Monday, October 24, 2011

Take it Outside!

This last summer central Texas experienced the longest heat wave on record. We had temperatures reaching well over 100 degrees far in to the month of September. Going out side was miserable. By 9:00 am the playground was an oven, parks were empty, neighborhoods were ghost towns. If it wasn't for the pools and splash pads we wouldn't have survived. Everyday this summer, I promised myself that we would make it up in the fall. I am happy to say I've kept my promise. Cooler weather finally reached us this month. (When I say "cooler" I mean highs of 90 instead of 110) We have been out daily enjoying it!

Here is one activity that we took out doors. I love these Montessori inspired weaving projects for the fine motor skills and wanted to do one with the girls.

In an effort to take our indoor activities outside, I opted for a larger version. As we went for a morning walk we noticed that a neighbor was trimming some branches on his tree. I spied a perfect one and loaded it in to the stroller. I have to admit the neighbors looked at me a little funny, but I loaded it any way and brought it home for this fun little weaving project.
 Birdy helped me string yarn around the two branches, then when CC came over they both worked weaving the ribbon and string through the yarn. It took a while for the girls to understand what it was that we were doing. CC is a stickler for having her projects turn out just right, and having to work along with Birdy who...well...isn't such a stickler was a bit of a challenge for CC.
 Eventually, however, the girls both learned to work together. I think the finished product is beautiful. I have kept it on our front porch so the girls can add to it when ever they feel like it.
 CC's mother, Mary, and I sit down together and plan out our lessons a month at a time. Doing regular weaving and sewing activities had been somthing that I planned on introducing to the girls, but it wasn't until I found this branch that it occured to me that this activity could be taken outdoors. Doing this weaving activity out in the front yard has made me start looking at my whole lesson plan and think, "What else could I take out side?"
So what are your favorite "Indoor" activities to take outdoors? How do you think the outdoors adds to or changes traditionally indoor activities? Do your children respond differently to them? Are they more engaged? I would love to hear some feed back from other parents and teachers. I really want to make the front yard, back yard and neighborhood parks extensions of our classroom and would love to hear your ideas!
I linked this post with...
Outdoor Play Linky Party


  1. That branch is the most perfect branch ever! And I'm impressed that you fit it in your stroller!

    Their finished project is quite beautiful. This post makes me happy. This is such a fantastic post!

    We try to take anything and everything outdoors. Fall is our favorite season for that too. We often do art projects outside. Anything from painting to coloring books. And taking coloring books outside on windy days adds another activity to the mix.. paper weight hunt! We often take books outside. I somewhat recently blogged about our fall book readathon.

    We also try to incorporate letters and phonics into outside play. I've posted about our letter sounds hopscotch and a variation of Red Light, Green Light.

    But also, I think that R learns by just being outside and playing freely. He counts and asks questions. He pretends. He measures and mixes. Little ones are so inquisitive.

    Thanks so much for sharing. I look forward to reading about what else you take outdoors. I'm also going to subscribe to the comments to hopefully get ideas from other readers.

  2. Kristin@Sense of WonderOctober 25, 2011 at 6:40 AM

    Totally going to check out all those ideas. I hope lots of folks offer suggestions too. I bet there are some great ones out there. By the way, I am organizing a Fall Fest at my church on Wednesday and am totally stealing your pumpkin guts sensory tub! That looks like so much gooey fun! I tried to leave you a comment about it but my phone wouldn't let me. :(

  3. Oh, that will be so cool. I bet lots of little hands and minds working together will come up with some really interesting ways to play in/with pumpkin guts! I'm glad you like it and can use it!

  4. I love it and am totally inspired! Thanks for sharing- hope to create this soon!

  5. What fun weaving ideas! I think my kids would love it & I'd love to get outside before snow hits =-)
    I would love for you to link up

  6. Popping over from Living Life Intentionally Linky Party - very fun idea. Thanks.

  7. This is great! I love that weaving they were working on. The finished one is really good. We love taking our indoor toys and projects outside. Always better in the fresh air!
    Thanks so much for linking up to the outdoor play link up. Pinned your idea too so be sure to check out the Outdoor Play Link Up Ideas board on pinterest!

  8. Oh, I just love this Kristin!! I've been meaning to do some weaving with Princess Pea too, but haven't gotten around to it. Your idea of doing it large-scale outdoors, though, is so inspiring! And it does look beautiful, it must be a lovely decoration on your front porch in addition to being an on-going project for the girls! Absolutely adore it, will definitely be featuring it at this Friday's Outdoor Play Party!

  9. Kristin@Sense of WonderNovember 1, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Oh yay! Thank you! It really is such a wonderful addition to our porch! I get happy every time I look at it!

  10. Great activity idea, I love the branch, I love to do everything outside and I think I have to try to this activity with my outdoor playgroup.
    I hope you will join us for : Every Day is a Play Day link up.
    I hope you will join us for Every Day is a Play Share link up.

    We know that we have many outdoor play champions as passionate as we are in the blogsphere and think it is great that you as a blogger are sharing your passion about getting kids outside. To make it a little more exciting than a normal link up, you will get the opportunity to win a prize for the best outdoor play post. $200 gift certificate from Polarn O. Pyret.
    Cheers Kari

  11. Kristin@Sense of WonderNovember 4, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    I love what you are doing with the outdoor challenge. We don't have quite the same issues with winter weather, but overcoming the heat was a challenge. It does take some planning and determination to include outdoor activities year round. Thank you for your comment and I would be happy to participate in the link up!


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