Many of my fondest childhood memories are of playing outside. I can still remember the thrill of riding our bikes, roller skating, going on long walks, climbing trees, making mud pies, swimming in our pool, or in the large creek that ran behind our houses.
We’d build forts, climb trees, play softball and collect lightning bugs. Creativity was often the name of the game, and we had no shortage of imagination! To us, having to stay inside was as bad as being grounded. It was the outside world that was our oyster.
While I grew up as part of a different generation, I still grew up with technology. Atari and Nintendo promised hours of video game entertainment, boom boxes ruled, computers were becoming more common, and car phones and cell phones were making their appearance.
But those were the things we saved for rainy days and late at night. Nothing could compare to the feeling of warm sunshine, the smell of fresh air, and the feeling of freedom of playing outside. So when I see how children today spend the majority of their time indoors, it blows my mind!
Did you know, that according to the National Recreation and Park Association, a generation ago 75% of American kids played outside daily. Nowadays, only 25% do. And if that statistic doesn’t make you stop and think, perhaps this one will: prisoners at a maximum security facility in the U.S. are guaranteed 2 hours of outdoor time daily; whereas 1 out of 2 kids worldwide spend less than an hour outside. Sad, isn’t it.
We all know that children who play outside are more physically active, more creative in their play, less aggressive and show better concentration. So why do we let them continue to stay inside? This summer, start making it a point to get up and get the whole family outdoors. These 4 Fun-Filled Outdoor Family Activities will help get the kids off the couch and out the door!
Fun-Filled Outdoor Family Activities
Host a Neighborhood Nature Scavenger Hunt
Get to know your neighbors better while having fun by hosting a neighborhood family scavenger hunt for everyone on the block. Pick any theme you’d like, and have each family head out as a team to find the items. Once everybody finished their list, fire up the grill and enjoy a neighborhood cookout!
These delicious chicken and vegetable kabobs are easy to make and SO good! If chicken isn’t your thing, these Grilled Steak Fajitas or these Savory Grilled Pork Chops are just two of many mouth-watering grilled recipes!
Go Camping in the Backyard
Experience the thrill of sleeping in the great outdoors by planning a family camping trip! Head out to your local state park or campout right in your own backyard. The kids will love it! Pitch a tent, get out the sleeping bag and flashlights and spend the evening telling stories, catching lightning bugs and gazing at the stars. Don’t forget the hot dogs and S’mores!
Take a Bike Ride
Plot out a safe route and have fun while getting exercise on a family bike ride. This is something you could do together almost every day, too. Just don’t forget the helmets!
Since Pokémon-Go is such a huge hit these days, I just had to include it in our list! Form a team as a family, and head out the door to hunt down Pokémon. This one is guaranteed to be a hit as the kids still get to use their electronics, too! Just please remember to keep an eye on your surroundings at all times.
These four family-friendly outdoor activity ideas are just the beginning. There are so many different fun-filled activities you should be encouraging your kids – and the whole family – to get outside more.
So turn off the TV, put down the tablet and video game controllers, and join me in enjoying living life outside!
How much time do you and your family spend outdoors?