As summer approaches, it’s important to begin getting your entire family outdoors and active. Not only does exercise boost your family’s health, but it also offers a great opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime.
Here are a few fun ideas for how to get your whole family active this season.
Host a family competition
Consider hosting a small series of games amongst your kids or extended family, or pit kids vs. adults. There are lots of cheap but fun garden games like badminton, boules, limbo, or ring toss that the whole family can enjoy. Then, fashion some medals out of string and cardboard and hold a winner’s ceremony before dinner. This will make the day fly by with some fun competition and activity.
Organise a charity run
A fun run is a great opportunity to bring the community together and get outside. What better way to spend the day with your family than exercising, raising money for an important cause, and teaching your children the importance of giving back? Don’t get scared away by this one, however; it sounds like a lot more work than it actually is. All you need is a park reservation, some friends and a warm day! You can use an online tool to easily collect donations and share the event on social media to drum up even more support.
Picking your own berries is a great (and tasty) way to enjoy the warm weather, put in some outdoor work and support local farmers. Find the closest farm that offers u-pick options and head out for a day of family-friendly fun. Whether you prefer strawberries or blueberries, or even vegetables, you should be able to find an option that makes everyone happy. Then, bring the fruits of your labour home and make a fresh pie to enjoy once the sun goes down.
Have a scavenger hunt
Another creative way to get everyone interested in the outdoors is to host a scavenger hunt in a local park or nature preserve. Print out a list of items for your kids to find in the park like brown tree bark, three different leaves, or a y-shaped stick, and then set them loose! They’ll love running around to complete their list first. Just be sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they’re not picking up dangerous items or bugs.
Despite all the fun choices, however, sometimes it can still be difficult to encourage kids to get up and get outside. If you experience pushback from your family, try some of these tips to incorporate activity into everyone’s routine:
- Limit screen time. Experts say that people should spend less than two hours a day in front of screens. Yet most people, especially children, are logging double that time. Try putting a time limit on devices like phones, computers and TVs to force your kids (and yourself) to get up and get active. It should also improve everyone’s sleep quality, boosting energy for tomorrow’s fun.
- Create a routine. Our bodies and minds crave routine. If you encourage your family to play together before dinner for an entire week, your bodies will begin to recognize a pattern and crave exercise in the early evening. This should make play feel like less of a chore for your children and lead to more regular activity.
- Join in on the fun. Children always want to spend time with their parents, so they’re much more likely to want to play if you’re there. Your presence will bolster their interest and provide a great opportunity for you to bond.
No matter which activity you choose, be sure to get your family active and outdoors in order to soak up the season. Try out these suggestions and let me know which ones you and your family enjoy the most!