In the summer, we live to be outside. Our kids run through sprinklers, we fire up the backyard grill, and take every opportunity to soak in the summer sun. Then before we know it, the cold winter months drive us inside, and we spend most of our time binge watching TV, or attached by the hip to our myriad mobile devices. But there’s good news!
With the snow melting and the weather finally warming up, it’s time to get back outside – taking full advantage of every ray of spring sunshine. To help, I’m sharing six ways to move your family time away from the screen and out into nature.
Go on a Walk. Tell your kids to put on their sneakers, and walk around your neighborhood, the block, or to your local elementary school playground. Adjust the length of the walk to your family’s unique needs. Want to up the ante? Take a hike, walk around a local lake or wooded area, or explore your city on foot.
Eat Dinner Outside or Go on a Picnic. Put on that windbreaker or hoodie and eat dinner with your family on the patio or your front stoop. Spread out a blanket on the lawn and take your lunchtime PB&J’s outdoors! If you’re out and about, take that drive-thru fare to a local park and enjoy your meal outside.
Read Outside. On the next sunny afternoon, grab a blanket and an armload of books and head outside with your kids to read. Sometimes the novelty of reading outside can inspire your young readers to keep the pages turning or asking for “one more story?”
Play Backyard Games. Introduce your kids to your favorite backyard games from childhood. Play Kick the Can, 4 Square, croquet, or badminton. Teach your child to throw a Frisbee. Jump rope together. Play tag. Get outside and get active together!
Work in the Garden. Spring is the perfect time to start thinking about gardening, and bringing the whole family in on the process. From prepping the soil, to pulling weeds, to selecting seeds, plants, or bulbs, getting your kids involved may ultimately lead to more of an interest in healthy eating. Pull out the shovels, take a trip to your local nursery to find out what plants you can start this time of year in your area, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. If you live in an apartment, you can still grow herbs and flower in window boxes.
- Treasure Hunters. Google geocaches or letterboxes in your area make it especially easy to take your family on a treasure hunt. Your children will love searching for the small “treasures” hidden within geocaches or the unique stamps hidden inside a letterbox. Sound too complicated? Not any in your area? No problem! Print out a copy of my Nature Scavenger Hunt and find some natural treasures as a family.
Featured photo credit: digitalskillet/iStockphoto