As the weather gets warmer, it is important to get outside with your children. Not only will they get exercise, they will additionally learn the importance of spending quality time together. Below are some fun activities to do outside as a family.
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt. Together with your child develop a list of miscellaneous things to find in nature. Go on a walk together and get ready to check off items on your list. This activity can also be modified as a game of bingo. To prepare, have each child fill in a blank bingo card with items from the list. As you walk outside, see who can get bingo first.
- Plant a garden. First teach kids about eating healthy. Have them pick out vegetables and fruits they would like to add to a healthy diet. Work together to gather supplies, plant the seeds and cultivate a family garden.
- Read books together outside. This activity is a nice change from indoor reading in the winter.
- Learn about which animals come out of hibernation in the spring. Try to identify these animals in nature.
- Go on regularly scheduled family walks. Try out new parks and trails. Hide notes or items (e.g., gold coins) prior to the walks for your children to find.
- Have an egg drop competition. Encourage your children to find materials around the house or outside to build a safe haven for an egg (be sure to hard boil the eggs first if you don’t want a mess). Drop the eggs to see which ones survive without cracking.
- Make shaving cream art projects. Spray shaving cream on a table or outside surface. Allow your children to play with the cream, draw in it and get messy. Illustrate different types of clouds for older children.
- Teach your children how to build tinfoil boats. Find a pond at a park to watch the boats float. See which boat can hold the most rocks or pennies.
- Find various flowers in nature and show your children how to press them using books. Use frames to display the finished products.
Take a break yourself and engage in these activities with your children. Show them how to get messy and have fun in the outdoors. You’ll both have fun and get exercise together.
Source: Allison Kranich, MS, LCPC, CAADC