The summer season is here and we couldn’t be more excited. Getting your kids outside this summer not only encourages them to play and explore, but it also makes for a fun-filled day away from the screen. Here’s a look at the best outdoor activities to do with kids this summer.
Hiking has been proven to boost your mental health. This summer, instead of staying shut in, get the whole family out into nature. Pick a trail that isn’t too long (think 2 to 4 miles round trip) and come prepared. Pack plenty of snacks, water, and a few kids' light coats then hit the trail.
Opt for an easier hike and plan on taking breaks. Try to choose a trail that has something special, like a swimming hole, viewpoint, or cool bridge. Do some research ahead of time and spot interesting items such as wildflowers, bugs, and birds. Above all, be patient. Hiking takes some time to really get into, and it can be a challenge with toddlers. However, with a little practice, this is a fun-filled activity the whole family will enjoy.
Can’t get to the local community pool? Plan your own “pool party” right in your backyard. Get a few kiddie pools, squirt guns, sprinkler heads, water balloons, slip-n-slides -- you name it -- and have a water-filled day. Even a simple garden hose can provide hours of watery entertainment.
Make it special by cooking up your kids' favorite lunchtime snacks and have a friend or two over. Let them pick out their own swimwear such as girls' swimsuits, board shorts, and more. Put up an umbrella or a canopy for some shade and relax as your kids make their own day at the backyard beach. Just be sure to re-up on the sunscreen and keep the lemonade flowing.
Encourage your kids to go outdoors and get engaged in their community with a fun-filled scavenger hunt. Get together with a few families in the neighborhood and design a scavenger hunt that takes your kids throughout the neighborhood. Have them find clues in the outdoors, using your friend’s yards along the way. Getting a group together not only expands your scavenger hunt, but it also lets kids socialize with their friends.
In the end, they get a prize. It could be something as fun as a small pizza party or a small toy. Let them find things inside and outside the house. For example, put a clue in their favorite pair of kids’ jeans and then hide the next clue in the garden. They will get to bike, walk, or scooter around their neighborhood while they look for new clues and have a blast bonding in the fresh air.
Instead of going out to eat, plan a picnic in the park. Pack up the essentials: a couple of outdoor throw blankets, a sunshade, a sunhat, a cooler filled with water and juice, and your kids' favorite lunchtime items. Head to the nearest park for a sunny picnic. Choose a park with features like a pond, playground, or bike path for even more activities. Make an excellent, budget-friendly way to spend the day outside with the kids.
Your annual vacation may not be a priority this year, but who says you can’t adventure in your own backyard? Get your kids dressed in their favorite kids’ T-shirt, bike helmet, and active shorts. Next, plan a bike ride that goes through a fun nearby neighborhood. You can drive your bikes to an interesting part of town or leave right from your own front door. Make the bike ride interesting with a destination in mind: Think a pit stop at an ice cream shop for a cool cone or heading to a sculpture garden. Alternatively, plan a route that passes by a variety of neat sightseeing areas in your home town. Check out a unique statue, favorite restaurant, or another point of interest.
Pack a backpack with all of the essentials, water, snacks, first aid kit, sun protection, and any other must-haves for the day. Remember, don’t make the mileage too long. Older kids can easily bike 10 to 15 miles, while younger children may only want to go 6 to 8 miles.
Getting your kids outside this summer keeps them feeling happy and healthy. Plan exciting summertime outings that provide entertainment for the whole family. Don’t forget to bring the essentials for your big day out and about.