Fun in the Sun for All Ages
By Technical Writer Uinita Mauigoa
Staying active does not have to be arduous or mundane, especially in the land of the midnight sun. Here are some ideas to get the whole family active outdoors this summer while having fun:
Consider a vertical garden. Growing plants on poles and trellises is easier and assists with mobility. Tomatoes, squash, and cucumbers make great vertical plants. Raised beds are also better for the back with benefits of improved soil drainage, less space, and better soil.
CREATE A CAMPFIRE FOR STORYTELLING
Keep traditions and culture alive by sharing stories with family and friends. Plus, preparing an outdoor campfire requires physical activity.
Alaska is brimming with beauty. Snap photos of nature during the next venture. A Polaroid camera is a fun and efficient option now available in stores.
START A NATURE COLLECTION
Collect items you find outdoors such as sticks, pinecones, feathers, stones, fallen leaves, and driftwood. These can be used for crafts or a rock garden.
EXPLORE A NEW TRAIL
Alaska has endless options of public trails to experience. Everyone has their favorite trail or mountain to usually visit. Expand horizons and you may end up loving the newly discovered trail.
ATTEND AN OUTDOOR FITNESS CLASS
There are fitness clubs and organizations in town that host exercise classes outdoors. One example is yoga in the park. Breathe in fresh air and be among nature to elevate workouts to a whole new level.
VENTURE THE WATERS
Exercise doesn’t have to be confined to land. There are many creative and fun ways to venture waters such as kayaking, canoeing, stand up paddling, inner tubing, rafting, boat rowing, and more!
BE A KID AGAIN
Sometimes it’s just fun and it reminds us not to take life too seriously. Fly a kite, have a water balloon fight, play dodgeball or hopscotch, build a fort, play tag or tug-of-war. You will be surprised with how many calories you burn.
BIKE THE NEIGHBORHOOD
When was the last time you saw teenagers riding bikes around the neighborhood? This gets teens off of the screens and moving. It can create a sense of belonging and connection to the neighborhoods in which they live.
PICK PRODUCE WITH THE FAMILY
Stay active while engaging youth with nature to instill appreciation. It is also a time for parents and grandparents to interact with youth in solitude away from technology.
PLAY A FUN SPORT
Remind youth that connecting with people in person can be meaningful by involving them in fun summer sports with family and friends. Try volleyball, pickleball, cornhole, or ultimate frisbee, among much more.
Not only is camping fun, the preparation itself provides many opportunities to get active. Have youth set up tents, build a fire, and cook. It will be one slumber party they will never forget.
ON A BUG HUNT
At the end of the day, many children love bugs and dirt. Acquire a simple guide to easily identify insects they find. The prospect of finding a cool looking caterpillar or butterfly will have them walking, running, bending, reaching, and, most of all, smiling.
DISCOVER WITH A COLOR-CODED SCAVENGER HUNT
Kids are naturally curious. Nature has a plethora of items children can collect for learning and observation. Make exploring fun with a color-coded theme.
CREATE THROUGH WATER TOY PAINTING
A fun spin on painting ditches the brushes in lieu of water toys. For this outdoor activity, be sure to use washable paint and old clothing. This way everyone can paint their canvases and each other!
HAVE A SPRINKLER PARTY
Sprinkler parties were a huge hit in the 80s and 90s. Bring back this nostalgic activity and make it fun with games. Add in some other outdoor water toys to get folks running.