I don’t have a lot of games that we play outside mostly because being outdoors is generally entertaining enough. We usually hang out in the back in the morning and the front in the afternoon. I like to pretend we do that only because it’s warmer on the deck in the cool mornings and cooler on the porch during the hot afternoons, buuuut…it’s also because I want to stay in my pajamas for quite a while and no one wants to see that if I go out front. So there you have it. Confession.

Anyway, here are some things we do outside when we’re at home (besides swinging, sliding, water tabling and wandering aimlessly).

Neighborhood watch: When we had our old, disgusting La-A-Boy couches, Sonora could stand on them and look out the window in the winter to watch the neighborhood. Now she can’t do that with our current layout but since it’s summer, we just go out on the front porch (sidewalk chalk or to play with cars) and watch the neighbor boys (yes, they are ALL BOYS, oy) skateboard or ride their bikes around. She likes yelling “hi” at the kids or just saying nonsense to them in her own little language. The boys usually wave at her, too. It’s really cute. She also loves pointing out cars that go by and airplanes that she can hear.

Hunting and gathering: I like to give Sonora tasks to do when I feel like she’s getting bored with just doing her own thing outside. So I have her find objects in the yard to gather and bring to me – or if she’s really focused, to put in a pile. It’s mostly sticks, leaves or rocks as there are always plenty of those in or around the yard. It works pretty well as a “game” but she usually gets distracted by something else happening and/or she destroys the pile we’ve made. Oh well. It’s fun while it lasts.

Water the plants: Pretty obvious. I have a few pots and containers on the deck in the back as well as plants in the front and I have to water them every day. So I bought Sonora a little plastic watering can so that she can help. Of course, she doesn’t really help since she pours her water on the deck and it ends up taking me way longer to water since I have to re-fill her can literally every 2 seconds. But, alas, it keeps her busy and stimulated.

Nature watch: We have quite a few creatures that frequent our front and back yards. In the back we have butterflies, rabbits, grasshoppers and crows; in the front we have squirrels, birds, spiders and roly-polys. Nearly every day when we’re outside we do a little scavenger hunt to find at least one of them. Or sometimes I’ll see a creature from inside and quickly take her outside to watch it. Usually she tries to interact with them which can be pretty funny and always cute.

Bang the stick: The other day when we were outside, she was hitting me with her branch (see Sunday Photostrip) so I thought maybe I’d put her hitting skills to better use. I showed her how to bang the stick on the metal railing, hollow metal light pole and various rocks to show her the different sounds they made. She enjoyed this for a while but soon went back to hitting me with glee. *shrug*

And here’s one that we do when we’re out:

Rock toss: We often go downtown Golden to play in the creek, especially on super hot days because the water is nice and refreshingly cold. And because we love Golden, of course. Sonora has loved rocks since she could pick them up and lately she’s been experimenting with throwing things more. So we play rock toss when we’re there or around another body of water so that the satisfying plunk-splash can be heard/made. Also a good game for learning coordination as well as cause and effect so basically I’m an awesome teacher (ha).

Lots of fun is had outside. She’s also pretty content to just play with toys on the porch or deck, wander in the yard and visit the neighbors’ awesome rock garden as seen in many photos.

We be playing hard,
Laura