Tag Archives: outdoor play

Hula Hoop Tent: Outdoor fun!

Are you and your kids looking for some fun outdoor activities this spring? This one is so easy it will make you laugh. All you need is a dollar store hula hoop, some rope, Safety pins, and a couple of old sheets.

Forts and tents have been kids go-to summer and spring fun for decades. It is simple and easy fun but it can make the world so much more exciting. Let them just sit in it to get away from the heat while still enjoying playing outdoors, let them get creative and make it their castle, their pirate ship, their fortress. All they need is imagination, and kids are designed with that in mind.

This fun and easy activity can be completed in a morning, afternoon, or weekend. It is totally simple.

 

What You Will Need:

 

Rope

Old sheets (we used twins you can use anything you have)

Hula hoop (we used a medium one but the bigger the hoop the bigger the tent)

Safety pins

kids!

 

What You Will Do:

Pinch some of the fabric of the sheet and wrap it around the hoop, use the rope to carefully tie it in place. Repeat this every few inches gathering the sheet around the hula hoop.

If you use more than one sheet do this same thing with the next sheet but make sure that you make the sheets meet together flush so the tent stays closed on one side.

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You can use safety pins to keep the two sheets together if you used more than one sheet.

Leave the front open for a door.

Now use rope to tie the hoop to the tree branches. Secure it to at least three branches for support.

 

Enjoy your new hula hoop tent!

Pirate Boat Pool Raft: Noodle DIY

Pirate boat pool raft

 

We love pirates here. We have a Little Tikes climber that looks like a pirate ship, it has a scope to look through, we have pirate swords, and pretend hooks in case someone wants to be Captain Hook. So when I stumbled across this amazing DIY video and tutorial on the internet for a Pirate Boat Pool Raft I just knew we would have to try it. We don’t have our own pool, but the grandparents do, so this will still get used a lot. But who says you have to have a pool for such a fun toy? My kids would probably still play make believe on it in the backyard and spray the hose to keep cool.

This tutorial is amazing because not only did the author, Alissa Roberts give detailed photos and instructions she also posted a really clear video. Now I am usually pretty good at following instructions but with all the kids around excited about what we are building it can sometimes be difficult to follow along, so having a video, especially for something this involved, is great!

What You Will Need:

Foam pool noodles 13
Nylon rope 100 ft
Small plastic pipes 4
Box cutter
Tape measure
Sharpie marker
Small plastic pipes 2
Power drill
Nut and bolt
White shower curtain
Pirate printable
Fishing line
Scissors

We are so excited to try such a fun DIY, but since it is very involved we are enlisting the help of Dad in our house, especially since I don’t want to try keeping power tools and box cutters away from my kids when I am outnumbered. We found some great pool noodles as the Dollar Tree and picked them up cheap. We even got a few more so the kids could use them as swords.

So have fun building your pirate raft, I know we will! Argh!

The Importance of Outdoor Play

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Recently we had a family get together where all of the children were playing together. But one cousin refused to play outside with the others. While the other cousins ran, jumped, swung on the swings, drew with chalk, and slid on the slide one little cousin stayed in the playroom in the house and played blocks, and played with his iPad. All the adults thought it was weird, except for the boys mother, who said this is normal behavior fir her son who always plays in the house. He reads, plays with his toys, even has an indoor playground in his playroom. He gets plenty of socialization with his friends, eats normal, and does well in everything else, so she thinks it is perfectly fine that he doesn’t play outside. She says she feels safer knowing he is safe without fear of him getting lost, running off, or having someone bother him or attempt to hurt or kidnap him while he is outside playing. So the question here is this, is it normal for a child to not play outside?

Outside play is important for exercise, sunshine (love that vitamin D) and interaction with others. Sure you can get vitamin d other ways, yes you can exercise indoors, and friends can play in the house too. But kids need to play outside. Outside kids are more likely to be uninhibited, they can run more freely, burn more calories, exert more energy. They get much more physical in a larger and wider environment. They invent more games and play on a larger scale outdoors since they do not feel closed in or slowed down by indoor rules of noise or fear of breaking something. They have more at their disposal for free and active play. The area is not just larger it is more indestructible. They can jump, run, and throw things.

Physical learning is important but outdoor play also influences cognitive development and a artistic and aesthetic development. The outdoors offer different colors, textures, smells, and objects to see, feel, and smell. Outdoor play introduces children to the beauty of nature and all that it has to offer including rebirth in the spring, and hibernation and death in winter. The outdoors are an incredible teaching tool since they grow, change, and move all on their own.

What do you think of having a child that does not play outdoors? Where do you children play? Do you have a playroom where a majority of playtime occurs? How important do you think it us for a child to play outside?