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What do you all do outside and how long do spend in the sunshine??

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hey sahm mamas out there!!! I have a 22mo boy and I've been home since the day he was born. Up until now, the three summers he has been alive he wasn't able to do many things outside, and now that he is moble, and excited about being outside, I'm looking for ideas for fun things to do in the backyard. I have a sahm mom freind of mine with three now, and granted she lives on a farm, she says she stays outside most of the day, has snacks outside and lunch even. For hours she is outside, and thinks it is best for the kids!! They seem to have tons of fun, and I 'd like to replacate that, but I live in the city with a normal city lot for a backyard. We go for walks but I'm getting pretty tired of pushing him in the stroller or walking for blocks. I'd like to know how many hours you spend outside with your lo, and what you do in your backyard. I need fun ideas and ideas to get him to play so I can ocassionally lay on a towel and relax!!!! We have a climber, a swingset,a veg garden and flowers and a bunch of fun toys, I'm also getting a fence this summer. So what do you all do when the weather gets nice??

TIA!!
post #2 of 31
Getting outside is healthy for them, both mentally and physically (and usnlight helps with sleeping)

When they're too young to get anywhere, I set them on a blanket and they play while I read or play with them. Or we sit in the grass and play with the grass, play in dirt, etc. When they're older THEY decide what they want to do - and there is plenty of ways for them to come up with things to do. Bubbles, chaulk, walks, toys in sand or dirt, cars/tricycles, playing in the playhouse, helping me in the garden, setting up a little pool and filling it up, finger painting (which turns into body painting then is hosed off), playing on a swingset/slide/playscape, etc. Let your son guide you :-)
post #3 of 31
We live rural, so I can't be much help for experiences in small yards. BUT, the sandbox is always HOURS of independent play for my son. I set up different bowls of water, different sized utensils from the kitchen- spoons, tupperwares, spatulas, cups... you could probably get in some quality towel time with a sandbox.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 
Oh thank you so, so much Storysar! Ok I' have most of things you mentioned, and we can do most of those things. I believe my L. guy should also decide what he wants to do! I want to be able to set things up outside so he can decide what he wants to do. Here is mosre to add to the list in case others are also looking for ideas!

sandbox (we are building a big one this summer)
playhouse(2nd b-day present)
toddle climber (2nd b-day present)
eagles nest
helping me garden
helping hang clothes/diapers on the line
digging in the dirt/playing w/ rocks and sticks
chalk
bubbles
lawnmower toy
ride on toys
making a fort
crafts/painting (can bring easel outside for this)
playing with cats (and hopefully chickens soon)
eating snack/lunch on the picnic table
drawing on the picknic table (not actually on there but with paper and stuff)


hmmm thats all I can think of now. Any more ideas? Also how do yo all keep from getting.... well.... um bored being outside all day? I mean it's not boring, but playing w/sticks for hours can be a little daunting.
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Okay update on my day. . .
we tried to spend as much time outside today, we went outside this am around 11 and stayed outside for about 45mins, then had lunch, the went outside from 1-5pm!!!! tried to get a nap in today with a stroller ride but it didn't didn't happen so we stayed outside for a good while today about 5 hoiurs and no nap. So hopefully he'll sleep good tonight!!
post #6 of 31
What about a small splash pool? (I'm on the hunt for a non-plastic one for dd for this summer- maybe a large, shallow galvanized tub.)
post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
yes swimming !!!! We are not totally plastic free, or at least outside with the slides and climber and all, we have a small round plastic pool that would be tons of fun when the weather is toasty!!! Any more ideas??? Sometimes I feel like I'm following Dakota all day when he's outside, I wonder if anyone has ideas on how to show their lo things to entertain them selves??!!!
post #8 of 31
Since you live in the city, are you able to walk to any parks? I much prefer to go to the park because there tend to be other adults around there with their children and it's so nice to be able to talk to someone. Being at home can be so lonely!
post #9 of 31
I don't have any new ideas beyond what others have suggested, just wanted to share how life goes at our house. I work but my DH is a SAHD. We live in SoCal where it is possible to be outside year round. We have a 1/3 acre fenced, wooded property. My girls LIVE outside. When it is warm enough, we leave all the house doors open and the girls pretty much come and go as they please. We are always nearby and keeping an eye on them but they play for HOURS independently (they are 3 and 20 months). They make "mulch" pies -- we don't often have mud! The build "fires" (little piles of firewood, no actual fire!!!) that they then dance around, pretend to cook weinies (they've never had a hot dog -- hmmmm...), etc. In the summer they have a little pool. They have a playhouse with lots of play food and a kitchen set. They have sidewalk chalk and a sandbox. But mostly I think they love running around our property and playing, and pretending, with all things natural. As soon as my little wakes up EVERY morning she says, "Outside? Go outside? Need shoes. Go OUTSIDE!!!!"
post #10 of 31
And what do you do when the lady next door keeps seven cats, and they all poop in your yard, and you're renting so you can't build a fence?
post #11 of 31
Most of the time I'm not playing with the children (1 & 3) , though they quite often come and join me hagning out washing/weeding/whatever

It's also my time to enjoy a cup of tea in relative peace.

