Life has changed, that’s for sure. If you’re still working outside the home, working from home, and have kids home from school, that makes for some unique challenges.
We think there are some silver linings in this, and one of those is spending time outdoors with family. We like the upside of being outside!
Check out some ideas for making your time together education and fun!
Make a Nature Trail in Your Backyard
You can create your very own nature walk right in your backyard. Whether your space is small or large, get creative and create a path for your kids.
There are several ways to do this:
- You can make it official and visit the hardware store for some gardening supplies. You can always mulch a path and line it with edging or rocks.
- Or you can use what you have. Consider using some string to lay out a path.
- Or, gather some sticks and rocks to create your path.
The key here is to involve the kids. This becomes a great learning experience in planning, a little bit of math, and a whole lot of nature.
When you take your nature walk, encourage your family to learn about the birds and bugs you see. Snap photos of them so they can look them up on a rainy day.
Bring the art outside and draw a story about where the nature path might take you.
As a bonus, put some lanterns outside and take your walk at night – show the kids what different things they’ll see in the dark.
Build a Birdhouse
Help bring the nature to your backyard.
By building a birdhouse together, you can practice planning and math skills again. Then, you can do some science by researching the birds in your backyard. Decide how big of a house you’ll need.
Visit the Audobon Society website. Here you can learn about the right type of birdhouse might be just right for your backyard.
This is also a great chance to learn about the different types of birds. Encourage your kids to keep a birding journal. Have them go outside a different times of the day, draw a picture of the birds they see, and take a few notes.
Plan and Plant a Garden
It’s not too early to plant a garden. Early spring is the perfect time for lettuce, peas, radish, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and much more!
Get your family together and plan your garden. Lay it out on a piece of paper so you can decide what to plant where. This is also a good chance to teach your family about money. Show them how much you’ll save on produce this summer.
While you can grow your garden right in the dirt in your backyard, you will have better luck with raised beds. Teach your kids how to build and fill them for more math work.
Then, journal each day to see what happens with your seeds and plants. Teach the kids how to water and weed. Once they get to picking the results of your garden, you’ll have lifelong lovers of gardening!
Have Pet Obedience School
The backyard is a great place to teach your kids how to train your dog. This is more science, and your kids will never know it because it’s so fun.
Dedicate some time each day – 20 minutes is good – to working with your dog. It’s never too late to teach your canine friends some tricks, and everyone will love the outside time.
If you don’t have a training book, there are plenty of resources online. Your kids can even find them. Then grab a leash and some treats, and head outside for an afternoon of bonding with your pets.
Make a Fort
While forts are super fun inside, they are even more fun outside. Why? No one is worried they’ll break anything!
You can always set up a tent, but encourage your kids to get creative with objects in the backyard to build their fort.
Then, throw a sheet up between a few trees in the evening and watch a movie!
Don’t forget to grill a great dinner and cook some S’Mores!
There is always an upside to being outside. Fresh air. Nature. Earth. Freedom. Family fun.
We encourage you to spend some time each day outside with your family. Not only will you all feel better during the stay at home orders, but you’ll turn this time into one filled with long-lasting family memories.
And, don’t forget, a little bit of education, too.