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9 Outdoor Activities you don't need a garden for
Looking for new ideas on how to get your Little Hotdogs out in the fresh air? Here are 9 fab activities for city centre or courtyard garden living:
Build a giant outdoor chalkboard
There’s something about a vertical drawing space that’s irresistible, so why not encourage them to get creative without damaging the walls inside. This beautiful giant chalkboard can be created from plywood and a pot of chalkboard paint.
Encourage creativity with nature
Image: Nature Folk
Make the most of the first rays of spring sun, head out on a nature walk and collect natural materials to use in this calming weaving activity. Make the frame out of twigs and teach them how to go 'over and under' or 'through the door' with leaves, feathers, string, flowers and ferns.
Set up a pouring station
It’s amazing how long a bit of water play can keep Little Hotdogs entertained whatever the weather. A pouring station is a lovely way to get them outdoors and let them explore the ways of water and can be easily set up using things around the house. They’ll love pouring, splashing, and experimenting to discover what floats and what sinks.
Try rainbow rock painting
This is such a simple and fun way to add colour to your courtyard or drive when you can’t plant bright flowers. Get the kids involved by painting rocks in rainbow shades then let them arrange them in shapes outdoors.
Take dramatic play alfresco
Image: Bikinis and Bibs
What child doesn’t love imaginary play?! Add to the fun by taking it outdoors. If you’ve got a courtyard, the following themes work well: Supermarket – Hair & Beauty Salon – Builders Yard – Café – Office – Doctors Surgery – Post Office. Or why not grab a bag full of costumes and props and take your dramatic play to the park.
Use mirrors to paint the sky
This brilliant idea from our friend Claire at PlayHOORAY! is a lovely way to get children creatively engaged with nature. Hand them a mirror and get them to paint what they see above them. They’ll love the excuse to get messy using shaving foam to recreate the clouds. If you don’t have an outdoor space at home this is a great one to pack up and take on your adventures.
Build a mini beast hotel
A lack of garden needn’t hold them back from engaging with nature, take a walk to your nearest park or pick a tree-lined street nearby and collect sticks to be used to create a mini beast hotel.
Put together a mark making station
Image: Worm’s Eye View
If you’ve got any sort of concrete outside space, you’ve got a blank canvas for a child’s imagination. Set up an outdoor mark making station to provide for creative fun that can be easily washed away (or left out until the rain does the job for you). Things to provide include: chalks, bucket of water and mops, sponges, squeeze bottles and paint brushes. For an extra water painting challenge, paint out numbers and letters to trace.
Go on a post box spotting trail
Image: Bikinis and Bibs
The simple things can get overlooked in the hustle and bustle of city life but there’s a childlike joy in spotting a Great British post box when you’re out and about with your kids. Challenge them to keep their eyes open and let you know what other interesting things they see on their walks too. Bonus points when you find one that’s not in the classic Pillarbox red!
Which of these would your child love to try?
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