Playing outside is one of the best parts of being a kid. But according to recent surveys, today’s kids spend less than an hour per day outdoors and an average of 6-7 hours a day in front of a screen. Want to help your kids rediscover the great outdoors? Here are five easy ways to get started:
1. Try something new Gather everyone in the family and make a list of new activities you’d like to try, then choose a few to learn together. (Your kids will love that you’re just a beginner, too.) Check out classes through your community recreation program or consider signing up for one of L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools courses. We’ll provide all the instruction and gear you need, and our friendly instructors will make discovering a new sport, such as kayaking or archery, fun, safe and enjoyable.
2. Take a hike Head to the woods – bring along some blank notebooks and have your kids create a nature journal detailing what they see along the way. Our ParkFinder feature can help you find great hiking spots just around the bend. Pack a GPS and join the kids in a geocaching treasure hunt! We have boots and backpacks in sizes for every explorer, plus kid-tough clothes for the trail. And don’t forget – your local L.L.Bean store has free weekly clinics where you can learn essential outdoor skills like knot tying.
3. Camp out in the backyard Start right in your backyard with a family campout. Your kids will think it’s a big adventure, even if they can still see your back door. Come prepared with plenty of ghost stories and special campout snacks. If you need to gear up, start by searching our top-rated tents and sleeping bags – you can also read product reviews from parents like you. Don’t forget to pack cozy slippers and pajamas, plus mini camp lanterns and kid-sized headlamps to light up the night.
4. Ride a bike Biking is a fun way to spend time together while getting great exercise. Start out with a few leisurely rides on a local trail that works well for your least-experienced riders, then switch to more difficult terrain as their confidence and skills increase. L.L.Bean offers comfortable bikes in all sizes along with a wide range of gear, including bike helmets, water bottles and bike racks – all backed by our legendary guarantee. Pretty soon your kids will be asking if they can bike to school.
5. Find the perfect summer camp Remember when you got to spend all 93 days of summer outdoors? Give your kids that same chance to learn and explore as only kids can. You can inspire their great stories about “what I did this summer” with our new Outdoor Discovery Schools Kids’ Camp in Freeport, Maine, where kids can try out kayaking, fly casting, archery and more. And if you need to outfit their adventures this summer, we have everything you need, from swimwear and shorts to tees and sandals.
L.L.Bean has been helping families spend time outdoors for over a century, so you can count on us to be your trusted guide. Encourage your kids to explore the natural world all around them – and have FUN! You could spark a love of the outdoors that will last a lifetime. We’re here to help you every step of the way.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy the outdoors with your kids?