Summer is here, and many Americans are ready to get outside and enjoy it! As every state warms by June, outdoor activities help us rise from our winter dazes. Outdoor activities offered by your local parks and rec centers are a great way to remain COVID safe as our country slowly lifts restrictions. Remember to check out parks and rec programs for often free or inexpensive activities to enjoy this summer. Here are some activities your local parks and rec center may offer in your community:
- Running, throwing, or kicking a ball are age-appropriate movements for children and essential for physical development. Introduce your child to sports through your community’s parks and recreation programs to familiarize them with the game and associated movements.
- Exploring a local nature reserve and an introduction to plants and wildlife in your area.
- Swimming lessons
- Making art from natural materials through scavenging for leaves, pieces of bark, and other natural elements to create a mural or other work of art.
Here are some additional summer activity ideas for kids, pre-teens, teens, and the whole family:
Outdoor activities for kids age five and under- Studies have shown that kids who spend time outdoors are generally happier and more relaxed. Time outdoors helps to improve short-term memory, concentration, and cognitive skills as well!
- Schedule a COVID-safe outdoor playdate for your children with their friends.
- Plan a picnic with your child’s favorite snacks in tow and head to the park to play.
Summer fun for pre-teens- Getting your 9–12-year-old outside is vital to strengthen their mental health. Outdoor activity helps your child become more engaged in learning, exhibit more positive behavior, and receive physical benefits as well.
- Organize a scavenger hunt for your pre-teen to get them engaged and moving, including enticing prizes to get them motivated to participate.
- Set up camp in your backyard and encourage your pre-teen to make space of their own. This activity creates a sense of ownership over the activity encouraging them to stay outside longer.
Excellent activities for teens- Your 13–17-year-old needs to get outside too! This age is perfect for instilling the habit of exercising and an appreciation for nature. Teens should be getting outside (and enjoying their last few years as a kid) as much as possible.
- Plan a longer-than-usual bike ride for you and your teen by researching biking paths in your community. Biking is a great way to help them explore their surroundings and take risks (under your supervision).
- Check for drive-in movie theaters in your area or plan an outdoor movie event in your yard. An evening under the stars with your teen’s favorite movie is a great way to encourage an appreciation for the outdoors.
- Watch the sunrise and sunset from a new vantage point.
This summer, remember to check out your community’s parks and recreation programs for adult programs as well. Enjoy your summer!
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