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It has always been a challenge for parents to find enjoyable ways to keep their children busy and entertained during the summer months. In recent times, restrictions on travel and certain activities have made the challenge even greater. Parents understandably want their kids to get outdoors. They know it is not good for their physical, mental, or emotional health to spend a lot of time in front of a screen. The following are some fun activities that parents can do with their family this summer.
Visit the Zoo
Parents and children alike enjoy going to the zoo. Most major cities have a zoo. However, there are a handful of zoos across the country that are especially popular. If your summer plans involve a road trip, why not include a visit to one of these zoos with your children? It will bring them closer to many majestic animals and not burn a hole in your wallet.
Visiting the zoo can be a great educational experience for your kids, but it is still very enjoyable. This is also a great activity to get some exercise for the day. Zoo’s typically require quite a bit of walking so your kids will be tired by the time you get home. Make sure you bring your own stroller for your little ones in case they don’t have any you can rent at the facility. You can bring your own snacks or water and put it in the stroller too. This can save you a lot of money.
Kids may prefer playing video games as opposed to going camping and hiking. However, taking children camping is one of the best ways to teach them to enjoy being in nature. Camping can help children form memories that will last a lifetime. Camping allows children to immerse themselves in a world that is not made of concrete or that is not presented to them on a screen.
Camping could be something as simple as taking your Toyota 4Runner roof top tent up into the hills close by or you could drive out to a national park for some great camping as well. Children will enjoy camping more if they are able to sleep in comfort. Also, having a durable tent means not worrying about it falling apart in the middle of the night or being difficult to assemble or breakdown. Camping with children takes a little bit of planning, but the results are well worth it.
Explore the Night Sky with a Telescope or at an Observatory
Few things are as awe-inspiring as looking into the night sky using a telescope. If you live in a city, travel out to the country where the night stars are more visible. Or visit an observatory. Your children can learn to appreciate the stars while having their questions answered by an astronomer.
This kind of activity is not only fun for kids, but can also be a great learning experience. They can start to enjoy a new subject that could also put them on a path to their career in the future. Exposing kids to new subjects and learning opportunities will only benefit them in the future as well.
Visit a Botanical Garden
Visiting a botanical is an excellent way to help your children enjoy nature. They can look at birds and insects and enjoy sensory activities associated with nature. Many botanical gardens offer free admission for children who are under 12 years of age. Others have special offers throughout the year. Some of the biggest botanical gardens in the country offer free admission for kids under a certain age. Look up some great options in your area in order to determine if this is the case for a local botanical garden.
Outdoor Movie Night
This does not get kids 100 percent away from screens, but it gets them outdoors. Most cities will have movie nights in the park. If not, you can easily find an inexpensive projector online, spread out a sheet to use as a screen, and turn your backyard or driveway into an impromptu movie theater. You can also make this a bigger activity by inviting extended family over for a BBQ early on in the day. The kids can enjoy a movie outdoors, while the parents can chat over some great food on the patio or inside.
Clearly, there are several things that you can do to enjoy the outdoors with your children this summer. With a little creativity and a little time, you can help your children have a summer they will always cherish.