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How To Squeeze More Nature Into Your Child’s After-School Routine (And Why It’s Important)

To get your juices flowing, we’ve come up with a list of outdoor, family-friendly ideas to incorporate into your new al fresco after-school routine:

Go for a walk. Whether you make a point to walk home from school or set out as soon as you pull in, an afternoon walk is the perfect way to connect with your child and help them to unwind after a long day in the classroom–all while taking in the natural surroundings.

Create a natural scavenger hunt. Look for pine cones, acorns, wildflowers, and other outdoor items and make it a competition by tallying up who found the most.

Introduce your kids to some of your favorite childhood games. Some of our favorites include hopscotch, four square, red rover, red light green light, and kickball.

Take a trip to the farmers market. Make this a weekly activity that both parent and child can benefit from. It’s a great opportunity to sneak in a little nutritional education and get them more interested in the food they eat by letting them pick something new to try each trip.

Host a lemonade stand. A favorite pastime, this is a great way for kids to learn about money and marketing, as well as an opportunity to exercise their social skills. Just make sure to monitor them and keep plenty of Bare Republic sunscreen and water on hand for consistent sun protection and hydration!

Have a picnic. Set up a blanket on the grass and offer their afternoon snack outside. While eating, encourage them to interact with their surroundings by identifying shapes in the clouds or playing I-spy.

Tend to the garden. Gardening helps to teach kids responsibility. If they are in charge of watering the plants, they learn to treat living things with care. If it’s a fruit, veggie, or herb garden, they’ll also get to experience the satisfaction and gratitude that comes with harvesting.

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