Outdoor Fun for the Family

Being that we are approaching the winter season, and in some areas feel as if we are already in the winter season I want to use this post to try and bring a little warmth back to you.  To do this I am going to dedicate this post to fun outdoor activities that you can do with your kids when the summer time finally comes back.

I have written specifically about how swimming pools can benefit the lives of you and your family.  In order to keep from repeating myself I want to gear this post more toward activities that you can do with your family in the summertime.  The best way that I can think of to do this is basically to walk you through a day of fun activities that I do and will do with my own kids.  Well at least one kid for now, the second is still on the way.  Thinking ahead to the future there will come a time when I will have to come up with ideas for fun filled summer days.  At this point in my blogging experience I have made it clear that I want my children to have a similar childhood experience to my own without all the electronic devices and video games that many kids today fill their days with.  I don’t intend to offend anyone, it’s just that I feel that a child will benefit much more by being outside and active than they would by being secluded in the house laying on the couch with their nose glued to a screen of some kind.  Okay rant over.

There are plenty of parents that feel this way and many have taken to Pintrest with ideas of ways to get their kids outside.  So taking a bit of information from them it is not too difficult to come up with ways to get kids outside.

My son, like many other younger kids wakes up early everyday and is ready to start playing.  He is a lot like me in that he is not too interested in eating right away.  My wife and I will generally let him play with his toys for a little bit in the morning or he and myself will sometimes pretend to be monsters and try to get Mommy.  This is all in an effort to make him smile as well as work up an appetite.  It doesn’t take too long before he is ready to eat.  Depending on the weather, this is our first chance to get him outside.  Sometimes we like to have our breakfast on the patio.  He seems to enjoy this a good deal as it is not something we do every day.  In addition to that it is a good opportunity for him to use his senses by looking all the little critters like squirrels, and allows him to hear the birds chirping.  Usually he is quick to notify us that he sees, or hears something interesting.  This is the first part of our fun filled outdoor day.

After breakfast we clean up and get him ready for the day.  Once he is changed we usually have a few hours before lunchtime.  This is another opportunity to get him back outside.  We have a fairly large backyard with things for him to do.  we have a sand box full of toys, and other outdoor toys that he can play with.  Sometimes we will just chase each other around or again try to get Mommy.  One of his favorite things in the world is bubbles.  He loves to chase bubbles around the yard and we have a cheap little bubble machine that will make sure that there are plenty of them for him to chase.  It also benefits Mommy and myself by keeping us from hyperventilating while trying to keep up with a bubble popping little boy.  There is one thing that I want to try with him, however I will have to wait until he is a bit older.  Orienteering is a “sport” in which a compass and map are used to navigate from point to point.  Of course these points would be predetermined by Mommy and myself.  This may not sound like a lot of fun for a youngster but I think by adding a surprise at each point I could make it more interesting for him.  This would keep him active and give us something fun to do outside.  It will also teach him how a compass and map can be used to find your way.

It won’t be long before it is time for lunch and again we will try to eat our lunch outside.  We may have our lunch on the patio again, or we might pack it up in a basket and grab a blanket and have our lunch picnic style in the grass or at the park nearby.  If we do have a picnic one thing we might do is, lay on our backs on the blanket and try to show our little guy the clouds.  I have done this in the past but usually it is short lived.  Clouds don’t do much, so his attention quickly goes elsewhere.  It’s always worth a try though.  After lunch we will play a bit more, and then it’s time for a nap.

We like to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in the summer because they have a pool.  My son can’t swim all by himself quite yet but with Mommy and me in the pool with him he is getting much better at moving around in his little floaty.  I don’t know if it is just because he and I are both boys but we like to team up on Mommy a bit.  Let me tell you, one of his favorite pool activities is splashing Mommy.  She is usually a good sport about it, but I feel bad from time to time.  It has got to be tiring running from us all the time.  When we are at my parents, they love to feed us dinner.  More often than not this hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill.  My parents have a very nice deck by the pool with several tables, that we often eat at in the summer time.  In addition to that we have turned their shed into a tiki bar of sorts.  None of us are big drinkers, but my Dad loves to make milkshakes and root beer floats for us all, and my son defintitely loves the milkshakes.  After dinner we will generally stay a little while to hang out with my parents.

When we get home my son usually seems to get a second wind and wants to play some more.  I like to use this time to take him outside and teach him how to catch fire flies. (or lightning bugs depending on where you’re from)  Although it’s Mommy and I who generally do all of the bug catching, it still gives him the chance to see them up close.  We have recently moved further into the country so there is a new critter that comes around in the summer time that we get to observe.  Tree frogs seem to love the siding of our house in the summer evenings.  I showed one to my son last summer but I think he was a bit too young to really appreciate it.

As the evening comes to a close we like to watch a movie to get him to settle from the exciting day.  I know that I said I want my kids to be active and all that, but I don’t think a little T.V. time will hurt.  I usually take all the pillows from the couch, lay them out on the floor, and cover them with a blanket to make a pillow bed.  He loves his pillow bed a lot.  There he gets a little snack and a drink.  It gives him a place to relax while watching one of the 30 Disney movies that we have before bedtime.  Given the active day, he usually won’t make it through the movie and either Mommy or myself will carry him off to bed.  I am really excited for this summer to come for one reason in particular.  I have access to an HD projector that I can plug into my laptop.  I plan on having an outdoor movie night sometime this coming summer.  We will set up a tent in the backyard and project the movie onto the side of the house.  We may or may not sleep in the tent, but that will be up to my son when the time comes.

These are just some of the things my wife and I do and will do in the summer with our son.  I can’t say that we do all of these things everyday because in reality I think this is more exhausting for my wife and I than it is for our little guy, but we do certainly try to find ways to make his summer days more fun and to get him outside for at least a little while each day.  You can use these ideas for your own summer fun or as I have said before, Pintrest is a great source for outdoor summer fun.  I know this post is a little outside of what I normally write about, but I hope it will inspire my readers to find ways to be active with their kids this coming summer.