Staying indoors for too long can get tiring and boring; it can even affect a person’s mental health. Based on a report by the National Academies of Sciences, social isolation has been associated with a 50% increased risk of developing dementia. Also, a 2019 study showed that kids who spend the least amount of time in green spaces are 55% more likely to develop anxiety and mood disorders.
These are enough reasons to encourage more physical activity and plan a day out with your family. So what are you waiting for? Explore our list of refreshing and fun family outdoor activities that you can do together with your kids any day you’re ready for some outdoor bonding time.
8 Refreshing and Fun Family Outdoor Activities
If you’re ready to have some fun, here are eight family outdoor activities that can be carried out while still maintaining an acceptable physical distance from neighbours or passers-by:
#1. Go for a walk
Family walks are easy to embark on as they don’t require meticulous planning. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t spice up your daily walks with a few fun activities. Each time you go on a walk, you can ask your kids to do something different. For example, you can challenge them to hop a short distance from one point to another or ask them to make up rhymes about people and things they see during the walk. If your kids are preschoolers or tweens, the I Spy game is one that they’ll definitely enjoy playing.
#2. Ride bikes
If you or your kids have gained some extra weight during the time spent indoors, cycling can help you burn some of those calories. Generally, cycling is a great form of exercise that helps improve balance, boost your mood and decrease stress. So after busy days spent at work and school, cycling can serve as a means to unwind.
#3. Host a foursquare tournament
Do you have kids who are very energetic? Then a foursquare tournament is one of many family outdoor activities that require a lot of movement but is also super fun. To play this game, you will need four players and a rubber ball. Draw or map out a large square on the ground and divide the square into four more squares (1, 2, 3 and 4). Place one player in each square and instruct the first player in square 1 to start bouncing the ball in his or her square, then pass it on to another player. Each player must hit the ball into another square until one player misses or hits the ball outside the large square.
#4. Go on a treasure hunt
Clues, treasures and maps — these are a few items you’ll need to host a fun treasure hunt. A treasure hunt can be planned within your compound or extended to close areas in the neighbourhood. Before you begin, make sure to scout the location and write clues that will be stored in numbered envelopes. Also, set a few ground rules for the kids and prepare to have prizes for those who emerge as winners.
#5. Play hide and seek
Hide and seek is a classic game that can be played indoors as well as outdoors. With family outdoor activities, you always need to plan for contingencies. So, if you have a big compound, playing hide and seek can get really elaborate. However, within a small space, you can also decide to get creative by blindfolding the seeker and asking him or her to catch hiders who would be told to choose a spot and stand there even if they’re about to be caught.
#6. Paint the scenery
Painting can be a nice and fun way to spend time together as a family. Anyone among you can choose the scenery that everyone will paint. It would be fun to see how each person interprets the scenery in their painting. To make it even more exciting, set a timer or have homemade prizes for the person with the best painting.
#7. Have a backyard picnic
Would a list of family outdoor activities be complete without mentioning a picnic? The answer is NO. Everyone loves picnics and it’s likely that your family does too. Instead of going out to a park, you can plan a family picnic in your backyard instead. Prepare sandwiches, set a nice blanket and have some shade if you all want to enjoy the cool breeze without the scorching sun.
#8. Set up an outdoor cinema in the park
Movie time is always a fun time, especially when you choose the right movies that everyone can enjoy. You can decide to watch classic movies or keep it modern with new releases. Set up a projector and invite a few neighbours for a socially acceptable movie night. Also, don’t forget the popcorn and drinks!
What makes family outdoor activities so great, especially at a time when most people are spending time indoors, is that it offers a change in scenery and regular activity. It also helps your family get some much needed fresh air plus a dose of vitamin D if done in the morning.