8 Unique Ways to Spend More Time in Nature as a Family

Do you remember the last time you looked up at the sky, completely mesmerized? I recently had one of those unforgettable moments with my family.

Last week, an ordinary day turned into an extraordinary experience as my daughter and I watched the solar eclipse. There we were, arms around each other, in awe as the day briefly turned to twilight and the universe put on a spectacular show.

Watching the sun hide behind the moon was truly breathtaking, and experiencing this with my family made it even more awesome. It just goes to show how nature can pull us closer, leaving us with memories we’ll never forget. But here’s something I realized—we don’t have to wait for a special celestial event to enjoy nature’s wonders.

That moment with my family, feeling as if the Creator himself was giving us a gentle reminder of the world’s majesty, was a wake-up call. It made me see how much we’re missing out on!

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With our busy lives, and the constant screen time struggles, it’s easy to forget to take a moment to step outside and breathe in the beauty of life. But I’m on a mission now, and I want you to join me.

I recently collaborated with Lifestyle Expert, Cora Gold, to gain insights on embracing the great outdoors. Cora penned a thought-provoking blog post aimed at uncovering fresh approaches for families to enjoy nature together. I hope this article will give you inspiration for your next outdoor adventure and serve as a friendly invitation to open your heart to the open sky this season.

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Nature has a way of easing your worries and relieving your stress. As spring comes into full swing, it’s the perfect time to get your family outside to relax and have fun together. Here are the best ways to spend your time meaningfully in nature as a family.

1. Go Camping

Camping is one of the most exciting activities to liven up your weekend. Your kids will be thrilled at the prospect. With the right equipment and a few tricks, your family will be all geared up to venture into nature and embrace the experience of sleeping with the greenery.

First, you need a plan — and research if it’s your first time. Set a date and lock in your campsite. Check websites to search for available campgrounds within your area.

Ensure you reach the site before dark so you have ample time to set up camp. Then, you’re all set to prepare meals and enjoy some activities together. Brainstorm games for the kids, like scavenger hunts, to engage their senses in nature.

2. Try Nature Walks

A nature walk at a park, beach or other natural setting is a laid-back activity you can spontaneously plan. It’s also a healthy family habit you can nurture. 

If you’re looking to decompress, strolling through a nearby park with your family can soothe stress and satisfy your children’s curiosity about their surroundings. It’s exercise masked as play, so you can more easily motivate your kids to get active.

Outdoor activities never fail to provide entertainment for kids, so give them buckets and let the contest of collecting nature bits begin. Praise them for the rocks, sticks, nuts, and leaves they’ll gather.

3. Visit Nature Centers

Your kids may find bonding over interactive education more thrilling. In this case, spending your weekend at a nature center is ideal and offers a change of scenery your children will love.

Spending time at a nature center hits multiple birds with one stone. Not only will it help children gain knowledge and get their much-needed vitamin D kick, but you also get the chance to strengthen your family bonds.

Nature centers offer many opportunities to learn, stay active, and engage in the outdoors. Your kids can explore the trails, gardens, and observation areas (while enjoying natural light). Sunshine is an excellent source of vitamin D, which is essential for your little explorers’ growth and development. It also helps their bodies absorb more calcium and phosphate and promotes bone health.

4. Organize Stargazing Nights

Have you tried gazing at the stars and felt like a huge weight has been lifted off your chest? That’s because looking at these twinkly lights is associated with peak experiences, and it reduces stress. It’s an easy activity your family can do on a Friday night to relax and wind down.

Finding a good viewing spot can be challenging if you live in a city where heavy clouds cover the sky. You may need to drive to find the best area for stargazing.

Bring snacks and drinks for the kids to enjoy while taking in nature’s beauty. You can even set up a camp to indulge in the stars’ company longer.

5. Create an Outdoor Play Area

Do you have a spacious yard? If so, you might not need to go far to appreciate the beauty of this planet. A spacious yard enables you to create a sanctuary your children can retreat to whenever they want to bond with Mother Nature.

Creating an outdoor play area can also become a family project that will amplify the building experience. With some equipment and creativity, you can make a custom backyard playground they can use anytime.

The first step is to plan your space and mark off the area. It’s best if it’s near trees to take advantage of natural shade.

Remove or keep the grass, depending on your preference, and add toys like a swing set, trampoline or slide tunnel. Don’t be surprised if this outdoor renovation turns your home into your kids’ favorite place.

6. Plant a Garden

Enjoy fresh produce from your backyard. No kids can say no to a garden — and that’s why you should play with dirt more often in the company of your little ones.

Children have an appetite for things that pique their curiosity. A garden offers biodiversity that can satisfy their inquisitiveness.

Your options for pleasurable natural activities in the garden are endless, from digging to pruning and watering the plants. Convert your dull backyard into a stunning centerpiece by planting various greens.

7. Go on a Picnic

Did you enjoy going on a picnic with your parents when you were young? There’s no reason to break the family ritual now that you have kids. Relish your favorite meal or have a healthy snack under a tree while breathing fresh air and enjoying natural beauty.

The best thing about this activity is that it’s easy to pull off even with less preparation time. All you need in the basket is everyone’s favorite foods and drinks, a blanket, and sunscreen for skin protection. A picnic offers a change of atmosphere and introduces your kids to new natural experiences.

8. Schedule a Beach Day

Bring the entire mermaid squad on a trip to a beach. Swim with little fish and enjoy refreshments afterward.

The sea is relaxing and encourages your young ones to move. They can play with the waves, build sandcastles, and have fun with other kids. Relaxing on the sand and searching for shells is a great way to decompress.

Being near a blue space can improve everyone’s mood by increasing serotonin levels. Plus, the sun enhances vitamin D production and strengthens your children’s immunity. Undoubtedly, the beach is a perfect place for a family to bond.

Bring Your Kids Closer to Nature

Learning doesn’t only happen in classrooms. Being outside offers just as many opportunities as enclosed walls to nurture knowledge and stay active. Consider these options the next time you plan for a family get-together. Nature walks, swimming, picnics, and other outdoor activities benefit your kids’ health. Introduce nature to your children by doing these things as a family and building special memories together.

Cora Gold is a parenting writer and editor of women’s lifestyle magazine, Revivalist. She has been featured on sites including CafeMom, Green Child Magazine, and The Everymom. To learn more about Cora or connect with her on social media, visit here.

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