Summer might be halfway over but there’s still plenty of time to try new outdoor activities with your family. So put down your phones, tablets, and video games and get moving!

Benefits of outdoor play:

  • Physical activity strengthens muscles and improves learning and focus in the classroom
  • Develops gross motor skills such as running, jumping, and balancing
  • Allows time for the brain to recharge, especially after screen time
  • Exposure to natural light makes us happier
  • Encourages appreciation for nature
  • Stimulates the senses with unique sights, sounds, and smells

Not sure where to start? Here are a few of my go-to summer activities:

  • Scavenger hunts (great for shopping trips and vacations too)
  • Giant parachute and music
  • Obstacle course with a timer
  • Building with blocks, sticks, and other natural materials
  • Painting on paper, sticks, or rocks
  • Water play with cups, bowls, funnels, or spoons

We will be leading one of our favorite activities every Saturday this August with Soap Bubble Saturdays!  We will be experimenting with various bubble-making tools and methods to see what happens, allowing children the chance to ask questions and think in new ways.

If you’d like to recreate this at home, it only takes about 10 minutes to prepare but can lead to hours of play. Pour the bubble juice in different containers for dipping and test or whatever tools you have around the house to make big and small bubbles!

KidsQuest bubble juice recipe:

  • 6 cups water
  • ¾ cup Dawn soap
  • 1 Tbs glycerin

Suggested tools:

  • Big straws
  • Pipes
  • Slotted spoons
  • Rope tied in a circle or a net
  • Plastic cartons

Easy clean-up:

Spray a vinegar and water solution to cut away soap suds and wipe dry

Soap Bubble Saturdays is one of several free* programs KidsQuest is offering this summer! Check out our website for more scheduled programs or drop in any time for independent exploration and free play with our floor educators.

*free with paid admission or membership

Contributed by Andi Betters Koller