While you dreamed of the prospects of summertime just a few wintery months ago, you might find yourself at a loss when it comes to actually coming up with fun things for your family to do now that it’s actually here. The kids are out of school, the days are longer, and the iPad chargers are working overtime. If you’re grasping at straws for ideas on how to bond with your family this summer, fear not! We’ve compiled a list of the best outdoor family bonding activities, completely unplugged, that will quickly become some of your family’s favorite memories for years to come. Whether you like to relax and chill or be active and playful, we’ve got activities for everyone!
Relax On A Family-Sized Hammock
If you are sick of just vegging out on the couch while everyone in your family stares at their phones or tablets, get outside together! Not every family activity has to involve running around and getting all sweaty in the hot summer sun. You can relax together. You can just snuggle and talk and enjoy each other. Kids don’t always want to sit still, but they will be excited to chill out in the Extra-Wide Hammock from Nags Head Hammocks.
During the day, look up and call out what you see in the clouds. In the evening, you can all count the stars and wish the night away. Make a habit of chilling out in the hammock every night this summer after dinner. Have everyone share one thing that happened during the day and one thing that they are grateful for that day. Without technology distracting everyone, you will connect as a family like never before.
Strong enough to hold up to 450 pounds, most families of 3 can pile in together and relax. This hammock is hand woven and is 5 feet wide and roughly 13½-14 feet long from O-ring to O-ring. It is made with rope, wood and chains, all designed to handle the weather. If you don’t have trees to hang your hammock up with, you can order the Tri-Beam Steel Metal Hammock Stand from Nags Head Hammocks for easy installation.
Nags Head Hammocks is a hand-made hammock company based out of Nags Head, an island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Anyone can have the laid back beach vibe no matter where they live with a Nags Head hammock. All their hammocks are handcrafted to inspire relaxation in their studios on the Outer Banks. They never skimp on the quality of the materials and they always weave the hammocks by hand. So get yourself a Nags Head hammock and “get busy relaxing.”
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Take a Family Bike Ride
Head out on a family adventure on bicycles. Explore the hidden corners of your neighborhood. Pack up your bikes and take them on a family vacation. You can ride along the boardwalk at the beach or bike trails through an urban location like Washington, D.C.
In addition to having an incredible time together as a family, bicycling has some amazing benefits. Riding bikes provides cardiovascular exercise, improves posture and balance, increases strength and flexibility, and decreases stress. With all these benefits, how could you not want to get your whole family out on two wheels right away? Before you get going, everyone needs a bicycle helmet and you need good bicycles of course!
Cleary Bikes are designed to empower kids to start and keep bicycling. The people at Cleary are inspired by the adventures that bicycling opens up to kids. Nothing feels more free than gliding along on a bike. The speed, the wind in your hair, the whirr of the tires on the pavement are key ingredients for an incredible childhood. Bicycling can increase independence in kids.
To ensure your children love biking, Cleary Bikes designs bikes that are safe, lightweight, and easy to ride. From your child’s first bike to mountain bikes for older children, Cleary has you covered. They offer the 12” Starfish Balance Bike, the Gecko 12” Single Speed, Hedgehog 16” Single Speed, Owl 20” Single Speed, and the Merekat 24” Bicycle.
Cleary offers a 30 Day Guarantee and a Lifetime Warranty on their bikes. They want their bikes to be enjoyed and then passed down to younger siblings so they ensure that they last. This makes them the perfect choice for families. Get your oldest child a Cleary Bicycle. Put a child seat on your bicycle for baby and hit the road on a family bike ride this summer.
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Plant A Garden Together
Gardening is known to be therapeutic for the mind, body and soul. So, what better way to bond with your entire family than by planting a backyard garden together this summer? Whether you just want to brighten up your landscaping with some colorful perennials or attempt to produce your own fruits, vegetables and herbs, building a family garden is an activity that will last all summer long and beyond.
From choosing a layout, deciding on what you want to plant, turning the soil, planting the seeds and daily watering and pruning, gardening provides a singular family goal – with beautiful (or tasty) results! Assign each family member a job, check on the garden together every day after dinner and use it as a teaching/learning experience for your children – introducing them to different types of plants and giving them a hands-on experience.
