Summer Sandpit 18/8/14

Another week of the Summer Holidays has flown by – how’s it been in your house?
This week Sarah and I are looking forward to meeting up again and introducing our children to each other, as we head up to The Open Nest. Don’t worry – we’ll tell you all about it.

But back to Summer Sandpit. We have another great guest blogger for you this week – Mudpie Mama from Mud Mud Marvellous Mud is writing about this week’s theme ‘Active and Outside Play’…

Active and outdoor play is what Little Man does best. The garden is his favourite place and whenever or wherever he is, he is a busy little bee. Snail and spider hunting is his current snailsfavourite pastime closely followed by bike riding and hunting for the combine harvester which can sometimes be glimpsed in the fields opposite and behind our house. However, he chooses to play though being outdoors is an integral part of it for him. He loves to feel the wind on his skin and watch the changes in the light; he is fascinated by the way the ground changes when it rains and how insects hide under leaves to avoid getting wet. The outdoors offers Little Man a sensory experience completely unmatched by indoor play. He doesn’t care if it is windy or rainy, sunny or hot, all these variables just add to the experience.

The other week we had been out hunting for tractors in the local fields and as we got home the heavens opened. I rushed to unlock the back door thinking he would want to run indoors and as I walked back round to see where he was I saw him just stood on the driveway, face to the sky watching, feeling and tasting the rain as it hit his face. It was then that I knew there was no way he wanted to go inside and there was no way I did either. I wanted to experience the moment just as fully as he was, so there we were just stood in the driveway as the sky poured down buckets right over our heads. Before long we were dancing to the beat of raindrops hitting the floor and then riding our bikes through the wet grass, Little Man practicing his skidding skills. It was the best morning we had had together in ages.

Outdoor play has a habit of providing unexpected scenarios like this one. You never know what the weather will do, what little hands will discover or if you are headed somewhere new where you might end up. It offers the chance for children to build on fine and gross motor skills in equal measure and in the right environment encourages and invites children to move outside of their comfort zone, learn their limits and understand how to manage risk. With uneven ground, hidden nooks and crannies and a world of miniature creatures to explore this ever changing environment rarely gets boring, at least not for my Little Man.

Here are some of the ways we enjoy the outdoors, we hope some of the posts will inspire you to get outside and get active too or to share your own outdoor play ideas with the fabulous girls getting muddyfrom The Adoption Social.

Mud play is one of our favourite ways to play. In this post I share the benefits of getting muddy and some links to some fabulous mud play ideas.

tyre play


You don’t need expensive toys to encourage the kids to get outdoors. In this post Little Man enjoyed some simple tyre play, cheap and easy.

How about a whole holiday based around the outdoors. We first went camping when Little Man was 18 months old and he absolutely loved it. We would definitely recommend it.

Why not try a simple nature walk. These are a brilliant way to get started playing outdoors and can easily be adapted if your little ones are past the toddler stage.

So there’s a whole host of ideas from the Mudpie Mama – what outdoors play have you been encouraging? Trips to the park? Paddling Pool? or perhaps mudpies and tree climbing?

Please link up all your outdoor and active play posts, and take a look at the others that link up if you need any inspiration. Oh, and make sure you check out Mud Mud, Marvellous Mud too!

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