Even when we have the best of intentions, getting quality time outside with our kids can be a challenge. I figure we all need a little inspiration, and some fresh ideas to carry on when the going gets tough, and you just feel like staying inside.
To help with motivation, each month I’m featuring a collection of families, and the unique activities that they engage in. Weather and circumstances may differ, but my hope is that you’ll gain a new spark of enthusiasm! You also might be able to brainstorm some ideas of your own to go explore the outdoors with your family.
This month, I reached out to families on instagram who were doing notable things, and asked them share where they live, the unique activity that gets them outside, what inspires them to get outdoors with their children, and a photo.
Families Get Outside in January
Rocks on a Frozen Lake: Stephanie from Raising Kids Wild
Our family of 6 just moved to Asheville, NC from California a year ago this month. To celebrate we have been satisfying our winter cravings by exploring this season’s best offerings including my youngest’s new favorite, throwing rocks onto frozen rivers and lakes–we love hearing the different sounds the rocks make on frozen water! Experiencing activities in cold weather like this is another way we try and expand our love and comfort level outdoors even further.
Cracking holes in the ice (for deer!): LoriAnn
I’m LoriAnn in Oklahoma City, OK. I live in an urban neighborhood near downtown, but we’re just a short drive from city parks with wilderness areas, including one where I both lead outdoor play classes (with Tinkergarten) and frequently meet friends for hikes and “forest school days.” We parents let the kids guide the way, and make our own discoveries with the help of field guides and observation skills like those described in my favorite book Coyote’s Guide.
I’m going through the second level of Wilderness Awareness School’s Kamana Naturalist Training Program right now, and have been especially focused on mammal tracking this month. After a hike with friends during which we discovered a frozen stream, my kids (age 7 and 5) were playing on the thick ice (quite unusual here in central Oklahoma!) when they stopped and pointed out deer tracks on both banks. I was focused on listening for bird calls until I saw them selecting sticks sturdy enough to break through the ice. I thought of the opening scene in Frozen, but they had another idea — “We’re making holes for the deer to get water. See? Their tracks came right past here and it was frozen so they couldn’t get any!” I was touched by their thoughtfulness, and glad we’d gotten out that blustery morning for them to have this idea and experience!
Sand Dune Sledding: Madeline from San Diego Family Travelers
Ice Fishing: Jess Harcombe
My name is Jess Harcombe Fleming and we’re based in Calgary, Alberta, at the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. We spend every weekend exploring the outdoors. Being out in nature together as a family keeps us connected, grateful and reminds us that creating experiences are more important to us than the acquisition of things.
Sand Toys in the Snow: Nancy from Mom’s Little Feat
A very special thank you to all the families who participated in this month’s edition of Families Get Outside! Make sure to click through to their blogs and instagram pages for more amazing inspiration!
Looking for more this month? Check out our Winter Scavenger Hunt or try one of our nature-based projects!
How are you getting outside this January? We’d love to hear about your favorite ways to explore the outdoors with your family!
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