Creative ways to get kids outdoors and off of screens this summer including activities, adventures, field trips, camps and more.
Ahhhh summer! That magical vacation from real life where we enjoy endless outdoor fun and family time, without a care in the world. Right? Not! Especially when you are trying to work from home and the kids are already complaining of boredom.
Sitting in front of a screen (video games, movies) is the easy way out – but that’s not what I want my kids doing all day. Summer is the time for kids to get outside and enjoy that extra living space that’s not available to them in the winter. There’s SO much more to do outside than in. Not to mention the health benefits of spending time outdoors. It should be a no-brainer but often kids need a push in that direction.
Here are a few ways to make the most of summer living by getting the kids outdoors!
A little bit of advanced prep work can lead to an afternoon of outdoor fun for your kids.
- Stock up on outdoor toys and sports equipment
- Haul out the costumes and props for imaginary games
- Pop up a tent for pretend (or real!) camping
- Get out the craft supplies or science kits and make a mess
More: How to turn your deck into an outdoor board game and other outdoor activities for kids.
Summer is a great time to explore your neighborhood. Now that our boys are older, we are encouraging them to go exploring on their own. Depending on your comfort zone, try letting older kids do a few of these activities. With younger kids, walk or bike to see what you can discover!
- Take a trip to the park
- Bike ride around a few blocks
- Visit a local bakery or ice cream shop for a treat
- Go to the library
- Hop on the bus and go to a movie (teens)
More: Free (or almost free) activities for cheap summer fun.
Some days you just need to play hooky from work and head out for some fun!
- Visit a park or nature center
- Head to the beach or pool (don’t forget your sunscreen!)
- Check out the zoo
- Go for a family hike or bike ride
- Try geocaching
More: Eco Novice has some great apps that encourage kids to get connected to nature.
There’s nothing like summer camp to get kids to love being outdoors. Mine manage to spend entire days outside (rain or shine) with hardly ever a complaint. I’m not sure how those camp counselors do it but it works for me!
- Sports or adventure camps
- YMCA camps (my boys are huge fans of both day camps and overnight camps)
- Neighborhood or church camps that emphasize outdoor activities
- Family camps (We’re trying out a family camp for the first time this year – at Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center – can’t wait!)
How do you encourage outdoor time for your kids?
(tent photo by AnneCN via flickr cc)