THE IDEA: Play with favorite toys in an entirely new setting: the backyard, front yard or other nearby nature setting.
To say the big explorer is obsessed with Legos is an understatement. His favorites are the cars and trucks that make up the Lego City collection.
It’s not uncommon for him to spend hours playing with his vehicles in all sorts of made-up adventures inside the house.
Why not take the fun outside? Maybe even let the toys explore nature a bit?
OUR NOTES FROM THE FIELD
Since the big explorer’s favorite Lego toys all happen to be trucks, he naturally wanted them to enjoy the dirt pile in our backyard.
One by one, each of the trucks was paraded out to ride over the dirt, pick up dirt, dump some out, load up rocks and more.
He built walls in the dirt for the vehicles to maneuver around, and buried others.
The fire trucks (his favorites by far) were even called upon to put out an imaginary fire that had started on the dirt hill. According to the big explorer, they had to work together ‘cause it was a seriously big fire.
By the time he was done playing, he had dreamed up all new ways to play with dirt, flower petals, sticks, rocks, leaves – even worms.
The imagination of a 5-½ year old is a terrible thing to waste.
This budget-friendly, easily adaptable activity is perfect for school days when your child wants time to play and you want him or her to spend some time outside. For best results:
- Don’t stress about the mess. Let go of concerns that favorite toys will be permanently ruined and watch your child’s imagination take flight. Would it surprise you to know that the big explorer lovingly cleaned up all of his Legos before bringing them back inside?
- Make a nature connection. A favorite doll or stuffed animal might enjoy a tea party with fairies while cars and trucks can blaze new trails through dirt, sand and mud.
MORE IDEAS FOR OUTDOOR FUN
Fall is in the air – even here in Southern California! Now is the perfect time to enjoy walks to school, bird watching or running through a pile of leaves with the kids. Here are a few more ideas for outdoor fun from around the web:
- Take a sensory tour of your garden or backyard space
- Join the backyard transition challenge and watch how a favorite tree, flower or plant changes through the seasons
- Make a self-portrait with objects gathered from nature
- Start a natural history collection with pressed plants or bugs from the backyard
- Or try one of these 50 ways to explore nature in your own backyard