The sun is shining and the kids are floping on the couch, sticking to their screens or shouting “I’m bored” through the mouth food. It’s time to get them out.
Spending time outside is associated with improved academic performance, improved mental health, stress reduction, and higher levels of physical activity. Plus, it’s just fun in general. Here are 14 ways to spend more time outdoors and unplug this summer.
Go for a backyard camping adventure. No campground reservation? No problem. Set up a tent in the backyard. You can recreate the whole campsite experience, from creating a campfire to telling ghost stories and sleeping under the stars. Your kids will learn practical skills and teamwork while creating summer memories.
Plan a Scavenger Hunt. Give your kids a list of items found in nature and set to find each one. Hunting of ants, butterflies, red flowers, clover, pinecones, birds, feathers and squirrels can occur in the backyard, around the neighborhood or while traveling in nature. Choose simple drawings for young children and more complex puzzles to keep older children busy.
Cure a sidewalk art gallery. From crayons to watercolors, encourage kids to experiment with different media to create a kind of artwork. When their artwork is complete, display it on the front lawn so the whole neighborhood can enjoy it and use the sidewalk chalk to show pedestrians live at their summer art show.
Organized a neighborhood parade. With some creativity and some art supplies, kids can turn bikes and wagons into parade floats; Add clothing and equipment and the sidewalk becomes a parade route.
Host a summer ski-ball competition. Use the sidewalk chalk to draw a huge bulge on the driveway and set the point value on each ring. Give your kids a beanbag to keep the toss and score; The winner can choose which ice cream or frozen yogurt to taste after dinner.
Take a hike. Hiking is not only a great exercise; It helps kids connect with nature and teaches them respect for the outside. Choose a beginner path and let your kids take turns playing Hike Leader. The goal is to make the trip fun for the whole family, so there is no pressure to log a certain number of miles — unless you want to be competitive with the whole family! To keep things more relaxed, you can let your kids set the pace, even if it means collecting pine cones and avoiding rocks in the creek rather than hiking the trail.
Grow a garden. Kids of all ages should know where their food comes from. Go to the garden center and pick a few packets of seeds, then plant them in the garden or in a container on a sunny window and take care of them until harvest time.
Your kids will be amazed at how tiny seeds turn into giant watermelons or juicy tomatoes — and growing their own food can persuade them to start eating more fruits and vegetables.
Host a movie night. You don’t have to go to the theater to see a blockbuster hit. After sunset, spread a blanket on the lawn, spread some popcorn, and project a movie on a sheet hanging on the fence using a projector. Consider showing a movie that was one of your childhood favorites.
Arrange a bike wash. With a few buckets of soapy water, a sponge and a hose, your kids can turn the driveway into a bike wash, polish the chrome and shake off the mud from their bike tires and offer to do the same for neighbors.
Wet. Sometimes the best antidote to a hot summer day is a cold dip. Pack up bathing suits, towels, sunscreen and snacks and spend the day in the local pool.
While some kids will be happy to scatter around in the water, younger ones who need more engagement may be encouraged to take part in relay races or bubble blowing competitions.
No pool? No problem. Many public parks have splash pads. These wet playgrounds are designed for kids of all ages to spread the day away.
Set up a lemonade stand. Encourage your emerging entrepreneurs to manage all aspects of their pop-up business – from perfect product mixing and marketing management to sales supervision. They can use the proceeds to buy a new toy or donate a portion of the sale to their favorite charity.
Shop at the farmer’s market. Make a shopping list and go to the farmers market to buy items for a picnic in the park. Shopping at market stalls for fruits and vegetables is a great way to interact with farmers, learn about what’s in season, and teach your kids how to pick fresh produce.
Organize a wet and wild game. Outdoor play makes you sweat, and a perfect way to cool water balloon dodgeballs. Fill several water balloons, split the kids into groups and play until the last balloon pops in and both teams are wet and smiling. It’s the perfect activity to enjoy outside of the Fourth of July.
Take a mini-golf course. Pool noodles, jump rope, wrapping paper tubes and plastic cups can be used to create a DIY mini golf course. Your kids will make an explosion of course and then try to score one in a hole.
A little rearrangement of the barriers will create a whole new course, providing endless entertainment for the kids — and kids at heart — all summer long.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment option. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always consult your doctor before changing your diet, changing your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.