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5 Outdoor Activities for the Whole Family

Fri, 08 Jun 2018 - Books we love DIY & Crafting

Summer is the perfect time to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and do something fun with the whole family!

1. Camp in Your Own Backyard

For those of us who want to get a taste of the outdoors without venturing too far from home, a camp out in the backyard is the perfect solution. Sticking close to home can help your family feel safe, keep you in walking distance to the comforts of home (bathroom, anyone?), and still provide a wonderful family experience. 

Photo reprinted from The Campout Cookbook. Illustrations copyright © Emily Isabella.


Here are some tips on getting the most out of your backyard camping extravaganza:

  • Set up a fire pit, and then plan a menu that requires fire-cooking: hot dogs, skillet pizzas, and campfire s'mores!
  • When dinner is over, break out the flashlights and take turns telling ghost stories—the scarier the better.
  • Collect phones and turn off Wi-Fi to get the full nature experience.

Learn more about The Campout Cookbook!


2. Take a Hike—Literally


Hiking is one of the most popular activities of summer, and there's a good reason why: not only is it a fun way to get the entire family moving, but there's no better way to experience nature other than getting out and seeing it for yourself! Worried about smaller hikers? You can always plan shorter treks, create scavenger hunts along the way, and pack lots of snacks for break times.

Learn more about family hikes in 50 Hikes with Kids!


3. Plant a Sunflower Snack Bar


Planting flowers is not only a relaxing outdoor activity for the summer, but did you know that sunflowers are the ultimate snack? Sunflowers bloom within two months of planting and attract all sorts of wildlife, from butterflies, bumblebees, and moths looking for nectar, to hungry birds who love the flower's tasty leaves. Then, in the fall, the dried sunflower heads can be set out for hungry critters like squirrels. So, sunflowers aren't just beautiful—they help enrich nature, too!

Learn more about sunflower snacking in Camp Granny!


4. Keep a Nature Journal

Keeping a nature journal is a great way to spend time outdoors and get in touch with the world around you. Scientists and naturalists often journal to note how climate, weather, and temperature are changing the patterns of nature. To make sure you and your family are nature journal pros, describe what you see with as much detail as possible, think about connections, and consider the big picture by asking yourself these questions:

  • What am I looking at?
  • What is it doing?
  • Why is this animal or plant here?
  • What can I learn from it?
  • How does it relate to my world?

Learn more about nature journaling in The Nature Connection!


5. Build Your Very Own Beehive

Bees are a keystone species—meaning that countless animals and plants depend on bees to grow and thrive, including things we eat every day, like apples, peaches, and cucumbers. You and your family can easily help the bees by building them their own specially made hive with Turn This Book Into A Beehive! It's simple:

Images reprinted from Turn This Book Into A Beehive!. Illustrations copyright © Anna-Maria Jung.

  • Using the jacket of this book, secure at the edges to make the beehive shell.
  • Roll up the paper nesting tubes where the bees will live, tape them so they can't unfurl, and place them in the shell. 
  • Make sure your beehive is secure, hang it outside, and watch the bees make their home!

Learn more about bees in Turn This Book Into a Beehive!

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