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Six Outdoor Activities to Enjoy With Your Kids

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We've all been there. Your kids have just watched their 5th episode of SpongeBob in a row while systematically destroying the living room, family room, and kitchen. You're literally counting the hours to bedtime, but the clock doesn't seem to move. Instead of cleaning one mess after another and playing referee to warring parties, why not spend a little time outdoors? Now that the summer heat is behind us, there are plenty of activities that both you and your children can enjoy outside and you don't need to mop Mother Nature.

Following, are 6 great ideas to get you started.

Picture Walk

If your children are old enough to use a digital camera, consider taking them outside for a picture walk. Provide each child with a camera, and allow them to take pictures of the things that interest them, such as animals, trees or even buildings. When the walk is over, print out the pictures and let the kids help you to assemble them into an album. Kids can also use the photos to write a story, make a collage or create a digital slideshow.

Geocaching

Thanks to developments in technology, old-fashioned treasure hunts can now be coupled with digital technology to create a whole new activity. Using GPS devices and the internet, children can find coordinates that lead to hidden caches scattered across the United States. If you travel to the one closest to you, your kids can use GPS devices to discover hidden containers that contain a log book and an item that kids can exchange. Remember to bring an item with you to leave in the cache when you arrive, and always sign the log book.

Play Games

Sometimes kids just need to unwind. Fortunately, there are plenty of games you can play with your children outside. Kick the can, hopscotch and hide and seek are some examples of traditional games that can be played outside. If your kids have friends over, you can also play group games such as soccer, touch football. Games like these can also be used for birthday parties and can make any celebration even more fun. Don't forget birthday past times like hitting pinatas or playing Pin The Tail On The Donkey.

Outdoor Art

Outdoor art is a unique pastime that involves using sunlight as an artistic medium. Simply purchase some sun-sensitive paper at your local craft store, along with a blue-hued canvas that you can use to make words and images. Allow your children to put objects on the paper, such as trinkets from your home or leaves that your kids find outside. Next, put the paper into direct sunlight for three minutes and rinse it with water. The shadows of the images will turn white and the rest of the paper will remain blue.

Gardening

Gardening with your children can also be very rewarding. The activity teaches them work ethic, as well as the basics of plant life cycles. Let your kids help you plant seeds, water them and pull weeds. As the plants grow, encourage your children to observe how they change. You can also involve your kids more in the gardening process by allowing them to help you choose the flowers or vegetables you will plant.

Nature Hike

Taking your kids on a nature hike is the perfect way to enjoy the outdoors and teach your children about plants and animals. As you walk through the woods, point out wildflowers, insects, animals, trees and shrubs to your children. If you know the names of what you see, tell you children. If not, let them help you look it up in a book. As you take more nature hikes, your kids may even be able to tell you the names of plants and animals on their own. You can also bring the fun of the outdoors home by encouraging your kids to draw pictures of what they saw on the hike.

The outdoors are full of possibilities. The activities listed above are just a few of the ways you can spend time with your kids outdoors, and many of them are great for adults as well. What will you do on your next trip outside?

Authored By Jessie Cooper - Jessie is a freelance blogger and editor.
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