My boy, Jarrah, loves playing computer games. Sometimes, I have to remind him to get outside and play! We are in the middle of summer school holidays so there is a lot of free time. When I was younger, I loved school holidays. The adventures I’d have during those carefree days were very memorable. Technology wasn’t like what it is these days when I was younger – we had to make our own games and adventures.
However, kids still like to get outdoors and let their imagination run wild regardless of technological distractions. Here are some fun activities to encourage your kids to get outdoors:
My kids are fortunate that we live in a small country town with great weather and heaps of natural space. Our back garden is one of their favourite places to play chasey. There are paths that meander through the trees, shrubs and plenty of room. They love chasing each other outside and I love that they are burning off all that energy!
Going on a Quest
Going on a quest is another game that they like to play. I guess you could call it a nature quest. We will write a list of things to find. These discoveries can be as simple or as challenging as you make it. One of our favourites is finding a heart shaped rock. Other ideas could be finding different shaped leaves, particular colours of flowers, types of sticks…the list is endless. I do like to specify a number so the kids don’t come back with 100 red flowers from someone’s prized plant. I also remind the kids about respect when they are playing this game (e.g. no damaging plants/gardens or taking from a garden when you don’t have permission to). When they come back, we will create a table centrepiece with their nature discoveries.
Letting the kids have their own planter boxes can be fun and is a great introduction to gardening. Akasha has wanted her own garden for a while. One weekend we created her own planter box. She chose what plants she would like. We used kale and strawberry plants that we bought together from the shops. The speckled lettuce seedlings she had brought home from school and the tomato plant was grown from seed. Although, I didn’t label it, so I thought we were planting a yellow pear tomato but it was a Pink Thai Egg, which Akasha didn’t end up liking the taste of! It was a special moment when we did this project together as we got to spend one on one time together, which can be rare in a busy house with three other kids. She also learnt about why we did things the way we did (e.g. mulching).
Exploring the Local Area
We have state forest close by and there are some magical walks here. This is one of our favourite ways as a family to get outdoors together. We also love to spend time at our local waterhole.
Not everyone will have awesome bush walks or lush waterholes near them, but with a bit of research and a good old Sunday drive, there is usually a bush/creek/ocean adventure to be had. If you live in a city, why not check out botanical gardens or parks that may be about? Growing up in Melbourne, catching a tram into the city and visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens was an awesome way to spend a day.
Another idea to get your kids outdoors is becoming involved in geocaching. A friend told us about this one and how their family absolutely loves it. It’s not something that we have tried as a family yet, but I have checked out the website and it looks like an interesting way to have an outdoor adventure.
Now over to you: What are some of your ideas to get the kids outdoors? We would love to hear them. Please let us know in the comments below.
Still interested in further ideas to get your kids outdoors? Why not check out 18 Ways To Get Kids To Go Outside.