Summer has a special way of inspiring us to get outside and enjoy nature. Maybe it’s the nostalgia from our own childhoods or seeing our little so excited to be out of school. Either way, the sun is shining, the water’s more than fine, and vitamin D is solving all of our problems. Our kids are itching to enjoy their freedom and we’re itching to throw them outside so they finally stop running inside the house. With only a month or so left before school starts it can feel like there’s a ticking clock pressuring us to make the most of it.
However, there is still enough time to get outside and soak up all that summer has to offer. Enjoying nature also doesn’t have to be overly complicated either, so we’ve gathered up five unique ways you and your littles can make the most of nature this summer.
1. Take them camping (without roughing it)
What better way to enjoy nature than to immerse yourself in it by getting up close and personal with some of the greatest campgrounds the U.S. has to offer? However, sleeping in a muggy tent with no plumbing or amenities while wrangling rambunctious tiny people may sound like more of a nightmare than a dream. Thankfully, for all of us who cringe at the thought of roughing it with kids, we discovered the ideal way to take your family camping: Auto Camp. Our editor recently stayed there with her family of four and had only the best to say about their experience.
“As a mom of two little boys, encouraging and fostering their love of the outdoors is incredibly important to my husband and I. We strongly subscribe to the “no bad weather just inappropriate clothes” philosophy. This summer we were excited to take their love of the outdoors to the next level via camping. We visited Auto Camp’s Cape Cod location, which is a less than 1.5 hours from our home.
The airstream had plenty of sleeping space for all of us and the boys happily shared the full size pull out futon (that came complete with bedding and pillows) while we snoozed in the incredibly comfortable queen bedroom. We were even able to enjoy catching up on some TV after they went to bed on the flat screen in the bedroom. When traveling with little kids you always worry about sleeping arrangements and how they will sleep and I give this experience a 10/10! They slept soundly and I enjoyed the peace of mind knowing they were safe, comfortable and bug-free.” — Ally Pagar Wolf
2. Visit your local gardens
Most local arboretums and gardens offer educational programs and exhibits focused on nature. These centers often have interactive displays, guided hikes, and informative presentations that can engage and inspire children. You can also have a fun scavenger hunt by bringing a list of plants and animals to find while you enjoy your walk.
3. Have a picnic in the park
Not only are picnics a more engaging way to enjoy a meal together, it’s also cost effective. If your family is looking for ways to bond during mealtime without spending extra money at a restaurant, pack a picnic basket with your kids’ favorite snacks and head to a local park. Enjoy the sunshine, fresh air, and green surroundings—bonus points if you plan it in the evening so y’all can enjoy the sunset.
4. Plan a beach day
If you live near a beach or a lake, plan a day trip with your kids. Sandy toes and salt crusted hair is a small price to pay for the beauty you can find near the ocean or lake. Build sandcastles, swim, collect seashells, and enjoy the natural beauty of the water and the shoreline. Encourage your kids to explore the tideline and search for interesting treasures that may have washed up on the beach. They can hunt for unique rocks, shells, seaweed, or even the occasional piece of sea glass.
5. Admire the night sky by stargazing
On a clear summer night, find a spot away from city lights where you and your kids can lay down and gaze at the stars. Teach them about constellations, planets, and how big our universe truly is. You can even bring a telescope for a closer look at celestial objects. Even if you know nothing about space, it could be a great learning experience for the whole family. Download a stargazing app and learn something new together while marveling at how cool our solar system is.
This colorful book explores the constellations with young readers, guiding them to dozens of galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. Every page features a helpful “telescope view,” showing exactly how objects appear through a small telescope or binoculars.
This post contains a sponsored inclusion of Auto Camp, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.