What are the signs that tell you summer is quickly approaching? For me, it’s the first flowers of spring, the unfortunate arrival of mosquitos, and my children’s excitement to start filling out our summer planner.
In years past our kids have loved making extensive summer bucket lists that got taped up to the wall. As the summer rolls on we would cross off every exciting activity completed. We also used those lists to help plan our days and weekend adventures.
Yet, even with 6 sheets of paper filled with activities taped to the walls, we still found ourselves asking “what should we do today?”. So, this year, we’re trying something new. This summer we’re going to try out these summer planning calendars and you can too!
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What is the Outdoor Activity Summer Planner
Take Them Outside is all about helping families connect more with nature. This is why these summer planners focus entirely on getting outdoors. Also, since summer holidays come at different times depending on where you live, there is a calendar for June, July, and August.
You’ll notice that we didn’t suggest an activity for every day, because, well, you’ll likely have your own activities you’d like to write on the calendars. Also, there will be activities that your family loves to do frequently and this way you’ll be able to write those in on the blank days.
Lastly, you’ll notice a weekly Family Adventure Day falling on every Saturday. If Saturday is not the best day for your family activity you can move itto whatever day of the week is best. But, don’t forget that this is a family activity.
You already know how important it is to get your kids outside. When outside in nature your kids can learn through exploring, use their bodies in challenging ways, and develop creativity and social skills with open play. But, getting into nature as a family also adds the bonus of strengthening family bonds by building on communication and cooperation, by sharing new experiences and memories, and by just having fun together!
How to use the Summer Activity Planners and Schedule
Print out the calendars and tape them up on the wall for everyone to see . You may want to slip them into your family scheduler. I know my kids will want to write additional activities on the days which have been left blank. I also know that we will not do everything on these calendars.
If you choose to follow them exactly or loosely is up to you and your family’s style. The goal of these summer planners is to help you and your family get outside to explore, to enjoy nature, and to try a variety of new things. Don’t feel guilty if you miss an activity or two.
Some suggestions for using the Nature-Filled Summer poster
The one page week day activity planner may be helpful for families that prefer to make plans from day to day. Each day of the week has a suggested theme to help you choose an activity for that day.
Make it with nature Monday: Get out your crafting supplies and go hunting for inspiration outdoors. Maybe you can make twig mobiles, press some flower petals, make a seed collage, or weave grasses into crowns
If you’d like some inspiration, Take Them Outside on Pinterest has been compiling a board filled with nature craft and nature art ideas. Go follow it and you’ll always have some nature crafting ideas close at hand.
Take a hike Tuesday: Use this day as a reminder to get outside for a walk or bike-ride through the park or out on a nature trail.
Water-filled Wednesday: Go to the beach, the creek, the river, do some puddle jumping, build drift-wood rafts, or ask Grandpa to take the kids fishing.
Thought-filled Thursday: While playing and adventure outside is great, it’s also good to enjoy some quiet time outdoors as well. Perhaps you could bring some books to the park, do some nature journaling, bird watching, take a nap outdoors, or do some stargazing.
You might also want to use Thought-filled Thursday as a day to give back to nature and your community. Maybe you could go pick up litter at the park, volunteer at the community gardens, walk dogs for the local shelter, or help a neighbor rake up leaves.
Family playday Friday: Remember to get outside as a whole family once in a while! Maybe have a campout, go roast some marshmallows, take a family walk around the neighborhood, visit a new playground, or have a game of baseball. This day is a reminder to play, have fun, do it together and do it outside.
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What should you do now?
- If you’re a family that enjoys getting out into nature but need a little encouragement, these nature scavenger hunts might be the perfect thing!
- Read some great tips from outdoor families for keeping your children moving when out hiking with kids
- Learn how to easily make pizza box solar oven smores that your kids will love!