Get outside, Family!

Get outside, Family!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Smoothing school stress with outdoor time

Yes, that's a finger. It's hard to work a phone on a hammock.
The transition from summer vacation to a new school routine is easily the most stressful time of the year for my family. We are a month into the term and still reeling from the sudden onset of tight schedules and homework, although thankfully starting to settle in. Getting my kids outside has been one of the best ways to help them relax and recover from the school day. Here are some of my favorite ways we've been getting out there this fall.

Hit the playground: 

With many school cutting back on recess and far less playtime all around, kids are eager to blow off steam and socialize with friends or classmates. If your school allows after-hour use of the playground, you’ll probably find other kiddos there. We also spend extra time around sporting events to allow for playground romping and make plans to meet friends at the park.

Hammock time: 

We installed a couple in our yard this year and found it’s a great way to cuddle and reconnect after school, or for older kids, to enjoy some privacy with a book or earbuds.

Take a walk: 

The kids aren’t always eager to do this, but we’ve insisted on hikes and evening walks through the neighborhood. Sometimes we resort to a sweet reward at the end. It’s worth the extra sugar (and bribery guilt), because a walk never fails to help each of us unwind.

Keep the water games going: 

Summer officially wrapped up a few weeks ago, but fortunately it’s still warm enough here for kayaking, runs through the sprinkler, blasts from a water gun, and – for lucky swimming pool owners – a dip in the pool. When it’s hot, it’s hot, and water makes it a lot more fun to be active.

Try a new outdoor hobby: 

For my family this year, it’s fishing. We haven’t had a lot of luck catching anything but water plants, but they are still having a ball with their new rods and organizing their tackle boxes. The novelty is still there, making it easy to have some time in nature.