Summer Break: 3 Ideas to Get Your Kids Outside

fun summer activities

Summer offers a wonderful opportunity to get kids outside, spending time with family, doing fun things you normally might not have the time to do. The kids will enjoy lazy days at the beach or the pool, Barbecues in the evening, and long days running around with their friends.

Or maybe they won't.

Maybe your child is glued to the TV or the iPad playing video games all day, and you can't get them motivated to have fun outside. What now?

MORE: Summer BBQ Recipe: Easy Grilled Kabobs }

There are significant benefits to your child's overall well-being when they spend regular time outdoors. So, it's important that kids spend time outside in nature, with their friends or participating in sports, or exploring the word around them by themselves. To be able to keep themselves busy without distractions from video games is a skill, and sadly too many kids presently don't indulge in that time anymore.

3 Ideas to Encourage Your Kids Head Outdoors:

Take Your Kids Strawberry or Egg Picking


I took my 6-year-old son to a strawberry farm on our recent trip to Germany, and not only did he have a blast picking his own strawberries for the first time, he gained an appreciation for how long it takes to pick just a pound of strawberries. And after we got them home, we made a no-bake strawberry cake – instant gratification!

This particular farm also offered kid cars to drive around on, so my son didn't just pick strawberries in the fresh air, he also enjoyed driving those cars. Look for similar farms in your area that offer fun activities for kids. You might not be able to find a strawberry farm nearby, but maybe you can find a farm that offers kids the opportunity to collect eggs or similar activities.

Image via Nicole Hempeck

En Plein Air Fun


No, this isn't a French lesson for your kids, en plain air describes the act of painting outdoors. Have your children ever done that? Ask them what they are interested in painting, and decide together where you'll be going to paint outdoors.

On our Germany trip I encountered a mom with her three young children, sitting next to a popular local statue, and they had brought chairs to sit on to paint one of the historic building near it. It was such a refreshing sight to see all of them lined up, each of them engrossed in painting their own masterpiece. Grab your coloring pencils or markers, some paper, and head outdoors for a session of plein air fun! If you need supplies, first heading to the art supply store together is also a fun activity.

Image via Flickr/Toshihiki2001

Make a Bird Feeder


I recently put together a clipboard at Hometalk of 27 bird feeders, and it was amazing how many different materials people used to make one! My son made an easy bird feeder with a pine cone and peanut butter, which is a wonderful activity for smaller kids, but why not encourage your older kids to repurpose old dishes or a coffee can or dust pan to make one?

You could both decide which kind of bird feeder he or she likes the best, assemble the materials, and head outdoors to make the feeder. Then just find the perfect spot for it in your garden or your balcony!

If you're searching for more outdoor activity ideas, just think back about how you spent your summers when you were a kid. What were your favorite activities? They probably will also appeal to your children.

Your kids will not remember the hours of video games they played during the summer – they will remember the special times they spend with family and friends, hiking, making S'mores, and the road trip you took. Remind them that those are the things they will cherish, and encourage them to go outside to play and explore as much as possible.

How do you encourage outdoor play? What do you do as a family?

Image via Flickr/jfinnirwin

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Summer Break: 3 Ideas to Get Your Kids Outside

Dagmar tackles motherhood, thrifty home decorating, DIY projects, and green and frugal living on her lifestyle blog Dagmar's Home. She loves finding treasures in thrift stores and sells her handmade candles on Dagmar's Home Decor. Connect with her on Twitter (26,000 followers), Facebook, and Pinterest. ... More

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  1. Profile photo of Brittany Brittany says:

    Water balloon fights are great for the outdoors with kiddos!


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