Fun Things to do With Your Family at the Park
With obesity on the rise and a plethora of electronic entertainment that means they don’t even have to leave the couch, a trip to the park regularly may be just the thing your family needs to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Parks a becoming less used due to the popularity of indoor entertainment, so starting a healthy revival in your family will help you keep fit and keep the green spaces open for public use. It’s a great chance to get the whole family together, Grandma and Grandpa included, so here’s a few fun things to do to keep your local park in the green and for you all to get healthier.
The Classic Touch
If you have a few little ones, head for a park that has classic play equipment for children. Swinging on ropes, pushing up and down on sea saw, monkey bars and rope nets will give them a great workout they won’t realize they are getting and of course, Grandma and Grandpa will be forced to participate too.
Take along a picnic and plenty of sunscreen and set up a station where you can sit all day and enjoy playing for no reason at all, and even have a go at being a pirate in the play fort as well.
Bring a Ball
Parks or local green spaces often have ball courts, baseball diamonds or soccer markings, so take along a ball and see what happens. You don’t have to play a hardened game, but you can play soccer, soft ball, dodge ball, beginner’s baseball – anything you can think of. You can take a tennis racquet and ball and play whatever comes to mind. You may find out that once you start a game that you find enough pick up players to have hours of fun.
If you haven’t got a ball – bring a Frisbee! Most of the games you play with a ball can be played with a Frisbee, and a few others. Great for jumping, stretching and bending – and for having a lot of fun!
Back to Nature
Get back to nature and take time to look round the park finding exciting things you don’t usually see. Do a scavenger hunt, take a bug hunting kit, look for which birds you can find, go three spotting or collect fallen leaves. Take a camera to document what you find and make a scrapbook when you get home.
Pack up a back pack and go for a hike. Look for a park with plenty of walks and viewpoints and follow the trail. Decide what you need and take it with you, just remember to take everything back with you too. Be realistic about your abilities and work within them, building up your stamina to point where you can travel and tackle many more peaks and trails as a healthy family.
Look for Special Events
Parks and green spaces are beginning to put on special events that all through the year to attract visitors. These are often well planned with many exciting things to do. Local parks often celebrate local events so you can get out to meet vendors in the community and see what they have to offer. They also offer education on holidays, how to celebrate them and is a great way for meeting your neighbors and making friendships that will get your children out of the house and enjoying green space.
Large and national parks offer great educational programs and often courses too. See what there is around you and what you can get involved in. Turn to province and national parks for events that introduce you and your kids to outdoor and high-adventure sports like orienteering, archery, fishing and canoeing.
The green space in a park lends itself to setting up a challenge that the whole family can be involved in. Invite your friends and challenge them too, but be sure to stress it’s for fun, not to win to avoid any unhappy incidents. Bring a few simple props and set up your own family field day. Here are some examples:
- Hula-hoops or jump ropes for an endurance challenge
- Eggs and spoons for a balance-testing relay challenge
- Soccer ball for a dribbling challenge
- Plastic cups and water for a balancing-on-the-head race challenge
- Rope for tug-of-war and three-legged race
For high-adventure challenges, look for parks that offer canopy tours, rock climbing or zip-lines.
Get Everyone Together
Parks and green spaces are a great place to get families together. Host a family reunion with activities and let the kids enjoy playing together. If you want to make a weekend of it, choose a park that offers a campground or huts and enjoy some healthy, quality family time.
Don’t forget the dog!
Parks are a great place to take the dog and let him join in the fun too. Make sure you clean up after you, and watch for other animals that may cause a problem, but it’s fun for ALL the family, for a healthy happy, green inspired life!