Summer is in full swing and it’s time to get our kids into the great outdoors. Warm weather and sunny skies offer a great classroom and studies have shown that playing, and playing outside, enhances learning, creativity, health, well-being, social skills and independence in children. Here are just a few ideas for simple and FUN outdoor activities. And when the weather gets colder, TLC’s Occupational Therapy Department has several Program options indoors.

WATER BALLOON T-BALL/ BASEBALL

Depending on your child’s ability level, grab either your t-ball set or just a baseball bat. Pre-fill a bunch of water balloons. Put them in a laundry basket or plastic tub. Head to the park and invite friends to play!

CHALK OBSTACLE COURSE

All you need is chalk and some creativity. For literate children, write out an array of gross motor movements in a sequence, like you would hop scotch. For instance: jump like a bunny x 3, hold tree pose on one side, walk on your hands and feet, jump on one foot, hold tree pose on the other side, jump on the opposite foot, twirl x 2, jump up and try touch the sky x 4.

HULA HOOP RACE & CATCH

This is such a simple activity for kids and it’s SO fun. You will need multiple hula hoops. Head to an area with lots of green space, and have the children line up. Holding the hula hoops vertically, roll them with as much force as you can along the ground. Call out each child’s name and have them run after the hoop to catch it. Every time they bring back a hoop, throw another one! This is amazing hand-eye coordination practice.

SENSORY SCAVENGER HUNT

Collect items you’re sure to find around the park (wood chips, dandelions, leaves, pebbles), affix them to a piece of paper using tape, and have your children look for those items!

TOY-MADE OBSTACLE COURSE

Grab hula hoops, a toy tunnel, cones, pylons, and anything else you can think of. Encourage your children to organize the course in a fun and challenging way.

KITCHEN UTENSIL BUBBLE WANDS

Go through a kitchen drawer and collect slotted spoons, fly swatters, spatulas, and anything else that has holes to make bubbles. Make your own bubble solution and then head out to see which utensil creates the best bubbles!