vivi’s favorite thing

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Without a doubt, Vivi’s most favorite thing to do in the world right now is be outside.  It trumps everything – including holding my keys or bananas or crackers.  It is her frequent plea, one hand desperately pointing at the back door, other hand frantically patting her chest to sign “please” while she tries to say “outside” over and over.  So, therefore, we are spending a lot of time outside these days.  I’m so glad she is loving it, and it is wonderful to be outside with this spring weather and everything in bloom, but I don’t really have a lot of outdoor activities.  There are several parks we visit close by, but a lot of the play gyms are still a little beyond her motor capability, and I’d love to think of some fun ways to spend time in our backyard.  She does keep herself pretty entertained picking up rocks, leaves, and sticks, but I was wondering if any of you have some fun ideas for games or activities to do with toddlers outside?  I’d love some suggestions!

(p.s. My apologies for the slow posting this week!  Chip, Vivi, and I all got sick over the weekend/beginning of the week, so I’ve been playing a little catch-up.  It was our first all-family-getting-sick experience.  Whew!)

29 responses to “vivi’s favorite thing”

  1. Paige says:

    We enjoy bubbles

  2. Charlie says:

    We have painted the driveway with water and my daughter also enjoys sensory activities. I have filled a large bowl with oatmeal/pinto beans/rice and then hidden shapes/letters/animals in the bowl, and it keeps her occupied for quite a while! Also nice to do outside bc of the mess it makes! There are all sorts of great ideas all over pinterest, but I have been limited with what we can do bc my girl still thinks its fun to taste everything! 🙂 glad y’all are enjoying the wonderful weather!

    • Joni Lay says:

      Love these ideas, Charlie!  Thank you.  We will have to try that – I have seen those sensory tables, and using them outside would be perfect.  I’m not sure Vivi is old enough to keep it contained yet, but I’m sure she’d love it (and probably love to try to taste it all, too)!

    • Anna says:

       Be careful with the rice though… it could kill birds if it’s left on the ground for them to eat.

  3. Ashleigh says:

    Our kids are the same age! I’m thinking of doing a water or sand table outside. I think with some buckets there will be lots of fun to be had! Bubbles are fun too. And any kind of a slide!

  4. Rachel Herr says:

    I recently got a tupperware and filled it with rice (i.e. safe if swallowed).  Then I filled it with plastic shovels, pails, measuring cups, etc and now my 2 year old daughter can play on the porch scooping and  pouring till her heart is content!  We also play with chaulk and I have bought some bubbles.  When it is warmer we will put water in another tupperware with sponges and letters, and such in it!

  5. Erin Volante Floral says:

    I love your blog! Thanks for the constant inspiration. As far as a fun outdoor activity, try making some “nature bracelets” with her. Just make a loop of tape (sticky side out) and put it on her wrist. Walk around and let her stick stuff to it… flowers, leaves, whatever. It’s fun and even the youngest toddlers can get into it! 

    • Joni Lay says:

      Oh, Erin!  I remember doing that in preschool, and I used to love it – and then we’d glue everything on paper plates and make it an art project.  Totally forgot about that – so fun!  We will have to try it.  Thank you so much!

  6. Lenzi Woodbury says:

    At that age we had a bubble gun. It blew tons of bubbles when you pulled the trigger. He also loved sidewalk chalk. We have a block wall & pavers out back so I encouraged him to color on everything! 😉

  7. Katie says:

    I used to teach toddlers and a favorite outdoor activity was “painting” with water and a little food coloring.  Give her some real paintbrushes (like you would use to paint a wall) a small bucket with some colored water, and let her paint the house, her toys, the trees, whatever.  You can also let her try paint rollers but they can get heavy when wet.  Especially fun if she’s seen mommy or daddy working on projects recently!  

  8. Coryann says:

    Joni, since Easter is next weekend, why not do an Easter Egg Hunt! I’m sure Vivi would love searching all around outside : ]

  9. Kelsey @ Daisy Dreaming says:

    Get her a kid sized broom and rake (we got her a set from Amazin and also Home Goods) my 18 month old loooovveeesss to play with those! She also loves sidewalk chalk if you have cement in your backyard.

  10. Kristin says:

    My little man is just shy of 16 months and also loves being outside above all else. We do bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and we have a kiddy slide that he loves when we get tired of picking up rocks and sticks. 🙂

  11. Clark6566 says:

    Agreed on painting with water, use chalk to draw a race course and drive little cars, bring plastic animals outside and play safari adventure or farm, my daughter was fascinated by opening an umbrella, leaning it on its side and pretending it was a cave or a tent for it, we used our red wagon a lot for walks, and with my son at that age we’d sit down, legs open and roll a ball back and forth.
    Oh, I also remember taking her pull toys on walks too.

  12. Jimmy Harrison says:

    You could bring her to see Uncle Jimmy and he would play outside with her.  She can help Martha work in the yard, ride on the mule, ride in the miata, etc.  Just lots of fun things to do in the country.

    • Joni Lay says:

      Yes, for sure!  We are coming this weekend.:)  There are endless things to do in the country – it’s always hard to leave.  We will have to come by this weekend to see what y’all are up to.

  13. Thenewdiplomatswife says:

    she is adorable! love all the colors!

  14. Kaylen says:

    this is my favorite blog for outdoor play ideas – she will be too little for most but there are some great ones like an outdoor mud kitchen. you will love it as she grows older as well.

    mud kitchen :

    full blog:

  15. Wendy says:

    We love our water table!  Throw a couple of cups. measuring cups, and anything else you can think of and fun is had by all!

  16. Jen says:

    The toy company, Melissa and Doug, makes a great mini-shopping cart which you can get on Amazon for under $50.  I teach toddlers who are just Vivi’s age, and they LOVE using this cart outside.  Just pushing it around is great for their budding gross motor development, but they can also push their babies in it, gather sticks and leaves and flowers in it, or pretend to go shopping like their parents.  Also, painting is a great experience outside, because you can be less concerned about the mess and do it more easily on a large (vertical or horizontal) scale.  When the weather is warmer and you can wear a bathing suit, splatter painting with watered down paint is particularly fun.

  17. Samantha Goldberg says:

    Any kind of garden is fantastic with kids, even gardening in containers. They ask questions and love digging in the dirt. It’s so exciting to be able to feel the different textures of leaves, observe the bugs, talk about the colors. You can grow plants to attract butterflies, you can grow vegetables and herbs to eat (and they’ll be amazed), and you can grow things that smell fantastic for a multi- sensory experience.

  18. Kami Turnell says:

    One (free!) outdoor game I play with my nephew (he’s about 2) is the “pile” game. It’s great during fall when the leaves are falling. We go around the yard and get all the red leaves and make a “red pile” and then we make a “yellow pile” and also a “little twig pile” 🙂 I’ll start a pile and explain it and then he catches on. Along with some other games mixed in, it really does keep him entertained and interacting with nature!

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