Forming strong parent-child relationships is an important part of your child’s development. According to the Institute for Family Studies, a strong father-daughter relationship encourages self reliance and assertiveness in girls, and a strong mother-son relationship develops a higher emotional intelligence and confidence in boys. The best way to create a strong foundation for these relationships is activities together. Outdoor activities are a great bonding activity. Not only do you get to work on the relationship, you and your child can get vitamin D too!
Here are some fun outdoor activities you and your child can enjoy while building and maintaining your relationship with each other.
Go for a Bike Ride
Riding a bike is a great way for you and your child to get exercise and spend time together. It can be done in a variety of ways; in the cul-de-sac while they are still on a tricycle, around the park once they get older, or in a side carrier on your bike through the neighborhood. If you do not have a bike many bike shops will rent them out for a day. Just make sure you and your child are wearing helmets that properly fit, and ride carefully!
Wash Your Car Together
This is an easy activity that can be done with supplies you already have at home. Just gather some soap, sponges, and a hose, and then you will be all good to go. This is a good activity while it’s still hot outside and you are looking to cool off. Extra bonus: you will have a clean car by the end of it!
Flying a kite is a more relaxed activity for you and your child that can be done in the front yard, at a park, at the beach, or pretty much anywhere with open space. If you do not have a kite, you can purchase one for a reasonable price at a sporting goods store or online. You could even find one with princesses on it for your child obsessed with disney or a dinosaur for your child infatuated with the jurassic age.
This is another more relaxing activity that can be done in your own driveway! Chalk is a classic outdoor children’s activity for all ages. As a challenge for your artistic child, you could use a roll of masking tape and create a color-blocked mural. Drawing with side-walk chalk can also be an activity to teach foundational motor skills and explore creativity with a younger child.
Here is a less-common activity that your older children will definitely enjoy! Just pitch a tent in the yard and bring out sleeping bags and you are all good to go. For extra fun, light up the fire pit or use the oven to roast s’mores and take turns telling spooky stories. This activity also works for your younger children or those less inclined to sleep outside. Just head inside for bed after some stargazing!
Visit a National Park
On the National Park Service website, you can find a national park near you. A National Park is a great place for your junior explorer to experience nature. Many parks offer programs for children and families such as storytelling, recreational trails, and many other fun events and activities. Even a self-guided walk around the park can be a fun way to spend the afternoon.
Here’s a fun learning activity that you and your children can continue to tend to over the summer. A low maintenance plant like the coneflower or peppermint would be an easy way to start developing your child’s green thumb. You can add to the fun by painting pots or signs for the garden as well!
Front Yard Bowling
If you want to try something new, front-yard bowling is a great, easy way to have fun while staying at home. Set up empty cans or bottles for the pins and use a light to medium weight ball. A great activity for older kids with an interest in sports and competition.
Playing with Bubbles
A great activity for younger children that can keep them occupied for a long time. Playing with bubbles also has developmental benefits like visual tracking, spatial awareness, and motor skills. For older children you can always turn into a game and see who can blow and pop more bubbles the fastest.
Now that you have more ideas on what dad/daughter and mother/son activities to do with your children outside, try these out at home! For more educational content about fun activities for families to do together, check out the Learning Experience’s YouTube channel Bubbles and Friends!