Our Fit Kids for Summer series is winding down. Haven’t you LOVED all these awesome ideas? This will be our last guest post, and next week you’re back to hearing from little old me. 😉
I love this time of year… Longer evenings, warmer weather, kids ready to de-stress from school. One of our family’s favorite things to do in the summertime is to go exploring! It is such a great activity on many levels:
- It gets you moving. Exploring is no fun sitting on your bum!
- Exploring engages your brain. You’re constantly taking in new information.
- You learn cool things!
Here are some of our favorite ways to explore as a family…
1. Go Rock Collecting
My girls love finding pretty rocks. It doesn’t matter where we are, if they see a rock, they want to pick it up and take it home! Going on a hike in the foothills or on a walk along the river are great places to discover interesting rocks. Bonus, it’s great exercise with all the walking, bending, squatting, and carrying rocks!
2. Go on a Nature Walk
Spending time in nature is great for your health. The fresh, clean air refreshes your mind and body. Make a game out of your nature walk; bring a list of things to find and discover. It keeps the walk interesting and helps to hold your child’s interest. My girls love to look for wildlife on our nature walks. We’ve stumbled across squirrels, birds, rabbits, and even deer on some of our walks!
3. Take a Photo Walk or Hike
This is another great way to keep things interesting and your child engaged on your explorations! We love to bring our cameras and find neat things to photograph. My girls often find things they want to take home and keep, but we try to teach them to leave nature how they found it so that everyone can enjoy what they see. A great alternative is to have them take pictures of the things they find, then they can take the memory of what they discovered home with them and it will last forever!
4. Take a Walk on a Greenbelt
You don’t have to drive far to be in nature. Many cities and towns have nature paths or greenbelts running through them. We love to take an evening stroll through the greenbelt. It’s so relaxing and often we can’t even tell we’re in the middle of our city. Sometimes we’ll grab our bikes and take a ride on the trails in the greenbelt. It’s amazing the things you can discover there too. We’ve even come across horses!
5. Visit a Natural History Site
Another great way to explore is to visit natural history site in your area. They usually have trails through the sites you can walk on or hike through. We love to learn about our state’s history and get hands on, and “feet on” experience! Go to your state’s website and look up “State Parks” or “National Parks” to find natural history sites in your area.
6. Take a Hike
Hiking is excellent exercise. It can be a physically and mentally demanding experience for your kids, but when they arrive at their destination it’s amazing to see the pride and sense of accomplishment they feel! You can also find hiking trails in your area on your state’s website.
7. Discover New Places
My family loves to discover new places we’ve never been to before. Some of our most fun times together as a family have been hiking through a forest or along a river we’ve never seen. Sometimes the vegetation and wildlife is different from what we see in the area right where we live. If you’re out on vacation this summer, plan a little hike somewhere along the way. You just might have a great time and it’s a great way for your kids to burn off a little energy!
I hope these ideas inspire you to get out with your kids this summer and do some exploring! Getting out together and being active as a family is an excellent way to help instill good fitness habits in your children. Exploring has become one of family’s favorite things to do and we’ve created so many wonderful memories over the years. So get out there and have some fun!