Outdoor Activities that Kids Love
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Outdoor Activities that Kids Love to promote growth and learning…
Outdoor activities that your kids will love are important
Now that summer’s here, why not consider how outdoor activities for parents and their children are so important for healthy family relationships and kids’ happiness.
Lots of fair weather activities like gardening, bird feeding, picnics, and bike riding are great for incorporating a fun and healthy lifestyle into your family dynamic during the summer months. These also contribute to lasting happiness and emotional security for your children.
First, Why Is It Important to Spend Time Together?
Simply put, each and every connection a parent and child makes the child more secure. When a parent spends time with a child, it creates a long-term impression and provides the emotional support and physical reassurances that children need to feel a sense of security in their everyday lives. What could possibly be more important?
The caveat is that the time must be quality time rather than mere time spent in the same space without really interacting. It goes back to the old saying, “It’s the quality not quantity of time that matters.” Why? Because children who have more bonding time with a parent while growing up are more likely to feel emotionally stable and less likely to have behavioral problems.
Such behavioral problems are more than just having trouble paying attention in class or sometimes yelling at another kid for taking their stuff. The proper amount of parent-child time reduces instances of risky behaviors like smoking, drug use and alcohol consumption.
Children need to experience being loved and cared for, and it’s best if it comes from their own parents. This makes them feel like they matter, giving them a reason to be mentally and emotionally strong. So, the best way to help your kids feel and be as strong as they can is to spend time with them on a regular basis. There’s also evidence that happy, well-adjusted kids are less likely to have eating disorders or become overweight. In a nutshell, spending quality time with your children is important to them, but is also important to your own well-being. There’s no joy like seeing one’s own child flourish and live a happy life!
Summer is Great for Outdoor Time with Your Kids
You don’t have to be rich to have fun outside the house in summer. Here are activities for no/low budgets and mid/high budgets. The important thing is that parents spend time with their children.
FREE outdoor activities that your kids will love
Feeding birds – Feeding birds gives a family some down time to talk, enjoy fresh air and engage in bonding moments. All you have to do is grab some bread or crackers from the kitchen and go outside in your own front or back yard. Make yourselves comfy and toss out some carbs to our fine feathered friends. As soon as the birds start to gather, the children will get excited about prompting them to come, enjoy watching them peck away at the surprise snack and make some observations out loud. This leads to some meaningful conversation…jokes, heart-to-hearts, and whatever else might be on your minds to share with one another. A sweet time!
Picnic – Let your kids pick out what they want to eat for lunch, snag a big blanket and bring the food and throw outside. Have the children help spread out the blanket and set up the food to eat right there on top of it. Eating outdoors being something we rarely do, will make the picnic exciting for the kids and entertaining for the parents. Again, who knows what you can learn from and teach your kids during this quiet time outside when they’re feeling happy to be your priority, even if only for lunch on that particular day.
Go on a scavenger hunt- What kid doesn’t love an fun and exciting scavenger hunt? The best part is, it’s totally free and can keep your kids occupied for an entire afternoon if you play your cards right. You can print up premade scavenger hunts off the internet or simply create your own in the backyard. Hide little notes in trees, behind bushes, even in the sandbox (if you have one). The prize at the end can be something just as fun and free, like a movie night (their pick) or a tasty snack wrapped up and placed at the finishing line.
Sleep under the stars- Who says you can only enjoy summer days? Summer nights can be just as fun as well. Spend the evening with your children counting the stars, chasing down fireflies, and making some smores around the campfire. Grab some sleeping bags and make an entire night of fun, laughs, and delicious treats without spending a penny. There are multiple ways to enjoy the summer night sleeping in your backyard. If you are brave enough, you can always consider placing yourselves on the ground and “rough it” if you don’t have a tent but are not sure you want to interact with any insects, you can place your blankets in pillows in the backseat of your vehicle, on the trampoline, or on the back patio.
Set up your very own drive-in movie theater- If you have a movie projector, you can set it up in the backyard, hang a bed sheet over the clothesline, and play your child’s favorite movies all night. (Don’t have a projector? No worries, bring a tablet or laptop outside and use that as your (much smaller) movie screen.) Step it up a notch and create fun cars out of large boxes that your kids can sit in while they watch these movies and provide small brown bags of popcorn and juice boxes to top off the night.
