We millennials, always face time crunches owing to the daily grind. Chores, office deadlines, relentless homework of the children & finally, the wistful longing for a good night’s sleep, the list is never ending. But hey, no matter how rhetoric it may sound, quality time should NOT be relegated to the ‘WEEKEND’ pigeonhole. Have we thought about how simple outdoor activities could undo this maddening bustle of our lives & make it gratifying?
NO. It’s not about WANDERLUSTING. These are 9 absolutely FREE outdoor activities that you could do as a family.
And by the way, if yours is a family with chirping kids, these are just tailor-made for you.
Have you got your own backyard or a park near your home? Then there’s nothing like it. You can steal at least 30 minutes or an hour from your day to go out for a jog or walk together. This isn’t about being a fitness buff, but nurturing precious moments where you can talk, giggle or laugh over something as you jog or walk.
Children love exploring their time outdoors & they’d even enjoy racing with you if you couple this activity with a step-counting app or device. We have these fun walks & jogs very often at the nearby park or on the terrace.
2. Flying Kites
Kite-flying is one of the most stimulating outdoor activities you can do with your partner & kids. Old school but matchlessly exciting, flying kites as a group relaxes your mind & brings you closer to nature as you watch the kites glide on a pleasant breeze. The whole process of either making a kite or buying one too is exciting. Nonetheless to say, the memories made here are everlasting.
3. Bonding over the Beach
No matter how cliché it may sound, a sunny day at the beach has always topped the list of most entertaining outdoor activities since centuries. Be it for a family or a troupe of best buddies.
We, being from Goa, always make it a point to spend a day at a beach whenever we drop in there. You could as well laze around at a shack relishing some delectable local cuisine or even build sand castles with the children.
I’m not a swimmer, but I still have lucid memories of my father getting me the hang of swimming, as a 3 year old with the help of a swimming ring. And I would have remembered these even if my mother had not captured those sepia-toned colored photographs!
If yours is a family of an artist(s), carrying a canvas board to the shores would make a perfect plan along the beautiful backdrop.
4. Go Fishing
Fishing is yet another enjoyable activity you can do outdoors.
The entire process builds great excitement in the fishers. Right from packing simple baits, rods, ice & bucket to getting to the fishing spot, everything brims with immense zeal.
Well, our place was known for abundant clams. And Dad often reserved some of his holidays for clam fishing. I remember those fishing buckets full of clam & we’d store them to relish during the week. Amazing memories, indeed.
Fishing is also a great stress-buster & also promotes good concentration & motor skills with children. Nonetheless, be sure to keep this amazing activity well supervised at all times. And honestly, what parallels the joy of bringing home your own fish that you didn’t have to haggle for at the fishery/fish store?
Well, this one may require a little effort in terms of nudging your little members to join you for the first time. But, as they see you tending to the plants & literally nurturing an urban farm on your terrace, balcony or backyard, they’d be inspired to hop along.
All the activities such as digging up the soil, seed-sowing, bunding & regular watering is what kids will cherish. Because, why not? Kids love to get messy! Get them an apron & the gardening gear if you wish to make it a more interesting for them.
Gardening is also a great way to sensitizes young children about conservation of water. Get them to observe the amount of water you’re showering over the plants either from a hose or a can to avoid any water wastage.
Gardening with kids also comes with numerous benefits in the cognitive development of the child. It passively teaches patience, & literally cultivates admiration for nature & the environment. You can check out some really compelling benefits of gardening with your kids here.
6. Washing your Car/Bike
This is a very customary sight at our place. Get to wash & clean your car or bike together. And watch the mainstream chore turn into a fun-soaked time! Get your sponges, buckets & wipers out with your kids.
It would be fantastic to get your children bring their toy car or bike out with you & clean along while revelling in the lather & seeing their bike sparkle towards the end of the fun session.
7. Potluck Picnics
Love the alliteration? The essence of a potluck picnic is double the fun! Nothing matches the pleasure & zest that seeps into going on a picnic which is a potluck set up with another family(s).
While the food preparation part may be the only essential effort that a typical potluck may demand, the jolly time that it welcomes is beyond words.
If you’ve got toddlers or kindergarteners who carouse at seeing patterns & shapes around them, skywatching has to be on their list of favorite outdoor activities.
The most effortless, yet enjoyable thing to do on a lazy evening or night after dinner! Skywatching is an excellent & most natural conversation starter over celestial bodies that we’re surrounded by in the universe. From funny cloud shapes, shape of the moon, counting the number of stars to occasionally spotting Mars, this is absolute bliss.
My kid loves the night skywatch from our terrace.
9. Simple Playtime
A lot of us today have become sedentary souls yearning to step out & play some favourite outdoor sport which used to be our childhood lifeline.
Try reserving some time out to go out & play some sport with your partner or kids. It could be badminton, cricket or even hopscotch for that matter! No court, no stadium, no club membership. Only pure joy & relaxation.
Aren’t these outdoor pursuits simple & doable?
So, which one are you going to start with today?