With the weather warming up and the kids out of school, it’s time to get everybody outside! Time spent outdoors allows families to enjoy the fresh air, lap up some sunshine (with the proper SPF, of course) and forge bonds that last a lifetime. Added bonus: Fresh air play also drags kids away from their screens, and that’s always a big win in our book!
Here are some fun outdoor activities to do as a family.
- Plant a garden. Teach kids about growing their own food and the importance of respecting the Earth with a backyard garden.
Tip: Get your hands dirty, quite literally. Skip the summer manicure and wear silicone rings instead of your expensive keepsake jewelry when digging.
- Go for a bike ride. Fitness, eco-friendliness and a cool breeze through your hair on a warm summer day. Need we say more? If you’re not into biking, break out the scooters or skates instead!
- Take a hike. If the weather isn’t too hot, consider heading out for a hike on your favorite local trail. Sign up for a hiking spree or challenge and try to conquer multiple trails throughout the summer and fall.
- Set up a lemonade stand. What’s better than being outside when the weather is nice? Being outside when the weather is nice and making money while you’re at it! Have your kids design their own lemonade stand, market it to the community and then donate the profits to a good cause.
Tip: Get involved with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to help raise funds for childhood cancer research through your homegrown lemonade stand.
- Play in the rain. Who says rainy days have to be spent indoors? Those unexpected summer downpours are a great way to cool off. Dust off the raincoats and rain boots and go puddle jumping!
- Hit the water park. Speaking of cooling off…is there any better way to do it than to spend the afternoon at the water park? If you don’t have one nearby, head to the local pool and bring lots of water games.
- Set up a slip and slide. Everybody remembers spending hot afternoons going down the slip and slide as a kid, so why not bring back the memories with your own child? You can easily make your own with a few simple supplies you may already have around the house.
- Have a water gun fight. This is one amazing activity that will tire out kids and keep them cool while you’re doing it. Win-win for everyone! Make sure to invite some neighborhood kids.
Tip: Keep water bombs (balloons filled with water) in your water gun arsenal at all times. Create teams and allow each team a water gun and a small supply of water balloons.
- Do front porch yoga. After all that play fighting, you’re going to want to encourage some inner and outer peace with a relaxing yoga session. This is one of the workouts the entire family can do together.
- Go foraging for edible plants. Searching for wild plants can be a true joy for kids. It’s like a treasure hunt, but one that also teaches youngsters about nature, survival and physical fitness. Hunt for wild ramps, berries, onions, asparagus and, in the spring, morel mushrooms.
- Go lawn bowling. If you love to bowl but want to be outside, consider setting up a lawn bowling alley in the yard and initiating some friendly competition among family members.
Tip: Though you can get one for relatively cheap online, you don’t need an actual lawn bowling set. Simply gather old bottles and use a bouncy ball to serve as your bowling ball.
- Turn your yard into camp. Backyard camping is so exciting for kids, and it brings the benefit of helping them understand some basics of outdoor survival and going without technology for a night or two.
- Go fishing. This is another one of those excellent — and fun! — activities that can help kids understand some of the core tenets of outdoor survival while also forging a love for the great outdoors.
- Break out the telescope. Who says the fun has to stop when the sun goes down? Consider heading out after dark to observe stars and planets with a telescope. Forge an interest in STEM and build lasting memories while you do it!
Tip: Don’t rush out and buy a telescope. They aren’t cheap! You may be able to borrow one from the library or go to a viewing held by a local astronomy club to enjoy top-notch views for free.
- Bury a time capsule. How fun is this idea? Find an air- and water-tight container and fill it with a letter and some trinkets that are symbolic of the current era. Bury it in the backyard and forget about it!
- Fly a kite. If some good old-fashioned, low-tech family fun is what you seek, go fly a kite. Seriously, these mesmerizing fliers will entertain little ones outside for hours, and they can be used to illustrate some important concepts in science, too.
- Go geocaching. Geocaching has been billed as the world’s largest treasure hunt, and it’s as fun as it gets for kids of pretty much any age. To get started with this hobby, simply download the app and go hunting!
- Have a bike parade. We miss parades! Why not throw your own with the whole neighborhood, turning bikes and wagons into festive floats?
There are thousands of ways you can enjoy the outdoors together as a crew. No matter how old your kids are, these outdoor activities will get them engaged and help you grow memories they’ll cherish for a lifetime!