Today’s kids spend hours a day staring at screens. Phones, computers, videogames, and televisions take
up time that used to be spent outside exploring nature and learning to appreciate the beauty of the world
we live in. Parents face increasing challenges engaging kids in outdoor activities that are more
entertaining than screen time. Here are five ways we suggest getting your little ones out in the fresh air
for memorable experiences they’ll be excited to repeat.
1. Scavenger Hunt. Kids love games, especially ones that include searching for things. For young
children, create a list of common outdoor objects and task your kids with finding them (think things
like pinecones, acorns, feathers…). If there are enough kids to make teams, you can offer a prize for
the winners. For older kids, you can have various items hidden at different locations with a series of
clues that end with the winning item.
2. Geocaching. Geocaching involves finding hidden caches of small items buried by previous
geocachers. By visiting geocaching.com, you can find coordinates to these locations. Putting the
coordinates into a handheld GPS device or smartphone can help you in your search. Remember: You
always have to place another item in the cache when you take the original object! You can share your
experiences in the website logbook. Many of the caches require hiking to their location, making it
ideal for older kids. You can also consider burying your own cache for others to find.
3. Snow/Beach Trip. Taking a trip to a snowy winter wonderland or a sunny beach are both ways to
get kids outside for days at a time. Who doesn’t love a day of sand castle construction, body boarding
in the waves, and eating ice cream on the beach? Or building a snowman, making snow angles, and
skiing or tubing down the slopes? Activities like these make kids forget about the gadgets they use
24/7 and instead live in the moment and make memories that will last a lifetime.
4. Campfire Time. Building a campfire is a unique activity you can do at home. Making a fire in a
firepit is a fun family activity. Kids can help gather the sticks and keep the fire going. Cooking
dinner over the fire, roasting marshmallows for s’mores, telling campfire stories, and using kits like
Funky Flames or Mystical Fire Flame to change the colors of the flames are all fun ways to bond with
your kids while spending time outdoors.
Not only do these activities teach your kids about how much fun outdoors time can be, but they provide
opportunities for family bonding. Remember to always sit or kneel when talking to small children so that
you are on the same level and aren’t caught literally (or figuratively) talking down to them. Also,
remember that excitement is contagious. Kids can tell when you don’t want to be there or when you’re
preoccupied with other thoughts. Show them that you’re having fun spending time with them and they’ll
have fun too!
What are your kids’ favorite outdoor activities? Share your stories on the BattlBox Members Only Facebook Page!