3 Fun Things To Do Outdoors

November 2, 2009
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It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times: what to do with the kids today? For the under-eights, action is the name of the game. Also, anything that tires them out in the day will get them to bed quicker in the night. Ah! Strategy …

Here are three fun outdoor ideas:

Ant Watching

Children are great observers of nature and ants, with their busy lives, lend themselves well to watching.

Ants are not too difficult to find, even in built-up areas such as apartment blocks or road pavements. Look for signs of possible ant activity in your area, such as small mounds of dirt, rotted barks on trees, even leftover crumbs on tables and chairs.

Once in a park Bangsar Kuala Lumpur, we peeled back the loose bark of a rotting tree to uncover an active colony of white ants going about their business. That was enough to change our swing and seesaw schedule that evening to one of impromptu ant-watching.

Bring along tiny scraps of bread to feed the ants—worker ants are able to carry huge loads on their backs. Remember to also pack a magnifying glass to enjoy a clearer view of the action.


This is a traditional children’s favourite that has been around for a long time. All you need is a chalk and some floor space. Draw a hopscotch pattern on the floor. This is the basic one:


Feel free to try other variations, like this snake:


Find a stone, or better yet use a “stone” from the Five Stones game. Throw it into square 1. The stone needs to land within the square—if it lands outside or on one of the lines, the turn moves to the next person.

Hop onto square 2 with one foot, or in the case of the basic pattern squares 2 and 3 with both feet. Carry on hopping till the last square, turn around and hop back to the start picking up the stone along the way.

Repeat by throwing the stone in the squares in numerical order. Remember to hop over the square that holds the stone.

Blowing Soap Bubbles

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Little children (and bigger kids…tell me about it!) can never get enough of chasing after soap bubbles. They want to burst them all and then they want blow and make new ones.

In a container, mix about 500 ml of liquid dishwashing detergent in 4.5 litres of water. Add 60 ml of glycerin. Letting the solution sit overnight tends to improve the results.

If you do not have a bubble wand, try looping a length of thin wire at one end. Go ahead and make all sorts of shapes—hearts, squares, triangles, diamonds. Be creative. A wire clothes hanger can also be used to make big bubbles—if you prefer round bubbles, just work the triangular hoop into a circle.

Alternatively, make a bubble cone by twisting a piece of paper into a cone. Fasten it with some tape. Cut the larger end to even it out. Dip this into the bubble solution and blow through the smaller end. When using it the first time, keep the large end soaked in the solution for about 30 seconds before blowing.

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