9 Activities to Get Your Kids to Love the Outdoors

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The pandemic altered life in many ways, forcing more families behind closed doors. If your kids got accustomed to too much screen time, you need to break them out of that rut for the sake of their health. What fun activities inspire a love of the outdoors in your little one? 

Fortunately, most kids naturally take to outdoor play. All you have to do is supply the requisite spark by getting them out there and engaged. 

You also reap considerable benefits from spending more time outside with your little ones, improving your physical and mental health. Here are nine activities to get your kids to love the outdoors. 

1. Go Camping

Has inflation’s crunch affected your household budget, making it harder to afford a family vacation this year? Maybe you can’t afford a hotel, but you can dust off the trusty tent now that the weather is improving. You might even help another family — or create a fun adult-child mutual playgroup that gets everyone moving outdoors. 

How? Set up a camping trip, letting your child invite a friend or two. It’s even better if their parents can attend, doubling adult supervision and providing you with a needed social outlet. Your kids will complain less about leaving the tablet behind when they have a buddy with whom to climb trees and play Dora the Explorer.

What if your money is so tight you can’t even afford the KOA fee? Have you considered camping in your backyard or boondocking? BLM lands allow you to camp for free for up to 14 days within a 28-day span.

2. Take a Hike 

What if you can’t get away overnight? Spend a sunny hour or two hiking with your little one. Even babies can enjoy this activity with the right carrier.

Where should you go? Your nearest nature preserve is an excellent choice for daily hikes. If you have more time, consider visiting one of these state parks, where you can learn more about the local flora and fauna near you:

  • Roxborough State Park: This Littleton, CO, state park has six trails of varying difficulty.
  • Burton Island State Park: This park in St. Albans, NY, offers paddleboarding along with hiking trails. 
  • Cloudland Canyon State Park: Located in Rising Fawn, GA, it also offers horseback riding and disk golf. 
  • Red Rock State Park: This Sedona, AZ state park offers sweeping views of some famous red rock formations like Cathedral and an accessible, paved nature trail.

3. Plant a Garden

If you and your family missed the pandemic craze that caused nationwide seed shortages, you can still get in on the gardening fun this season. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a dime if you start soon. It’s easy to save the seeds from produce like peppers and reap a fresh harvest from what you buy at the grocery. Such species also thrive in containers, letting you get your kids to love the outdoors, even if you only have a balcony. 

4. Make a Splash 

Do your kids know how to swim? Getting them lessons could help prevent unintentional drowning deaths, which claim too many lives, especially in warm states like Florida and Arizona. Select an outdoor venue.

Kids of all ages can learn to swim. Many locations even have infant swim classes, although you should still supervise your littles around water. 

5. Use an ID App 

If your kids won’t get off their phones, send them outside with them and a fun assignment. Plant, bird and insect identification apps like Picture This help your kids learn more about the flora and fauna near them. 

Make it fun by creating a scavenger hunt. Little kids can look for a red flower, while older children identify members of the Asteraceae family. 

6. Picnic at the Park 

Hey, Boo Boo, you probably don’t worry too much about Yogi Bear stealing your pic-a-nic basket. How about lunch alfresco? Your kids will love it if you take them for a picnic at the park, especially if you invite friends. 

Help your kids make healthier choices by giving them a say in what snacks you bring. Ask them why trail mix is a good option and use it as a teachable moment on selecting foods that look like, well, actual food, not unrecognizable, ultra-processed mysteries.

7. Adopt a Pup 

Do you want your kids to grow up with a love of the outdoors and fewer allergies? Head to the pound to adopt a puppy. Research shows that kids introduced to animals at young ages reduce their risk of food allergies by 13% to 16%. Plus, Fido needs to go out regularly, getting your little one fresh air more often.

8. Sign Up for Sports 

The secret to getting your kids moving and loving the outdoors may lie at school or the playground. If your child shows an interest in sports, let them play. 

However, school-based teams can sometimes emphasize competition so much it ruins the fun. In such cases, look to your local parks and recreation department for casual leagues that put participation ahead of the championships. 

9. Life’s a Beach 

Could you use a seaside escape? Chances are, your kids could, too. Head to your local Dollar Store for a new pail and let your little ones spend the afternoon building sand castles. 

A beach escape is perfect for stressful times. Studies show that being near a body of water eases mental health symptoms like anxiety and depression. 

Get Your Kids to Love the Outdoors 

It’s time to return to fresh air and sunshine. How can you inspire a love of the outdoors in kids raised on tablets for years amid the pandemic?

The above activities help you foster a love for the outdoors in your kids. Make plans for your next day off and celebrate the return to warm weather.

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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Brianna Jj
Brianna Jj
9 months ago

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jimmyharley
jimmyharley
5 months ago

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