If your adolescent children have been glued to the television or their phones this summer and you would love to see them enjoy themselves while spending time outdoors, take the time to plan a family outing that includes sharing a picnic and hiking in nature parks. The occasion will remind your children of some of the simple pleasures in life and may encourage your kids to head outside on a more frequent basis.
Prepare A Picnic Lunch
Prepare homemade hoagies, potato or pasta salad, and sliced fruit to bring along on the picnic. If you are unsure of the amenities that the park offers, contact the park director to inquire about the location of tables or covered eating areas that you and your kids can use during your visit.
If you want the picnic to be a traditional one, however, then pack a few blankets and pillows so that you and your loved ones can relax while sprawled across the ground. Reminisce with your children during the lunch and reflect upon some of the memories that you and they shared that were lighthearted and enjoyable.
Invite your children to lay back on one of the pillows and enjoy the tranquility of the natural surroundings and the occasional laughter of children who are playing on the park's playground equipment.
Hike Through The Park
Buy or borrow a field guide and that showcases some of the common plant and tree varieties that you might encounter at the park. A wealth of information can also be acquired by visiting the park's recreation center or main office.
Pamphlets or booklets may be on hand that break down the specific plant varieties and provide information about their physical characteristics, the benefits associated with each type, and any dangers associated with touching or ingesting a tree or plant part. Your guide will likely contain photographs that will help you distinguish the varieties that you and your children encounter.
Bring your phone or a camera along on the trip so that you can capture the natural beauty that you all encounter while hiking through the park or a posted trail. Tell your children that the hiking experience should be enjoyed at each person's leisure and that you do not want to treat the activity as a race or exercise that is strenuous.
As each of you spots interesting plants or foliage, look through the guide or additional reading materials so that everyone can gain insight concerning the items of interest.