Now that summer’s almost here, it’s time to put away the iPad and enjoy the great outdoors with our kids!
I’m not saying that you and your family need to partake in extreme sports; I am saying that you need to get outdoors. From a simple game in the backyard to a family camping trip, there are quite a few fun outside activities that will not only keep the kids entertained and active, but you too!
You don’t always need to spend a fortune on family fun, but you do need a good imagination and some energy (hello coffee—or sports drink!) to keep up with the kids! Here are 11 fun outdoor activities to enjoy the summer months with your favorite little people:
1. Backyard Camping
No need to go to the woods for a campout—just have one in your backyard! Don’t have a tent? Build a fort outside with old bed sheets and a few cushions.
If building a small fire isn’t an option, heat up some marshmallows in the kitchen—for s’mores of course! Throw in some more camping-type snacks (beef jerky, trail mix, etc.), some ghost stories, and a ball or frisbee to throw around, and you’re good to go!
2. Green Thumbs
This is for all you gardeners out there—get your kids involved in the garden too! It’s not only a fun activity for you and the kids, but it’s also a chance to combine fun and learning.
Give each child some seeds of their own to plant. Teach them how to water and tend to the plant as it grows. This fun activity helps teach kids a sense of responsibility for taking care of other living things (a great first step for that puppy they keep demanding!).
3. Kid-Friendly Paintball
If water balloons and paintball had a baby, this would be it! Fill the balloons with non-toxic, water-soluble paint, wear some old white t-shirts, and let the fun begin! Run around the grass and try to hit each other with as many balloons as possible, all while avoiding getting hit yourself.
Whoever has the least amount of paint on their t-shirt wins! This is the perfect game for some backyard fun or to play at a local park (just be sure to wash down the grass after the game is over).
4. Go Fish!
Fishing is not only fun, it’s an important survival skill. Plus, it teaches your kids to work for their food, helps them learn patience, and allows them to get hands-on with nature (and a little dirty!): putting worms on the hook, taking the fish off the hook, cleaning and filleting their catch—or throwing it back, depending on your own comfort level.
Find a local lake or river where fishing is allowed, and look up the rules for getting a fishing license—usually a simple process. Or if you live seaside and your budget permits, you might even consider taking the family deep sea fishing!
5. Take a Hike
Instead of relying on the tablet to keep your kids occupied, let nature take the lead. If you’re lucky, there should be a nature reserve nearby; if not, you may have to take a drive out of town. Either way, it’s worth it.
You’ll find that there’s plenty along the trail to keep them entertained, and a little physical activity never hurt anybody! Look up the trails ahead of time and choose a hike that meets your family’s comfort level—from a one-mile loop to a mountain hike, there are options for all activity levels! Just remember to stick to the marked trail and allow for plenty of daylight to finish the hike.
6. Slip ‘n Slide—Without Water
Say what?! Water is a precious thing and we shouldn’t waste it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun. Use shaving cream instead! Slipping down the slide will be just as fun (create a simple slip ‘n slide by spreading some plastic sheeting over the grass in your yard).
But don’t just watch—unleash your inner child and join your kids!
7. Play a Sport
Soccer, touch football, tennis, swimming—the list is endless. You and the kids can get some fun exercise (and it’ll tire them out for an early bedtime, fingers crossed!).
8. Have an Archery Tournament
All you need is some paint, a bull’s eye, and the kids’ toy bow and arrows. This activity is great for children’s hand-eye coordination, and hey—parents can show off their archery skills too!
9. Host a Family Olympics
Get the whole family involved and be creative with the sports and activities you include. Pair up with your kids so that each team has an adult and a kid (or three!)—or do kids vs. parents for the ultimate face-off!
10. Arts and Crafts
We could all do with some useful DIY projects now and then. Why not get the kids involved? They could help paint or assemble their playhouse, or even make some useful things for your home. Head out to the arts and crafts supply store for some kid-friendly home decor ideas.
11. Family Cookout
Family barbeques are always fun. Teach the kids some of your favorite family recipes and incorporate some of these outdoor activities into the day—whether it’s in your backyard or on a fun family vacation.
Imagination and Creativity is Where It’s At!
The sky’s the limit when it comes to outdoor activities. With some imagination and creativity, fun can be had by the whole family. Now that the weather is nice, get out there and enjoy some sunshine.
Don’t forget to snap some pictures to capture the moment!