Build a backyard obstacle course- You would be totally amazed by the types of obstacle courses you can make just using the items you already have just laying around the house. A ladder, old tires, rope, tape, sticks, wood planks, etc.; all of these items can be manipulated and moved in different ways to make incredible obstacle courses that won’t just keep your kids entertained but also give them a superior workout.
Have a family game night outside– Night or day, take the board games outdoors, and enjoy the weather while you enjoy some fun times with your kids. You can also try playing with playdough, painting, coloring, etc. Make your game time more musical by turning it into a karaoke moment. Blast the music and make fake microphones out of cardboard, sticks, or just about anything else you can find.
Read a book under a tree– Go grab a comfy blanket, some snacks and drinks, and a good ole fashion paperback book (or hardcover). Pick out something fun you think your kids will love, or let them choose a book they are interested in. Next, find a big tree with long branches that provides plenty of shade. If your kids are old enough to read, take turns after a few pages or a chapter. If your kids do not quite chapter book readers yet, let them sit on your lap or lay on a comfortable pillow and listen to you re-enact a fantastical tale. If your little ones are too small to read but still want to get in on the fun, put the book down and come up with a story of your own. You start the story off by setting the stage, then have your kids add to it one at a time until you finally get to the end.
Outdoor activities with SOME COST that your kids will love
Bike riding – If you don’t already have bikes, go buy one for each of your family members. Drive them out to a beach or forest preserve where there are safe bike trails and pretty views. To add to the fun, take breaks often and play. I spy for a few rounds before hopping back on the wheels.
At the end of the jaunt, make time to go out and eat a meal or for ice cream. It’s a great time to chat and reflect on the bike ride, relax and just be together as a family. Be sure to sit outside if you can, fresh air is super healthy for kids and adults alike.
Plant a garden – This is lots of fun because there are so many steps to it that give your children a chance to be creative and affirmed by their parents. Each step is exciting as it’s one step closer watching mother nature at work and seeing the bloom or fruits/vegetables appear like magic.
- Design an area in the yard. Decide together on the shape and size, then draw it out on a piece of paper.
- Take the design to the gardening store and decide on which items you want to plant, using the design as a guide to determine how much of each plant or seed you need.
- Buy the tools to do the actual digging, planting and watering. Don’t forget gloves and fertilizer. Let this kids have a choice in exactly which things you buy.
- Get home and decide on a plan of attack. Who will remove plants from cups? Who will spread the seads in the dirt? Who gets to measure and dig, and so on? Work as a team. As the parent, try to get the kids to talk about what they know about flowers and vegetables… anything goes. Just show them that you care about getting to know them as individuals.
Go to a park- Most state parks do charge a small fee to get inside; however, it is typically no more than $10, giving you an entire day to play and have a good time. Once you get inside the park, there are endless options for entertainment.
- Ride your bike or rollerblade
- Hike the long and winding nature trails
- Swim in the pools or in the lake
- Have a picnic
- Play on the playground
Many state parks have their own activities and crafts you can participate in as well on specific days. Before you head out, check their websites and see what there is to enjoy.
Colorful water balloon wars- Water balloon wars are always a blast when you are little (let’s be honest, adults love it too.), so what could be better than filling those water balloons with some colorful dye and assigning each kid a color. By designating a specific color, you and your children can have fun competing for the title of water balloon champ. Use washable dyes, so you don’t stain any clothes. If you want to make it fun and have a memento to remember the occasion, use regular paint and purchase each family member a white t-shirt. If your kids are too little for water balloons or you would prefer something with a little less balloon tossing, you can buy squirt guns and fill them with colorful water instead.
Take a trip to the beach- Some beaches are free, but like parks, many of them have a small entrance fee. Luckily, it isn’t expensive at all and is perfect for those hot and humid summer days. While at the beach, you can bring along sand toys, have sandcastle building competitions, and cool yourself down by wading in the water. Take this time to enjoy the moment, or you can make it an opportunity to teach your children how to swim. Many beaches these days also have concession stands making it easy to grab an ice cream cone or freezy pop for your kiddos.
I hope this article on outdoor activities that your kids will love gives you fun stuff to look forward to this summer. Enjoy!
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Outdoor activities that your kids will love. Fun summer activities that kids love. It’s important to spend time outdoors with your children in the summer. Spend quality time with your kids this summer.