5 Fun Activities to Get Kids Outdoors
Remember the words, "Go outside and play"? In the digital age, many parents are hard pressed to get kids to not only spend more time outdoors, but to find interest in nature.
Here are some of our favorite activities, some good-old-fashioned and others cutting edge, that are strength-building, social, and fun. It's never to early too help your children develop an appreciation for Mother Nature.
Rock Climbing Much like soccer, baseball, or any other competitive sport, rock climbing is a total-body workout. However, unlike these ball-chasing sports, climbing not only quells the belly-dropping fear of heights early on, but it also improves self-confidence in kids. Studies have shown that rock climbing improves focus, concentration, decision-making, and works as a treatment for ADHD and Asperghers.
Hunting for Bugs Chasing butterflies, digging for worms, or spotting spiderwebs — bug hunting instills an early passion for science and outdoor exploration. And some bug hunters never grow up, from experts in lepidoptery to even bug chefs.
You will need: A magnifying glass, bug hunting kit
Zoom through the Air Ok, so this is activity might not suit the faint of heart. Then again, setting up a zipline from tree to tree in your backyard is a safe, controlled, and cost-effective way to make playtime fun.
Jumping into Leaf Piles This classic, time-tested, and low-tech fall activity takes the hum-drum out of weekend chores. Plus, what's more satisfying than diving into the crunch of freshly fallen leaves? Yeah, not much comes to mind.
You will need: A rake, lots of fallen leaves, and a cushy landing
Stay Balanced Kids who enjoy slacklining learn how to keep their balance and, through concentration, self-discipline, and determination, eventually can learn to hold themselves steady. Like the zipline, all your child needs are two trees, a Gibbon slacklining kit, and a supportive hand to hold onto.
You will need: Gibbon slacklining kit, grass landing surface
Photo by iStockPhoto/martinwimmer
Scott Donahue is an editorial intern at Sierra. He was a freshman in Mr. Hancock's English class when he first read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Now, he's currently working on a graduate thesis composed of travel essays. Topics include substitute teaching kindergartners in Nepal, drinking rice beer with a Tibetan porter, and running a marathon from Everest Base Camp.