Do you remember being a kid, when there were NO work expectations, you didn’t know what bills were, and your biggest concern was if Johnny was going to be available to play today? Or have you forgotten all about that beautiful freedom? Well, we think a little trip outdoors is just what the doctor ordered, and August is a wonderful time to do just that. We’ve got a list of easy (and free!) outdoor activities to get you started!
We know that adulting makes going outside a little harder. First, you have less time to do so. Second, you know too much! The hot sun, ticks, mosquitoes, poison ivy, animals with rabies – think about all the hazards! Not to mention the work involved – having to buy or borrow gear, then drive somewhere, then unload, then do your outdoor activity, then pack up, then drive home and clean everything up. Blegh. Let’s lower our expectations of what it takes to play outside. All it takes is, well, stepping outside and viewing the world like a kid.
Some Ideas to Get You Started:
- Lay a blanket on some grass, and sit on it. Ahhhh smell the fresh air and watch the clouds go by.
- Pick dandelions and make a crown out of them.
- Gather friends and play an outside game! Four square, capture the flag, whatever!
- Go on a leisurely bike ride. Wear your helmet, but don’t worry about mileage or speed.
- Draw with chalk on the sidewalk. Play hopscotch or leave fun notes for passersby.
- Pick some wild flowers and put in a pretty container somewhere in your home.
- Gather materials outside to build a fairy house.
- Fly a kite!
- Go swimming in a local lake.
- Eat your meals outside whenever possible. On a blanket or picnic bench or your back porch – you can have a picnic wherever!
- Go to a local park and swing on a swing! Or go down a slide if you haven’t done that in a while! Luckily they don’t make them out of metal these days (ouch!).
- On your next walk, ask to pet someone’s dog. Did you love doing that as a kid?
- Pick some weeds! Ok this might sound like work. But it gets you outside, in nature, in dirt, and dirt smells good and earthy! And you might discover some cool things, like bug carcasses, peanut shells, or other pretty plants you never knew existed. Remember when discovering things like this was fun?
- Go on a walk through a local nature trail or forest preserve.
- Find a hill, run up it, and reenact the opening scene to Sound of Music (you know you want to).
- Find a lake or river and dip your toes in.
- Build a sand castle!
- Do you have kids, nephews, nieces, cousins, etc. who are mini? Just spend some time with them and follow their lead. You might love playing in the sandbox or helping them with their own nature discoveries.
- Climb a tree!
- Find a pair of binoculars and go bird watching