Whether you live in an apartment, townhouse, or are simply having your yard treated, playing outside is still a fun and important part of staying healthy at home.
If you will be using a shared lot, be sure to mark your space off with cones. Regardless, sit or observe on the street side, at the bottom of the space, to keep your child from running into traffic.
Here are a few ideas for smaller spaces.
Races can be done anywhere. Make sure the finish line is in the safer position, though, so over-eager runners don’t accidentally go too far.
Bikes, scooters, even skateboards are great for hard-top play. Skateboards in particular are good for younger children who can push them around or use them as sleds on a slight slope. Just be sure to have them wear a helmet and any other appropriate protective gear.
Balls work well on hard tops too. It’s impossible to dribble without one, and we’ve seen kids as young as 18-months figure out how to properly handle a basketball. Set out some sports equipment, whether it’s hockey, soccer, baseball, or basketballs, and let your kids show you what they’re capable of.
Use water and sponges to paint evaporating pictures on the pavement. For an extra challenge, attach a large sponge to the end of a broom or a hockey stick.
Bubbles are a great and fun activity for small children. Adding a few drops of food dye can give the activity a little more excitement, as well.
When it’s time to give your car a wash, let your children join you. If letting them help with your car makes you uncomfortable, they can still work along side you washing bikes or their own toy trucks. It will get messy, but it will be a lot of fun.
Drawing with chalk is always fun. Hopscotch is a classic. If you’re bored with those and feel like your artistic skill is lacking, drawing long lines for your children to walk and balance on is another option.
You can also have your child trace cracks for fine motor practice.
Older children will enjoy four square, while younger kids who don’t quite understand the rules will enjoy bouncing and catching the ball.
Finally, you can draw a tic-tac-toe board and play the classic game with bean bags. (If you don’t have bean bags at home, fill some old socks with rice, lentils or beans.)
Here are a few more ideas that are novel and engaging ways to keep kids occupied with nothing more than pavement and chalk.
Hopefully, this has given you some ideas for how to play with a smaller, hard-topped space. Most of these ideas will even work on a porch on a rainy day.
Ms. Ashley and Ms. Bri