We all benefit from time spent outside, regardless of age, location, gender, interests, or physical abilities. But, it can also really be hard to just get out the door, especially as a family. We are distracted by a million other “must-dos” and so easily forget that even just 15 minutes of outdoor time makes a difference. Fresh air helps calm our senses, makes us more productive, encourages us to connect better with the people we love, and helps us sleep better.
Earth Day is a fantastic time to unplug from all our screens and take a few minutes to appreciate this amazing planet we call home. Our friend, Amelia, of Tales of a Mountain Mama shares easy ways to spend time connecting with nature and our families and embracing the world around us.
1. Pick up trash in your neighborhood
This is the easiest way to get the whole family involved in some Earth Day clean-up. Hand each family member a bag and go on a walk together. See who can collect the most trash by the time you get back home. Have little ones who need to seriously burn off some energy? Hold one bag for the family and let them run back and forth picking up trash. Your neighborhood will thank you!
2. Go on a new-to-you hike/walk near your home and notice spring!
Spring is full of new life, and the seasons change so quickly. Choose a new trail and go on a hike or, if you live in a more urban area, choose a walking route you have never done before. Look for buds on trees, blooming flowers, animals coming out of their dens, insects flying or crawling, and new growth. Celebrate spring moisture with some puddle-jumping or, if you dare, a mud fight.
3. Eat a meal outside
After months of colder temperatures and/or more questionable and unpredictable weather, spring is a great time to bring meal time outside. This could be on a blanket in your yard, packing a meal to eat in the woods, a picnic on the beach, or just hauling a table outside. It could be as simple as crackers, cheese, and salami, or as complicated as a full meal on the grill. Everything tastes better outside!
4. Do an outdoor scavenger hunt
Need just a little more motivation outside? A simple scavenger hunt often makes all the difference. Make a list of items that you want your family to find and see if you can check them all off together. Some ideas you may consider:
- A piece of trash
- A decomposing leaf
- A bird
- A pinecone
- A flower
- An animal running
This biking scavenger hunt birthday party idea is also really fun too!
5. Plan a camping trip!
Camping trips are a great time to make memories as a family. As you plan your trips this summer, this camping prep pack will help (it also includes a Nature Bingo card and our favorite recipes for outdoor eating).
6. Make a mud kitchen!
Spring is the BEST time to make a mud kitchen. Building one doesn’t need to be elaborate. Some old pans or dishes, some dirt and water seem to do the trick. You can also print out the free mud kitchen recipe cards here for some added fun.
Amelia lives with her husband and five children in Grand Teton National Park outside of Jackson, WY. Their family finds their greatest joy and connectedness outside….even when getting out the door is challenging. You can find Amelia at her popular outdoor-family blog, Tales of a Mountain Mama and on Instagram @mtnmamatales.