The best way to get your kids to put their screens down is to do so yourself. This may be one of the most important things you can do.
This year, a friend and I hiked every trail at Borderland State Park in Easton. It was extremely satisfying to “finish” something, and it feels great to be able to say that we’ve seen and experienced every part of the park. I also feel like I can’t get lost there now–it gave me a great sense of the layout and expanse of the park. I know which trails are least crowded, which are the most rocky and fun for my kids, which are best with a stroller, and which are most peaceful.
Getting outside is often easier if you make it about something bigger than yourself and your family. Join a Facebook group or a challenge for inspiration to get outdoors. Our favorite is the 1,000 Hour Outdoor Challenge.
Geocaching is fun and easy, but it’s not the only outdoor game! Try these other activities to mix things up!
Who doesn’t like a treasure hunt? Geocaching, is just that-a treasure hunt–and it is a wonderful way to get your kids outside. Even adults will enjoy this family activity.
Borderland State Park in Easton is a local favorite. It is so wildly popular that the parking lot often fills up early in the morning and cars are turned away. Cars that park along the road leading up to the park are ticketed or even towed. But if you look at the trail map and look for alternate entrances off side streets, you can often find places to park where your vehicle won’t be towed. A little bit of planning ahead (and perhaps even using Google Maps’s street view) can save you from having to turn around and go home before you even start your adventure.
Embrace the weather. There are very few days that are bad enough to keep our family inside.
An uncomfortable kid is an unhappy kid, and we all know what that means–the fun is over before it starts. You know the saying: there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.
Sometimes it’s wonderful to be out in nature with only your own family. Consider yourself extremely lucky if everyone in your family is motivated and inspired to put down their phones/tablets/remotes, go get fresh air, and walk a few miles on a regular basis, in all weather. Let’s face it: most of the time someone in your family is probably going to need some convincing to get going! So, the best way to motivate everyone is to find another family to go with you!
The secret to regular outdoor activity in our household is super simple: get outside every week at the same time. Schedule it. Put it on your calendar. Do it regularly and with predictability. Team sports have regular schedules, so why not outdoor family activity?