It has been a difficult early spring with families adjusting to distance learning, social distancing, and keeping their minds and bodies active and healthy.
With the troubling times of COVID-19 and all the difficulties that have come along with it, one of the best things to improve mental and physical health is to stay active and to encourage your kids to stay active. One way to do this is to participate in outdoor family time as much as possible.
Here is a list of outdoor activities we enjoy as a family as the weather warms up, the flowers bloom, and the crisp, clean air alerts the senses and refreshes our minds. Here are some great outdoor activities to do with your family:
1. Build a fairy house: Use flowers, sticks, grass, logs, or anything you can find outdoors to make a small nature house. You can get detailed or keep it simple.
2. Build a fort: Use materials from indoors or build with cardboard and use existing structures as support (fences, walls, railings, etc.).
3. Bike riding, walking, and/or running: These are all great family activities and can be done using short or long distances. We especially like family bike rides where my 3-year-old rides on the back of my husband’s bike, and we go on a more extended outing.
4. Sidewalk chalk art and games: Hopscotch is a good one, and my kids like to trace each other’s bodies and decorate them.
5. Soccer: Kids against parents, then switch up the teams.
6. Scavenger hunt: We have done variations such as hiding storylines and a photo from a favorite short story in different areas, and when each line and photo are found, you have a complete story. Also, you can hide small treats or flowers.
7. Set up a picnic outside or on a hiking trail: This can be fun outside at home or pack it up and take it on a trail.
8. Hiking: Head out to a favorite trail in the area or make it a day trip.
9. Obstacle course: This is one of my kids’ favorite outdoor activities. Set up hula hoops to jump through, craw under small spaces, jump, run, swing, and use your imagination to build.
10. Bonfires, s’ mores, and set up a camp-out in your backyard: For the ultimate family getaway without the travel.
11. Start a garden: Plan out and draw plans for the space and spend time together and decide what to grow. This is also an excellent way to spend time together, maintaining and taking care of the plants, flowers, and food.
12. Art project using items from nature: Gather sticks, flowers, acorns, and any other items. Use large rolls of easel paper to arrange and create artwork.
13. Build a birdhouse: Use a craft kit or do it entirely on your own. We keep a book about birds near the window too so we can learn and identify birds.
14. Outdoor movie night: Rent a projector and make popcorn and you have an awesome family night outdoors.
15. Hide-and-seek: A classic game that can be fun when the whole family gets involved
16. Baseball/softball: Set up your own bases and keep score!
17. Kickball: Same as above and a good alternative if you don’t have all the equipment. All you need is a ball!
18 Fly a kite: A fun and classic activity if you get the right day and the wind to keep your kite flying high
19. Croquet: If you have a set, this is a great game to teach kids. We also have a kids version that is easier to teach with.
20. Badminton: This is a great yard game and alternative for those tennis lovers in your family.
The above activities allow for quality family time, exercise, and much needed time outdoors. What are your favorite outdoor family activities?