This summer, be sure to keep your kids busy and healthy with fun outdoor activities. Playing outdoors has a lot of developmental benefits for children.
Aside from the obvious health benefits of physical activity, being outside can help develop a child’s language and communication skills, emotional intelligence, and cognitive reasoning.
Adopt an active role in helping your child grow and create exciting family memories with activities. Here are a few excellent ideas that can help make your kids’ summer or free time a healthy and fun!
One of the best ways to bond with you kids is to spend quality time by doing activities like gathering unique materials from your yard and around your home. Wherever your family lives, there’s bound to be tons of natural materials that can also teach your kids a thing or two about the world around them.
If you live near the ocean, you can collect different shape of seashells and tell a story about the seashell come ashore. Or, if you happen to live nearby the woods, try to find some beautiful leaves or flowers and make a natural collector book. Does a stream trickle through your neighborhood? Collect some riverbed pebbles.
Build Your Own Bird Feeder
Next, create and decorate a custom bird feeder with the collected materials. You can make a thatched roof with some grass or create a tropics-inspired house with sea shells.
Take everything that you have collected and glue them onto the bird feeder by using a non-toxic glue. Once done, fill the feeder with seed and watch all the beautiful birds or squirrels stop by for a visit.
Remember to keep a journal and record down all the wonderful species that came for a visit.
Use Your Imagination
Give your kids the chance to be creative and use their imagination all year long. For your little artists and innovators, opt to bring arts and crafts outside.
Encouraging kids to spend time outdoors isn’t just healthy and fun, but it will help you keep your home clean and free from messy crayons, markers, and paint.
For the rising stars in your family, try using a part of your outdoor space as a “stage” where your kids can perform and express themselves.
Start a Garden
Summer is a great time of year to plant a garden. Not only is the weather warm, sunny, and perfect for growing new plants, but a garden provides some incredibly valuable learning experiences.
Your little ones may love getting their hands dirty and planting seedlings, but they’ll also learn about their natural environment as well as where their food comes from.
Starting a garden is as easy as digging up and weeding a portion of your yard. If you’re low on outdoor space, there are so many options for terrariums, plant boxes, and potted plants.
While your kids will have the opportunity to grow some yummy veggies they can eat, keeping plants and flowers healthy also teaches them about personal responsibility and nurturing.
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Try a Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are easily one of the most engaging and creative outdoor activities your kids can get into this summer!
Before they head back to school, consider a 21st-century spin to this classic. Using a GPS device or smartphone, go on a nature hike with your kids.
Find small items (caches) cleverly hidden away from sight. Leave your own little treat in the cache and be sure to write your name in the included logbook.
Check out geocaching.com online and join the world’s largest scavenger hunt. Caches can be hidden anywhere: in the city, in the country, in forests. Caches are everywhere and each cache offers a completely unique experience.
This is an excellent outdoor activity idea that you can do with your kids because it can be done at anytime and anywhere.
Encourage Outdoor Play
Summer is the ultimate “recess” from the 9-month routine of school and homework. So, encourage your kids to take their fun outdoors!
If you have a good amount of space surrounding your home, consider dedicating a portion for a children’s play area. Invest in a children’s swing set or an outdoor play structure.
Although there are many advancements in a children toys, nothing beats swinging or climbing to get your kids’ adrenaline pumping! Why not try an alternative to the classic tire swing?
There are so many responsible companies creating safe, ethically made children’s toys such as the Super Spinner, which produces a great alternative to the classic tire swing.
Whatever your kids are into, there are tons of ways to get them outside for some healthy exercise that challenges their growing bodies and minds. If they’re stuck inside during the colder months,
it’s a great time to get creative and encourage your kids to get back outside with new and exciting activities.
About the Author
Andrew Hoffman is a freelance writer and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, who has written on behalf of a range of clients including the Livestrong Network and Demand Media. In addition to writing on various topics of interest, he enjoys physical fitness, surfing in Santa Monica and collecting classic, first-edition novels. Get in touch with Andrew, here.