For family gardening tips, check out:
Play In A TreePod
Treehouses have always been associated with summer adventure and enjoying the outdoors. They encourage imaginative play and give the whole family a fun, outside place to hang out without having to go farther than the back yard. Unfortunately, this kind of play is becoming less and less common, likely because traditional treehouses can be expensive to build and hazardous to play in.
The TreePod changes everything! The TreePod is a hanging tree house that the entire family will love! There’s no need for hammer and nails, because this treehouse can be set up and hung from any tree in a fraction of the time it would take to build one. In less than an hour, your family can have a fun, safe hideaway to play in.
Our favorite of the Treepod’s many features is that it’s lightweight, portable and removable. Unlike a traditional treehouse, if you move to a new home, it can move with you. The simplicity of hanging it and taking it down means that it can even come with you on vacations and camping trips. The TreePod will become a favorite fixture in your back yard or wherever you choose to hang it.
The aluminum frame and water-resistant nylon shell makes the TreePod durable and safe. It’s 5 feet wide, 7.5 feet high and can hold up to 500 pounds, which means that the whole family can enjoy having this in the back yard!
No trees? No problem! A TreePod stand is available as an add-on purchase, so that the magic of a back yard treehouse is available at any home.
Camp In Your Backyard
You don’t need to pack up your car with tons of gear and head to a state park for a fun and memorable family camping trip. You can do it in your own backyard! All you have to do is grab a tent, some sleeping bags and head out your back door. Make an entire evening of fun for the family by building a bonfire in a fire pit, roasting marshmallows, telling stories under the moonlight and gazing at stars – all in the comfort of your yard.
The best part about camping out in your backyard is that you can run inside to use the bathroom, make snacks or even head to bed if you decide you got everything out of your camping experience and want to forgo actually sleeping outside. You don’t get those options when you’re away from home at an actual campsite.
With little kids in tow, a backyard campout is the perfect way to spend some device-free family time together and get the camping experience with all of the conveniences of home!
Go On A Hike Together
If you are the type of family that loves to get out and get moving, hiking may be exactly what fits the bill for your family. Hiking is a great way to get outside, enjoy each other’s company and bond with each other with quality time and exploring nature. Young children are often enthralled with new sights, sounds and touches-all of which you can surely find on a great nature hike. If you are headed out with the family on an adventure and you have little ones that may not want to walk the whole day, the Kid Comort 3 by Deuter is exactly what you need! Spend your days as a family hitting the mountains, trails and uncharted pathways! When your little one is tired of walking they can travel first class upon your back. The Kid Comfort 3 is a deluxe edition that offers you even more comfort. This backpack sits perfectly upon your back, allowing for the weight to be evenly distributed to your hips. Your littlest passenger can enjoy stability and comfort from the softly padded backrest. There is a sunroof to protect your child from the hot sun and, when not in use, it is easy to stow away. This deluxe edition is made up of a solid aluminum frame, and is covered in breathable skin-friendly fabric with flexible footrests and an ergonomic chin pad. Some of the amazing features you will find on this hiking backpack:
- height adjustable child seat with variable width
- child specific, soft padded 5-point safety harness with effortless sizeadjustment function
- Aircontact back system with breathable hollow chamber foam pads
- Pull-Forward adjustment on hip belt
- pivoting Vari Flex hip belt
- kickstand with audible ‘click’ sound when locked
- two grab handles
- multiple storage options: zipped pocket on hip belt, stretch side pockets, large zipped compartment underneath the seat, long zipped compartment for hydration system or sun roof (integrated) and rain roof (accessory), compartment on the back with zipped pocket
- rain roof (accessory)
Deuter is a company with roots dating back to 1898 when Hans Deuter of Augsburg, Germany where they supplied mailbags and post sacks for the Bavarian Royal Mail. From there they expanded into a company that sold backpacks, knapsacks, bags, canvas and tents. As a company, they withstood the test of time over the years and eventually began to produce the first Nylon backpacks and then in 1984 they released the first Deuter Aircomfort. They have always been a trendsetter in the way of carry systems.
Let Loose On A Swurfer
Swinging is a universally appealing activity, regardless of age! The wind in your hair and face and the ability to self-propel through the air provide the perfect combination of exhilaration and calm. Traditionally, however, swinging is an activity geared more toward kids because most swings are built with only children in mind.
