Outdoor Hobbies to Share With Your Children
In an age where your children are almost more interested in what’s happening on their phones than what’s going on around them, it may be difficult to share time together and connect. Rather than surrender to their interests and accept the distance between you, find activities that will encourage them to be present and build happy memories with the family
In an age where your children are almost more interested in what’s happening on their phones than what’s going on around them, it may be difficult to share time together and connect. Rather than surrender to their interests and accept the distance between you, find activities that will encourage them to be present and build happy memories with the family.
Heading to the mountains, beach or a local scenic spot to hike with your children can help you relax, get in shape and bond with your kids at the same time. Start with short treks that feature several sights to keep the youngsters interested. If they seem to get bored at first, put them in charge of taking photos or tracking the number of steps on a pedometer. Ensure you stay comfortable and safe by wearing layered clothing, taking the kids rain boots and umbrellas in the event of bad weather and bringing plenty of water and snacks.
Take your children on a treasure hunt in the real world by geocaching together. Using a GPS device, you’ll be able to head to locations in your community and beyond to find containers filled with small items for people to discover. Some may simply include notebooks for people to sign to signify their conquest. Bond by allowing your kids to choose the next location to explore, discussing what you hope to find and later talking about how they felt about the discovery. If the children enjoy the hobby, you can also hide and register your own geocache for others to find.
Long Distance Running
Work together toward a common goal by aiming to run a long-distance race with your children. Create a schedule to condition yourselves to participate in a local 5k. Community events feature participants of all skill levels, so even families who walk the entire way can enjoy the experience. Children over 12 who have become accustomed to traveling the shorter runs can later consider joining a half marathon, for instance. As you increase the distance, however, ensure you all have the proper shoes, form, fitness level and hydration to prevent injuries.
If you don’t have the time to commit to a weekend in the mountains or desert, consider organizing a camping trip in your own backyard. Purchase a fire pit where you can safely build a bonfire and roast marshmallows to make s’ mores, tell spooky stories and have a sing-along. Build a tent big enough to sleep in and even have the provisions, tools and utensils on hand to make breakfast outside the next morning. While you’re trying to fall asleep, share stories about your childhood and compare what was important, stressful and trendy then versus now.
Bond with your children and the entire neighborhood by organizing a scavenger hunt with the families in the area. Schedule an hour or two on a cool afternoon or warm evening when everyone can plan to be available since one adult will need to remain home during the event. Choose one house as a starting point and give each team consisting of a parent and their children a list of items to discover. Then tell the groups to run off in different directions, going door to door in search of the trinkets, such as paper clips, a purple pen, a sugar packet, a can of soup or a plastic calculator, for example. Set a time limit and offer prizes to the teams that return with the most items from their list. Make the outdoor competition a regular event and consider hosting an ice cream or hot chocolate party after the games are done.
Spending time outdoors with your children participating in active pursuits can do more than help you bond. You may also find your physical fitness, ability to get a good night’s sleep and sense of relaxation increased in the process. Your kids may also be having so much fun free Reprint Articles, they won’t realize that they aren’t checking their phones as much as they used to.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Devoto is an avid outdoor enthusiast and freelance writer. He enjoys writing about sustainability, eco-friendly behaviors and local travel. He has traveled all over the world but has taken a particular interest in our great National Parks.