10 Creative Ways to Get Outside

10 Creative Ways to Get Outside

Question of the Day: How much time do you spend outside as a family?

Ah, the outdoors.

It’s a pretty amazing place to be.
Inspire Outside Activity with a Jumping Contest
Spending time outside in nature truly is the essence of being a playful, peaceful and present parent.

It’s where everyone, especially children, can run wild and free and really just be their authentic selves. The rules about yelling too loud or running do not apply outside.

And, it’s just as great for parents. To breathe deeply and move around unplugged for a while.

If there’s sun, we’re outside. We’re always that crazy family in your neighborhood who is outside more than they are inside — even in the dead of winter watching our breath as we breathe out in the freezing cold weather.

Being outside together, taking hikes and walks and just exploring is one of our favorite ways to slow down, recharge and connect as a family.

But what about when getting outside doesn’t happen so easily? Perhaps everyone in the family is just feeling tired and motivation to go outside is at a low-point — because that definitely happens at our house.

Just not very often. : )

Here are 10 Creative Ways to Get Outside


  • Hold a Jumping Contest — Take photos of how high your child can jump in the air. Good exercise. Great photos. Fun times.
  • Drink your coffee outside — Not kidding, if you take your coffee outside in the morning and sit, I bet your kids will follow, whether you like it or not.
  • Take a book outside — Reading in the same place can get so boring for children. Why not take a book outside and sit together in the grass.
  • Eat outside — Take your meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner — outside. This is a mandatory nice-weather activity in our family.
  • Scavenger hunt — Create a scavenger hunt of any sort that starts inside but leads the kids — and yourself — outside.
  • Create a photo hunt — Give the kids a list of things to find outside and have them take photos of it.
  • Visit a park — We love visiting parks since it’s a great way to get the whole family outside at once.
  • Explore the Darkness — Some of my favorite family memories are from being outside at night. Searching the star-lit sky, taking a full-moon walk or just sitting around a campfire. Flashlight tag is hugely popular as well. Things are just magical in the dark.
  • Start a Nature Journal — I hinted about my nature journal this week. This is a great motivator for ME to want to be outside and to explore new and different places. By ME making this choice, my children naturally want to tag along.
  • Build a fairy house — Nothing gets my girls outside more than the hope of spotting a fairy in their fairy garden. They check it every morning and they watch for every bit of evidence that the wind shifted — I mean what the fairies moved — a leaf or a rock or a watering can.

10 Creative Ways to Get Outside as a Family

Here are a few great sites to check out for more outside ideas and activities.

Go Explore Nature — and her popular post 50 Ways to Explore Nature in Your Own Backyard or learn how to Build a Fairy House

Be Out There by the National Wildlife Federation.

Caro & Co.



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9 Responses to 10 Creative Ways to Get Outside

  1. Our family started geocaching last summer and found it was a great way to get us outside and exploring many areas around us we didn't know about. It's trickier in the winter but we've still attempted to do some. We also added a great patio space a few years ago that has a dining table a sectional. If it's warm enough we eat all meals out there and the kids will bring piles of books out to the sectional to read. Can't wait for the snow to melt so we can have our outdoor retreat back :)

    • That patio sounds amazing … when can I come over? : )

      Love outdoor reading. Love it.

      And, geocaching is on my list of things to try this summer. Do you have any good sites you use for that? Or good apps? I feel overwhelmed with where to begin.

      • Anytime you’re in WI feel free to stop on by!

        You should check out http://www.geocaching.com as it’s the official caching site. The app we use is the one from Groundspeak, Inc. They have a free intro one that has I think 3 caches for you area and the full one is $9.99 – well worth it. Our kids LOVE it – nothing better than a scavenger hunt through the woods!

    • Oh Fairy Gardens are SO much fun to create and play with!! I work with youth in crisis and I’ve had great success getting my teens involved in creating fairy gardens for the little ones at my partner’s childcare Centre. It is fun to create them outside in a small part of a bigger garden and we have also created them inside of bins so that the wee ones can have a fairy garden to play with inside as well! :) Search Fairy Gardens on Pinterest and zillions of BEAUTIFUL examples will pop up :)

      Our fairies celebrate holidays and my teens and I will decorate the fairy garden with mini Christmas or Valentine’s decorations and the little ones get SO excited when they come in the next morning and see it! :)

  2. Love your ideas, Shawn! I’m honored to have been mentioned here, since you have inspired me so much over the past several months. Thank you so much!

  3. Bring art supplies outside! Painting, colouring, playdough… things we sometimes reserve for indoors are LOVELY to have outside! :) If you really want to get some creative juices flowing put some music on as well! Put some on that you enjoy!! The Paper Kites, Mumford and Sons (careful Little Lion Man song drops the F-bomb a few times but the rest of the songs are lovely for little ears and have GREAT instrumentals) jack johnson, Monsters calling home etc etc etc our kiddos really enjoy this stuff and it is easier on the ears for grown ups!

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Shawn Fink - Abundant MamaFrom Our Founder

I created The Abundant Mama Project to inspire overwhelmed, busy mothers to slow down and let go of the worries and concerns that are holding them back from experiencing joyful motherhood. Read More »
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