Play 60. That’s the slogan the NFL uses in schools, TV etc. to get kids to play outside. We all know that our kids have a lot of energy, but they also love devices. – All kinds of devices. As a mom, my goal for summer is to distract them as much as possible from screens….even when its tempting to take a break myself!
- Balance Bike
Your little one can walk? Great, its time to introduce he or she to bike riding. On a balance bike kids start their riding journey through walking first, transitioning slowly into running, (you get the idea) the faster they get, the better their balance becomes. My daughter asked to ride a “big girl” bike right after she turned three. She sat on it and rode off without training wheels shortly after.
If you travel to countries like Germany or the Netherlands, in which bikes are a major part of transportation. Training wheels are basically non existent. Kids learn how to ride a bike on a balance bike, and switch to pedals by three or four years of age. Then it is on to romping around on their bikes with their parents.
Little siblings already feel like their big siblings, riding a balance bike and family walks will be strollerless and fun for all.
If your family is not as biking enthusiastic or your little ones want a little variety a scooter is your next bet. If you have been to a city or suburb lately you may have seen kids blazing trails on the Micro Mini scooter. This Swiss import is basically indestructible. With its three wheel system the scooter doesn’t fall over- and neither do the kids while they are riding it. City kids ride their scooters shopping or to the subway. In the suburbs, a fast ride to the playground or circles in the drive way keep kids active for hours.
3. Sand Box
A timeless classic…sometimes the most basic, and cheapest toys are the best. You don’t need to spent a lot of money for hours of fun. The hardware store sells a 50 pound bag of sand for just under three dollars. You don’t need to buy a sand box for your little one to have fun. You could simply create a small beach in your yard. For my adventure sand box I used tree stumps as a border, dug a two foot deep hole, around six feet at length and boom! The stumps are great in having the added novelty of doubling as balance beams, tables or game boards.
4. Basket Swing
A basket swing is a big round swing, that fits several kids at the same time. My swing is hung into a tree, so no play set needed. Our swing is popular with neighborhood kids and adults alike. The kids love being pushed all together and there is never a fight about who’s turn it is. Older kids can push each other and have hours of fun. This swing was rated as a better toy then the big backyard trampoline, which I did not include in this list because of its high price.
Bubbles make the list because you can put them in your purse and entertain your kids on the go. This is a favorite of my kids at the airport, waiting for tables at a restaurant or during any outdoor activities (at concerts, farmers markets or walks).
What are your favorites outdoor toys? What keeps your kids busy for a long time?