Summer is here and with it often comes the boredom children experience. While summer camps may keep your child busy for a while, there are the inevitable complaints that there is nothing to do. If your students are spending too much time indoors watching TV, playing video games or on the computer, there are some great ways to get them outside. Outside activities encourage healthy exercise and socializing with friends.
You don’t need to head out to the woods to experience the great outdoors! Get your child to set up a campsite in your backyard. They can have some friends over and learn outdoor essentials like putting up a tent and tying knots. Get some great books for them to read, tell stories, star-gaze and play games outside. If you have a fire pit, make a fire, roast some marshmallows and tell ghost stories. Backyard camping is a fun activity for the children as well as the whole family.
Set up a bird feeder and bird bath in your backyard. Arm your child with a field guide to birds, a set of binoculars, and a mission to find as many local birds as possible. Join a citizen scientist or nest watch program so that your students can record bird sightings and contribute to national record keeping and conservation projects.
You can also create a woodworking project where you build a bird house and then decorate it and hang it in your garden. Get plans for a simple bird house here.
One of the best ways to get students outside is through photography. Get your student a good camera or let them construct their own pinhole cameras and give them a photo assignment. This can be a scavenger hunt where you set a list of items that they have to find and photograph or you can ask them to take pictures of nature, the beach, birds, clouds etc. Once complete, your student can compile their pictures into a slide show, a book or a video that they can show to family and friends.
Rekindle the simple joy of exploring. Especially exploring your own local area! You can explore your city by getting your kids to pick a neighborhood or subway stop they haven’t been to. Each student than explores what activities you can do in that neighborhood like nature trails, interesting museums, picturesque bike rides, fun shops, new restaurants and unique activities. They plan a family outing for a day. Getting student involved in the planning will create a fun activity on the art of organization and you will get to explore your town, city or neighborhood. You will discover new things, meet new people and your students will learn valuable lessons on how to navigate in a strange neighborhood and how to organize events.
Getting your children outside this summer is a great way to get them moving, socializing and discovering new things. Get them to make their own suggestions and plan their own activities so that they will be more enthusiastic and participate more. Whatever you do this summer, make it fun and use the outdoors so you can create great family memories.