Hit the Trail!
Nature is the world's oldest playground. Remember frolicking through the grass, jumping over creeks, building forts, and letting your imagination run wild? Research suggests regular outdoor play in nature is a powerful preventive strategy for healthy childhood development — including protection against childhood obesity.
Need some ideas for spending the summer outside? Here are three to get you started:
Create a family adventure by joining in on #familytrails adventures. Lily (7) and Ruby (5.5) Fisher love the outdoors and decided in January that they wanted to complete 52 hikes by May. They spend weekends exploring nature and letting their minds wander as they wander the trails.
"They ventured on and found some mortars, evidence of the Native Americans who once lived off this land," their mom, Megan Fisher, wrote in a blog post for Family Trails. "First, they picked up sticks, then they began to mix and make me 'food' in the mortars.
"These are the moments of wonder, the moments of joy. These are the moments that fill my heart. We didn't rush their play. At times, we played alongside them. They were free to imagine and just be."
Check out Family Trails for more outdoor adventure ideas the whole family can enjoy!
If you live near Santa Ana, California, check out the Santa Ana River Trail. It's a 50-mile greenway that connects Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. They recently installed PlayTrails play pockets along the 3-mile section near Anaheim. PlayTrails combines nature-themed playground equipment with trails and greenways to create a playful trail experience for children and families.
RootsRated is a great resource to find exciting local hikes to enjoy with your family. Our GameTime office is located in Chattanooga, TN -- and we found this great article listing ways to play and cool down in nature around our town. We might have to take a trip to the North Chick Blue Hole this weekend!