5 Fun Outdoor Weekend Activities
Get some good ideas to jumpstart your weekend outings
Start a “field guide” to your backyard, local park, or neighborhood.
Go outside with a fresh notebook , a pen or pencil, and a few kid-friendly field guides from your local library. Even if you live in a city, there’s plenty of nature to be found:
- Make a “nature” map that shows the trees that line your street, the plants in your garden – all the natural landmarks nearby!
- Note the types of birds, mammals, and insects you see as you wander through your local “habitat.”
Make a list of commonly found natural objects (rock, twigs, flowers, etc), take a walk in the neighborhood with your family, and see who can find all the things on the list first. As your children grow older, they'll be able to make their own scavenger hunt lists – and send YOU on the hunt.
Create a nature table in your home.
What to do with all those little treasures your kids found on their scavenger hunt? There are many ways you can display natural treasures in your home – and avoid finding crushed leaves and dirty rocks on your living room furniture:
Nature Table or Shelf: Designate a flat surface for shells, acorns, etc. Use colored fabric to protect the surface (and to add a decorative note). For a little extra fun, make it a mini-museum, using folded index cards as name plates for each item.
Vase: A clear vase can store a lot of items -- rocks, shells, nuts, etc -- in a relatively small space.
Shoe Holder: Place objects in a hanging shoe organizer with clear pockets, found at many dollar stores or other discount retailers.
Boxes: The many different compartments in a tackle, sewing or tool box serve as great organizers.
Build a fort.
Kids will have no trouble coming up with imaginative ways to build their own outdoor hideout. Here are some ideas suggested by Green Hour parents over the years:
- Find long, sturdy sticks and use twine to tie them together in a tepee formation. Use leaves, weeds and other natural items to make a covering.
- Drape blankets on tree limbs.
- Often the inside of a bush provides a nice kid-sized hideaway.
- Recycle a large box, cut out windows, and call it home!
Our five senses are gifts that allow us to experience all the wonder the world has to offer. Head outside for a walk, being mindful of not only what you see, but what you can hear, smell, feel -- even (with caution) taste!