I'm a firm believer in the virtues of children being Outside. Good for their health, good for their brains, good for my sanity.
There's no denying that they love it. However, the part about it they love is not quite what I would envision. I have vague ideas of time spent watching beetles crawl by, weaving daisy chains, or even running around and yelling. They're not interested in any of the above.
What they want to do, especially D1 last year and D2 this year, is climb the stairs. Up the stairs, and down again, and teetering backwards in the middle. Now, unlike my ideal outdoor activities, climbing the stairs doesn't remotely resemble that Holy Grail of toddler activities, the one that will keep them happily occupied for half an hour without noise, mess, or danger so that I can weed the flowerbed. Stairclimbing for the young is an advanced gymnastic activity requiring a constant spotter, nerves ever on edge.
D2 mastered climbing up the stairs the instant he tried it. Down is a little trickier. He's experimenting with several different techniques: crawling, head first; crawling, feet first; standing up; diving headlong and grabbing my hair midway down. His preference is to do it standing up clinging to the railing, no mean feat when you consider that the stair rise is approximately equal to his inseam. (Or what his inseam would be if he ever wore pants.)
So there I sit, watching and waiting. D1 still seems pretty happy to climb up and down the stairs with him, or walk partway down the sidewalk and come back.
Maybe next year we'll be into that running around and yelling thing.
(BTW, I was going to do something about the absence of pictures of late, but I still can't figure out where the battery charger is.)