How to Get Outside With Your Kids This Summer

Children today are spending more time inside than ever before.

Health & Wellness
 Min read
June 27, 2024

Children today are spending more time inside than ever before. The average American child spends on average 5-8 hours a day looking at a screen, while only getting 4-7 minutes of unstructured outdoor play. 

However, studies agree that kids who play outside are smarter, happier, and less anxious than kids who spend more time indoors.

Author Richard Louv best known for his book Last Child in the Woods writes: “Time in nature is not leisure time; it's an essential investment in our children's health.” Playing outside is as important as eating nutritious food or getting a full night’s sleep for human health. 

So, how can you, as a parent, encourage your children to get outdoors? Go with them!

Here are some helpful tips and fun ideas to get your family outside this summer and begin cultivating a habit that will last a lifetime. (Psst…don’t forget to check out our summer safety tips before you go).

Take a walk 

Walking is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get outside and stay active. Explore your neighborhood, visit local parks, or find scenic walking trails. Use this time to talk about your day, share stories, and enjoy each other's company. You can also turn it into a fun adventure by playing games like "I Spy" or counting how many different types of birds or flowers you can spot.

Eat meals outside

Eating is an essential part of your day anyway, why not stack this habit with the habit of getting outdoors? Set up a picnic blanket in the shade and enjoy meals or snacks at a nearby park or on your lawn. 

You can even prepare the meals outside too if you want to avoid turning on your oven; cook on the grill or let the kids warm up hot dogs over a bonfire.

Looking for some healthy snacks to help you beat the heat? Check out these Healthy Summer Snack recipes or Nutritious Summer Smoothie ideas.


Gardening is not only therapeutic but also teaches children about the importance of nurturing God's creation. It's a wonderful way to spend time together, get moving, and cultivate a sense of wonder right in your own backyard. 

Start small with a few pots of herbs or flowers, or take on a bigger project like a vegetable garden. Let your kids help with planting, watering, and harvesting. It’s a hands-on way to teach them about responsibility and the lifecycle of plants.

Go for a Swim

Heading to the beach or a local lake can be a fantastic way to cool off and enjoy the summer sun. Swimming, building sandcastles, and playing beach games are great ways to stay active and have fun.

Make sure to always keep a close eye on children when they’re near water and follow all safety guidelines. Bring plenty of sunscreen, water, and healthy snacks to make the most of your day out.

Family Hikes and Nature Walks

Exploring nature trails and hiking paths is an excellent way to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation while getting some exercise. Choose trails that are suitable for your children's ages and fitness levels.

Before you head out, make a list of nearby parks or nature reserves and choose a new one to explore each week. Bring along a guidebook on local flora and fauna to make it educational and engaging. Pack a picnic, bring plenty of water, and don’t forget to take lots of breaks to enjoy the scenery.


Camping is an immersive way to experience the outdoors and bond as a family. It offers a break from screens and daily routines, allowing everyone to reconnect with nature and each other.

Plan a camping trip to a nearby campground or even set up a tent in your backyard. Teach your kids essential outdoor skills like setting up a tent, building a fire, and cooking over a campfire. Share stories, sing songs, and enjoy the simplicity of life away from modern distractions.

Pietra Fitness