for Winter

Winter brings different outside play opportunities to Summer.  Today I thought I would brainstorm lots of outside play ideas for toddlers and pre-schoolers for winter (and the older ones too!).  As we live in a nice warm part of Australia, most of our outdoor play has involved water (swimming in the pool or water play of some sort) or climbing in trees (the joys of boys), but really there is SO much more you can do outside, even when it is cold or wet.  So, some of these play suggestions are favorites of ours, and some are things I want to get out and do with my boys.
  •  Number one is definitely ball play.  Fun as well as teaching gross motor skills.  Toddlers you can sit and roll the ball to each other, and older kids progress to throwing games.
  • Do you live in an area with deciduous trees?  Autumn and winter are wonderful times for playing with the fallen leaves, collecting leaves for collages, or even comparing the different types of leaves.
  • Get in the car and go playground hopping.  This is great fun for kids as its somewhere fresh to play (and free too).
  • Buy those big sticks of chalk and let your kids go mad drawing and writing everywhere outside.  Another fantastic gross motor activity, and one that can build up strength and dexterity in hands.
  • Bubbles!! What child doesn't love bubbles.  Either blow the bubbles for the smaller children and let them catch them, or let the older kids have their own bubble blowers.
  • If you have the time or energy create an outside obstacle course.  Place things to climb over, climb under, balance along, and the list goes on depending on your space and resources.
  • One of my favorites from my childhood is to lie on the grass and look at the clouds.  This is just such a lovely activity and really stimulates the imagination seeing what shapes you can see in the clouds.
  •  If you are able, provide a sand pit.  Whether one built on the ground or one of those clam shell type things, kids adore sand play!
  • Do I really need to mention bikes and trikes?  These are such favorite past-times of Aussie kids and great fun whether it is Summer or Winter.
  • When the boys were little I also had an 'outdoor play' basket.  In it were old books, shoe lacing activities, chalk, skipping ropes, and any other bits and pieces I thought would be fun outside.  Most times we headed outside in the morning for our outside play I would also take the basket and let them sit and read and play as they wished in the sun.
  • Spider or butterfly hunting through the garden.
  • And last but not least, if you are brave enough, let your kids get out in the rain and mud and play to their hearts content. 


I have to congratulate the Teach/Learn participants this month, due to all the insane things happening around here there weren't little reminders sent out. It's nice to know people remembered on their own! But they have come up with some great ideas for getting outside while you teach and learn.
Have you been getting outside? Add some ideas in the comments or check out these great posts.


Joli said...

As a little girl I always wanted an Autumn tree with a big pile of fallen leaves to play in. The colour of Autumn tress are so pretty. Now I have children we like to collect the different coloured leaves, reds, tans, yellows. Amazing how trees can offer so much joy.

Your Cheeky Monkey said...

It is lovely isn't Jodi, I wish my kids and I lived in an area with deciduous trees!

CatWay said...

Funnily enough, where I live Winter makes perfect weather for outside play (everything except outdoor swimming). I can hardly keep my boys inside at the moment.

Deb Chitwood said...

It's seems so strange that you're just starting winter when we're about to start summer in the U.S.! Great ideas ... I especially love your 'outdoor play' basket! Deb @

mamapoekie said...

we love doing leaf prints. Just pat some paint on the irregular side of the leaf and print it on a page, we even used them to stick to our christmas cards this year (with glitter of course).
Autumn is a great time to go gathering nice stuff for filling vases etc...

Kellie said...

Autumn leaf collecting is a huge hit here! They then get turned into very colourful collages.
And bubbles. Although, somehow I was convinced to allow them inside the other day. Bad idea!! Love these ideas. We've had a few gorgeous days lately, so it's been nice to make the most of it while we can.