To help you come up with ways to entertain your kids while reintroducing them to the outdoors this summer, here are seven simple family field trips.
After the long cold winter kids tend to have a lot of pent up energy. I know we’re still battling (and recuperating) from the Chicago winter! That makes spring the perfect time to get them outdoors. Not only will they burn off some of that excess energy, but they can start to learn a bit about the natural world too.
7 Ideas For Outdoor Family Field Trips In Spring Time
Visit a farm
Why not take your kids on a trip to a farm, zoo or sanctuary? Each of these have their own particular merits. A zoo will give your children the chance to learn about an enormous range of animals from all over the world. A farm will show them a bit about the way we get our food, and also might offer them the chance to pet some baby animals – always a hit! And a sanctuary will let them get up close with a particular species that’s endangered or under threat and give them a really great understanding of how that animal lives in the wild.
Even though we’re in the Chicagoland area, we love heading up north to the Milwaukee County Zoo.
Visit a garden
Gardens are also a great way to introduce your kids to nature. Come spring, everything will be in bloom and the garden will likely be at its best. Bright colors and pretty flowers will be everywhere. In a garden kids have the opportunity to learn about plants and trees, and also about insects, birds and small mammals.
Go to a park
Take a picnic in your local park and feed the birds, or head to a national park to see some of the world’s great landscapes. Heading out to either in spring is a guaranteed great time, giving your kids the chance to run around and play while they investigate the wildlife that they come across.
One summer we even made it a goal to visit a new local playground in the area when the kids were toddlers. We had so much fun exploring new places!
Take a trip on a lake
If you fancy a change from the usual park walks and zoo visits then why not take a boat trip on a lake or river? Kids will enjoy doing something new and different, being surrounded by water instead of land. And they’ll see things they wouldn’t see on the land – different birds and animals and different views of the land. New experiences like these are great ways to help fill in any their ideas about the natural world.
Camping is great fun for all the family. Kids especially love the chance to sleep in a tent and sit around a campfire cooking marsh mallows and sausages. Camping takes kids a step closer to the natural world, putting them right in the middle of it for a night or two and giving them much more time to spend exploring their springtime world.
If you’re not sure if your kids are ready for camping, why not camp in your own backyard?
Collect things for craft sessions
One way to make a trip outdoors more fun for your kids is to encourage them to collect interesting things they find along the way. It could be a nice shaped stick, a pretty stone, an animal bone or deer antlers, a feather or any number of other things. Once you get back home, you can turn these things into little pieces of art. Make a small sculpture in the garden or turn these bits and pieces into a mobile and hang it in your home.
Every time we go to Florida, we love to collect sea shells and then create something to remind us of the sun there.
Take a nature walk
Take the whole family out on a nature walk in a scenic area nearby. Be sure to bring a camera and encourage your kids to take photos of anything that interests them. That helps to keep them occupied while you’re out, and later when you’re home you can look back through the pictures and talk about what your child has seen.
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