Summer is officially almost here! Kids are done with school and the weather is enticing people to get outside. This is a great time to enjoy the outdoors and discover activities to do in your own backyard.
Many states have relaxed stay-at-home orders which gives residents more freedom to travel while maintaining social distancing guidelines. This gives your family ample opportunities to explore the outdoors and have some summer fun. If your kids (or you) are itching to head outside, check out these eight social-distance-friendly summer activities to stimulate the mind and body.
- Go camping in your backyard: Camping in state or national parks isn’t available in all states right now. Even if it is an option for you, the demand is high, so it might be difficult to land a spot. Thankfully, you don’t have to go far to enjoy a camping adventure. Host a family “staycation” and enjoy camping in your own backyard! Help your kids pitch the tent, leave your phones and tablets inside, and roast marshmallows over a backyard fire pit or camping stove.
- Hit the hiking trail: Hiking is allowed in most areas—especially on trails nearby. Pack snacks, water, and sunscreen, and take your family on a hike. Enjoy the scenery and the feeling of getting lost for a little while.
- Go geocaching as a family: Geocaching is like a real-life treasure hunt your whole family can participate in. And you can do it without interacting with anyone else. All you need is a GPS system and the coordinates of a cache before hitting the town in search of treasure. Because geocaching is like a game, it’s perfect for kids. Encourage them to bring a small trinket or toy to leave in the cache for others to find later.
- Get a little messy with crafts: Kids love craft time. There are tons of educational and creative activities you can find online. However, some of them can create a mess you might not want in your house. When the weather is nice, set up a station outside and let your kids get a little messy! Now is the time for slime, sidewalk paint, or bubbles with easy cleanup.
- Take the pup to a dog park: Our furry friends need to get out, too! If your local dog park is open, bring the family and pups out to play. Being there also gives you the opportunity to chat with other dog owners and get to know community members while social distancing.
- Do a little birdwatching: Nature has lots to offer, including peace and quiet. Birdwatching can be a relaxing and fun hobby for people young and old. Purchase a simple birdwatching guide and binoculars, and head to your local park to help your kids identify the birds twittering in the trees. Make birdwatching into a game to get the little ones involved. Challenge them to identify as many birds as they can in a day, or make a list of common local birds and give them a stamp for each one they see.
- Hold a backyard sports tournament: Many recreational and school sports activities have been canceled, and your kids might have lost their energetic outlets in the process. This doesn’t mean they can’t play, though! Get together to host a family sports tournament in your backyard. Switch between your kids’ favorite games, like basketball, soccer, flag football, or even ping pong. Don’t forget to reward the winners with a small prize for their sportsmanship!
- Take weekly field trips: It’s likely your local community has a ton of hidden gems, so take advantage of them by going on local field trips. Pick a day every week that works for your family, and head to a nearby museum, monument, park, or another interesting place. While there, teach your children something new about the place you’re visiting and why it’s important. Get kids involved by asking what they’re interested in and create a field trip destination list as a family.
Getting outside and exploring your local community this summer can keep kids occupied, help you get exercise, and stimulate your minds—all while social distancing. Make time for family outdoor activities. You can fight off boredom and help your children enjoy their summer in new ways!