Outdoor Activities Appropriate for Young Families
When the weather outside is welcoming you just have to get outside! From everything I have seen, kids are so much happier and entertained when they get outdoors. Whether it is the Vitamin D, the fresh air, or just the fun to be had, kids never seem to get enough. Get your family a trusty outdoor blanket, and these activities here are friendly for families both young and old!
Picnics and Barbecues
Nothing says good weather quite like a picnic or a barbecue. I really love this because the sky is the limit here. Picnics are an awesome daytime activity. Even if you aren't starting at a park or somewhere worthy of a picnic, I'm sure you can find a park or grassy field on your path home. They add time to your outings (keeping you out of the house longer) and my real favorite is that lunch is done by the time you get home. BONUS! Barbecues are my favorite! Yes, they do take a little bit of preparation, but the reward is always a fun night with family and friends. Whether you do them in a backyard or head up into the mountains for a few hours. I haven't met a kid that doesn't love being in the outdoors and eating good food, its a no-brainer for me!
Chalk, Bubbles, and PopsiclesThis is our favorite after-nap afternoon activity! It keeps me from just turning the TV on to get us through those last few hours until dad comes home and it is dinner time. I am always amazed at just how long my two-year-old is entertained by me blowing bubbles and drawing with chalk. Of course, the perfect companion to these activities in warm weather is sitting down with a good popsicle!
Trail Walk and RideIt has been my goal this year to find a few trails that we can go take the little bike and scooter gang to. There are some great ones in my area that aren't too much like a hike and are also fenced in to keep the wandering toddler from the road. Mom and Dad get a bit of physical activity in while the little one burns some energy and curiosity on the trail. I am also due to have a baby in August and know that this will be a great option for us as I need time to slow down and recover. A bundled baby in a stroller and a happy riding toddler sounds like a great family outing to me!
Backyard Water Fun
Get yourself a cheapo plastic kiddie pool, a couple water toys, and a hose. You are completely set for hours of fun! My girl will put her suit on and go outside right after breakfast, and stay out as long as I let her. There is just something about the freedom they feel getting to play freely in the backyard. For some reason, adding water and a blanket as a fun place to "lay out" makes the backyard seem like a water park in kid's eyes.
Outdoor MoviesIn our area, there are multiple places that do a weekly outdoor movie through the summer. I have also seen outdoor inflatable screens for rent or purchase for the backyard partiers. Or, if you have a big flat wall and a white sheet, then you can do it like we did when I was a kid! We have also had movie parties in my sister-in-law's unfinished basement when it was too hot or it wasn't dark enough outside. The kids are always completely psyched about making their movie beds and munching down their movie treats!
Sports EventsWarmer weather brings the outdoor sports, and we are big fans! Whether it is my husband's work's softball team, or our cousins' and friends' little league games, we love going. They get us out of the house in the evenings when it is so easy to turn to screen time. Sometimes, the kids actually watch, and other times, they just run around like freed animals while us parents take a load off on the grass. Both are a great outcome if you ask me!
Sometimes the pool and the splash pads get a little too crowded, or just begin to feel old after a handful of visits. So when you need a break from those usuals, find yourself a lake! Even if you don't have a boat or other big lake toys, you can make a lot of fun with one shovel and a little sand bucket. Take your blanket, a big umbrella, sun hats, and find yourself a nice sandy place on the shore of a lake!
This may be a familial preference, but we went to a carnival last summer with our 18-month-old and she was in heaven! We didn't even break the bank to buy hundreds of tickets. We just got enough to put her on a handful of kiddie rides, and then spent time playing on the grass on a blanket eating yummy carnival food! We intended to stay for about an hour, and ended up staying past little lady's bedtime.