Outdoor Summer Activities for the Whole Family

preschool girl at the pool

Spending time outside will help make sure your family gets exercise and plenty of fresh air — especially amidst COVID-19 restrictions. Here are eight activities you can do together.

Go on a walk. This is a simple one…it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time, and it can be easier to fit in than you think. If dinner has to cook for another hour in the crockpot, head out for a walk while you wait. Or, if it’s still light out after you finish your meal, walk around a nearby park for a change of scenery or meet up with Mom and Dad for an after-dinner walk at a distance. And if you have a dog, walking is a great way to make sure they get some exercise, as well.

Take a bike ride. This can be easy to accomplish, too, especially if you choose an evening ahead of time based on the rest of your schedule and set aside 30 minutes to an hour. If you’d rather go on a longer ride, dedicate part of the weekend to a ride along the beach, around the lake, or through the park.

Participate in an activity for a good cause. Even with current restrictions, different organizations are hosting events for charity — they’re just virtual! Do some research on your local YMCA, parks and recreation department, and any other organizations that might have chapters in your community and see what they have planned for the season — virtual walk-a-thons, workouts, 5k races, and more.

Work together in the yard. Gardening and yard work can be great exercise. Whether you need to pull weeds, dig holes for new seedlings, or pick vegetables, get your kids involved. Come up with a regular watering schedule and either have your child carry the watering can around or help with the hose. If you don’t have your own garden, take the kids over to Mom and Dad’s and help them tend to theirs — just be sure to keep a safe distance.

Play ball. You probably have a rubber ball, basketball, baseball, soccer ball, or something similar lying around the house…take it outside! Depending on how old your kids are, you can do something simple, such as playing catch, or you can play a more involved game, like alphabet ball, kickball, or basketball (with a real hoop…or you can make do with a bucket, bin, or cup, depending on the size of the ball).

Go for a swim. If you have a pool at home or live near a lake or beach, set aside time each week to take a dip. Play water games, such as Red Light/Green Light, Simon Says, and dolphin and mermaid races. Or, take this opportunity to teach younger children how to feel comfortable in open water — just be sure to stay at least six feet apart from other groups if you’re in a public setting.

Play flashlight tag. It stays light out pretty late during the summer, but if you find that you don’t have time to get outside before the sun goes down, play flashlight tag in a safe area like your backyard.

Do yoga. Grab a towel or yoga mat and head out to your backyard or a local park or beach where there’s plenty of open space to keep your distance and stay active. Practice different poses, like tree pose, downward dog, and butterfly…and pair up to do poses like sunrise/sunset. Not only is this a great way to get outside, it’s also a stress reliever and can help everyone relax after a long day.

Even though this summer looks a bit different this year, you can still get outside together, encourage activities that will help everyone stay active, and enjoy the season as a family.