Summer Means Green Kids!

Green kids — By Stephanie on June 26, 2009 at 6:29 am
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Summer Means Green Kids!

If you’re like me, you want to find some fun, healthy things to do with your kids that are both ec0-friendly and help save you money.  What parent wants to plug in their child in front of the TV or video-console all season?

In my house, summer means green kids!  This is what we’ve been up to for the past 2 weeks, and what we’re planning for the weeks ahead.

Each of these summer vacation ideas should cost you no more than $20 (if that), and the memories will be priceless!  If you want to engage in green recreation, you are at the right place.  So go ahead and start planning some summer-time fun outdoors.  Your children – and your own body – will thank you some day.

  1. Pack a picnic for the park.  One of the easiest things to do that never gets old is eating a meal al-fresco.  Involve your children at home in preparing a meal of sandwiches, chips, fresh fruit and bottled water.  Throw in a treat if you wish.  Pack the lunch in a back-pack or two, and be sure to include a blanket, sunscreen and napkins.  Walk or bike to a nearby park and layout the spread for a great hour or two!
  2. Tour your hometown on bicycles.  Pull the kids together and plan out a route within your hometown.  Perhaps you want to bike to a playground, or the farmer’s market.  Younger children may be able to use a tandem attachment or ride in a bicycle trailer.  Enjoy!
  3. Go on a hike or other outdoor excursion.  In my family, we call them “adventures.”  Whether visiting Smith Rock State Park, or the Lava Cast Forest in Central Oregon, there is much natural beauty where I live!  I’m sure that your neck of the woods also includes some amazing gems to explore.  Recently, I took 5 kids on a hike to check out some water-falls about an hour’s drive away.  To keep them engaged and interested, I devised a scavenger hunt:  find 3 different pinecones, 4 flowers, 3 birds and then find one thing that is unique from the other kids.  It was a load of fun, and we all enjoyed ice cream on the drive home.

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Lots of ideas for green recreation

4.  Make a game out of yard work.  Yep, if you own a home, you’ll probably have a yard, or even container plants.  Have your children help out in the yard, and you’ll teach a lot of great lessons in an hour or two.  Instead of paying them for their efforts, we like to let our kids pick either a movie, a “date night” with mom or dad, or the ability to be king or queen for the day (choosing meals and activities for 12 hours).

5.  Help out the neighborhood.  Any able-bodied child over the age of 5 can lend a helping hand in the neighborhood.  Whether its an annual weed-pull, a community garage-sale or even something as simple as a lemonade stand to help raise money for a playground, you can get your children into the community spirit and teach them some great foundational lessons.

6.  Walk or bike to more locations.  During the drier summer months, you shouldn’t need the cover of a vehicle to get you where you need to go.  Especially if you are heading to the park or swimming pool!   Carry your towel and change of clothes in a backpack, as well as a snack or two.  If your favorite recreational spots are within 2-3 miles, you should be able to easily get there without firing up the gas tank.

There are so many green recreation ideas for you and your children this summer!  I truly believe that summer means green kids.

What have you been up to this year?  What do you have planned?

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  1. I love all of these suggestions. In fact, these are the same kinds of activities I did as a child, myself – and also did with my own children as they were growing up.

    Being “green” is really about going back to the basics, and enjoying the simple life; that has always been right under our noses:-)

  2. Amanda says:

    Great ideas. We spend a lot of time in the park in the summer (no garden, we live in a flat) and cycle around central London. We have a child seat on the back of my other half’s bike for our 4 year old.

  3. Bethe says:

    You know I love this entry, Steph! Slowing down and really letting kids have a summer break (and we grown-ups too) is so important. I have lots of ideas and inspiration on just that on my site (as you know!)

    Cheers- Bethe @balmeras

  4. Stephanie says:

    Thanks to you all! I am loving our green fun, summer with the kids this year. So much to enjoy in nature!

  5. kompostela says:

    Really great ideas! Good post! We also love to follow all those suggestions

  6. Stephanie says:

    Glad you enjoyed them, kompostela! Kind of brings out the kid in you, don’t they? Steph

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