With the beautiful spring weather, comes more opportunities to have fun outside and play! Lately, I’ve been feeling kind of guilty because we’ve spent a lot of time indoors, lounging around, not doing much but free playing. Not that it’s a bad thing to do, but I felt like my mind was unstimulated, which meant that theirs had to be too. Our normal activities had started to becoming boring, so I decided to find some new alternatives to our day-to-day activities.
Normally, we work on flash card games that cover letters, numbers, colors, shapes, sight words, digraphs, and letter sounds. We’ve started trying to work on pre-writing skills as well as pre-reading skills. But, like I said, our normal activities had become boring. Instead of the flash-card games we typically use, I decided to take the same concept outside. In chalk, I started writing sight words, letter sounds, and digraphs and drew boxes around them. Then, I’d ask the kids to jump to a certain site word, or drive a toy car to a digraph, or another similar instruction to get them up and moving but also engaged. Let me tell you, they loved it! We spent a good hour outside, jumping around, giggling, having a good time. The key to all of this has always been positive reinforcements after each instruction. I promise you, the power of positive reinforcement has been the thing keeping them wanting to learn more and more. Plus, I get to sneak in my fair share of congratulatory hugs and kisses. Can’t blame me for sneaking them in where I can!
Here’s what the chalk games looked like. Excuse the poor quality of photos. It’s a little difficult to see what I’m taking a picture of in the bright, southern sun. LOL
Another fun activity we’ve taken to is exploring nature a little bit. The kids love walking around and discovering nature and I’m convinced it’s because of my MIL. My husband’s entire family is all about the outdoors, and science, and all the cool stuff that gets you outside, breathing fresh air. My MIL, aka Gramma, has always ben the one to show them the outdoors, teach them all about finding rocks and sticks, and even taught Little Miss Emma how to sniff flowers. Lately, I’ve been taking the kids out to do things that Gramma would be proud of. We’ve been going on walks, backpack in hand, searching around for new things to take home. We started doing this because the kids fell in love with their Gramma’s rock collection back in California. That was their favorite part of being at her house when we visited last, going through the rocks with Gramma. So, since then, we’ve taken to collecting cool rocks for Gramma and putting them in the “Gramma jar”. The other day, we went on a long hunt for the coolest rocks around, just for her. The kids ate it up. We came home with an entire backpack filled with rocks of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
Today, we decided to try a little scavenger hunt to expand off of the rock hunting idea. We expanded our search from just rocks, to rocks of specific shapes, colors, and sized. A small yellow rock, or a big black one. A yellow leaf, a small leaf. Find the red rock, okay, now find the orange one. And throughout the list, we focused on the difference between sizes. Big and small. Huge and tiny. And everything in between. We looked for different colors, different textures. It was so much fun. Not to mention, the kids collected a little something for every person in their family. In case y’all were wondering, Daddy got a tiny rock, and Mama got a flower. Sweet, sweet, tiny humans.
I know that I’m probably not the only person who has been getting that cooped up, unstimulated feeling. So, I figured I’d share our random adventures because I know, I’m always searching for something new to do with the tinies. Keep a look out for further posts on some of our fun spring time adventures before the southern summer weather creeps in and hinders our outdoor time. Because if y’all have ever been in the south during the summer, you know being outdoors between the months of June through September, it’s a little bit of hell.
Here are some pictures of the kids enjoying nature with their Halloween bucket and blocks wagon.