It’s that time of the year when everything feels new and fresh, it’s spring! Now that the weather is slowly catching up with the calendar it’s time to wipe our sleepy eyes and come out of hibernation. We should open up our windows, slather on some sunscreen and head to the great outdoors. Here are 13 ways to pull yourself and your kids away from the screen and outside, because before we know it summer will be over.
13 Try Geocaching
Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunt. This game uses GPS coordinates to allow participants to find their “treasure”. There are two million geocaches worldwide. Treasures can be hidden anywhere, in parks, at the end of hikes, or anywhere around your town. After finding your treasure, log it, put it back (or replace it with a more valuable item) and move on to your next adventure.
12 Skip Stones
A walk along a river, pond, lake, or ocean is beautiful on its own, but there is something extra fun about skipping stones. Looking along the shores for that perfect flat rock and skipping it across the shining spring water is a wonderful “useless” skill to acquire. Will you be the best stone skipper in your family? Time to find out!
11 Jump Rope
Jump rope is good for your heart, ask any boxer. What makes skipping so versatile is that it can be a fun game to play on your own, or with others and is completely portable. Get that rope turning and jump in, maybe by the end of the summer everyone will be ready to participate in some Double Dutch and other more advanced skipping games.
10 Eat Outside
Pack a basket, a backpack, a blanket and head outside. Somehow sandwiches just taste better when enjoyed on a grassy hill, under the shade of a tree or on a park bench. Not inclined to pack a sack lunch, stop at a local grocer for some prepared picnic fare, or even stop at a nearby hotdog vendor for a great eat outdoors. You don’t even have to leave home if you don’t want to, consider firing up the BBQ and enjoying your home grilled meal outside.
9 Go Fly a Kite
Maybe humans haven’t figured out how to fly themselves, without the help of a helicopter or plane, but flying a kite is an exhilarating way to let Mother Nature and the wind take charge. Just find a wide open space (local parks and schoolyards are a great start) and get flying. There are plenty of tutorials on crafting your own kite for those who want to make their own.
8 Hit Some Garage Sales
Kids grow, fast, and last year’s spring or summer sporting equipment might not cut it. A morning out wandering your local street sales can be a cost effective way to get everyone out for a walk and find treasure in someone else’s trash. Looking to clear out some of your own outgrown goods, consider hosting a sale of your own or arranging a swap among friends.
7 Make Some Art with Sidewalk Chalk
Turn your patio, sidewalk or driveway into a temporary art exhibit. Get everyone outside to draw some pictures. You can vote on your favorite animal, person, or the most vibrant creation. The best part, a clean canvas is just a rainfall or bucket of water away.
6 Set Up a Garden
Planting a garden, whether it’s elaborate or window box is a wonderful way to connect your children with nature. Together you can plan, plant, water, and harvest, which will get everyone outside on a regular basis. Enjoying your own tomatoes in a summer salad is extra sweet, guaranteed.
5 Build a Fort
You can build a fort using a variety of materials from around your home or nature, using anything from a clothes line and some sheets, a picnic table, sticks, an oversized box, with the most important ingredient being your imagination. If you want to air out some camping equipment consider setting up a tent in the yard for an afternoon or the weekend. Want to take things to the next level? Have a sleepover in your backyard to embrace all that spring has to offer on the first warm night.
4 Hikes, Bikes, and Blades
There are so many parks, trails, and interesting places to get out and get moving. For parents of little ones, this could be the year that they finally learn to ride their bikes. For parents of infants and toddlers, consider investing in a bike seat for your child, or a pull along trolley so they can enjoy the ride while you get some much-needed exercise. Looped routes are a good option for everyone, especially when tired legs want piggybacks.
3 Enjoy Outdoor Festivals
Check your local listings to find out what your town, city, or places nearby have scheduled for the weeks ahead. Getting out to a fair, farmers market, flea market, or outdoor music festival will get you outside and supporting your local community, all while having a blast!
2 Bird Watching
Whether you actively go out to a park or into the wilderness or observe birds from your own backyard is up to you. You can purchase a bird feeder to get an up close look at nature from your window or your own backyard, or venture further to see a larger range of birds who frequent your area. If you have some binoculars, keep them handy as most kids love to use them.
1 Play a Game Outside
This can be easy as tossing around a ball, Frisbee, playing a game of tag or breaking the old croquet set out of the garage. For those who are more set on an activity outside of the house consider miniature golf, or hitting a driving range or the batting cages with your bigger kids.