Guest Author - Deborah L. Kompare
This week happens to be National Backyard Games Week. Getting the kids outdoors to play is such a wonderful thing to do. I had some fun coming up with ideas on how crafts and games could be tied together to help celebrate this fun event.
Hopscotch is a past time that many of us may remember as kids. Don�t think this is a �crafty� outdoor activity? There are so many different types of grids that you could draw, other than the standard hopscotch grid. Want to get fancy with your markers? Try painting pebbles, or making your own out of plaster of paris or clay.
Did you happen to purchase a large appliance that came in a big cardboard box? Well, here�s your child�s chance to design their own, brand new home! Give them the box, some paints, markers or chalk and this could be entertainment for an entire afternoon, or as long as the box holds up. Don�t have a cardboard box? Try getting an inexpensive flat sheet and draping it over a clothesline to make a tent. My youngest will spend hours �making tents� inside and outside and playing in them. If your sheet wasn�t that expensive, let your child draw on it with markers or paint to personalize their outdoor living space.
Take this one step further, and they can create their own household items from cardboard boxes or other materials you may have around the house. They can even do something as simple as using chalk to draw furniture on the pavement that will represent the different areas of a house. When I was little, we had a small field in our backyard. The grass would get very high and we would tramp it down to make our own houses. Also, since most kids like to play with water, this is a pretty safe avenue to allow that imaginative play. Water won�t harm much when it�s outside.
Have you ever made your own bubble solution and wands? It�s pretty easy to do, and can provide some need for creativity when it comes to bubble wands. Of course, you could use the standard ones that come in the bottles, but why not try using some yarn or string to create �mega-bubbles�? Use some old kitchen utensils, like strainers, to create a million bubble effect. I�ve added a link for making your own solution at the end of this article.
Really, just about any messy craft idea would be good to do outdoors. Clean up is much easier, you don�t worry too much about ruining your �good� items or areas in the house, and it�s an environment that is so much fun, and healthier for the kids. It seems to me their imaginations work differently when they are outdoors.
I hope you have a wonderful time celebrating outdoors. Stop by the forum to share what you�ve done. It�s always nice to hear what others are doing to promote our children�s imaginative flair.