Summertime Outdoor Exploration

Little girl using sidewalk chalk

Unaltered image by Eric Baum. CC license.

Outdoor fun can be a great learning experience as children gain many experiences by playing outside. Encouraging outside play incorporates important aspects of your child’s growth and development, including balance; coordination; strengthening; range of motion; eye, hand, and foot coordination; and sensory awareness. These areas promote continued gross and fine mo­tor achievement.

There are many types of outdoor activities to choose from, including:

  • Water play: Swimming, water toys, sprinklers, water balloons.
  • Outdoor games: Hopscotch, jump roping, playing catch, kicking a ball, jumping.
  • Wheeled toys: Tricycles and bicycles, scooters, roller skates, rollerblades.
  • Play structure activities: Slides, monkey bars, swings, climbing walls.
  • Outdoor opportunities: Sand, mud, grass, drawing with sidewalk chalk, walking on uneven surfaces and textures, walking on curbs, hiking in the woods.
  • Fun walking activities. Skipping, galloping, running, marching, walking on toes or heels, and going for a walk.

These simple and fun ideas lay a strong foundation for your child’s sensory, gross and fine motor development. These activities are also an excellent opportunity for the family to get some exercise and spend time together.

It’s important to make time to play with your child. Always remember safety awareness, including sunscreen, bug repellent, helmets for wheeled toy activities and adult supervision.

Be safe and have fun!

– Amanda Froling, MPT, Beaumont Pediatric Rehabilitation

1 Response to “Summertime Outdoor Exploration”

  1. 1 Anonymous June 17, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Love your tips, Amanda! Nice reminders on how to include simple, inexpensive, good old fashioned ways to incorporate growth and development, while having fun! Thank you!

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