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We've still got some warm days ahead of us! Now is the time to get outdoors and get some fresh air with your toddler. Outdoor exploration promotes fine motor skills, self-regulation, and sensory and social development. Instead of having your child be indoors all day or having them watch screens, you can explore fun interactive activities with them outdoors. Here are five innovative ways to occupy your child outside of the home.


In this quest, you slowly “critter” around the yard while recounting your movements. You might say, “I’m going down the slide, what letter does the word ‘slide’ start with?” Try to find words your child might not already use every day such as climb, reverse and descend. Your children are your “trackers”, and it’s their job to follow your lead and encourage them to anticipate your questions. This promotes learning by improving eye movement with tracking. This also enhances vocabulary, letter recollection, and phonetics.


In this fun and upbeat activity, you will host a dance party with some music outdoors. You’ll give a brief guide for nature-based dance moves, such as “flap your arms like a butterfly”, “wiggle like a worm” and “twist like a leaf”. This is a great way for children to comprehend instructions while getting in some movement. Following instructions promotes the development of a toddler’s body perception, coordination, and balance.


In this entertaining activity, you’ll have to arrange several hula hoops in a row and have your children hop into the middle of each hoop with both feet. To make it more challenging, motivate them to hop into one hoop with their right foot and the next hoop with their left foot. This promotes gross-motor coordination skills which are essential for bike riding and sports.


In this exciting game, gather several brown lunch bags and place nature objects within these bags. You could put a pinecone in one bag, a stick in another bag, and a stone in the third bag. After doing so, have your children close their eyes and feel each object. Have them go outside to find a comparable texture. When they find the exact replica, initiate texture words such as is the object pointy, bumpy or smooth? This promotes new words in your toddler’s vocabulary. When your child is able to differentiate textures, this enhances fine motor skills such as coloring and writing.


What makes the best outdoor games even better? Bubbles! It’s easy to mix the soap bubble liquid, all you need is soap and water. Mix four parts of water with one part liquid dish soap. Mix and match until you find the perfect combination that works for you. To make the bubbles stronger and more colorful, add a few drops of liquid food coloring, glitter, or even some sugar to make the bubbles thicker. For extra special bubbles, make a wand with some wire or purchase a wand. They often sell them at the dollar store. When you’re all set, blow some bubbles. Show your child how to make huge bubbles, combine smaller and larger sizes, or even blow bubbles in bubbles. Your child would love running around outdoors to pop them!

I hope these 5 educational ideas will help you create some fun and easy ways to keep your child entertained and active during these last weeks of summer. Don’t forget, Speech Matters offers sessions virtually or in-person. Why do it all yourself when Speech Matters accepts almost all insurances and is here to make it easy? Contact us today at (212) 861-7800 or email us at Your speech matters and we are here to help!


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