Backyard Activities for Every Age and Stage
June 9, 2020
Outdoor playtime is an important part of childhood. With the right setup, children can have a backyard that is not only fun but also beneficial to their growth and healthy development.
Summer is here and most of us are stuck at home. If you’re like most parents, you might be running out of creative activities to keep your children active and entertained. When we look at the developing child and the various ages and stages of development, age-appropriate outdoor play is crucial to their emerging sense of self and exploration of the natural world around them. Here are some ideas for outdoor play that will keep your child entertained and developmentally on-track.
For toddlers 1-2 years old, some of the best backyard activities (with adult supervision) are playing with sandboxes, water tables, and baby swings, all of which help to develop important fine and gross motor and muscle skills, as well as hand-eye coordination. Pull toys, blowing and catching bubbles, and simple puzzles are all developmentally appropriate for this stage as well.
For children ages 3-5, engaging in pretend play and building structures using blocks or LEGO® bricks and other materials provide hours of entertainment. Toy cars and trucks are a favorite as well. Let their imaginations run wild! Outdoor playhouses and forts, as well as any opportunity to play in the dirt, are activities children can enjoy all summer long.
Children ages 6-12 are better equipped for taller play structures. A backyard playset, climbing wall, or treehouse can be ideal for this age group. You can also create a backyard sports field using temporary grass chalk paint for boundaries and goal posts, along with putting out some orange cones.
No matter what backyard play area you create, always make safety a priority. While building a kid-friendly backyard play area takes time and planning, the memories your children will build there will make it worthwhile for years to come.
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