Get Outside

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Unless you live somewhere warm, you’ve waited all winter for the weather to be nice. Summer vacation is right around the corner, so get out there and enjoy God’s beautiful creation! Feel the warm sun on your face and the wind in your hair. Listen to the birds singing. Watch for animals. And have fun with your friends and family! Here are some great things to do outside this summer.

Breakfast Picnic

Have a breakfast picnic in your pajamas! Put a blanket on your lawn or porch. Bring your breakfast outside and eat it while you watch the world wake up.
Here are some yummy breakfast ideas:

  1. Breakfast burritos: Wrap scrambled eggs and shredded cheese in a tortilla.
  2. Yogurt parfait: Put about an inch (3 cm) of yogurt in the bottom of a glass. Then add an inch of fruit, then an inch of granola. Repeat all the layers one more time. Top it off with fruit.
  3. Breakfast banana pops: Peel a banana and cut it in half. Push a popsicle stick into the bottom of one banana half. Then roll the banana in granola, crushed cereal, coconut, or other fun toppings.

Dino Zoo

Take some plastic dinosaurs or animals outside. Build a zoo for them out of sticks and stones. Make sure they have food to eat, water to drink, shade to keep them cool, and fun things to do. And don’t forget to separate the meat-eaters from the plant-eaters!

Night Bowling

Did you ever bowl at night? Try it! Here’s what you need:

  1. 10 plastic water bottles with caps
  2. 10 glow sticks from the dollar store
  3. A rubber ball (a small basketball works great)

Fill the bottles with water. Put one glow stick in each bottle. Put the caps on the bottles. Then set the bottles up in a triangle shape like this:

Take turns trying to knock all the bottles down by rolling a ball at them, just like in real bowling. If you don’t have glow sticks, you can bowl in the daytime without them. 

Nature Bingo

Go on a hike in the woods or visit a park to look for these things. Mark your finds off on this chart. If you’re the first person to get five in a row (either up and down, sideways, or diagonally), yell “Bingo!”—you win!

 

Spiderweb

 

An acorn

 

A Y-shaped twig

 

Moss

 

Something rough

 

A dead tree

 

A mushroom (don’t touch)

 

Pine needles

 

A piece of bark

 

A flying bug

 

Something brown

 

A flower

 

FREE

 

Water

 

A worm

 

A leaf with a hole in it

 

A crawling bug

 

A bird

 

A smooth stone

 

Something red

 

A seed

 

Something prickly

 

Ants

 

A pinecone

 

A squirrel

 

Outdoor Games

Kick the Can: This is a WAY more fun version of hide and seek. All you need is a big empty can, like a paint can, and a large outdoor playing area.  One player guards the can while the rest try to kick it over when that person isn’t looking. You can find the rules at fungameskidsplay.com/kickthecangame.htm.

Spray Bottle Tag: Freeze tag is more fun with water! Give everyone a spray bottle filled with water (you can buy them at a dollar store). Choose someone to be “It.” If that person sprays someone, the person who got sprayed has to freeze. The other players can unfreeze the person by spraying them again. If the person who is “It” freezes everyone, the game is over.

Water Balloon Baseball: Fill a bunch of balloons with water until they’re the size of a baseball. Tie them closed. Then have batting practice. If you hit the water balloon and it breaks, it’s a home run! If you miss and it breaks on the ground, it’s a strike. Safety note: Broken pieces of balloon are a choking hazard for pets and little kids, so pick up the broken pieces of balloon when you’re done.

Shadow Shapes

On a sunny day, put a large piece of white paper on an outdoor table. Put some things with interesting shapes on the paper. You can use toys, branches, flowers in a vase, or other things. Move them around until the shadows fall where you want them. Then trace the shadows that you see.

Sidewalk Superheroes

Draw buildings, clouds, and a cape like this on your driveway or sidewalk with chalk. Then lie down on the ground right below the cape. Ask an adult to stand on a ladder or look out a window and take your picture from above. You’ll look like you’re flying!

You can also try drawing butterfly wings instead of a superhero cape. Or draw a tightrope and make it look like you’re walking on it. The possibilities are endless! Grab an adult and search “sidewalk chalk pictures” on Pinterest or Google to find lots of great ideas.

About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.

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