Welcome to this week's edition of Discover & Explore. Each week, we choose a different theme and ask you to share any old or new posts you have that relate to the topic.
This week's linky theme is A Day at the Park: Nature & Play Ideas!
Our family really loves to visit different parks. Sometimes it's just a short walk to our neighborhood park to visit the ducks or play at the playground. Other times, we'll head out and spend a day exploring trails or finding a new park to enjoy.
18 Great Ways to Enjoy a Day at the Park
1. Fly a Kite
Flying a kite is serious fun! Running through a large open area trying to launch your kite into the wind is something everyone should try at least once.
2. Explore the Playground
What's more fun than finding a new playground to play on? Having Mom or Dad join you while you play :) Don't let the kids have all the fun! Take along this playground scavenger hunt to see what you'll discover.
3. Have a Picnic
It doesn't have to be fancy or a big deal. Just grab a blanket and take lunch to the park one afternoon and the kids will talk about it for weeks.
4. Hike a Trail
Get out and explore some unknown path or one of the marked trails - be adventurous! Try one of these 7 fun nature walks for kids.
5. Play a Game
Grab a frisbee, football or kickball and get the kids active. Or play a fun game of keep-away or tag as a family.
6. Observe the Wildlife
On our walk through the park last week, we saw a coyote! Yep, right in the middle of suburbia. You can frequently see rabbits, birds of prey, squirrels and other animals in the park and kids will enjoy watching their antics. You can take along printable wildlife cards for fun too.
7. Go Fishing
Most local and state parks will offer free fishing weekends during the year. It's a great opportunity to introduce kids to a fun outdoor sport.
8. Be a Shutterbug
Grab a camera and see what inspires you and the kids. It's always interesting to see what kids will decide to photograph.
9. Feed the Birds
Always reminds me of a scene from Mary Poppins but the kids really enjoy this activity. Bring birdseed to feed some of the 'regular' residents of the park. If you have ducks like we do, you can feed them small pieces of bread.
10. Go on a Treasure Hunt
Have you ever gone geocaching? It's a fun family activity that's free to do. Just download an app for your phone or iPad (there are many free geocaching apps), visit www.opencaching.com, type in your zip code and you can see which parks near you have hidden caches.
11. Take a Bike Ride
If your park has paved trails, enjoy an afternoon bike ride together.
There are some great family volunteer opportunities in local, state and national parks. You can help keep the trails clean, take care of your local pond or assist during community event days. Contact the park of your choice to ask about ways to volunteer.
13. Read a Book
Grab a few books and curl up on a park bench for storytime with the kids.
14. Create Art
Take along a sketch pad or paper and create some natures scenes. If you have a small easel, you could also bring it with some paints and really let the kids feel like an artist.
15. Become a Jr. Ranger
Most national parks and many state parks have Jr. Ranger programs where the kids can complete some fun nature activities and earn a badge or certificate.
16. Explore the Trees
Parks are a great places to explore a variety of trees and learn a little science. You can view different types of leaves, tree seeds and talk about the various ways trees are used by animals.
17. Just Play
When kids are presented with large open spaces, they will always find something fun to do. Cartwheels, races, spinning -- just provide them with the room and they will play.
18. Enjoy the View
Sometimes the best thing to do at the park is to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
The National Park Trust is also celebrating Kids to Parks on May 18th. There are many parks around the country who will participate by hosting special events and activities for families.
How do you enjoy a day at the park?
I'd love to see your nature & play ideas for spending some time at a park. Please share any great ideas for fun ways families can enjoy their park visit -- nature activities, crafts, fun ways to play, great picnic ideas, etc.
Make sure to visit our co-host Fantastic Fun & Learning to see what fun park ideas they are sharing too!
Currently open - Flowers
May 22nd -- Art & Museum Fun
May 29th -- Backyard Games
June 3rd -- Zoo Visits & Wild Animals
Please read the following guidelines for sharing:
- Share family-friendly posts related to the weekly topic -- kids activities, crafts, recipes, nature outings, printables, etc.
- By linking up, you are giving me permission to share your post including one photo in our weekly feature post and on social media channels.
- Visit 2-3 other posts that have linked up, find some new ideas & meet new friends!
- If you'd like, grab a button for your post -- we love to share and want to find lots of great activities to highlight for you!
The linky will be open for 2 weeks so feel free to come back and link up any new posts you do.
Each of the host blogs will be choosing a few great ideas to be featured in a round-up post and pinned the Discover & Explore Pinterest Board!