Fresh air. Feeling the warm sun on your skin. Listening to your children laugh together. Watching them explore the outdoors. There is nothing like Summer.
The carefree days of Summer are almost here. Mornings and evenings at the pool. Cookouts with friends. Exploring in National Parks. Playground playdates and get togethers to keep kids busy and parents sane. Not to mention family vacations and popsicles before bed.
Summer is the time for memory making.
Put the to-do list away. Know that laundry multiplies overnight and will eventually be washed, dried, and put away. Set aside at least one day each week for memory making.
Get outside and explore the world around you with these 10 tips.
10 Ways to Get Outdoors this Summer
1. Keep it simple. Get your family outside and start exploring creeks, digging in the dirt, hunting for bugs. This could be as simple as walking out your backdoor.
2. Find Your Park. Take a day and explore a National Park near you. While you are there, ask about ranger-led tours.
3. Check your local newspaper to find the dates for Summer Movie Nights. Many local parks, neighborhoods, and recreation centers host movie nights during the Summer. It's a great time to get outside and spend time with family and friends, as well as meet your neighbors.
4. Make a list of local parks and playgrounds to visit during the Summer. Pack a picnic and invite your friends to join you! Don't forget your water!!
5. Host a cookout each month. Invite friends and neighbors over for a cookout. Ask everyone to bring a side to share and their favorite outdoor game to play. Win the kids over by having a water balloon fight and handing out popsicles.
6. Do you enjoy scavenger hunts? Geocaching is a fun way to get the family involved and get outside. Create a free account at Geocaching.com, grab your GPS, and get started!
7. Find local events hosted by the National Park Service. The National Park Service is celebrating 100 years this year! We were recently invited to attend a Meet and Greet with PBS Kids character Nature Cat on National Get Outdoors Day hosted by the National Park Service and Get Outdoors Colorado.
Who is Nature Cat? Nature Cat is a house cat named Fred who has a desire to explore. He loves to explore and learn all that he can about nature with his friends. When my kids have earned screentime or I just need a moment of quiet in the heat of the day, Nature Cat is one of the shows I don't mind them watching. I know that they will come away learning something about nature. The goal of Nature Cat is to pique the interest of children and encourage them to get outside.
8. Create a water park in your own backyard. It could be as simple as setting up the sprinkler and baby pool, or get creative and play water freeze tag, water volleyball, have a water balloon fight, or a water obstacle course. The possibilities are endless.
9. Plant a butterfly garden. As a family, learn about different plants that attract caterpillars and butterflies. Gather the plants and plan the garden. As the plants grow, watch as butterflies visit the garden and caterpillars start the process of becoming butterflies.
10. Make a list of National Historical Sites that you want to visit. When we moved to Colorado, one of the places we knew we wanted to visit was Mount Rushmore. The original plan was to take a long weekend, but sometimes you have to be spontaneous.
We made it a day trip.
If you've never visited National Parks like Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, Gettysburg National Military Park, Redwood National and State Parks, and so many others, make your list today. Find the parks near you and start planning your trip.
The views are breathtaking and the history is rich.
This Summer, make a point to put down the devices and get outdoors. It doesn't have to be hard. Keep it simple. Be present with your family in the moment and make memories that will last a lifetime.