I’ve already touched on the importance of maintaining an outdoor presence during the hectic back-to-school period. Prioritizing outside play helps cement family outdoor adventure as part of the new school year and throughout the cooler seasons. Reserving time for family outside play is just as important, if not more, during the school year and the winter months as it is during summer break!
Here are 31 ways to spend August Outside! This list will give you an idea, every day, in case you run out of your own.
1. #AugustOutside Photo Scavenger Hunt – I devised this photo-a-day challenge to help motivate and inspire families to get outside during August. This photo-a-day challenge is different from most allowing participants to snap and share photos in whatever order they find them! It’s easy to join in the fun! Visit this page and follow me on twitter, instagram and facebook to participate!
2. Hiking - Whether you pack a bag and go on a day-long adventure or just squeeze in a short trail in the afternoon, hiking is a great way to experience the outdoors as a family. Search for local area trails at AllTrails.
3. Bike your neighborhood – This super simple activity is easy to pencil in among all the errands.
4. Swimming – In many areas, it’s still warm enough to go for a dip in the local swimming hole. If it’s too chilled for you, just wade or take a walk along the lakeshore.
5. Nature Walk – On a nature walk, you can observe that you’re not the only ones going through big changes this time of year. Nature is preparing for a big change of seasons! Pay close attention to the sounds, sights and smells of nature on a late summer nature walk.
6. Run around the block – Another quick and easy idea that can be the last minute lifesaver on the busy day when you almost forget to spend any time outdoors.
7. Picnic – Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal in the great outdoors. Picnics aren’t only for lunch. You can pack an easy supper to enjoy outside.
8. Visit a State Park – It’s time to revisit your favorite state park or discover a new one. Many parks offer fun and educational programming. Environmental education is just as important as learning to read and write.
9. Play hide n seek or freeze tag – Did you have a busy day? Take a timeout for some stress-free fun by playing these old-fashioned games that require no special equipment.
10. Watch the sunrise or sunset together – If you’re gearing up for school, you may be one of the millions of moms trying to alter family sleep schedules. Our bodies respond to natural changes in daylight. Taking the time to view the sunrise and sunset can help reset your family’s internal clocks.
11. Play a game of catch – A favorite past time because it’s so simple, playing a game of catch can be a great bonding experience. You don’t have to go the traditional route of using baseballs or footballs. Try playing catch with a frisbee or hackysack.
12. Go for a round of disc golf at a local course – While you’ve got the frisbee out, you should really try a round of disc golf. This fun family-friendly game takes players on a walk through patches of woods and open fields as they try to land their discs in baskets. Learn more about Disc Golf and find a course near you.
13. Stargaze in the evening – The 2014 Perseid Meteor Shower peaks between August 10 and August 13. This would be a great time to sit back and relax with the family. Learn more about the Perseid Meteor Shower.
14. Cloud watch during the day – An excellent way to unwind and encourage imagination is to pick out the shapes of clouds scrolling by in the sky.
15. Go geocaching – Geocaching is a modern “treasure hunting,” game. You can download the Geocaching app for your phone and find treasures hidden by other geocachers in unsuspecting places! Check it out.
16. Take a magnifying glass & turn over rocks to view insects close up – Almost everyone has a rock they can turn over and it’s even more fun to explore with a magnifying glass.
17. Skip rocks on a lake or pond – Head to the nearest body of water and enjoy a conversation while seeing how far you can skip rocks. Hint: Choose smooth, flat rocks!
18. Choose a citizen science project to join – Citizen Science involves people in helping scientists collect and manage data related to their studies. Many of these interesting projects are simple and don’t require much of your spare time. Find one here.
19. Visit a local nature center or preserve – Find a nature center or preserve to visit and learn more about the environment around you. Many are free to visit. 20 Free Nature Centers & Preserves in Georgia.
20. Go kayaking or canoeing – Renting a kayak or canoe doesn’t have to be an all-day experience. You can rent for an hour or two and have just as much fun.
21. Splash puddles in the rain – Yes, you can play in the rain!
22. Build a fort – Join the kids in creating a secret fort for your backyard! It can be an elaborate tree house or simple leanto.
23. Find a good tree to climb
24. Hike a mountain for a rewarding view
25. Start a Rock Collection and Make a Rock Garden – Many yards become barren in the winter as all the trees drop their leaves and many plants die back. Liven things up with a rock garden.
26. Use binoculars to observe wildlife such as squirrels & birds - Grab your binoculars and find a quiet spot to sit and get a closer look at the wildlife around you.
27. Collect Trash along a favorite trail – The wildlife and other trail hikers will thank you for packing a bag to collect some of the trash you find.
28. Try a mountain bike trail – Not all mountain biking is extreme. There are many beginner trails that make it easier for kids and newbies to give it a try. Find one near you.
29. Go fishing – My mom used to take us out for short fishing trips along the banks of the lake. We rarely caught anything, but we had a fun time!
30. Visit a National Park or Recreation Area – You’ll find many outdoor adventures at your National Parks, Recreation Areas and Historic Sites and you’ll probably learn something, too!
31. Read a book under a tree – Finally, when those reading assignments start piling up, take them outdoors and read under a tree.