Get Outside!: Great Summer Activities for Kids and Adults
Get Outside!: Great Summer Activities for Kids and Adults
PUBLISHED: Wednesday, June 20, 2018 by Andilynn Feddeler

Most kids love spending time outdoors, whether they’re swimming, playing games with friends, or just hanging out. The summer is a great time to encourage kids to soak up some sun, because the physical and mental benefits of getting outside have been proven time and time again. Sometimes, staying inside to watch three seasons of a TV show in one day sounds more appealing than getting hot and sweaty outside. But even just an hour a day of natural sunlight and fresh air can do wonders for people of all ages and abilities. For example, spending time outdoors can relieve stress, improve immunity, and even improve vision!

Despite knowing the benefits of getting outside, it can sometimes be hard to think of what to do. For kids and families who get bored easily or need structured play time, this list may have some helpful ideas:

  • Take a hike. Explore the nature trails, public parks, and swimming holes in the surrounding area, or even across town. For a more heavy-duty adventure, consider taking a road trip to the nearest national park or campsite to go hiking and camping. Hiking can be adapted into a fun family trip or a more independent activity for older kids. Spending time in nature can provide some great firsthand experience for those interested in wildlife and survival.

  • Have a picnic. Set up a blanket and pack a basket full of nutritious foods to share! This relaxing activity is a favorite for a reason; there are many benefits to picnicking, including family bonding and stress relief. It can also be a great way to foster healthy eating patterns in kids and adults alike.

  • Watch the stars. Stargazing can provoke contemplation and deep thought, which exercise the mind. And it’s free! There are many resources available with DIY projects or activities to get the kids thinking about the world around them and the possibilities that lie within and beyond it.

  • Geocache! Although geocaching has lost some popularity since its initial introduction, it’s still a great way to explore the outdoors and bond with friends or family (it’s also fun as a solo adventure!). Check out https://www.geocaching.com/play to find treasure hunts near you, or create your own geocache.

  • Make some art. Bring the arts and crafts outside! A change of setting can provoke new ideas for projects and bring the mess away from the clean walls inside. There are some fascinating ideas out there for how to get creative with sidewalk chalk, paint, bubbles, and more!

  • Start a fire. Bonfires and cookouts are great bonding activities for families and friends. Kids love getting creative with recipes or just sticking to the traditional burgers and s’mores! Cooking can encourage confidence and communication and is an important life skill to start developing at a young age.

There are endless outdoor activities that can be beneficial to kids’ mental and physical health—these are only a fraction of the possibilities. So get outside, explore, and reap the rewards!