The Great Sensory Outdoors

Sweet, sweet summertime. It’s slipping away! There is so much to love about summer- backyard grill outs, bonfires, the lake, outdoor walks, the pool, the 4th of July, picnics in the park, sunshine, the list goes on and on. But really, it all comes down to the fact that we get to spend more time OUTDOORS. Yay! Even with school starting, we still get this weather a little longer. In a world with increasing social media and screen time and much less time for creative, interactive play, the outdoors has so much to offer for your child development. Your backyard alone is filled with sensory enriched input that can meet the needs of every child. The feel of the grass, sand, or chalk. The smell of flowers or freshly mowed grass and sounds of birds chirping or a wind chime blowing. All of the bright colors we see outside. The movement from stepping on logs, jumping over leaves, or running through the sprinkler. All of this sensory input, just to name a few, helps your child learn, develop, and explore. It improves their motor planning, body awareness, balance, and emotional regulation. Here is a list of other great sensory-enriched activities for your child and family to do while outdoors this summer! 

-Nature hike – talk about all that you see, hear, smell, and feel! 

-Jump in puddles 

-Mud pies or draw in the mud with a stick – don’t be afraid to get messy! 

-Parks, parks, parks! 

-Build with sticks, rocks, stumps, pine cones 

-Water play 

-Search for bugs, bird watch 

-Outdoor obstacle courses: Balance on logs/edging, hop over cracks in the cement, run through the sprinkler, etc. 

-Listen, watch, feel the rain

-Nature scavenger hunts or Ispy 

-Take a trip to the zoo – pet the animals in the petting zoo, ride the train/carousel, listen for animal noises, search for animals in the distance, and so on!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s