I've also got to the point with the 3yo that I don;t stay out there with her every minute, I'll pop back inside and get on with things there.
post #12 of 31
I am probably just a replica of your farm friend. Since DS has been 6 weeks old he has gone with me every day twice a day to feed the horses, pen up the goats, etc.
He also loves to garden and find leaves and flowers for our pet tortoises.
He helps with the guinea pigs. We swing and slide and play in the sand.
I put the sand box on the front porch so he's in the shade (we're in Texas - lots of sun).
We also have a membership to the zoo and they have a Tiny Tots area there that he loves with a sandbank and a little river to splash in.
post #13 of 31
We spend most of the morning outside and typically some of the afternoon. We only have .10 of an acre lot, but have still managed to cram a lot into it.

OP, I modified your list above to show what we do outside. HTH!

play in sandbox
water play ("swim", pour, water flowers, make mud, etc)
help me garden
read
help hang clothes/diapers on the retractable line
draw with chalk on the patio
swing in the hammock or porch swing
blow bubbles
make a tent using the clothesline
paint
kick the soccer ball
toss other balls
play with dog
eat snack/lunch
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by hattifattener View Post
And what do you do when the lady next door keeps seven cats, and they all poop in your yard, and you're renting so you can't build a fence?
trap them and take them away if the neighbour is unwilling to keep them indoors. There may be plants that cats don't like, so you could maybe plant them along the property line and around the sandbox.
You can get a lid for the snad box, tarp, wood, mesh, whatever so long as the cats can't dig.


OP- I think you will find that your child will entertain themselves if left to thier own devices. My dd can playoutside alone, or with friends for pretty much the whole day. The winter not so much, it gets really cold. Imagaination in a wonderful thing in a child, they don't really need 'stuff' to play.
post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnySlippers View Post
trap them and take them away if the neighbour is unwilling to keep them indoors. There may be plants that cats don't like, so you could maybe plant them along the property line and around the sandbox.
You can get a lid for the snad box, tarp, wood, mesh, whatever so long as the cats can't dig.


OP- I think you will find that your child will entertain themselves if left to thier own devices. My dd can playoutside alone, or with friends for pretty much the whole day. The winter not so much, it gets really cold. Imagaination in a wonderful thing in a child, they don't really need 'stuff' to play.
Totally agree with the "stuff" philosophy, he can have tons of fun with sticks and rocks and nature and all. I just need that fence, so I don't need to chase him around all day!

Thanks so much for replies! Now how many hours do you all spend outside in a typical nice day out??? and what is your typical schedule for summer monthes??

Thx!

post #16 of 31
Quote:
Also how do yo all keep from getting.... well.... um bored being outside all day?
We have a fenced yard. The kids go outside & I'm often inside doing stuff that needs to be done inside.
post #17 of 31
Hanging laundry keeps us outside in the warm months. My son loves to help too. Not running the clothes dryer and the smell of sun-dried clothes, towels, sheets, etc is not bad either!

I have a small yard too so this is what we look forward to:
the water table (HOURS of fun)
chalk
soccer
tee-ball
worm hunts
digging, digging and more digging

Happy Spring/Summer!
post #18 of 31
Samantha, it sounds like you have a nice little set up in your yard. I'd just try to wing it & spend as much time there as you both are comfortable with. Switching/rotating playthings helps keep the interest up - i.e., one day have out bubbles, another time chalk, buckets of water on a nice sunny day (my kids all love to play w/little watering cans), build a fort another time. Also, playdates are a great thing for LO & you. And, getting out of the yard and enjoying the outdoors elsewhere is a fun way to spend the day - hikes, parks, zoos, playgrounds, etc.
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post
We have a fenced yard. The kids go outside & I'm often inside doing stuff that needs to be done inside.
that's usually how it is here. We have a fenced yard and Laura (3) plays outside in the dirt, catches bugs, plays with her babies etc. We have a small playhouse out there and she likes to play house. I am in and out most of the day, playing a bit and then inside doing house chores. Once the older 3 get home from school we spend a couple of hours at the park before dinner (it is directly behind our house)
post #20 of 31
Thread Starter 
Oh thanks so much for the fun outdoor ideas!! I hadn't thought of the watering can toy! We have a cute little blue child's watering can that my little boy loves to use it to water the indoor plants I'm sure he would have tons of fun with it outside too! Also he loves to play with the hose with the sprayer attatchment that he pretneds to use to water our plants as well. Oh I can't wait to go outside today!! (unfortunitly its raining here )
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