The Swurfer is the traditional tree swing reimagined! It truly is an incredibly fun swing that kids and adults of any age and ability can enjoy. This swing provides great motivation for the whole family to unplug and get outside together. It mimics surfing in the form of a swing, so that you can ride the waves in your own backyard. The unique curved shape provides more power and range of motion. It can go back and forth and side to side; and both kids and adults can stand or sit to enjoy it.
The Swurfer is made of hard rock maple and can hold up to 250 lbs. It comes with 80 feet of durable, mold-resistant rope, enough to hang from a branch 20 feet high. The handles are easily adjustable and can be quickly modified to move from a standing to sitting swing. It hangs quickly and easily from any sturdy branch. Installation is so simple that the swing can be taken down and re-hung in any location in no time!
Explore Your Neighborhood Together
There is no better way for a family to unwind and reconnect after a long day at work and summer activities than by taking a walk around the neighborhood together. Make it a habit every evening this summer. Set a time that works for everyone – either before dinner or after, leave your phones at home and go exploring. You can push the stroller, walk the dog, let your kids ride their bikes or scooters alongside of you and use this time to talk about your day.
If you have younger kids, you can make this daily ritual a learning experience. Stop to look at trees and plants, and discuss their names and details about them. Introduce yourself to your neighbors on your walks, if you haven’t already. You will not only be getting exercise as a family, but daily walks will help you unwind and give you some much needed device-free time together to truly stay connected.
You can also use this time to talk to your kids about serious topics. Doing so on casual family walks can make important conversations easier to tackle. For some tips and topics of discussion, read:
Take A Sunday Drive Together with Recaro
Nothing is more fun than letting your hair loose on the open road and cruising the highway in a sports car. Giving up your weekend day trips don’t have to come to a screeching halt once you have tiny humans in tow. Instead, let the minivan have a day off, and hit up your local car rental company for a fun alternative: rent a sports car! We admit, they aren’t practical for carpooling kids to and from daycare and soccer games, but they sure are fun. Rental companies have daily rates for these bad boys, sometimes as low as $35-$50 a day. Take a Mustang for a cruise up and down the coast, and stop at the boardwalk for an ice cream treat! Cruise the Camaro through the mountains, and hit up some niche mountain town shops. Feeling extra adventurous? Why not test out a convertible?
If you’re in the market for a new carseat, nothing screams “sports car!” more than Recaro. Ask your husband what comes to his mind when you mention a brand as prestigious in the sports car world as Recaro. He’ll be sure to tell you that Recaro (pretty much) equals race car. So why not splurge for your child’s carseat and get them the brand that race car drivers trust?
The Recaro Performance Sport is an industry leader in combination harness-to-booster seats. It is 100% U.S.A. made with cloud-comfort memory foam and luxurious, temperature balancing fabrics and CoolMesh air ventilation to keep your child cool, comfortable and happy. The racing-inspired full-body side impact protection with metal reinforced side wings is designed to protect each of the five vulnerable areas of a child in a side impact crash: head, neck, face, torso and pelvis. We also love the twist-resistant harness straps, which make proper buckling a complete ease. It looks like a race car seat, thus its cool appeal!
Your child can forward face in harnessed mode from 20 pounds until 65 pounds, and then it can be converted into a high-back booster that will take your child all the way up until 120 pounds, or until they reach 59″ tall, whichever comes first.
Build Skills On A Slackline
While slacklining is an activity that has been around for a few decades, it has only gained popularity in the last 2 or 3 years. Because it’s so new, it’s a great activity for families to learn together. Rarely do adults and kids get to learn to do something new at the same time, but the Slackline For Kids is a great way to make that happen.
Slacklining is a fun balancing activity and is easy enough to learn. It’s similar to walking a tightrope, but is closer to the ground with a wider line. We like the Play Line Slackline because the 2″ line and rubber grips make it easier for the whole family to get the hang of. The most unique feature about this line when compared to others is the overhead guide line that hangs above the slackline. The guide line with arm position trainer mounts above the slackline and helps to assist with balance and form.
Aside from the fun of the Slackline, it also provides the benefits of improving balance, core strength and coordination. Learning this new skill together can benefit your family unit in so many ways. Slacklining helps family members to build trust, learn to encourage each other, and face challenges as a team.
We love how portable the Slackline is. Set it up in your backyard for practice, and then take it to a friend’s house to show off your new skills and teach them what you’ve all learned together!
