8 Amazing Ways to Spend More Time Outdoors as a Family

You probably know that sunshine and fresh air are important for good health, yet you and your family may spend most of your time cooped up indoors.

To inspire you to get outdoors, check out Parenting Rockstar’s 8 amazing ways to spend more time outdoors as a family!

children building stick house outdoors

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Outdoor Family Activities

If you were to estimate the percentage of your life that you spend indoors, what number would you guess?  30%, 50%, 60%?

According to one major survey, the average person in the United States and Canada spends 87% of their time indoors and another 6% riding in vehicles.  That’s a whopping 93% of their lives spent indoors, which only leaves 7% of their life spent outdoors!

Some reports link serious health issues to spending too much time indoors.  Increased risk of obesity, heart disease and even cancer may all be tied to what one expert calls “nature deficit disorder.”

Maybe your family is one of the few that spends a lot of time outdoors.  However, we could all use encouragement to find more ways to escape the confines of being indoors.


1. Backyard Blanket Picnic

outdoor family activities

Everyone loves a picnic, but what do you do when you don’t live near a public picnic area? Why, have a backyard picnic, of course!

Gather up your picnic basket, plates and cups, food of choice, and head out to your backyard.  Spread out an old blanket or an outdoor blanket and enjoy your own private picnic spot!

spending family time outdoors at a picnic

Oh, don’t forget the non-toxic insect repellent or colorful repellent bracelets to keep away those pesky mosquitoes!

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Our Top Picnic Gear

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2. Go Fishing

how to spend time outdoors as a family

If you and your kids have never been fishing, you are in for a really fun treat!

Whether you do catch and release or plan to eat what you catch, fishing is one of the most enjoyable and family-friendly outdoor activities available!

You will need rods and reels (this kind is good for beginners), a tackle box with lures, and a net for scooping up your fish!

You can even get this cute kids’ fishing rod kit with tackle box in one convenient package!

And you’ll want a good sun block lotion as well as insect repellent to keep away the flying critters!

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Must-Have Fishing Tools

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Last updated on November 16, 2018 8:00 am

3. Go on a leaf hunt

outdoor family activities

If you live in an area with four seasons, you can take advantage of the cooler fall weather to go outside and have your own fun leaf hunt!

There are some really helpful tree and leaf guides to help you identify what type of leaves you find.

Head down to the local park or nature reserve and see how many different types of leaves you can see.

You can either try and identify each leaf one by one as you gather them up, or take them all home and then use a guide to find out what all you have collected.

Here is a really cute idea for leaf rubbings with crayons:

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Recommended Resources for Tree & Leaf Identification

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4. Work around the yard

outdoor family activities

You may think of yard work like mowing, weeding, or gardening as more chore than fun.  But why not make a day of yard work into a whole family activity?

Particularly for activities like planting flowers or vegetables, kids can be included and encouraged to learn how to handle and care for young plants.

There are some great gardening books for kids.  Why not start developing a green thumb early in life?

You could even get your kids their very own set of gardening tools to work alongside you in the yard or garden!  Don’t forget the gloves to protect young hands while working outdoors!

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Recommended Resources for Young Gardeners

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Last updated on November 16, 2018 8:00 am

5. Gaze at the stars

spending family time outdoors

If you to live in a more rural area or far enough away from city lights, you can go outside on a clear night and experience the wonders of gazing up at the stars!

If you do live in the city, why not hop into your family car and drive out far enough to where you can clearly see the starry sky?

Some families really dig deeper into stars as a hobby. There are some truly amazing resources to help with stargazing.  This book is one of the top-rated star books ones on Amazon.

No special tools are required for stargazing.  However, if you really get ambitious, there are affordable telescopes that bring the night sky much closer and sharper into focus.

This telescope book for kids is a winner!

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Top Picks for Stargazing

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6. Backyard Treasure Hunt

outdoor family activities

Maybe you think of backyard hunts as something only done with Easter eggs.  But a treasure hunt can be done any time of the year, and is a perfect way to spend fun family time outdoors!

Kids of all ages enjoy searching for hidden “treasures.” To do a treasure hunt, you go outside and randomly place the items around your yard. For younger kids you’ll want to make the treasures easy to find, while for older kids you can put the treasures in hard-to-find spots.

The sky is the limit with the types of treasures you can choose to hide, but here are a few suggestions:

The next time the kids say, “Oh mom, we’re bored,” pull out your stash of “hidden treasures” and go have some outdoor fun!

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Must Haves for Your Treasure Hunt

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7. Neighborhood cleanup

outdoor family activities

Taking part in a neighborhood cleanup effort can be a fantastic way to spend time outdoors while helping other people as well!

Some cities or counties have volunteer cleanup campaigns where residents gather together for a few hours and walk along streets and sidewalks picking up trash.

These types of service activities can help teach children responsibility and respect for others.

Another idea for neighborhood serving is finding an elderly neighbor who needs help with yardwork such as raking leaves or pulling weeds.  This would be a wonderful way to brighten up an older person’s day while also helping your neighborhood look nicer!


8. Play in the rain

outdoor family activitiesLast but not least on the list of ways to spend more time outdoors as a family is to play in the rain (or snow, depending on the season.)

Almost all kids love to splash through rain puddles and watch the water go cascading through the air.

Most parents keep kids indoors once the rain begins, but here is your chance to head outside even in inclement weather!

Just grab a couple of colorful umbrellas (this kids’ umbrella is really cute and every little boy loves this one), put on your raincoat or poncho (with a raincoat for your kid), and head outdoors!

You can either go barefoot, wear some old shoes, or put on some waterproof rain boots.

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Top Rain Gear Recommendations

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Last updated on November 16, 2018 8:00 am

Now that you know some of the best ways to spend more time outdoors as a family, we hope you’ll take action and get outside today!

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Ways to Spend More Time Outdoors as a Family

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