Today I would like to welcome my friend, Wendy from, Following His Footsteps, as a guest blogger. She is such an encouragement to me and I am sure she will be to you as well.
Last summer we moved north, from South Florida into an area that offers four true seasons and many of the outdoors activities we enjoy as a family. We were able to find a home that suits our family, and with a bit more space for running around, which is important to us with 5 children to raise.
Now that the warm weather has finally arrived in our neck of the woods, we have been enjoying some long-awaited time outside together. I’ve compiled a list of five ways we have been having fun in our own back yard.
- Water Play My littlest two girls love to ‘swim’. While in Walmart a few weeks ago, I purchased a blow-up pool for the family to enjoy. It’s small, but plenty large enough for even an adult to sit in and cool off. My little girls have been having a blast splashing, jumping, & ‘painting’ the patio with a paintbrush and water from the pool. The money spent has been ell worth it, and I highly recommend a kiddie pool for your back yard if there is any way you can swing it!
- Chalk Play My kiddos really enjoy playing with chalk on our driveway. Sometimes we go out and draw on the driveway. My 4-year-old has learned how to write her name and the first initial of her last name while playing with chalk. She can also write her little sister’s name. At other times, the kids or I will draw hopscotch squares and play the game, either individually or together, depending on who is around at the time. Once, my youngest daughter tossed her chalk into a nearby rain puddle and then had some fun drawing with the now brighter colors. My eldest daughter enjoys drawing large rainbows, and then all of the children will rub their hands across and ‘splat’ them onto the pavement to create multi-colored handprints. Big fun!
- Sports Equipment We own hoola hoops, balls of all sorts (our most recent find is an ‘official’ Four Square ball), scooters, bicycles, and toy slides and trikes for the littlest ones. Many of these items have been found at garage sales or thrift stores at a fraction of the original cost. We hope to buy a basketball hoop soon, which will be a wonderful addition for our oldest son. The kids often enjoy hours outside in the summer, simply playing games together.
- Games My children often play Freeze Tag, Hide & Seek, and hold Sword Fights in our back yard. What boy doesn’t love a good light saber fight every now and then? Or girl for that matter. My little girls recently picked up clipped tree limbs and pretended to “sword fight”. I can still see them prancing around the patio with their ‘swords’.
- Nature Study Sometimes we just sit out in the yard and listen to the birds. There are so many of them around us since we are now in the country. We recently enjoyed hearing the 3 different cicada calls (as explained to us on the show Cicadas and Invaders) throughout our days. Once we realized that was the noise we were hearing, we began exploring and were also able to see the exoskeletons and the freshly emerged cicadas attached to our trees. We even pondered the holes in the ground underneath the trees in which the cicadas were gathering…..turns out those holes were indeed created by the emerging insects. In early spring we watched out our front window each day as cardinals cared for their eggs and then their chicks. Just last week we spotted another nest in our back yard. We were able to witness the first flight of one of the chicks, capture it’s image on camera, and created a short video before leaving it to its nervous papa, who was anxiously fluttering nearby.
What kinds of things can you find to do in your own back yard? Please share your ideas in the comments!
This is a guest post by my sweet friend, Wendy.