15 Green Summer Activities For Families
Contributed by Penny Bauder
Summer is a good opportunity to spend some time doing green activities with your family. The kids are out of school, the sun in shining, flowers are in bloom and people like to take time off work. It’s a great time to make it an intention to unplug and take the time to get outside on a daily basis. Nature is calling!
15 Green Summer Activities
Are you looking for family-friendly activities this summer that will engage your kids and keep them off screens? Try these 15 green summer activities ranging from simple ones you can do any day of the week to those you’ll want to do over the course of a few days. Pick one, pick a few or try them all, but whatever you choose to do, get outdoors this summer! It doesn’t have to cost much money and it’s as green as green can be.
- Have a picnic in your backyard or at the park. Bring reusable utensils and containers to minimize waste. Pack lots of fresh, organic fruits and veggies too!
- Go camping. This too can be done in your backyard, at a local campground or in the woods. Make these solar powered mason lights to light up the night.
- Spend an evening looking at the stars. Lay down a blanket or find yourself a comfortable chair. No major work required. Simply find a spot with minimal light pollution and sit outside for a little star-gazing. The American Meteor Shower’s 2019 Guide shows some good shows in July and August and even predicts some rare fireballs!
- Work on your garden. Gardening is a simple activity the whole family can get in on during the summer. Have each family member pick a vegetable or herb they like or try making plant bombs.
- Plant a tree. As the proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time in now.” Fun fact: Did you know that Green Kid Crafts plants one tree for every order you place? Learn more here.
- Design and create backyard games to play. Build an obstacle course, play tin can basketball or tin can golf.
- Plan a nature scavenger hunt. Nature is full of various treasures. Take your kids out and go find some. They’ll have fun hunting for the specific treasures on your list and it’ll get them outdoors.
- Make a bird-feeder or bird house. Use recycled materials if possible!
- Go for a short walk or opt for a longer hike. Take reusable water bottles with you so you stay hydrated. Hats and comfortable clothing are also recommended. The EWG has a sunscreen guide to help keep you and your loved ones protected.
- Go for a bike ride. Bike riding is a simple, yet fun way to get some exercise and get outdoors. Ride around your neighborhood or go out a little further from home.
- Move your family game night outside. Instead of holding family game night indoors, move the whole activity outdoors. Invite friends and family or keep it just between yourselves. Either way, you’ll have a fun time interacting with each other and being unplugged for the night.
- Spend a day at the beach or lake. Go where the water is cool, even when the sun is hot. It’s a simple, yet eco-friendly way to enjoy your day. In addition, choosing public transportation or carpooling with another family can save money on gas and reduce harmful emissions.
- Take the family to a local u-pick farm to harvest some organic or sustainably-grown produce. U-pick is a fun alternative to grocery shopping, plus you get the added benefit of having fresh fruit and veggies on hand. Some farms might also offer eggs, honey and more.
- Do a DIY art project using objects from nature. Try this paint with nature project, make a bug playground, or try this leaf printing art project. Do a sketch or drawing of your favorite spot in nature.
- Cook dinner outside, but not with your BBQ or grill, with a solar oven. Why not have fun making a meal using the warmth of the sun rather than heating up your house by turning on the oven? Solar ovens, like the ones from Sunflair, can be used in your backyard, while camping or basically anywhere the sun in shining. Just think of it as moving your whole kitchen outdoors. You can also try frying an egg on the sidewalk for some added fun!
Whatever activities you choose to enjoy this summer, do yourself (and the environment) a favor by going green. Opt for reusable instead of one-use. Leave no trace when you head home. Pick up your trash or, better yet, figure out how to minimize your waste. Use less water. Recycle whenever possible. Use eco-friendly forms of transportation whenever you can. It doesn’t take much to go green this summer. All you have to do is think green.
Penny Bauder, a mom of two and an environmental scientist with a passion for STEAM education, is the founder of Green Kid Crafts, a green company that provides kids with convenient and sustainable STEAM activities through the company’s subscription program. The company has shipped over 2 million packages around the world designed to help inspire the next generations of environmental leaders. Penny was a winner of Entrepreneur’s “Build it Like a Woman” Inspiring Woman in Business Award, the Startup Nation Leading Moms in Business Competition and a recipient of the Female Founder Fellowship at the Founder’s Institute. She holds a B.A. in Environmental Management and an M.S. in Environmental Science.