It’s not easy to keep your family up and out and moving. A few years ago, I determined that we needed much more fresh air time and began setting goals toward that end. We were seriously lacking in what author Richard Louv calls “Vitamin N”. The temptations to hunker down and zone out are all around us. In winter it’s too cold, in summer it’s too hot, we all just want to binge on our favorite shows and games. The list of excuses goes on.
Usually with your little ones, once they get out and find something to occupy them, they are good. Young kids are great that way in that they get so absorbed in observing, learning, and playing that they don’t need much nudging to enjoy themselves. Kids verging on the preteen years and older tend to be the ones to let you know when they would rather be doing almost anything else. I’d like to share a few strategies that I’m employing to keep things fresh for time spent out in nature.
Get Ideas from Others
There is no shame in getting ideas from an outside source. I have Pinterest boards full of other bloggers sharing their advice and experiences. I also have a book from Usborne called Never Get Bored Outdoors that is chock full of fun activities that even older kids could get into. You don’t have to be the font of all things entertaining for your family.
Try New Things
We are also mixing it up a bit with our outdoor and trail time this summer. The last two years we did a lot of biking. This year we have taken a break from biking. I have gotten back into running this year. You can see my playlist for my runs here. My daughters are running with me on a Couch to 5K program. I am enjoying the exercise and they are getting conditioned for the upcoming soccer season.
We are going to try birding this summer. Our library has a backpack available to borrow that has everything you need to try out this hobby. There are two pairs of excellent binoculars, guidebooks, trail maps, and a notebook for recording what you see. Each family can keep one of these notebooks. It is good to try many outdoor hobbies because you never know what could be the beginning of a lifelong passion for one of your family members or all of you together.
I hope these few ideas are helpful to some of you who are looking to shake up the routine. Finding new ways for our family to enjoy our time together and get out in nature has been one of the most enriching experiences in my life and I am thankful for the privilege to share it with all of you.