Toddler Tuesday: The Great Outdoors


by okano

Last week I encouraged you to just have fun with your toddler.  Do something out of the ordinary or just take some extra time together.  This week I want to keep encouraging you in that direction…but in the great outdoors!

Spring has sprung in our part of the country and my kiddos are itching to get outside. I don’t know about you but I have the tendency to go outside and then just sit.  Give my kids the sidewalk chalk or bubbles and then zone out or read a magazine or work on my tan (ha!).

Let’s not forget that we are our child’s greatest teacher!  With each new season comes the opportunity to teach our kids new things about nature, life and God.

 

Nature: What is your toddler interested in this season?  In our house it is bugs.  My son was at the park and stopped all play to watch a lady bug crawl across the sandbox. Do a little research! Find some fun facts, games or activities that engage your child with the part of nature they are interested in.

Nature Ideas:

  • Create an ant farm
  • Plant some flowers
  • Grow a vegetable garden
  • Collect and Press flowers
  • Create a bug book (write/draw bugs you see/find/research)

…encourage your kids to explore!

 

Life: Changing seasons provide an opportunity to talk about life.  In the toddler stage this is easier than it sounds.  As your kids see plants and trees bloom around them talk to them about their own growth.  If your kids are a little older talk to them about roots and what it means to be connected.  Regardless of your child’s age look for lessons around you that mirror the life stage your child is going through.

Life Ideas:

  • Start a growth chart, compare it to something in nature (a tree perhaps)
  • Make a family tree, collect pictures of your family and tell your kids about their history
  • Discuss change, talk about a new school year, summer plans or changing roles/tasks

…model for your kids how fun growing can be!

 

God: The best thing about spring for me is that my kids can physically see how God works! For my toddlers this is the most amazing thing.  When you pass by something that sparks your childs interest don’t forget to include their Creator in the conversation! This can be done by asking questions, quoting scripture or reminding them of Bible stories.

God Centered Ideas:

  • Stop to smell the flowers, talk with your kids about their sense of smell and other smells around them.
  • When your child is amazed at nature remind that what day of creation God spoke that into being.
  • Sing praises.  Teach your kids songs about God’s creation that helps them praise Him while they enjoy it!

…In all things remind your children that they enjoy what they have as a gift from the God who loves them.

 

Today’s Challenge: Put down the magazine and pick one of these things (or come up with one of your own) and enjoy the next beautiful day outside with a purpose! 🙂

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