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Play Board Games In The Yard
When was the last time you played an old school board game? We’re not talking about all of the new wifi-compatible, digitally-linked battery operated games on the market. Remember the simplistic joy of Life, Scrabble and Monopoly from your childhood? Have your children ever been introduced to these timeless games? Well, this is the summer to bring them back!
Toss a big blanket on the lawn, grab some drinks and snacks and have a family game night – outdoors! The change in environment and fresh air will make it extra special. Remember – leave your phones inside! Enjoy the summer breeze and your family’s undivided attention as you play your favorite games, snack and converse with one another. Your children will remember these outdoor game nights their entire lives, and will want to carry on the tradition with their children!
Looking for some fun activities and games for your game night? Check out:
Have A Super Soakers Battle
Running through the sprinkler has long been a summer pastime for families. What better way to play together and stay cool than to control where the water lands and who gets soaked? Nerf Super Soakers, an offshoot of Hasbro’s Nerf line of toys allow kids and parents to get all their energy out while staying cool.
Kids can keep their parents in line with a sneak attack and parents can get their kids outside and snap them out of that TV daze. What better way to wake everyone up and keep them energized than with jolts of cold water?
With an extensive line of Super Soakers, these water blasters can keep everyone in the family engaged for hours. Two of these Super Soakers feature pressurized-triggers, delivering a powerful stream of water up to 35 ft. Another one of them features foam missiles, allowing you to keep your target on their toes, and shoot water up to 30ft. Each of these guns are made with high quality plastic that holds up well with everyday use.
Nerf Super Soakers is an offshoot of Hasbro’s Nerf, a worldwide company whose products all focus on active family fun. Their all new line of Super Soakers were designed to give families more blasting distance, higher water capacity, bigger water blasts, and new ways to soak. They’re not only the ultimate pool toy but the perfect toy to get kids playing outside.
Create An Obstacle Course In Your Yard
While some of you grew up in the 80’s where Double Dare was the coolest game show to watch, your kids are now experiencing obstacle courses to a new level with American Ninja Warrior. It’s pretty obvious you can’t recreate any of these obstacles in your own backyard, but you can make your own family-friendly version!
Gather old tires, hula hoops, boxes, rolled towels and anything else you can find to build your backyard course. You can incorporate golfing with dad’s old clubs, basketball and other sporting equipment you have laying around. Build your course together and have fun racing each other. Not only will you be spending quality time together as a family, but you will be getting exercise as well!
Get Cool In A Family Pool
Ahhh, fun in the sun and family togetherness. We sincerely hope that someone in your Mom-tribe has a backyard pool or HOA pool access. If not, make sure to check out your local city recreation department for a list of pools that you have the ability to enjoy. Even your town’s YMCA or Lifetime Fitness probably has a pool! We love the ease of a backyard pool, though. You can truly spend time with your family playing, and it’s a great way to catch some rays and get your daily dose of vitamin D.
The Giant Inflatable Riding Derby Duck is loads of family fun, and is sure to be a huge (literally) hit at your next backyard pool party. This massive floating duck holds up to 175 lbs, and has built in cup holders and handles. It’s also made out of a heavy-duty durable vinyl, so it is sure to last your family season after season.
The GAME Company originally started in 1988, as a fundraiser for the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Arizona. Their first derby duck race was so successful, GAME took the race idea and formed a company that could help other charitable organizations raise tons of money through this unique community event. In turn, GAME raises millions of dollars per year for organizations across the U.S.
If you’re looking to ramp up your water-themed shindig, the floating Game Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker with Underwater Light Show is the perfect addition. It is waterproof so it can float in the pool right along with you, and syncs easily to your phone for hours of music playing fun. Warm up your pipes, sing loudly, and don’t forget to have fun while (hopefully) embarrassing your kids, just a bit.
The rechargeable battery lasts for 6 hours, and it has a bluetooth range of up to 60 feet, not to mention impressive sound quality. It is compatible with Apple, Android, iPod, and any other Bluetooth capable device.
EXPLORE AND CONNECT
Don’t let summer slip away from you this year without making the most of your days bonding with your family and creating everlasting memories. Remember, your children will only be little once and eighteen years goes by in the blink of an eye. We hope you find some inspiration and ideas in this post that you can use with your family this summer!