Inside Out and Outside In Play

July 17, 2014 at 9:52 AM Leave a comment

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Spring is a funny time of year. We relish the days that are warm and sunny and look forward to spending our evenings romping in the yard and re-discovering our outdoor personal playground.

Days like this are enjoyed, but the season does not yet come with a guaranteed perfect weather report. Rain sometimes floods our gutters and feeds our plants, but also keeps our kids indoors. So, to prepare for play for unknown forecasts, here are some inside out and outside in play ideas for the ever-changing play venue that spring can bring.

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EXPLORING
Scavenger hunts are an active way to play. Create a list of natural elements to find and then send your kids into the yard or neighborhood (supervised) with a camera or smart phone to snap photos of their findings.

For an inside hunt, check out uKloo Early Reader Treasure Hunt. Hide cards from this deck around the house. Each card provides a clue to the location of the next with a surprise at the end.

NATURE
If nature is your niche, get your hands dirty by digging in the dirt or off-roading with play cars and trucks. Inclement weather can’t stop kids from having fun with nature. Take nature inside and take a look at the products these companies provide:

Dunecraft brings the love of planting indoors with their domed terrariums, miniature gardens and more. Tabletop planting and windowsill growing lets kids watch the transformation of plants up close.

Insect Lore lets kids watch how caterpillars cocoon themselves in chrysalides and emerge as beautiful Painted Lady butterflies. Or if ladybugs are what you’re looking for, it’s your lucky day. Check out the Live Ladybug Land. You’ll get a habitat and larvae to build a miniature world for your new BBFs (best bug friends!). These sets not only help kids enjoy nature up close, but they come with information and care instructions to help kids take the responsibility of caring for them.

SOCIAL TIME
Summer is a good time for kids to have friends over for fun. A game of catch one catch all, red rover or duck, duck splash may be great warm weather options. If your outdoor playdate gets rained out, bring the gang inside and check out a couple tabletop options. For younger kids, Feed the Woozle by Peaceable Kingdom lets kids get goofy feeding silly snacks. If older kids come knocking, Spot it Party by Blue Orange Games provides a little friendly competition calling on fast eyes and quick reflexes to match common pictures.

QUIET TIME
Quiet time is necessary whether inside or out. Pacific Play Tents can give instant, pop-up sun relief. Hide from the elements or from others as you enjoy a game of hide and go seek outside. These play tents can easily be used inside or out. Another product worth a look is Fortamajig from The Happy Kid Company. Create your own forts with these panels of nylon material. Attached Velcro loops help create successful fortresses without precariously placed pillows and chairs! These too, can be used inside and out.

Or if you are in search of Zen, stretch and breathe through a yoga pose. For inspiration for younger yoga students, take a look at Yogarilla by Super Duper Publications. With 55 yoga poses and double the activities, this card deck helps kids experience how their minds and bodies work together.

As you settle into warmer weather, plan for fun regardless of sun. And just as the “Cat in the Hat” said, “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny. But we can have lots of good fun that is funny!”

This article was written by Ellen Metrick, Director of Industry Relations & Partnerships for the National Lekotek CenterLekotek is a not-for-profit and leading authority on toys and play for children with disabilities. Lekotek is dedicated to providing children of all abilities access to the benefits of play experiences. Visit www.ableplay.org for a complete listing of toys for children with special needs. Follow us on Facebook!

Source: Your Neighborhood Toy Store, May 29, 2014 http://www.yourneighborhoodtoystore.org/play-together.asp?i=216

 

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