Are your kids inside playing on their electronic devices and not outside playing in the sun and fresh air? As difficult as it might seem, you can change that! Use the Internet yourself to find sites that offer creative ideas to get your kids outside and moving.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Website is loaded with ideas for children of any age. Activities listed even include an educational component that will allow your kids to become more cognizant of their natural surroundings. The site’s home page is loaded with options. Choose those that best suit your family’s interests. Click here to get started: http://www.nwf.org/Kids/Family-Fun/Family-Fun-Search.aspx . The links below were some that interested me the most!
These are some examples of simple activities that can be done with your children right in your own yard or neighborhood.
- What child isn’t fascinated with fireflies? Let your kids chase and capture their own. Here’s what you’ll need to know: http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/outdoor-activities/hunt-for-fireflies.aspx
- Don’t throw away those orange peels! Let your kids use them to create tracks to hidden treasures. Read about this activity at: http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/outdoor-activities/hide-and-track.aspx
- No tracks needed for this treasure hunt activity. Instead, it comes with lists of items to search for – one for younger children and one for children a bit older. Or, let your kids help create their own list of items that have more meaning to them. Read more at: http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/outdoor-activities/backyard-scavenger-hunt.aspx
- Whether your family hikes in the woods or simply hikes through the neighborhood, a plan is required to ensure the safety of everyone involved. This site not only suggests ideas for prepping, it suggests things to do while on your hike as well. The whole family can get involved with this activity. Take a look at: http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/outdoor-activities/hiking-tips.aspx
- Another idea… just get out and walk. Read more at: http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/outdoor-activities/take-another-look-hike.aspx
- The world’s summer Olympics is scheduled for August in Rio. Try hosting your own Olympics right in your own backyard. Remember, expensive sports equipment isn’t required for an activity to be fun and physically active. Jump ropes, hula-hoops, balls and as described in one example, even rocks can be used to create a challenging “Olympic” activity! Here’s some more creative ideas to ponder: http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/outdoor-activities/summer-obstacle-course.aspx
- Who doesn’t love to go bowling? This idea is simple and inexpensive. Your kids can make their own pins and use any ol’ ball they have laying around the house. Try it! http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/crafts/bowling-pins.aspx
For those families that have children interested in technology, try teaming that indoor interest with outdoor activity ideas. From 6 to 16 (and older!), your kids will find these activities to be both challenging and fun. You might even want to get involved!
- Geocashing. Learn more about this activity at: http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/outdoor-activities/geocaching.aspx and https://www.geocaching.com/play . Stash the items being hunted in places that require some active movement to reach. Climbing, running, jumping and stretching are all physically active movements that can help your kids stay in shape over the summer.
- Camera scavenger hunt. An old flip phone, smartphone or digital camera can be used in this activity. Although the description is written as a party idea it can be scaled it down significantly to create a fun family activity. Let the kids choose the items to hunt or the types of photos to shoot. Hint: Encourage “physically active” shots of them and/or their friends participating in any kind of sport or activity – baseball, soccer, roller skating or riding a bike. This is a great summer “staycation” activity. http://www.nwf.org/kids/family-fun/outdoor-activities/camera-scavenger-hunt.aspx .
There are many, many more activities that can be found on the National Wildlife Federation’s Website. But, don’t stop there! The Internet is full of creative and inexpensive ideas that can get your children moving this summer. It just takes a few minutes to make sure your kids enjoy outdoor memories this summer like you had when you were young.