5 Creative Ways To Spend More Time Outside as a Family

Ways To Spend More Time Outside

Although it seems like they came out of nowhere, the summer months are quickly approaching and they’ll be here in no time. If you’re a parent, you’re likely spending day and night trying to come up with fun activities to keep your kids entertained and also physically fit. Some of these activities should take place outside. It’s important to get your kids out of the house, and the good news is that there are countless activities that will encourage your kids to learn more about the outside world. 

If your kids are bored of sitting in the backyard, consider some of these more exciting and creative outdoor adventures

Why You Need To Get Kids Outside

Many parents may be tempted to sit their children in front of the television screen all summer, but while that may occasionally be okay, the time inside won’t do them much good. The fact is that by getting outside, your kids can have a blast while also getting healthier in the process. When your kids run around, they can get their blood flowing while building stronger muscles. At the same time, the activity can thwart potential ailments down the road, like heart disease

Then there’s the social aspect. When your kids get into the neighborhood and start making friends, they learn to communicate and forge relationships that could continue for years. The ability to speak to others will remain vital as they grow older and make a life for themselves as adults. Finally, the sunlight that kids are exposed to is essential for vitamin D production, and that’s great for producing healthy bones and boosting their immune system so they don’t get sick.

1. Play in the Pool

One way to encourage your kids to be more physically active is to trick them with outdoor activities that allow them to exercise but are disguised as fun. Playing in the pool can deliver what they need. The pool is an underutilized tool in the realm of healthy outdoor activities, but it can do wonders for their physical development. Just by swimming laps, your kids will build endurance while getting a full-body workout. If you have younger kids, then even the act of staying afloat or treading water can help kids to improve their endurance and burn calories. 

However, if you’re having trouble enticing your kids to enjoy the pool, consider some fun water games that can provide hours of entertainment. For instance, you can’t go wrong with Marco Polo, where one kid tries to tag the other by yelling “Marco” while the other says “Polo.” 

If your kids also love sports, you can bring the fun to the next level by setting up a floating basketball hoop in the pool. Then, you and the kids can shoot hoops, practice your dunks, or play a game of P-I-G or H-O-R-S-E. You could also get a floating volleyball net and play in teams. 

2. Go Kayaking

You can continue your water fun by going out to the nearby river or lake and trying kayaking. If you have older kids, you can each get in a kayak and go down the river as you embrace the nature that passes on either side. Kayaking is a great cardiovascular routine that can do wonders for your upper body, including your core, while also helping with your balance.

Younger kids may be unable to operate a kayak, so try canoeing instead. Most canoes can hold two to three people, and your kid can help paddle or just enjoy the scenery. While you’re out on the river, you’ll all get that essential vitamin D. Just wear sunscreen so you don’t get burned. 

3. Nature Scavenger Hunt

One of the best outdoor activities many families do at least once is taking a nature hike through a local park or down a more advanced trail during a camping trip. A hike is a great way to get the leg muscles into action and to breathe in that amazing fresh air. Plus, the greenery in nature brings all of us to a more natural and stress-free place.

One way to spice up a nature hike is to add a little competition and have a nature scavenger hunt. Parents can research the trail beforehand, learn about the area’s plants, trees, and animals, and give each child a list. As you all walk the trail, your family members point out the items as they see them, and whoever has the most crossed off at the end wins.

4. Grow a Garden

If your kids have green thumbs and are interested in plant life and growing a garden, planting one in your backyard can be incredibly fun and educational. Getting outside in this way is also beneficial because gardening is an outdoor activity that you can do in the city. Even if you don’t have a lot of access to green space where you live, it’s possible to garden in a small yard. You can even set up a micro-garden on your patio, or install a windowbox if you are really short on space. 

There’s nothing quite as rewarding and mentally stimulating as planting seeds in a garden and watching day by day as those seeds grow into fantastic flowers and vegetables. Then, once those vegetables have grown, you can go out as a family, pick them, and eat them during meals and snacks. It’s a great way to teach your children to be self-sustainable.

Finally, in addition to the tremendous mental health aspect, gardening can also help your kids to get physically strong just by going through the motions of carrying the equipment, digging holes, and breathing in the fresh air. 

5. Try Bird Watching

Your kids may get a kick out of heading out to the backyard or the local park to go bird-watching. There are countless ways to enjoy this activity as a family. You can make it a competition and count how many of each bird you find. After that, you can each pick your favorite bird and draw a picture that can then be hung on the fridge. If you want to attract birds to you, buy birdhouse kits so each person in the family can make their own and watch in awe as new feathered friends call your backyard home.

These are just a few fun and creative ways to spend time outside and get healthier as a family. Start with these ideas and then add your flair to each, and you could create new family traditions that your kids can enjoy for years to come

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Article Author Details

Charlie Fletcher

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance writer living in the pacific northwest who has a variety of interests including sociology, politics, business, education, health, and more.