The first rule of Play Club is that you do not talk about Play Club. The second rule? There are no rules. Surprising new research reveals how our kids are healthier, smarter, and happier when we unleash them from our expectations and let them play in the great outdoors.
Unstructured playtime ideas
1. Hunt and gather
A simple web search for “nature scavenger hunt” brings up countless ready-to-use templates, or make your own homemade list. Whether it’s a big park or a tiny sidewalk, it’s fun to search for pinecones, rocks, and other objects.
2. Get high and low
Help kids feel comfortable with different heights. Climb a tree, balance on a tree stump, or scale a jungle gym. Then get up close and personal with binoculars or a magnifying glass. Have you ever seen a distant bird or a tiny dandelion up close?
3. Enjoy sensory play
Use nature’s elements. Splash in puddles. Get hands-on in a sandbox, digging and building and destroying. Dance in a pile of leaves. Feel the sensation of bare feet on cool grass.
4. Find life
Urban environments are full of life if you look closely enough. Search for bird nests in shrubs or bugs under a rock or colourful weeds in an abandoned urban lot. Follow local rules and regulations, of course.