It sounds easy: go outside and do something fun. Well, sometimes you get there, and things don’t go as planned, or your kids get bored and ask to go home. The good news is that if you plan ahead and have a few different activities in mind ahead of time, you can have tons of fun and grow closer as a family while enjoying being outside. Here’s a great list of activities for warm to moderate weather days.
Whether you want to stay in your backyard or head out to an actual campground, planning a campout is an excellent way to get your kids outside and enjoy doing so.
After you’ve scouted for the perfect place to pitch a tent and settle in, the fun can begin. Cook dinner over a campfire, and once the sun goes down, bring out the good stuff—flashlights and glowsticks.
You and your kids will have fun playing tag and hide-and-seek in the dark or going on a nighttime scavenger hunt.
You can also plan ahead and select a few constellations that you can work together to find in the night sky. Read more about camping activities here and a list of things you’ll need for camping.
Play games in the pool
Let’s face it — swimming is fun, but simply going out and swimming, even as a family, will not always result in bonding together over a shared activity.
Everyone usually goes their own way and does their own thing. Instead of an all-day, open-ended swim, dedicate at least some time for playing actual games in the pool.
Challenge your kids to see who can grab the most dive sticks, group up to play some aqua golf, or play monkey in the middle with a splash ball or two.
Create a scavenger hunt for a hike
Before you go on a hike with your kids, research common local plants and wildlife and read about what you may encounter while you’re out and about.
Along with your kids’ help, make a list of what you can look out for (and you can even create a document on your computer with photos and descriptions if you’re feeling fancy).
As you travel a woody path or a beachy trail, mark off what you turn up that’s on your list. You can choose to look together as a team, or have everyone keep track of their own awesome finds and compete to find the most.
For preschoolers and young elementary school kids, an ABC scavenger hunt book is a great activity.
Plant a garden
Depending on the time of the year, you can get a garden started. If it’s summer, you can sow seeds directly into a garden plot outdoors, but if it’s too early to avoid a damaging frost or freeze, you can start plants indoors.
You can purchase seed-starting kits that make growing seedlings a breeze, especially if you use something you can transfer directly into the ground, such as peat pellets and peat pots.
Once your area is past the danger of frost, work with your kids to plan out how you’ll space your seedlings apart and what you need to take into consideration, such as the amount of shade your plants will get and how much watering they will need.
This is a season-long activity that gives your kids ownership of a project that results in beautiful flowers or delicious food they helped you grow themselves.