HEALTHY LIVING  |  11.10.15  |  by Julie Rhodins

family playing outdoors

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (PRNewsFoto/Family Features Editorial Syndi)

Fall is such a fantastic time of year to enjoy the outdoors with your family, especially on the weekend.   Kids need a break from being indoors at school.  And simply taking the time to get some fresh air, away from devices and TV, is key to relationship building and learning how to balance your life.  There are simple outdoor family activities you can do that take all of a minute to put together.

Read on for 6 simple outdoor family activities  

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Play Basketball

Grab a basketball and walk, bike, or drive to your local park to play.  Even if you’re only out for 30 minutes, you can get some wonderful exercise and fun times together.  Practicing shots or playing a game of H-O-R-S-E.  If you have a basketball for each person, you can play a firing squad game in which as you make a shot you advance another couple of feet around the half-circle arc of the basketball hoop.

Play Hopscotch

All you need is chalk.  You draw a hopscotch grid on your driveway, sidewalk in front or back of your house, or even a sidewalk at the local park (though bring a bit of water to wash the park sidewalk off after you’re done).  Here’s how to play hopscotch.  Let the kids draw more with chalk once they get bored with the hopscotch — a beautiful way to develop imagination outdoors.

Photo: Flickr / Nick Lee

Photo: Flickr / Nick Lee

Make Leaf Angels

Easiest to do in your own backyard, rake up a pile of leaves and jump into it.  Play.  Have fun.  Once the pile is a little more flattened down and spread out, lay down and make a leaf angel.  It’s the same idea as making a snow angel, only hopefully you’re not so cold!  Here’s a cute video of a young boy explaining how he does it.

Go On a Nature Walk

This is probably a weekend activity, if most of your children are in school during the week.  Pick a local trail where some exploring can be done — a city or regional park with a trail is perfect and not too far away.  Sometime local botanical gardens have woodsy type trails that are great for discovering. has a wonderful list of simple things you can do on a nature walk to keep kids engaged, like collecting leaves or investigating insects.

child outdoors

Photo courtesy

Find a New Playground

Most communities have multiple parks with playground.  Why just go to the same one all the time?  Instead, go exploring.  Tell your children which park you’re exploring.  Make it an adventure.  Pretty soon you’ll have some favorite new spots!

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