Getting preteens and teens outside doesn’t have to be like pulling teeth. When you have a plan, a fun set up and perhaps a few of their friends, your older kids will be having a blast outside in no time. This summer can still be a time for excitement, trying new things and connection – just look outside the box to get them moving and enjoying the outdoors! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Some of my favorite memories are the times when my parents brought home tie-dye sets and we got to create our own designs in the backyard. With tie-dye sweatshirts and sweatpants becoming a new trend, this activity will give them something to do and new clothes they designed themselves. Buy a few white t-shirts, tank tops, shorts or socks and a tie-dye set. Create the studio outside with newspaper, rubber bands and smocks. Then, look up a few methods for different patterns and start designing
Grow Your Own Food
This doesn’t have to be a full-scale gardening endeavor, but growing your own food with simple herbs like basil or parsley is a really fun way to get the whole family involved in mealtime. Start with a simple herb garden that you can place outside or inside near a sunny window. Have your kids pick out the seeds for their favorite herbs and let them start potting. Check on your plants and water them together, then reap the fruits of your labor and let cooking dinner become a family affair.
Break out the Slip n’ Slide
No matter how old you are, if you like water, Slip n’ Slides are a ton of fun. Dust off your Slip n’ Slide or get a new one off of Amazon and set it up in the backyard for a day of cooling off and outdoor fun.
Grab a paddle
Rent kayaks from your local nature society or purchase your own; they even have inflatable varieties if you need a more portable option. Head to the river, lake, pond or ocean together and have fun paddling through the water. Bonus – check out a few paddle trails for the whole family to enjoy or take a weekend trip to paddle in new waters.
A favorite on college campuses, spikeball is a multi-player outdoor game where you spike a ball against a trampoline but only using your hands. You can purchase a spikeball set from outdoor stores or Amazon. Get the neighborhood together and have spikeball matches underneath the sun!