Oh, sweet, summertime. Summer is here, and we are ready to get outside! As every state is typically warm, it’s time to enjoy this summer as we officially rise from our winter dazes. Now that getting fresh air is top of mind, here are activities for kids, pre-teens, and teens for the whole family to enjoy!
Outdoor activities for kids 5 and under.
Studies have shown that kids who spend time outdoors are generally happier and more relaxed. Time outdoors can even improve short-term memory, concentration, and cognitive skills as well!
- Take time to schedule a COVID-safe outdoor playdate with your child’s friend. After being cooped up for a year, you are sure to win some brownie points with this one!
- Plan a fun picnic with your child’s favorite snacks in tow.
- Exploring a local nature reserve is a great way to introduce them to all the exciting plants and wildlife in your area, after enjoying that picnic of course!
Running, throwing, or kicking a ball are age-appropriate movements for children under 5 and important for toddler development. Introduce your child to sports through your community’s parks and recreation programs to create a familiarity with the games and associated movements.
Summertime fun for pre-teens.
It may be difficult to get your 9–12-year-old outside but making sure they do is important to strengthen their mental health, become more engaged in learning, exhibit more positive behavior, and of course, reap physical benefits as well.
- Organize a scavenger hunt for your pre-teen! This is a sure-fire way to get them engaged and moving, especially if there are enticing prizes along the way.
- Set up camp in your backyard and encourage your pre-teen to make space their own. This will support a sense of ownership over the activity and get them to stay outside longer!
- Make art from nature. Encourage your pre-teen to scavenge for the prettiest leaves and pieces of bark they can find. Add these unique elements to a mural once you return home.
As a 9–12-year-old, most children have a mature vision and the ability to understand and recall sports strategies. They are typically ready to take on complex skill sports, such as football, basketball, and volleyball. Check out your local parks and recreation program’s options for an organized sport this summer!
Totally cool summertime activities for teens.
Your 13–17-year-old needs to get outside too! A perfect age to instill the habit of exercising, an appreciation of summertime nature, and comfort in taking risks, teens should be getting outside (and enjoying their last few years as a kid) as much as possible.
- Plan a longer-than-usual bike ride for you and your teen or research whether there are any mountain biking paths in your neighborhood. This is a great way to help them explore their surroundings and take risks (under your supervision).
- Bring back the past and see if there are any drive-in movie theaters in your area! An evening under the stars with your teen’s favorite movie is a great way to encourage an appreciation for the outdoors.
- Watch the sunrise and sunset from a new vantage point.
By this age, your teen probably has their go-to sports. If not, your community’s parks and recreation program is sure to have some beginner-level sports programs available. Check their website for details! Outdoor activities are a great way to remain COVID safe as our country slowly lifts restrictions and our suggestions can of course be adjusted based on your health concerns and comfort level socializing. Don’t forget to check out your local parks and recreation program for organized and often free or inexpensive activities in your community.
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