It’s no secret there are tons of amazing benefits that come from spending time in the outdoors. Unfortunately, life can get in the way, making it hard to get outdoors with our families as much as we would like. Days fill up with errands, doctor appointments, after-school activities and homework. Add to that sick kiddos and shorter winter days and outside time can become a thing of the past.
But don’t despair! Below is a list of ideas to help keep the outdoor motivation strong even when life has other plans.
1. Put it on the calendar
If you actually sit down and figure out when you can fit some outdoor fun into your schedule, then it’s much more likely that you will make it happen.
2. Include others in your outdoor time
Make plans with other outdoor-loving friends and families. Hike it Baby makes this so easy! Host a hike or join one that is already scheduled. If you know that other people are counting on you, it’s less likely that you will cancel. The kiddos will also be way more excited knowing there will be other children to adventure with.
3. Find a spot close to home
Outdoor time doesn’t need to be something big and complicated. Go to the park or find a trail close to home. As long as you get outside, it’s a win for everyone.
4. Plan the night before
Many times, getting out the door is the hardest part. Get the clothes laid out, snacks ready and all the gear in the car the night before and most of your work is done. You can even prepare a breakfast on-the-go the night before, so all you have to do when you wake up is get the kids dressed, put them in the car and go, go, go!
5. Book it
I recently booked a canyoneering adventure for my family. It was something we had never done before, and we were all super excited about it. Trying something new and exploring new locations is always good motivation. Get online and find a guide or a guided tour in your area. Booking a campsite, a class to learn a new outdoor skill or even something like an indoor climbing gym is great because it gives you skills you can use on your next outdoor adventure.
6. Sign up for a challenge
There is nothing like a good challenge to get you motivated to make some goals and get outside. The 365-mile Challenge, 52 Hike Challenge and the Hike it Baby 30 are great ways to find your community and get motivated by others who are making outdoor time a priority. See this list of different hiking and outdoor challenges in 2018.
Pack up the kids and go do homework at the park. Get a picnic together and do dinner at one of your favorite outdoor locations. Mixing things up makes it so much more fun for the kids, and chances are if you are outside, there is going to be some adventuring involved.
8. Make a bucket list
Sit down with the kids and make a list of all the hikes you want to do and all the places you want to visit. Hang that list on the wall or fridge so everyone can see it. Seeing the list of all the things you want to do in the outdoors and checking off that list is motivating and fun for everyone.
9. Just do it
It’s so easy to think of all the stuff on the to-do list and lose motivation for getting outside. But if you have the basics like water, snacks and good shoes, then just get out and go. Don’t overthink it.
Getting outside in nature is one of the best things that you can do to relieve stress, so maybe you need to say “no” to a few of the things filling your plate and say “yes” to adventure!
10. Give yourself a break
If the busyness of life has gotten in the way and you haven’t had time to get outside, don’t beat yourself up about it. We are all doing the best we can. Use this list to help motivate you to get outdoors with your family in the future.
I hope these ideas help you to find some time to get outside this season and reap the benefits of Mother Nature.
Photos by Arika Bauer.
- Hiking challenges to get your family outside in 2018
- 7 Unique and creative winter hikes your kids will love
- 10 Tips to keep kids moving on the trail
What are some other creative ways you try to get your kids outside? Share in the comments below!