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Unplugging and Exploring the Great Outdoors With Your Family

Photo: Courtesy of Austin Ban

Going outdoors is beneficial for your family. Here’s how you can enjoy nature even while working from home.

Sitting all day is not beneficial for anyone’s health. Getting fresh air is also a much-needed part of a healthy lifestyle. Daily physical activity and fresh air are especially important to student success and to put children on a course to maintain these healthy habits into adulthood.

Playtime outside is an opportunity for children to release energy, which reduces disruptive behavior during school time, improves kids’ attention spans and helps them learn better. Outside playtime also helps students learn how to think creatively and provides opportunities to expose children to new ideas and information.

With remote learning continuing for many students, students may not be participating in recess as they may have been doing when they were in school full-time. Kids are also on devices now more than ever. It is important that families set their devices aside and spend time outside every day getting fresh air and physical activity. In addition to helping kids focus and learn and making a difference for their overall health, spending time outside together is also an opportunity for family fun and bonding.

Four ways to unplug

  • Take a nature walk:Put on your shoes and go for a walk! You can take a nature walk in your neighborhood, at a local park, or another local place of interest. Ask your children to identify things they see on your walk and things they have learned about in school. And talk to your children about nature.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt:Have fun exploring and nurture your children’s navigation skills by making a scavenger hunt. Create maps for your children to follow and find all of the items. Work with your child on each clues to promote creativity and practice their writing skills, too.
  • Go on a bike tour:Get or rent bikes for your family and take a ride to a local bike trail. Bring snacks or a lunch so you can take a break and spend time talking as a family.
  • Take a hike:Hike to a waterfall or a scenic overlook. Experience beautiful natural sights in your area while getting fresh air and exercise.

Family schedules can be grueling — juggling school, work, and other responsibilities — but it is important to take time to get outside every day. Engaging in physical activity and getting fresh air for even 20 minutes each day will support children’s success, health, and wellbeing. While exploring the great outdoors together as a family, you will create lifelong memories, too.

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