The best summertime to-do list for your whole family

Funny how easy it is to forget the terrible winter we had. A few short months ago we would have given anything to avoid being cooped up indoors, and yet chances are there have been more than a few gorgeous days spent inside this summer. So as the kids make their way through their three-month vacation, let’s remember how we felt all locked-up and make getting fresh air and experiencing outdoor activities as a family a priority. Make a pledge to put down the tablets and video games and take advantage of the warm sun and outdoor fun.

Here are 7 ways to make summer more active for the whole family:

  1. Create a nature scavenger hunt: Visit MI Big Green Gym for a free pass to a state park or head on over to a local park with a list of finds and see who finishes first. Here’s a fun list of ideas from The Taylor House blog.
  2. Go on a bike ride: Family members of all ages love a fun bike ride. Give it a little more purpose by packing a picnic and riding to a park the next town over.
  3. Race up the dunes or a lighthouse:  In Michigan, we are spoiled with the number of dunes and lighthouses we have at our disposal. A family day out can mean a race to the top – trudging through the sand is quite a workout…and so is hiking up those stairs! Here’s a full list of lighthouses throughout the state as well as the world’s greatest sand dunes.
  4. Backyard games: There’s nothing like a game of “Red Rover” or “Red Light, Green Light” to get the blood flowing.  Kids a little bit older?  Hours can be passed playing Cornhole (bags) or bocce. Hot outside? Time for a balloon toss!
  5. Nighttime neighborhood fun: Don’t limit those backyard games to daytime hours. “Ghost in the Graveyard” or some good old fashion firefly catching is sure to get the kids – and the adults – running.
  6. At the car wash: Did you know washing your car burns almost 200 calories? Make it a family affair on a hot summer day. If it’s really toasty, a mid-wash water fight never hurt, either.
  7. Walk to get ice cream: A sweet summer treat is fine in moderation. Next time your family heads out for a cone, take the extra time to walk there. Burn those extra calories, take in the warm weather and enjoy each other’s company along the way. (Don’t forget to go for the single scoop and avoid the toppings – they’re not worth having to wash five cars!)

Photo credit: Kath

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