With warm weather making its way across the country, most kids are eager to get outside, play some games, and shake off the long winter they had to endure indoors. This presents a great opportunity for them to learn about the world around them. While spending time in nature can be fun, it’s not always safe. Below are a few outdoor activities to try with your kids, along with tips to keep the little ones safe.
Camping is a great family-friendly activity, and it has many benefits for young explorers. Depending on where you live, there may be wildlife for your child to observe, or you can encourage them to start a nature journal. If it’s too soon for a camping trip in a nearby park, you can easily set up an experience right in your backyard. When setting up your backyard campsite, be sure to keep safety in mind. Clear any low-hanging branches, mow the lawn to limit bugs, keep water and a shovel nearby for a campfire, and remember to put out bug spray.
Build a Bird Feeder
Another great way to get to know the outdoors is to create a nature observatory in your backyard. You can build a bird feeder outside with your child . Allow them to paint it, seal it against the weather, and hang it in their favorite tree. Once the birds start coming around, pull out your binoculars. Have your child write down descriptions for all the different types of birds they see. You can even create a bird watching journal specifically for your child to look back on when they want.
Create a Treasure Hunt
Kids love treasure hunts, so create one in the backyard for your little ones to follow. You can head to the dollar store to pick up small, inexpensive items for them to find, or simply write down clues on scraps of paper that they can follow to the grand prize! This is a great game for children of all ages, and it will keep them entertained for quite a while. Be sure to take a tour of the yard before letting the kids loose. Check the grass for pet droppings, holes in the ground that could cause a twisted ankle, and spray your children with bug spray to keep the mosquitos away!
Buy a disposable camera (or use an old camera phone), and let your child take pictures of nature around the neighborhood. Have them take pictures of the animals, trees, bugs, and anything else that piques their curiosity. Have the photos developed, and put together a scrapbook with your child so they can see how beautiful the outdoors can be. Making outdoor time fun and safe can be a big job, so make a list of the things you’d like to tackle before your kids head outside.
Extra Safety Measures
Implementing additional measures when going outdoors with your child will help everyone stay safe. If your child plans to learn how to ride a bike, provide them with a helmet, and stress the importance of wearing one. If you plan to visit a park together, give your child a whistle they can blow in the event you are separated. Keep water on hand for hydration, sunscreen to fight the sunrays. Being outdoors should be fun, but it should also be a safe experience!
This article was written by Emily Graham, the creator of MightyMoms.net. MightyMoms offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family. Emily believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wants to create a support system for moms from all walks of life one article at a time.