Parents have recently been presented with unique challenges in getting their kids moving outdoors without access to many camps or organized activities. So, we’ve put together some ideas for taking advantage of the great outdoors in a safe and engaging way.
Take a hike for some educational exertion
- Not only is hiking a great physical activity that allows people of all ages to get in touch with nature, it’s also an opportunity to teach children about what you might observe while walking a local trail. Click here for a wide range of activities for inspiration.
Teach your child to swim
- A body of water available for swimming is probably closer to your home than you think, so find a local pool, river, lake, or beach for a water adventure! It’s important to teach little ones to swim, because it’s a healthy exercise for people of all ages that can prevent drowning in life-threatening situations.
Head out for a neighborhood walk
- Walks are a perfect way to bond with your child. Teach them the history of your neighborhood, show them your favorite places to go near home, or even set up a scavenger hunt with pictures as a guide.
Cycle here, there, and everywhere
- Hop on a bicycle or tricycle to get that heart rate up and see the sights. Cycling is also a great way to get to playdates or to the local park. Wondering how to teach little ones how to ride? Look no further than this resource. Just make sure to wear a helmet and pack some sunscreen, because once you hit the road your child may never want to head back!
Make the world a cleaner place
- Help clean up your neighborhood, a nearby park, or beach by collecting litter with your child. Teach them about disposing of trash properly while you beautify the places that you love. You can even organize a group cleanup effort with family and friends.
Become a nature photographer
- Grab a camera of any kind and head outside to photograph your surroundings. The backyard is a great place to start, and there’s inspiration for fun nature photographs everywhere. Check out these ideas for photography activities in the great outdoors.
Boost creativity by drawing with chalk
- Get your creative juices flowing with sidewalk chalk art! Encourage your child to draw whatever inspires them, or try creating family portraits. Foursquare courts or hopscotch courses are easy ways for kids to draw and then get some exercise!
Build an outdoor fort for lasting fun
- Use lawn chairs or other outdoor furniture to arrange a temporary fort for play to teach them the basics of building structures. Once finished, forts are good spaces for activities such as reading or playing a board game. Just be sure to use materials suitable for outside!
Hunt for bugs
- Make a checklist of different types of critters, take it to the park, and encourage your child to mark off ones they’ve seen. This worksheet even has space for them to describe and draw different insects and spiders. Don’t space out on the insect repellent!
Spark curiosity about the sky
- While many of these activities are best done during daylight hours, you can also take advantage of the outdoors at night. Get outside after dark on a clear night to teach your child about the stars, constellations, and space. Use this page full of stellar activities to inspire your child to learn about astronomy. Don’t forget to grab a blanket, a warm layer, and a flashlight to make stargazing a success!