Our Nate is an outdoorsman. Most days he isn’t out of bed fifteen minutes before he asks, “Go play outside?”Monday to Friday he gets a lot of time playing outdoors with other kids at daycare. In the evenings, weather permitting, we spend the majority of our time together outdoors, too, either running around in the back yard, playing in the sand box, visiting with the neighbours or taking a walk around our neighbourhood. Nate even learned to ride his tricycle this week!
Nate is really easy to please when it comes to keeping him busy outside in the nice weather. I know some parents who have spent a near fortune purchasing outdoor toys for their kids. We are lucky that this hasn’t evolved into a practice that is necessary for us. Sure, Nate likes new toys…what child doesn’t? However, he is still young enough that he doesn’t know the difference between brand new, out-of-the-box, right off the shelf merchandise and a cool new item that’s purchased second-hand at a thrift store or garage sale.
For example, last weekend, our next door neighbour Gord came by on Saturday morning after he’d gone shopping at some local garage sales (one of his favourite things to do in the summertime!) with a helicopter toy for Nate. Nate was, in a word, thrilled. Gord told us where the garage sale was located and we made a bee line for it, where we picked up several new trucks and puzzles for Nate. The family hosting the sale was raising money for the Starlight Foundation, so we supported their efforts in getting some new, gently-used toys from them.
Later on that week after dinner, we simply sat on the front porch together, watching as a summer thunderstorm raged through our neighbourhood.
On another occasion, Nate’s Gramma came over to visit bearing water guns. Nate’s Gramma is somewhat of a big kid at heart, and they had a blast chasing each other around the yard, shooting water at one another.
Our other favourite thing to do outside in the summertime is to play in the garden. I pull weeds and pick peas and raspberries and strawberries for Nate to eat as he wanders in and out. We look for bugs, we poke worms and talk to the birds. It’s amazing.
Shopping for summertime fun isn’t a major consideration for us, although this might change as Nate gets older. Until then, we’ll continue to enjoy our time together that is more focused on friends and family than spending money.
Disclosure: I am a Fisher-Price Mom and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.