The Tarmac and chalk; low cost outside entertainment.

The best thing about this sunny weather is the chance to be outside for longer periods of time. Rather than cart a million toys outside, only to bring them back in at the end of the day, I have tried to encourage some outdoor only games.

If you think of your childhood, do you remember drawing on the pavements with coloured chalk? Hop scotch, random phrases, your name a million times. All you needed was some light rain and you could start all over again.

It is also a great chance to bring some education into outside play for pre-school children. Our favourite is a ‘first to get to’game that involves easy letters and numbers. Write them nice and large on your patio or pavement. You can tailor this to your child and what they know or enjoy doing. I stick with A, B, C, D, E and the numbers 1-5. The simple aim is you shout out one of them out and your child has to be first to get there. The bonus is if you only have one child to play with there are no tantrums when they get beaten!

 It is great repetitive learning play and most of all it is great fun for them, and you can be as active as you like or just sit still and shout out while drinking a well earned cup of tea. I opt for the latter most of the time.


If you are really artistic draw animals or vehicles or shapes. If you want to stretch it out so you don’t have a half left cold cup of tea use variations. I get them to stand on a number first, then a letter. They then have to name that number of items beginning with that letter. This variation is only successful with the three year old if Apple starts with every letter of the alphabet! That’s where a bit of Mum help comes in handy. For my son in Year 2, I make it even more difficult, name foods, animals, people’s names. It becomes a running about version of Scattegories.


Other ideas:

Drawing – go wild, draw and colour anything.

Handwriting practice – beats pencil and paper.

Sorting games – draw 3 big circles, have loads of objects, have them sort by type, colour, size into each circle. Anything goes.

Hopscotch -couldn’t leave it out!

Have fun in the sun!


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