There’s mounting evidence that time in the outdoors is good for your kids, but did you know that it also builds family bonds and creates deep connections?
When families are outdoors they work together to achieve moments of discovery and investigation.
Here are 10 ways families can connect in the outdoors
1. Visit a nature centre. Enjoy the natural surrounds, walk long the nature trails and enjoy the centre. Many of these places have free holidays activities for kids and families too!
2. Go for a forest picnic. If you are going to a nature centre or national park, why not pack a picnic? It allows you to eat together and chat about the natural landscape around you.
3. Enjoy your backyard. You don’t have to leave home for your family to connect in the outdoors. Explore your backyard for bugs, do some gardening together or collects leaves and make some gorgeous nature crafts.
4. Take regular family camping trips. Family trips are always exciting but they test you as a family – which isn’t a bad thing. You need to work together to build your home for the next few days. Once that’s complete there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy each other’s company. Sing songs around the camp fire, toast marshmallows, play board games and meet other campers together. Making this a regular tradition is another way to build special memories and form lasting connections.
5. Visit a zoo. There’s so much to explore at the zoo. It’s a place for a family to connect over curious questions about native and exotic wildlife. Check out these insider tips on how to get the most out of your visit to the zoo.
6. Take walks together. Walk your local neighbourhood and learn more about where you live. Walk the nature trails that you’ve been meaning to explore for a while. Look up at the tree canopy; look down for moss and tiny little mushrooms. If you’re quiet, you may see some local wildlife too.
7. Visit the beach. The beach is a treasure trove of opportunities to connect as a family. Try the usual activities like swimming, building sandcastles and collecting shells but here are 20 more beach activities for the whole family!
8. Fossick for stones and gems. Try something a little different and fossick for stones and gems. Find out if there’s a place near you and explore together. You and your family will have so much fun.
9. High ropes courses. If you have an older child or teen, an excellent way for a family to build resilience is to challenge, motivate and help each other through a high ropes course. It’s important to stay positive and encourage one another if someone gets stuck. It’s a challenge but it’s one that builds lasting relationships and trust.
10. Visit your local park and playground. If you need an easy day out that’s not going to cost a lot and is easy to get to, then explore your local park. Play on the swings together, check out the ducks and swans that live in the ponds, try the park exercise equipment or just play a game of cricket. There’s more you can do at your local park than you expect!
Being present with your child in the outdoors will build lifelong memories that lead to lifelong family connections.
For more great ideas for outdoor fun, check out these 50 Fun Ways to Play in the Rain.
About Penny: Visit Penny at Mother Natured for lots of nature, outdoor and wildlife activities for your children and the whole family. You can also connect with Penny on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.