In my mind, there isn't much that is better for a kid than spending as much time as possible playing outside.
I remember hours spent out in our back yard when I was a little girl!
For some reason or another, my boys have gotten off to a slow start when it comes to outdoor playtime. If Dale has his friends to play with, he is off without complaint, and for a whole afternoon or evening - or both! But at home with just he and Alan, that is a different story, and a vague, "go outside and play" from me is often met with whining. Either that or he comes traipsing back in a few minutes later because there is "nothing to do."
Yeah, right.... there is plenty to do! So I decided they might need a little help.
Which brings us to ... The Outside Jar.
With a little help brainstorming, I came up with a list of around 15 thing to do outside, cut them into strips, and put them into our fancy little jar.
Now, when the day is pretty and the boys need some directed outside time, they love drawing out an activity suggestion. If it is more complex, we brainstorm together about what they might need, and pack a bag or box together before they set out.
This has definitely helped me get them outside to play, and has helped them enjoy it more! My hope is that they will begin to have favorites from the jar they play without me (or the jar) suggesting them, and then start coming up with their own ideas more often.
At the very least, the Outside Jar has been a jump-start to more imaginative play that has totally changed how my boys look at outside time. Now they get excited when I send them out to play!
Some of the activities in our Outside Jar:
Play in the Sandbox
Go on a daytime camp-out (one of their favorites so far)
Draw with sidewalk chalk
Hunt for Treasure
Pretend you are on a wagon train
Go sailing to discover new land
Do you have any suggestions to add to our jar?