I love my laptop, my tablet, my phone, the apps that come with them. Mileage trackers, social media apps, e-book readers, and the ability to deposit a check with the push of my mobile device’s camera button. I am addicted to them.
In addition to this, every four years, I become addicted to the Olympics. As a little girl, I would watch the athletes compete on television and read their stories in the newspapers and magazines. Now, I can watch them live, digitally record them to view later, stream a competition on one of my many devices, and follow the scores and medal ceremonies on the various Olympic-related apps. My two addictions merge!
So, how can I tear myself away from the technology, really unplug, and yet still celebrate the Olympics while adventuring outdoors with my son? I can turn the outdoors into our own mini-Olympics! There are so many sports competed in the Summer Olympics that can inspire fun while outdoors with little ones.
While watching the Olympics I am constantly thinking: How can I incorporate these events into our daily time outdoors? Some are obvious, like swimming and running. When in the pool I can shout, “Kick your legs fast like the Olympic swimmers!” or “Throw the ball to me like water polo!”. Or when on the trail, “Can you race me to that tree?” Others need a little more imagination.
Make a target from a large leaf or rock and see how close you can throw a stick to it – Archery!
Fallen log along the trail? Make it a balance beam to walk across – Gymnastics!
Small rocks on the trail? Pretend like they are hurdles to jump over – Track and Field!
Low hanging branch? Perfect time to practice hanging from the bars – Gymnastics!
What is heavier? This rock or this dandelion? – Weightlifting!
Near some running water? Have two sticks “race” each other down the stream – Rowing!
Make an obstacle course out of the environment around you – Triathlon!
Use the Olympics to motivate your kiddos to go farther on their bikes, on trails, in pools, and further in life in general! There are limitless opportunities for inspirational fun! How have the Olympics inspired outdoor fun for your family? Share with us here!
Photo Credits: Tais Kulish, Olympic Games
Christel Peters is a Branch Ambassador for Hike it Baby Spearfish and the Mama to Sebastian. When she isn’t chasing her adventurous toddler on the trails she is one of the Blog Editors for Hike it Baby. Do you have a story that should appear on our blog? Let us know!! email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org