While there are aspects of this season that are hard and scary, I’m also seeing many blessings come out of this time with my family at home. Having my children home from school (and now my husband for a few weeks too) and slowing life down has been an enjoyable and treasured time. Most of the time. ;)
While there is good happening now, I do realize there is also additional stress. If you are overwhelmed at this time I encourage you to get outside with your children. It can be a great way to reset and also enjoy time together as a family.
I have found two times especially, where outdoor time can be helpful: for the kids to reset or to end the day.
Reset your day with time outside
If we need a reset, getting outside is often the best solution. This simple change can help to reset the day, change attitudes, and help get extra energy out. Getting out of the home benefits everyone. It’s healthy for both mom or dad and the kiddos and is a great way to reset during a day that just isn’t going well.
If the kiddos are getting antsy, get outside or plan an activity to wear them out. Some days this is obvious and easy. Some days this will feel like too much work, but it’s often worth it.
Getting outside can restore mental energy, relieve stress, improve concentration and focus, and improve mental health. This article provides a list of the many other benefits of getting outside. I would guess the more time you are outside, the less you are sedentary. Get fresh air, exercise, vitamin D, and a change of scenery by getting outside. If your children are old enough to be outside alone, send them out with this Nature Scavenger Hunt Printable. Or pick the Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt Printable if you want to walk around your neighborhood.
END your day with time outside
We have been ending many of our days with a walk around the neighborhood and my girls have loved this time. A family walk provides an opportunity for the family to get some exercise. It also opens the door to chatting and having great family conversations.
Ending your day with time outside may make your children more tired and ready to sleep. They may be happier with a little extra time outside…and so will mom and dad. It’s also key as the parent to unplug and get outside too. It’s important to be a good example and teach your children healthy habits.
If you think a walk around the neighborhood may be boring to your children, head out the door with this printable Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt. It gives them something to do. Print off the free printable, put it on a clipboard, and give them a pen.
Print off the free pdf: Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt printable
There are also other ways you can use outside time to help your kids reset or enjoy time together as a family. Here are a few ideas:
- Help build an obstacle course.
- Get a Ninja Warrior Obstacle Course. I have been eyeing these…it would be the perfect time to get one!
- Create a contest or initiate a race.
- Go on a neighborhood scavenger hunt. (Get the Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt printable)
- Go on a nature scavenger hunt. (Get the Nature Scavenger Hunt printable)
- Use walking, running, or biking as a way to get to your destination.
- Plan a Backyard Olympic event.