As a stay-at-home mom to active twin toddler boys and a busy preschool-age girl, I am always searching for activities my three littles can enjoy. Preferably I look for uncomplicated outdoor activities. A little fresh air and easy clean up never hurt anyone!
These are the times I will gather some simple supplies, head out to our driveway or patio, and set up loosely structured activities for all three of my kiddos to explore.
The following four patio activities hold the promise to keep both toddlers and preschoolers entertained! The bonus is they are relatively simple to set up and easy on the budget. All of the below activities include everyday items most moms have lying around the house. Included at the end of this post is a supply list.
My biggest tip when doing the same activity for multiple littles of different ages is this: give each child their own set of supplies for each activity. Given the nature of the supplies you’ll need, it shouldn’t be difficult to offer each child individual items.
Now, on to the good stuff! Four easy activities that will engage your littles for more than two minutes at a time allow them to use their imaginations and enjoy some fresh air.
Sidewalk Chalk “Painting”
Round up some old paintbrushes, sidewalk chalk, and plastic cups of water. Next, draw out chalk pictures, scribbles, lines, and outlines of your kiddos bodies. Then let them “paint” them the chalk drawings away with water. With this fresh take on every kid’s standard favorite, sidewalk chalk, you will be able to entertain littles of every age for quite a while. Just sit back, watch, and let their imaginations go wild.
This soap and water activity is quick, easy, and perfect for warm days. Just pour some dish soap into a plastic bin or bowl, add water, and gather up some washable toys. A fan favorite for my kids is hot wheels and Little People figures. If you want to go the extra mile, you can rub the toys in some dirt, so the kiddos have actual filth to scrub off. But starting with clean animals works too! Use some old toothbrushes or some washrags and let the kids get those toys sparkling clean! The bonus is if you do this activity right before dinner, you don’t have to make the littles wash their hands! 😉
You’ll need a plastic bin or bowl for each little, a big spoon, and clean water set up on your patio. Next, head out with the kiddos for a walk around your yard, garden, or landscape beds and hunt for nature. You can give your kids something to gather items in or let them hold them in their hands. Gather whatever you see: sticks, grass, weeds, flowers, rocks, bugs, or whatever is nearby. Next, it’s time to make your “soup.” Have your littles add their nature items to their bin and see what concoctions they invent!
Teddy Bear Picnic
I saved my kids’ favorite for last. It’s the most simple, practical activity ever, but it’s a big crowd-pleaser in our house. It’s a patio (or deck) picnic. You can do this for snack time, lunch, or dinner. Just gather up some easy to eat finger foods (our favorites are cheese, crackers, fruit, and pepperonis), throw down a blanket and have your kiddos bring their favorite lovey or stuffy. My littles will sit for quite a while, which is fantastic, thanks to the novelty of a picnic! Mom bonus being easy snack/meal clean up!
Hopefully, some of these ideas will help keep your littles occupied and create some great memories while you’re at it.
Simple Supply List:
- Dish washing Liquid
- Plastic bins or bowls (one for each child)
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Large spoons
- Washcloths or old toothbrushes
- Plastic toys (hot wheels, animals, figurines)
- Blanket or sheet