If your kids get bored over the summer, or if they’re spending too much time on computers or watching TV, get them moving with these fun activities. Make the outdoors interesting and help your children to connect with nature and exercise while having fun with friends and family members.
Urban Wildlife Appreciation
Fill a bird feeder with some seed and leave a shallow basin of water in your backyard. You can download bird-watching apps and bird calls onto your smartphone or tablet. Record the birds you see and enter them on the citizen scientist or nest watch program so that your bird sightings can be recorded on national surveys.
This is a wonderful international game where participants create “geocaches” which are small treasure chests that contain a log book so you can record your names. Some geocaches contain items that you can swop like flashlights, stationary, compasses etc. Here you can take an item and must leave an item. Some geocaches are scavenger hunts and you need to solve the riddle to find the next cache. You can even get math geocache scavenger hunts if you want an educational experience. To find the GPS coordinates of geocaches in your area, visit the website here.
Everyone loves camping, but you don’t have to leave town to enjoy the great outdoors. You can hike and picnic in your local park, or set up a campsite in your backyard. You can sleep outside in your tent, grill marshmallows on the barbeque and tell campfire stories.
This is a great activity to organize with a group of local parents. Hide clues at each family’s home and get your students to walk or bike from home to home to find the next clue. This works really well in a park too.
Gardening is a great way for kids to connect with nature, understand the food cycle and get active. You can make gardening fun by getting kids to plan their own vegetable gardens. You can have themes like ‘pizza garden’ where students can grow ingredients that go on pizzas like tomatoes, oregano, onions and spinach. Get them to plant and water their gardens, then harvest them for dinner.
For kids who love flowers, get them to plan and plant their own gardens, spell their names out in flowers or get them to grow beds that are color-coordinated or rainbow-striped. This can be a rewarding way to get them to eat healthier foods that are organic and local.
Charity Starts at Home
Sign up the family for a charity walk or run. When students know that they are working for a good cause, they will be more motivated to help. Make training sessions a fun family affair and help your kids to raise funds for the charity of their choice.
This summer, getting your family moving will help to make it a healthier, happier break from your winter routine.
pic by Lotus Carroll