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Spring is a unique time of year.  With the first hint of warm weather, everyone’s schedules change.  Kids spend extra hours playing with friends.  Parents are left cheering from the sidelines of various sporting endeavors.  BBQs and picnics with friends replace family dinners.  And extra time spent outdoors, enjoying the sunshine, becomes more important than reading bedtime stories.  It is entirely possible that everyone will get wrapped up in their own activities and completely forget about family bonding.

It is time to put a stop to the independent life syndrome and regroup as a family!  Check out these family-friendly activities that guarantee fun in the sun, lots of laughs, and memorable moments as a family.  And put the checkbook away, because these tips cost next to nothing!

Bring out the Cards

Are your kids bound and determined to spend every waking moment outside during the spring and summer?  Great!  Don’t make them come indoors – card games and board games are just as fun outside as they are inside…maybe more!  Dust off the patio table and bust out the games. 

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Wet n’ Wild

Get out the hose, because it is time to get wet!  Perfect as a Saturday afternoon diversion or way to cool off on a scorching weekday night, water play is a perfect excuse to act a little silly and beat the heat at the same time.  Challenge your youngsters to a parent vs. kid water balloon fight.  Set up a Slip n’ Slide and judge family members’ skills when it comes to creativity, splash factor, and gracefulness.  Have a trampoline?  Set up a sprinkler underneath and add a whole new level of fun to your bouncing.       

Hit the Road

Go for a cruise around town.  But leave the car in the garage and take the bikes!  Or rollerblades, stroller, scooter, wagon, or sneakers!  It doesn’t matter if you walk, run, glide, or ride…just get outside!  And you don’t need to have a preplanned route.  In fact, each time you venture out, go in a new direction.  Spend time talking and telling stories.  And just because you aren’t in a car doesn’t mean you can’t engage in those silly road games; play a game of eye-spy and see how many rounds you can get in before you arrive back home.

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Bust out the Lawn Games

Lawn games are a great way to engage in a bit of friendly competition.  And since it is finally warm outside, offer some cool treats as prizes for the winners.  An ice cream sundae is an awfully compelling reason for a teenager to get off the couch!  If you don’t have any lawn games, don’t worry.  Cornhole game boards, washer sets, and ladders are easy to build or cheap to buy.

Plan a Picnic

Is it too hot to cook?  That’s ok, because there are lots of people who are willing to cook dinner for you!  Swing by your favorite fast food establishment and grab some grub to go.  Take it to a local park for a family picnic.

We all know about the benefits of outdoor activities; breathing in the fresh air, exercising and moving our bodies, and enjoying nature are special perks we shouldn’t take for granted.  Throw in a bit of quality family time and you are well on your way to creating lifelong memories.

 

Jessica Velasco is a freelance writer and mom of two.  It is sometimes difficult to get the family together when the sunshine makes it so tempting for everyone to scatter in all different directions.  Luckily, she has some ideas for getting the whole crew together.

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