I love tech, I write about it and started this blog about it, but I am more than aware of the need to get out of the house and put the screens down.
It's hard in this age of so much tech, and screen time options, and instant gratification to get away from it.
My children are fairly young and I try to do fun things with them outside every day of the week.
Of course once everyone is back in school full time this won't be as possible, but it's given me a lot of ideas for how to spend our time at home and our summers.
All of the ideas listed here are activities we do regularly.
Some cost money, some don't. Some you may already do but maybe there is an idea in here you haven't thought of yet.
Obviously with the current stay at home orders in many states some of these are not possible right now but I am leaving them here for the future.
Fun things to do outside with kids:
Nature hike/walk look for bugs and plants and add a picnic too!
I love hiking and walking in nature and I have tried to instill this love in my children too.
When they are babies or young toddlers you can wear them in a baby carrier and get out and hike, or use an all terrain stroller. I have done both.
Now they are older and love walking. I tell them we are going on a "nature walk" and encourage them to look for bugs, butterflies, and animals. They really enjoy this.
We make it an all day activity by having a picnic, taking our time, and not rushing.
It's the only way to go with little ones. I live near many state and national parks/forests so this is fun for us all.
Splash Pad or Sprinkler
Some good old water fun never gets old. Set up the sprinkler and let the kids go crazy.
Or, go to a splash pad and keep that water off your lawn or driveway.
Splash pads are great for all ages but especially the younger children. I give them buckets and cups to add to the fun.
We rent a cabin of some sort in the woods and spend as much time outside as possible. I would love to truly camp but I am not sure I could handle hauling little kids to shared bathrooms in the middle of the night.
But getting away to a rustic cabin, spending time outside playing in the river or lake, hiking, building a camp fire. Yeah, I consider it camping and your kids will love it!
Update - my kids are a little older now and we have actually invested in a tent and started to do some real camping. Whether a tent or a cabin, sitting around a camp fire and making s'mores is always fun.
Hit the beach
You can't beat a trip to the beach during the summer.
We go every July and sure it's crowded, it's hot, it's a long car ride but it's what summer memories are made of and we love it.
Or a pool
If you don't live near a beach or cannot spring for the annual beach trip, the pool is a great way to spend your summer days as well.
Plus, my littlest kids can't even get in the ocean so they prefer the pool anyway.
An old fashioned summer fair is so much fun. My kids love seeing the animals, riding the rides, eating cotton candy or popcorn, and having fun.
It's more fun at night, and of course everyone wants to ride the ferris wheel.
Water table and Sand table
For those days I am too lazy to leave the house (or have too much to do!) but don't want my kids in front of the TV all day. We have multiple water tables and a sand table.
I recently bought this Dino combination sand and water table and my children love it. No joke, the day we bought it was raining, and my two youngest still spent two hours playing with it.
Visit a farm and pick fruit
I also live on the cusp of a rural area with plenty of farms and fruit picking opportunities.
Kids love visiting farms. There's always baby animals to view and maybe even pet, and many offer farm fresh food as well.
Visit a garden
Visiting local gardens has become a favorite activity for my kids and me. Of course I love taking in all the beauty and walking outdoors, but I did not expect my children to love it so much. They do.
They love taking pictures of flowers, learning about the plants, trying to spot butterflies, frogs, you name it..we have probably seen it while visiting a garden. This is similar to a nature walk, mentioned above, but more formal usually.
A museum, aquarium, or zoo
Okay, this isn't exactly an outside activity depending on the set up but I am lucky to live in an area with many museums and we never get bored or run out of places to visit.
We live outside of Washington DC and take a trip to the city every so often to visit the zoo or a museum. For those days when it's too hot outside to do much an indoor activity can be more than entertaining.
Fun right in your yard at home
For those times we are stuck at home - like right now, here are some more ideas.
We are having a blast drawing pictures and hopscotch all over the driveway and sidewalk daily.
Slip and slide, pool in the yard, and bounce house
Playing in any of these will add hours of fun to yard time
Riding bikes, roller skates, hover boards, and scooters
Basically anything on wheels goes! My kids are finally getting good at riding their bikes which leads to hours of fun right on our street.
These keep my kids and my dog entertained. They all love to chase them and wear themselves out running around the yard.
Any outside games such as hide and seek or sports
We have added soccer and basketball to our outside sport accessories. A basketball hoop has been such a fun addition for the kids and adults.
Also fun for kids are hula hoops and jump rope.
A scavenger hunt
Make one up or find online. This will keep kids busy for a couple of hours.
Plant a garden or pots
Order some cheap pots and seeds and let your kids plant everything they want. It will be fun to watch them grow.
Catch bugs and let them go or create a habitat
We got some little bug jars for Easter and since then the kids have been going crazy catching bugs in the yard. It's educational and keep them busy.
Painting rocks and hiding them
Hide them in the yard to find later, or set them out as a display.
Build a fort or set up a tent in the yard
Build a fort or set up a tent in the yard and your kids will disappear for hours. Once they are a little older I plan to let them camp in the yard overnight.