Young kids have a great deal of pent-up energy that threatens to blow if you keep them cooped up for too long. Release a bit of that pressure with an outdoor game or two. Such an activity will wear off some energy, keep them focused and help them rest better in the evening.
Indoor toys and activities can grown old. Whether you run a preschool or just have a home full of little ones, it isn’t long before the kids tire of the same routine and the same toys. Being outside, with its changing weather and wildlife, offers a change of pace. Games play out differently each time, keeping kids entertained and challenged.
If you have a large number of kids, you can break them into teams for some large scale games, such as soccer. With games like this, the rules can be a little complicated and shy kids can fall out of the spotlight. In this case, plan two to three different games at a time and break the kids into little groups.
Coordination isn’t a strong suit for most preschoolers. Choose a grass field or rubber ground if that’s possible. If concrete or asphalt are your only options, make sure the kids have properly tied, closed-toe shoes. Stick with games that involve passing a ball back and forth or other static activity, instead of running, if there are many hard obstacles near you.
Have plenty of adults or older kids on hand to supervise the kids. Preschoolers and young kids are easily distracted. While everyone else is engulfed by the game, one or two may be more interested in a flower growing on the edge of the field or kicking the ball around for themselves. Provide enough equipment to let a few adults play one-on-one with those kids.
Keep It Simple
Games with many rules and expectations can be overwhelming for little kids. Instead of asking kids to remember a litany of options, choose games with a single goal, such as getting the ball to a goal line or tagging another child. The single rule can be simply to be kind to one another during the game.
Choose squishy or soft balls, rather than baseballs or other hard and heavy balls. Use strips of fabric, bandannas or old scarfs to pull from kids pockets for tagging purposes. It could get ugly when someone claims she tagged another player and that player denies it.
- happy kids outside image by .shock from Fotolia.com