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Need Ideas for Getting Kids Outside? The Kids' Outdoor Adventure Book Offers 448 of Them

What would it take to convince your kids that the outdoors is at least as cool as the TV, the family game console or mom and dad’s tablet?

Maybe they just need the grown-ups to offer a little inspiration. Maybe you could start with one of these ideas:

• Create a nature scrapbook: Grab a camera, markers, glue and a scrapbook. Snap pics of things emerging in your yard. Document how things change week to week. Add photos clipped from magazines. Write your own captions. Decorate page borders. Add new pages year-round.


The outdoors opens new worlds to young imaginations. (REI photos: Damon Parrish)

• Look up and search for bird’s nests. They’re easier to spot now, while tree leaves are still emerging.

• Wake up early and listen to bird songs.

• Investigate your area for a family farm open to visitors. Go check out a cow.

• Pick an interesting distant destination and bike there together. Maybe that farm.

That’s a handful of idea-starters served up in a new book by Stacy Tornio and Ken Keffer, The Kids’ Outdoor Adventure Book: 448 Great Things to Do in Nature Before You Grow Up.

The 208-page book offers kid-minded outdoor activities suitable for every season, from summer berry-picking to creating twig art in the fall.

Craft projects, outings, seasonal food recipes, games—a collection of 400-plus ideas that could breathe fresh air into your family routine.

For a look inside the book, take a peek at these printable 2-page spreads from the chapter devoted to spring:

Start your own outdoor plants now, indoors, using seeds and pots; celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (it’s the second Saturday in May); make your next bike ride an adventure.

Look at a lizard, get up-close to critters at a petting zoo; learn about animal tracks.

• Or, get the complete book.

Tornio is editor of Birds & Blooms magazine. She and co-author Ken Keffer dish additional advice for getting kids outside at

For more ideas on getting into the sunshine, check out the free assortment of family articles in the Expert Advice section of Sample articles:

Kids and Camping

Kids and Hiking

Cycling with Kids

Anyone got any kids-and-outdoors ideas to share? Meanwhile, here's hoping your next family outdoor excursion can match the sense of fun on display here:


Posted on at 9:45 AM

Tagged: family adventures, kids and outdoor recreation

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Matthias in NZ

Hi, nice ideas! I love how many of these ideas bring nature into everyday life, this can really tie in nicely with the less frequent bigger outdoor activities, great mindset. For the diametrically opposite approach - taking your kids with you on real wilderness trips - you could check out for lots of information on how to do real hiking trips with children from babies to teenagers - the right way! Happy trails! Matthias

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