Getting Kids Outside- What They Love To Do Straight From The Kiddo’s Mouth

When I was a kid, our goal was to be outside. There weren’t video games, smart phones or cable TV channels. As a matter of fact, we only had 5 TV channels and after they had squiggly lines running through them. In the summertime, after breakfast we were outside. The rules our parents gave us were vague, you know, you can only play between “Little Johnny’s” Yard and the 2nd light post, be home for lunch, if you get muddy leave your clothes in the garage and rinse off in the hose and don’t be late for dinner. We were lucky that almost every home that had kids also had a mom home during the day, so had lunch at different friend’s house every day. We played in the woods, in the ditch, on swing sets and in treehouses. Outside was the place to be and our imagination had no limits. 

Top Things To Do With Kids Outside

With the internet at our fingertips and this article title in hand I set out to find out what the “Top Things To Do With Kids Outside” was, I was surprised and also disappointed. Many articles listed “destinations” to go too. A destination is great, but I was looking for more good old fashioned get your hands in the dirt fun! I did, however, find more articles than expected with things to do outdoors. Most were from the first year of COVID, when outside was the only thing people and families could do. I really liked this article 50 Fun Things To Do Outside As A Family, by Amanda Rock and posted on Very Well Family. There were so many on the list that took me back to my childhood, so many that I could see doing with my grandchildren; Paint rocks, make birdfeeders out of pinecones, peanut butter and birdseed, run through the sprinkler and blow bubbles to name a few. And then I thought, instead of searching the internet for answers, why don’t I go straight to the source. So, I asked our teams’ children and grandchildren to see what they wanted to do to have fun outside. 

Kids blowing bubbles outside

I asked, “What are your favorite things to do outside?”

Believe it or not, none of them listed a destination experience. Instead, the answers were active, creative and sports related. I asked ten children ranging in ages from 4 years old to 14 years old. When it came to sports related activities, the answers were pretty standard, I think. The answers took me back, playing soccer, playing football and basketball and playing badminton. There were also the non-sports “sports” activities like Running around the yard and running competitions, taking a walk in nature, riding my bike and playing and doing stunts on a scooter.

kids playing football

Some of my favorite things to do in the outdoors

Some of my favorite in the outdoor category were building forts, playing in the hideout in the woods, climbing trees, birdwatching, sitting down and enjoying the outside with my buddies and friends and making nature soap (we may have to get this recipe. And then there were the answers that defined this kids as our own. I knew that by asking families directly connected to SLG2, Inc I would get answers that defined the impact we are wanting to have on our children and grandchildren. These categories include, Camping, Fishing, Hunting and Going to the Range and Using Outdoor things to make their own camouflage.

If you go to the range, please ensure you practice firearm safety and follow the safety rules.

child outside with safety equipment from walker's and birchwood Casey

A challenge to find your favorite thing to do outside

I will conclude by saying that I am pleasantly surprised. There was a time where everyone had focused themselves indoors, using TV and video games as entertainment. We know that those things still exist and impact the youth today, but to hear and read so much joy from these kids about doing fun things outside brings a smile to my heart and takes me back to playing between the streetlights and creating fun with what Mother Nature gives us.

Now, you have a challenge. What can you do to expand your children and grandchildren’s outdoor experiences? Maybe bring back something you used to do or always wanted to do when you were a kid. And don’t forget to do it with them, Outdoor activities are not just for the young, but for us all!

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