Note: With all activities, safety comes first. These activities need to be supervised by an adult and may need to be modified if you child has a lot of hand and arm strength.

Tired of being stuck inside your house? Create Active Learning environments in the backyard!  Here are just a few ideas to inspire you.

Wind Chime and Shepherd's Hook

Place a shepherds hook so the child could be sitting or lying on the ground or sitting in a chair. Hang a wind chime from it and let the child use hands or feet to activate the chime by batting or kicking it. If no hook available, hang the chime from a treeor other hook.

 ShepardHookChimes

Rocks in a Kitchen Whisk

Place small rocks inside a whire whisk and hang or hold near a child's hand. The child can bat at whisk and let rocks fall into noise making containers (plastic, ceramic, metal and wood pots). Your child can use fingers or hands to retrieve rocks from whisk. Parents or siblings can replace rocks as necessary.  Your child will be able to compare sizes and shapes of rocks and contrast the temperature of the rocks with the containers.  Use pots or containers that are made from various materials such as plastic, wood, wicker, terra cotta, metal, etc.

 WhiskRocks

Yard Chair Mobile

Outdoor items can be hung with string from outdoor furniture. Your child can lay under the chair or table and explore with hands or feet depending on stability and size of furniture and items being used. Furniture options could include outdoor patio table or tall chair, hammock, or a swing.

 BenchPositionBoard

Flower Pots 

Rocks on table or tray next to/in front of child with various outdoor pots/planters positioned underneath- child can practice pushing/raking/grasping/releasing rocks over various noise making surfaces. 

 RocksTablePots1

Rocks in bird cage with tray with various outdoor pots/planters positioned underneath- can work on getting hand in and out of birdcage and removing rocks 

 RocksTablePots2

Collect various containers of rocks, grass, sand, mud, leaves, or woodchips for child to explore with hands and feet. Practice putting in and taking out of containers or sort into different containers

 FlowerPotsSort

Stack various size outdoor pots or other containers. You may want to use the disposable pots that seedlings come in from the nursery or light weight plastice or foam pots.

 FlowerPotsStack

Other Ideas

  • Child with CP can lay supine on a patio deck or in the grass, with various outdoor objects ((small rocks, grass, wood chips) in a pie pan or light weight tray that is positioned on their chest. Your child can use hands, body movement, or his own breath to cause the objects to move or fall off onto noise making surface.
  • Hang interesting, easily graspable items from a chainlink fence and position child within reach (sitting, prone, supine). If you child can stand with support or crusie you may want to position items along a short length of the fence to encourage walking.
  • Collect and explore various size sticks- practice raking, grasping and releasing, learn about length, use 2 hands, practice stirring or stabbing activities.
  • Encourage child to reach out to feel a stream of water from hose, watering can or other water toys. 
  • Rip grass, pull weeds, or break sticks to encourage take apart activities.
  • Vocalize into empty outdoor pots or buckets held near mouth to make different sounds.