The long, dark, and cold days of winter are finally behind us, and we’re looking forward to all the natural beauty that spring has to offer. If you have kids, chances are that they’re itching to get outside after being cooped up for much of the winter season. To help parents guide their children towards healthy and active lifestyles, here are some ideas for getting outdoors this spring.
Go for a Hike
Hiking is something that almost anyone can do – even kids! It doesn’t require a lot of equipment or for you to travel far away from home. Look for forest preserves, wildlife reserves, or state parks in your area that have easy trails that are kid-friendly. Better yet, sign up for a ranger-led hike at a local park so that a nature expert can lead the way and teach your kids about the land, plants, and animals along the way.
Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Kids love a good scavenger hunt, and this is a great way to get kids outdoors and entertained for hours. You can leave little clues around your yard for kids to find and lead them to the next clue that will eventually result in a fun surprise. Meanwhile, photo treasure hunts let kids use a camera to capture their clues as an alternative to little slips of paper while exploring the outdoors.
Create an Obstacle Course
If your kids enjoy watching shows like Ninja Warrior, they might like trying a miniature version of this kind of obstacle course to challenge their motor skills and agility. Garden planters and buckets can be obstacles for them to run around, while a simple balance beam can be created out of scrap pieces of wood. To keep things really simple, you can create an obstacle course for little kids in a driveway just using sidewalk chalk to draw shapes to navigate around!
Head to a Disc Golf Course
Disc golf is a fun activity that involves throwing a frisbee towards a target and doing a good amount of walking (or running!) between the baskets. Check local parks for disc golf courses because they’re often free to use and fun for the whole family.
Jump in Some Puddles
Why stay inside on a spring day just because it’s raining? Grab some raincoats and rainboots and head outside to jump in some puddles and see who can make the biggest splash.
Host a Picnic in the Park or Yard
On a nice spring day, there’s no reason to keep all your meals confined to the indoors. Create a picnic lunch for your kids and lay a blanket down in the yard or at a local park. Picnics are great opportunities to serve healthy foods and talk about nutrition in a fun environment with your kids.
Do Yoga Outside
With all of the great yoga smartphone apps available today, there’s no need to head to an indoor class (on a nice spring day. Lay some yoga mats out on your patio or deck and lead your kids in a series of sun salutations to get everyone moving to start the day in the morning or to take a mid-day break for some exercise.
Plant Trees or a Garden
Spring is a season of growth and blooms, which is why it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce your kids to gardening. Plant a few vegetables or herbs outside so that you can watch them grow and hopefully enjoy something delicious later. Alternatively, plant a new tree or two in your yard to help offset your family’s carbon footprint and maybe provide some future shade for the upcoming summer days.