Monday, February 8, 2016

Blogging through the Alphabet: O is for Outside

We are on Week 15 of Blogging Through the Alphabet! O is for Outside.

{Showing off their nature bracelets!}

My family is an outdoor family! My husband works outside everyday, loves to hunt and fish, and farms. My children play outside almost everyday! In the summer, we practically live outside since we don't have schoolwork. When the weather is nice, they are outside as soon as schoolwork is complete.

{The boys made a teeter-totter with a crate and a pallet.}

There are many benefits to allowing your children to play outside often.

1.) EXCERCISE! Many children today do not get enough exercise, and this leads to a large number of children who are overweight. {Eating habits also play a big role in this, but I digress.} When you child plays outside, they are usually running, jumping, skipping, swinging, riding a bike, or walking. It's an effortless physical education class!

2.) CREATIVITY! When your child is allowed to explore and invent without restrictions, they use their imaginations! So many toys and activities these days are structured, with a pre-conceived purpose and execution. This leaves little room for your child to use their imaginations. However, when your child has the great outdoors as a playroom, and sticks, leaves, flowers, rocks, frogs, grasshoppers, and birds as toys, they make their own rules, their own ideas, and their own fun.

3.) LEARNING! Being outside gives your children a plethora of learning opportunities. They can use math and geometry to build a fort, learn how an ant finds food, learn new vocabulary words when they ask you about something, identify different species of plants, and so much more. Allow them to keep a nature journal to use at their own discretion. You may be surprised how much they use it!

4.) FRESH AIR! Breathing fresh air has many benefits - it improves digestion, strengthens your immune system, cleans your lungs, and gives you a sharper mind.

{The kids made Indian necklaces with dyed pasta outside!}

There are many ways to get your child excited about being outside, especially if they tend to choose video games or TV over outdoor play {we have no video games or cable, so my kids don't have a choice!}.

1.) PROVIDE TOYS! We have many outdoor toys - bicycles, skateboards, scooters, a swing-set, balls, shovels and rakes, trucks and cars, jump-ropes, hula hoops, and more. It may help your child to have something to do, and it may  lead to imaginative play.

2.) OBSTACLE COURSE! My kids love to make an obstacle course using the swing-set, jump-ropes, and other random objects to jump over, run around, and climb under.

3.) RELAY RACE! Let your children have a race - running with a ball between their legs, or walking like a crab, or running backwards.

4.) NATURE HUNT! Give your child a list of things to find outside - a heart shaped rock, a leaf with jagged edges, a purple wildflower, a beetle.

5.) BUILDING! If you have scrap wood lying around, allow your child to build a fort, or a bird house, or a sandbox.  You may be surprised at their wood-working talent!

{Even in colder weather,  my boys love to be outside.}

I know there are many more benefits to being outside, and many more ideas for playing outside. What are some ideas you would add to my list?

Check out my post on Nature Study - there are fun outdoor ideas here!

Linking up with Meg and Cristi and Blogging through the Alphabet!


  1. Outside play is such a lost art these days. I'm glad your kids enjoy it so much. Very creative with the teeter-totter, too! Now that my kids are older, we enjoy outdoor adventures to just about anywhere!

  2. Nothing to really add to your list--we love being outside too! Catching lightening bugs, climbing trees, jumping on the trampoline, helping to wash the car in summer, visiting the grandparent's farm, "exploring" the woods...anything and everything!

  3. Yes, we love to get outside.. even if it's just to bring our books out there's something about the sun, blue skies and fresh air that just calls to us all.