By Jim Sanders

Raising children is a challenging experience that causes you to see and understand the world in a new way. Participating in a wide variety of family activities is one way that you can ensure they are getting the tools necessary to grow up well. The technological age has led to many families retreating indoors all of the time. However, it is important that your kids have ample outdoor time throughout the year.

family fun hot air balloon ride

Hot Air Balloon Ride

One unique idea for an afternoon adventure is to take a hot air balloon ride. There are several locations around the world where you can rent a trip. If one is not near you, consider adding it to your next vacation itinerary.

Most hot air balloon companies schedule the rides when winds are calmest, at dawn and dusk. Your kids can learn about the sport and many crews will allow the passengers to participate inflating and deflating the balloon. A topographical map can help you identify the landmarks below and you can take pictures for a scrapbook of the ride.

Family Fun Hiking Adventures

You can teach your kids about hiking adventures as soon as they can rest safely and snuggly in a wearable baby carrier. While you will not be able to go on long intensive hikes with them until they are in their teens, you can instill the practice of getting on the move when they are young. Teach them about the terrain and the plants you encounter, adjusting the lesson depth and hike length according to the health, ages and abilities of everyone.

Kayaking

If you live close enough to a recreational area with kayak or canoe rentals, you can include them in your family activities. You can pack a picnic lunch and make a fun day out in nature together. Some parks also have hiking trails at either end of the water transport rental services. Make sure you take along plenty of sunscreen, bug repellant and water and you are sure to have an interesting trip away from the confines of the city.

Charity Car Wash

In addition to fun, you can take the opportunity to teach your children about giving. Depending on the size of your family, you may need to invite in one or more families to assist with organizing a car wash for charity.

boy washing carBecause it is for a charitable cause, you can likely find a business that will allow you to use their parking lot and water. The ideal location is a busy intersection though being on a main road should provide plenty of exposure. The kids can make signs including what charity the money will be given to. After the profits are totalled, the whole family can deliver the cashier’s check to the cause.

Fans of the Harry Potter series and those with an interest in unusual sports might be interested in learning to play Quidditch. Although certain aspects cannot be replicated, there are teams all around the world dedicated to the sport, with many seeking to have it as an Olympic sport. You could even start a league in your area if there is sufficient interest!

Obstacle Course or Treasure Hunt

Create an obstacle course or treasure hunt for early morning or late afternoon fun. Ideas for an obstacle course include jumping rope, performing a set of push-ups or sit-ups, simple yoga poses and the hula hoop. Take into consideration the ages and skills of your children and adjust the number of repetitions or other requirements to make the competition fair and challenge everyone.

As for a treasure hunt, you can choose to leave one note with all of your clues or have them find the notes one at a time. You can find many suggested themes for treasure hunts online. Changing styles will help to keep it challenging for you and them.

Use these suggestions and continue to learn about unique activities that may be available in your area that your entire family can participate in. Schedule outdoor adventures as often as possible and take the chance to vary the routine and explore the world together.

Jim Sanders is a health enthusiast and enjoys working out. Visit his site, OutdoorExerciseIdeas.com for the latest outdoor exercise tips and advice.

Geraldine Jensen

Publisher and Editor of Families Online Magazine. Our experts provide warm, loving, and generous advice for you, your family and children, no matter their age -- infants, school age, 'tweens, and teenagers. Features include:Parenting, Ages and Stages of Child Development, Child Support, Cooking, Health, Children's Books, Nutrition, Christian Parenting, Relationships, Green-living, Education and School

Ms. Jensen is a leading advocate for families and children and was the founder and president of ACES, The Association for Children for Enforcement of Support.
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