7 Ways to Have More the Fun at the Park

7 Ways to Have More the Fun at the Park

Use these tips to turn a family trip to the park into an adventure.

By: Robyn Welling

Spending time outdoors together is important for every family. It's a great way to unwind, get some exercise and strengthen relationships. However, repeated trips to the local park can leave kids a little bored with the same playground equipment day after day, and sometimes — maybe for a playdate, a birthday or just to shake things up — we want to try something different.

You can make an otherwise average visit to the playground memorable just by using things you'll find outside, a few simple materials and your imagination. Try one of the ideas below and inject some excitement into your outdoor play!

1. Obstacle Course
Help your kids decide on a path for an obstacle course, tailored to their ages and ability. It can be as simple as running around a certain tree and back, or it can incorporate multiple tasks such as stopping to swing three times, doing five jumping jacks or crossing the monkey bars. Just make sure they won't run into any other kids along the way! Challenge them to complete the course more than once and beat their own best time, or, if more than one child is participating, they can race against each other.

2. Mouse In the House
For this dry land version of fish out of water, find an open area with a few spots to designate as the houses. These can be trees, a hula-hoop on the ground or any other easily recognized landmark. The player who's “it” closes his eyes and pretends to be a cat. The other players are mice and have to run from house to house without getting tagged by the cat. If the person who's “it” suspects someone is hiding in the safety of one of the houses, he calls, "Mouse in the house!" The first player to be tagged or get caught hiding in a house becomes “it” for the next round.

3. Scavenger Hunt:
Send your kids on a quest to find things around the park, such as dried leaves with more than one color, a Y-shaped stick or round pebbles. You might need to remind them not to disturb any professional landscaping and to put things like wood chips back where they found them. Kids can team up together to tackle the list or compete to see who can locate items the fastest.


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4. Playground Olympics
Depending on the supplies you have available, you can make this as simple or elaborate as you like. Create different events like Balance Beam, Rock Climbing, Bicycle Races, Hula Hooping or High Swing, and let the kids go for gold.

5. Superheroes
Really let your creativity take off as each person selects a super power or two and embarks on an imaginary adventure! Encourage the kids to make their powers as unusual as possible. “Lava Laser Hands” is one of our favorites. Fair warning, though: Parents are often recruited to play the part of the villains in this game!

6. Name It Tag
In this variation of freeze tag, everyone first agrees on a category, such as snack foods or TV shows. When a player gets tagged, they have to stay frozen until another player tags them. Then, before they can start moving again, they have to yell out something that fits into the chosen category. If they can't think of anything or if they use an example that someone else already used, they become “it,” and the game starts again with a new category.

7. Balloon Toss
Make a target using whatever is convenient, such as sticks or a piece of playground equipment. Standing a few feet away, take turns tossing water balloons into the goal. With each success, take a step backward and try again. See who can hit the target from farthest away — extra points if the balloon doesn't pop! If you don't have water balloons, a ball or small rock would work, too. Whatever you use, you'll obviously only want to do this in a safe area where other kids won't get caught in the middle of the game.

It doesn't take money, extra time or complicated supplies to make a regular trip to the park special. Keep these activities in mind the next time you're looking for a way to turn an ordinary afternoon outside into something extraordinary!

Robyn is a freelance writer and humorist at Hollow Tree Ventures, a mother to five, and accidentally become a cleaning and crafts expert over the years. She loves to blog about her crafts and home décor projects, parenthood, life with her funny husband, and the humor of everyday life in Michigan.

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Great ideas to make the park a new experience each time! Park adventures are on my list of summer things to do for free :)

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thanks for the awesome ideas. i'm going to plan a scavenger hunt with my daughter and fiance tomorrow. and "lol" but 3 yr old daughter plays superheros with her dolls her loves to be a superhero, or "superhereee" she says

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