Spring has sprung. I am sure of it this time. The grass is turning green, the patio furniture is calling and I am wearing flip flops! Time to get the kids outside, and keep them out there, as long as possible!
The excitement of Spring is usually enough to lure the kids outside to explore whats been hiding under all that snow for months and see friends that my have been hibernating, but usually that fads in time.
How can you keep the kids inspired to get outside and play?
Keep the kids active is a big part of raising healthy kids, and keeping them excited about being outdoors is easier with a few key toys that will motivate them to play and inspire them to be active for hours. No need to spend lots of money, just a few items that will spark their imaginations and encourage free play and maybe entice the neighbourhood kids to join in. Then create one of these Activity Jars with all the great games and ideas for play just in case they need a little nudge to get their creative juices flowing.
This photo is what my front lawn looks like for most of the summer and I wouldn't have it any other way. Kids outside getting fresh air and sunshine, using their imagination to create games, and their silliness to encourage hours of laughter is what Spring is all about.
This list of the top 10 toys to get kids outside is only the beginning. What would you add to the list?
Top 10 Toys to Get Kids Outside
Any ball. Every ball. Soccer ball, tennis ball, basketball, volleyball, football, bouncy ball, super ball. There is no end of games that can be played -- with friends or even on their own -- when you have a ball around.
2. Soft Frisbee
Hard Frisbees can hurt a bit if you don't catch it the first ten times and can be a bit trickier to throw to an intended target. Try a softer, lighter fabric version or rubber Frisbee for lots of distance and fun with friends.
Go fly a kite is still the best advice you can give a kid that says "I'm bored." They come in all shapes, sizes and colours; you can even get creative and make your own kite with a little string, plastic bags and masking tape. Best to try flying on days with a little wind, but you don't have to tell the kids that right away!
4. Velcro Mitt/Ball Set
A must for all aspiring baseball players. The Velcro makes it an easier game of catch for little ones and saves running after balls for those just learning.
5. Bean Bag/Ring Toss
Simple yet fun and a great game to improve aim, balance and co-ordination. Make it challenging by moving targets farther away, standing on one foot or try it blind folded!
6. Skipping Ropes
They are not just for the girls. Skipping ropes can be used as a bar for limbo challenges, tied to trees or hoops for all kinds of new games and make a great rope for tying friends together and having an old fashioned 3 legged race.
7. Slip n slide
A little dish soap, a runway and some water and you have yourself an afternoon of wet and wild fun. Who doesn't love a slip and slide?
8. Pogo stick
Just as fun as you remember and a great learning curve for kids as they try to master the balancing and see how many jumps they can do before falling off. A great toy for kids of all ages as they come in different weights and sizes for toddlers to teens.
9. Hula hoops
When was the last time you tried to hula hoop? Its not that easy! Kids seem to grasp it quickly though and soon are hula-ing 2 or 3 hoops around their waist and one on their arm as they do cart wheels. Or they make a great target for a bean bag toss game too!
10. Sidewalk Chalk
An oldie but a goodie. Kids can draw any play ground they want. Hop scotch, a starting and finish line for a foot race, an obstacle course, a mini village or chalking their next great work of art. Sidewalk chalk has endless possibilities.
This list includes inexpensive items that encourages play on the front lawn or back yard and keeps kids close to home but there are many more items we could add. Scooters, roller blades, RipStik, bikes, plasma car and other in motion toys are fabulous too of course, they just call for venturing farther away and maybe taking a family trip to the park.
Not only would I encourage all of these toys for the kids, but for you as well! Get your own set of wheels and get out there and get active with the kids. Enjoy the warm weather, sunshine and some belly laughs while getting active as a family. Happy Spring!
Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 tween daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and magazines and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active.Find more inspiring tips on her website http://www.raisinghealthkids.co, Facebook page and her new column Family on the Run over on Erica Ehm?s YummyMummyClub. Follow Deb on both Twitter @Deb_Lowther and Pinterest.