Here are my tips for getting families outside all year around.
Create or join the outdoor playgroup revoulution - I think adults often forget that outdoor adventures start in the small; being in a ravine or a small park can be a big adventure for a little kid. We have stay-at-home moms, entrepreneurs, doctors and teachers who are all organizing outdoor playgroups where they live in the winter, spring, fall and summer.
Create a Playboorhood
Mike Lanza, a dad from California, created his backyard with the sole purpose of attracting the neighborhood kids to come and play on his property.There really are thousands of ways to be a community activist. Another great way to build community in the winter is to build an outdoor rink in your backyard or local park.
Daycare and School
Let your school and/or your daycare know that outdoor play and outdoor learning is important to you. When you choose a daycare look for and choose one that is outdoor play friendly.
Creating a family garden
In our family the garden is a family project that we do together and it gets us outside in all seasons.
Whether you have your own garden to harvest, or visiting a local farm, harvesting is great fun for families. Sugar bushing in the early spring, strawberry picking in early summer and apple picking in the fall are all popular times for family.
A very simple way to make sure you get outside is to eat outside. Make sure you have a welcoming table and chairs in your backyard or balcony. Have a picnic in the park and as the days start to get cooler be sure to extend the picnic season by putting on the right layers to continue eating outside.
Try the seasons sport
Find out what your family likes to do outdoors in the different seasons and get prepared. There many outdoor sports to try with the family. Sign you kids up for lessons in outdoor venues which is a great way to stay in touch with nature.
Use Technology to get outside
Technology usually gets the blame for childrens lack of outdoor time. But, as much as technology can hold children hostage inside, it can be used to lure them outside. Using a GPS device to find treasure is call geocaching (high tech treasure game) and seems to be an activity that is capturing both the young and adult.
Embrace the season
Making sure that your family is prepared for the seasons is the most important step you can do to help get your kids outside. When you and the kids are warm and dry you will just naturally find yourselves spending more and more time in nature.
Plan for outdoor holiday fun with your kids. Canada and the US have a lot of wonderful parks and natural places to explore nature. The textbook winter family vacation is a trip to Florida, but keep in mind there are many opportunities for cool outdoor adventures outside the box of going south for the winter.