5 Ways Families Can Make the Most of Their Outdoor Space This Summer
(BPT) – Do your children spend enough time outdoors? A survey commissioned by the makers of Claritin® of 5,000 US parents of children ages 5 to 13 found that 81% agreed that their children enjoyed being outdoors, but 55 % worried that their children were not spending enough time outdoors.
Getting outside isn’t just good for your kids’ mental and physical health, it’s a great way for families to bond and make memories together. When surveyed, 78% of parents said some of their favorite childhood memories were of playing outside, with 66% revealing that they wanted to re-create those memories with their children.
While more than half (55%) of parents admit their children are spending more time outdoors now than before the pandemic, 72% agree they would spend more time outdoors if their personal outdoor space was more exciting.
You do not know where to start ? The Outsideologist Project, from the makers of Claritin®, has plenty of ideas for encouraging kids to spend more time playing outside, whether it’s in your own backyard, at a local park, or anywhere in between. . Below are five tips for making your outdoor space more exciting and engaging with fun activities the whole family will enjoy.
What are your fondest sports memories – catching, kicking a soccer ball or shooting hoops with your parents? Many children develop a passion for sports from their parents. You can nurture their interests by playing different sports with them regularly.
Although you may not have enough people to play as a team, you can teach your kids the basics and help them improve their skills. Turn your lawn, garden or even the park into a mini training camp. For example, if your kids are interested in soccer, you can designate sections of the yard or field for different skills, like dribbling around the cones, scoring a goal, and passing the ball.
There are plenty of backyard games your kids can enjoy this summer and beyond. Time-tested classics like tag, water balloon fights, and hide-and-seek are always a hit, but you can also try some fun creative games.
If your kids love pretend play, you can brighten their day by creating a scavenger hunt for your little pirates to go exploring. Hide some small gifts in your garden, draw a map with clues or challenges and launch your children on a great adventure.
You can also create an obstacle course in your backyard with cones, pool noodles, hula hoops, or any other materials you may have. Bend pool noodles or cardboard boxes to create tunnels or hedges, and place hoops, or use chalk to create hopscotch obstacles. If you have slides, incorporate them into the course for more difficult obstacles.
It’s never too early to get kids involved in gardening. If you are an experienced gardener or a hobbyist, you already have a wealth of knowledge to pass on to your children. Teach them which plants grow best in which seasons, show them the different parts of a plant or flower, and explain how they grow and thrive.
If you grow your own fruits and vegetables, you can teach your children how to plant and maintain these crops. In flowers or in herbs? Teach your children to identify them and explain their different uses.
Don’t have a green thumb? Depending on your kids’ ages, research and take an interactive science lesson on photosynthesis, the life cycle of plants, or how the outdoors engages the five senses.
Arts and crafts are not just indoor activities. You can ask your child to search for natural materials in your garden to incorporate into their art projects. For example, they can paint a rock, make an owl sculpture out of a pine cone, or squeeze flowers to decorate bookmarks or journals. Even better, creating art outside means there’s no mess inside your home and makes cleanup a breeze.
No list of outdoor recreation would be complete without camping.
You don’t have to plan a long weekend at a state park to enjoy camping. Just pitch a tent in your backyard, get the sleeping bags out, and make sure you have insect repellent and sunscreen.
If you don’t have a tent, grab some blankets and get creative! You can make an outdoor fort or just relax and stargaze.
“Getting outside is essential to the overall well-being of children,” said Catherine Vennat, spokesperson for Claritin. “That’s why The Outsideologist Project is dedicated to providing parents/guardians with fun and engaging activities for their own little adventurers.”
For more ideas and inspiration for making the most of your outdoor space, including a fun program of expert-guided activities to do with your kids this summer, follow @outsideologistproject on Instagram and Facebook. To learn more about the project, visit Claritin.com/TheOutsideologist-Project.