Summer is here! If you’re anything like me, that phrase comes with mixed emotions. Yes, our kids are out of school, but they’re also getting bored. We all know that keeping our kids active is great for curing boredom AND creating a healthy lifestyle. If you need some new ways to keep your kids (and yourself) entertained and healthy this summer, check out these 5 family-friendly outdoor activities.
1. Disc Golf
If you’ve never played disc golf, you’re missing out. The sport is popular around the country, with courses in most American cities. It’s just like it sounds: you take a plastic disc (a specialized Frisbee) and then attempt to reach the basket in the fewest throws possible.
While there are specific discs available for high-level players, anyone can play disc golf. All you need is a plastic disc (you can order special discs for varying parts of the course or use something simple you have at home!)
The best part? Almost all disc golf courses are completely free and are open to everyone. Plus, many courses are in beautiful parks where your family can enjoy the sunshine and fresh air while learning a new sport together. A simple Google search for “disc golf courses near me” will pull up areas to get started.
2. Bike Riding
There’s something liberating about being on a bike: the wind in your hair, the fresh air in your lungs, and the callback to a time when your only worry was being home by dark.
There’s no better activity than going for a bike ride with the family on a beautiful summer day. It’s easy to take kids of all ages, too. Children too small for their own bikes can ride along in a bike trailer. Slightly older kids can start learning about balance and pedaling with a bike attachment, which acts as a third wheel to your bike. Elementary-aged kids and older can certainly keep up with their own two wheels. You might even consider going to a dirt bike track to take on some jumps or head to the hills for some mountain biking.
3. Camping and Hiking
Become one with nature – together. Family hikes and camping trips are a great way to connect with the world around us – and connect with each other. I prefer being in the wilderness because my kids can’t have electronic devices. That means they’re forced to actually talk to us, which leads to some pretty incredible family moments.
Whether you’ve never owned a pair of hiking boots or you’re an outdoor expert, there is a trail and a camping experience you’re sure to love. Check out your local state and national parks, campgrounds, and trail systems to get started.
4. Water Sports
What’s better on a hot summer day than a dip in the cool water? Most kids love water sports, especially when school’s out of session. But if you’re tired of the neighborhood pool (hellloooo nastiness), it’s time to get creative.
Some of us are fortunate enough to live near the Great Lakes. Others might have smaller lakes, rivers, or even an ocean nearby (cue jealousy). Change up the scenery and head to your local body of water. Consider renting or purchasing kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, boogie boards, or other watercraft to get your family moving while on the water.
You can even find on-shore games your family will love, like paddleball, sand volleyball, or a beach classic, Foxtail. After a day of swimming, surfing, paddling, and playing, you’ll all be worn out and happy!
5. Scavenger Hunts
Are you finding it tough to get your kids away from their screens? A little bribery might be in order. Create an outdoor scavenger hunt, complete with clues leading your kids from one location to the next. It might be something small, like a hunt of the back yard, or something much larger that requires a bike ride from your home to a local park.
At the end of the scavenger hunt, give your kids a prize. Maybe it’s a trip to the local fro-yo joint or a new outdoor toy for them to enjoy. Scavenger hunts are a fun way to get the family active and build exciting memories together.
How do YOU get your kids active? Share your boredom-busting tips with us in the comments!