As adults it’s important for us to take time to de-stress and there’s no better place like the outdoors to let out your creativity and energy. My first 15 Reasons to Get Outside This Summer referenced the six best doctors: sunshine, water, rest, fresh air, exercise and a good diet. I added 15 more ideas to get your family outside here, and you can find even more exciting ways to enjoy the outdoors below. This spring and summer, there should be no shortage of quality time spent outside.
31. Shed Hunting. Early in the spring can be a great time to hunt for deer antlers that dropped off throughout the winter. Regardless of their size, it’s fun to search and it teaches kids that deer drop their antlers every year. You may also find dead deer skulls and bones which if legal to pick up in your area, are also fun to find.
32. Nature Shadow Box. Find items like dried leaves, sticks and rocks; then glue them into a shadow box as a gift or decoration.
33. Rodeo. Many small towns still have local rodeos and this is an awesome way to spend the evening out with family having fun. Last year we went to one in July and the rodeo clown was hilarious. It was a great family event that I would highly recommend.
34. Camping. Pitch a tent, cook s'mores and hotdogs and tell campfire stories. Take time to look up and enjoy the stars and keep your eyes peeled for fire flies. These are all such simple things but leave a lasting impression on kids. Even if you don’t have time to go camping, building a little fire in your backyard can be the perfect end to a summer day.
35. Squirt Guns. I can’t think of a better way to keep the kids cooled off and having fun than with squirt guns.
36. Food Plots. We normally plant our fall food plots in August but there is plenty of prep work to do before then. The kids enjoy coming along although they don’t do much work other than look for bugs and dig holes.
37. Recreational Shooting. There are tons of places with amazing trap ranges across the country. More than 52 million Americans take part in the shooting sports. There are even more opportunities to compete than people may think. One great resource to learn more is ShootUnited.com where they are dedicated to providing educational content and great resources for those new to the shooting sports.
38. Grapevines for Vertical Licking Branches. Going out and finding grape vines can be fun for crafts but it can also be super helpful for hunting. We use grapevines to hang vertical licking branches at many of our hunting locations. You simply tie a rope from one tree to the next, and then attach a grapevine in the middle. Deer will come up to it and rub their pre-orbital glands on the vines; it’s amazing how often this will get used. It’s a great way to take the attention off your blind and have a location where the deer want to be.
39. Mushroom Hunting. Morel mushrooms are a favorite in our household and fun to find in the field, but even better to fry up with fresh turkey. This is a fun way to teach kids where to look for mushrooms, and remember, where you find them often remains the same year after year.
40. Pull Weeds and Pick Rocks. This may not be the most fun thing you can think of to do outside but it is great work and sometimes needed to keep a lawn in check. I’m a firm believer in teaching kids how important it is for everyone to pitch in on manual labor.
41. Minnow Races. A cheap and great way to have a fun-fueled afternoon. We glued ends on some old gutters to create two lanes. Then we filled them with water and placed them on a sturdy table about kid height. We bought a couple dozen minnows and let the kids pick out their chosen fish and use a straw behind them to race them to the finish line side by side.
42. Filling Feeders. Outside our front window we like to keep a boss buck feeder supplied with corn when legal. It’s a lot of fun to see all the animals come get a bite to eat and place a camera on it, too.
43. Farm Work. Even if you don’t have a farm or ranch in your family, you’d be surprised how many people are willing to let your kids come check out the animals and learn what happens on a farm. Things like fixing fence, moving salt blocks, feeding cattle and driving a tractor are just a few of the many wonderful farm life lessons that I wish every kid could experience. If you find a farm that allows kids to learn, don’t hesitate to take them so they can understand everything that goes into raising cattle, milking cows and farming.
44. Water Tanks. Water is one of the most important sources for wildlife and we have found that putting out water tanks is a huge draw for animals. Everything from turkey to deer to pheasants come to our water holes so we try and keep them full year-round. We use a 150-gallon water bladder that fits in the bed of our truck or UTV and run a hose from that to our tank.
45. Local Baseball Game. Summer and baseball go hand and hand so if you’re looking for a fun event find a local baseball game, grab a blanket and soak up the fresh air. Our entire town loves baseball and it’s a fun social event where kids play in the sand and dirt. Some even play their own side baseball games in the outfield, and others just kick back and relax.
There are so many wonderful things we can do throughout the spring and summer outdoors if you just stop and take a moment to enjoy.