The Secret of the Backyard Adventures

Y’all, I love adventuring. Especially with my kids. Learning through new experiences is exciting to me and was something I prioritized when I first became a parent. We would frequent the zoo, arboretums, libraries, parks, splash pads, farmers markets, and museums. We enjoyed walking and discovering new things. But most of all we enjoyed learning about nature and people while we had fun.

But let’s be real. With four children, naps, and school schedules I can’t do those same kinds of adventuring on my own. I could sit and feel bad about it. I could mourn the transition to life with lots of littles. Or. Or I could be intentional about what I can do. I can accept my not enough-ness, move past it, and embrace the ordinary moments.

Backyard Adventures

And while this summer has been the Summer of Adventure, it has also been a Summer of {Backyard} Adventure. My favorite thing about {backyard} adventures is that they teach your children (and you) the importance of the small moments. They remind you that life isn’t truly lived in the expensive vacations, but instead, life is lived in the small, ordinary moments of the everyday {backyard} adventure.

This summer, we have found a lot of {backyard} adventures. Some of them are ones we thought of as “everyday summer fun,” while others are adventures that we decided to do intentionally. The best part is that each of these {backyard} adventures has the opportunity to invite community and learning into your day.

|| ONE: Sprinkler {Backyard} Party ||

We blew up a giant pool, set up the sprinkler, and set up the water table. The kids had a ton of fun playing with water. And the best part was, that it turned into a sprinkler party with our neighbors…and led to ‘two’…

IMG_4730

|| TWO: S’MORES ||

I mean.  Do I even need to say anything more? Maybe I should, though. The kids loved the idea of making s’mores, but when it came down to it, they would rather eat an un-melted marshmallow, a piece of chocolate, and a graham cracker separately. And Man-Child would love to just throw sticks into the bonfire all.night.long. Just like ‘one,’ it’s best done with friends.

IMG_4731

|| THREE: WATCH A PARADE ||

Watching a parade is a ton of fun: seeing fire trucks, community members, meeting new people, and free candy! The only thing better is to walk in the parade!

Every year, our church walks in the town’s parade. And for the last few years, we have joined in. We love seeing friends and meeting new people. Our children love handing out popsicles. And most of all, we love that it teaches our children that others are greater than themselves.

IMG_4729

|| FOUR: TREAT YO’ SELF TO ICE CREAM ||

And your children. You should invite them along. They will love it. And chances are, they won’t finish all of it. So double ice cream for you!

IMG_4732

Yes, this is actually shaved ice. But you get the idea: Frozen Treat + Summer Heat = Grand {Backyard} Adventure for all

|| FIVE: VISIT FAMILY ||

We are lucky to live near our families. So a favorite year-round event is to visit grandparents and great-grandparents. I love that my own Yia-Yia is now a huge part of my children’s lives. And the smiles on everyone’s faces is enough to make me smile for weeks.

IMG_4735

|| SIX:  BLOCK PARTY ||

Clearly, I love community. And summer is the best time of year to jump into community within your own neighborhood! Check with your town and sign up to host a block party! Our neighborhood has weekly parties where the host provides water and juice boxes and everyone coming brings an appetizer. Low stress for everyone but still a ton of fun!

IMG_4728

|| SEVEN: PLANT A GARDEN ||

I love combining learning and play. What’s great is, kids naturally love it too! So every year we plant a garden and learn about seeds, plants, animals, and the importance of farming! And since I also love small businesses, it’s a great opportunity to also teach them the importance of family businesses. A great add-on to this is to visit your local Farmer’s Market! They are a huge favorite of ours and such a great way to remind your children of the importance of local produce, sustainable farming, and small businesses up close.

Backyard Adventures

|| EIGHT: GO FOR A WALK ||

Easy enough, right? Just go exploring! Walk around your neighborhood, explore your town, or adventure out of town. We are lucky to live across from a marsh, so if we have time for a longer walk, that’s our favorite place to go!

IMG_4741

|| NINE: VISIT THE PARK ||

We love our neighborhood park, and since it’s nearby, we visit it often. But you can go adventuring to find a new park. It’s a great way to meet new people and to change up the activities. The park is a great place to meet friends, neighbors, and create new imaginative games!

IMG_4733

|| TEN: PLAY ||

If the day is long, craziness is high, and patience is low; just go outside and play. Let them run wild. And use this time to take a deep breath and laugh. Run with them or just sit back. Play catch or chat with a neighbor. Just get outside and play. It’s the best (and easiest) kind of {backyard} adventure.

IMG_4734

I love that {backyard} adventures are easy and stress-free, even with multiple children!  Do you have any favorite {backyard} adventures? I would love to hear them!

IMG_3810

Linking up with Andrea at Momfessionals, Narci at Grace and Love Blog, & Erika at A Little Bit of Everything Blog for Friday Favorites.

Advertisements

34 thoughts on “The Secret of the Backyard Adventures

  1. We had a ton of backyard adventures growing up 🙂

    Laying back and talking about what pictures were in the clouds … making bubble solution and having contests to see who could make the biggest bubbles … going on nature treasure hunts to find feathers or other fun stuff. We even camped in our backyard one night!

    Like

  2. Your summer looks perfect! Just as a summer should be. And while I prefer the melty goodness of a s’more, my kids would probably choose unmelty and separate, too. Honestly, I prefer it for them, too, because it’s a lot messier when they go the full on s’mores route. 🙂

    Like

  3. What great ideas! And very little cost involved! Thanks for reminding us of the easy things we can do to enjoy life…with our kids!

    Like

  4. So many awesome activities to do, I did some of them with my little one this summer. He will start school very soon now. So this weekend will be our last blast, we plan to take him to an inflatables park in our city. Thanks for the ideas, i might use some of them for next summer. Also it’s true i try to give my son those small valuable moments of life that teach you appreciate the big and the small things in life.

    Thanks for this awesome post!

    Like

  5. MY girls LOVE to play in the backyard. My youngest loves to pop up the tent and have a “mini” camping adventure. My oldest who is 14 now…….. she volunteered with her After school program to wash cars to help keep the cost down within the program.

    Like

  6. You guys look like you have an amazing backyard! I’m jealous…we have a VERY tiny one. But…the kids still manage to get creative and play around in it. It’s all about forcing them to use their imaginations, isn’t it?! Looks like you guys have had a fabulous summer! xox

    Like

  7. Okay I have to ask, how come backyard is in those brackets!? I think I missed something haha.

    It looks like your gang has gotten up to a lot this summer! I’m excited for B to be just a LITTTTTTLE bit older so we can do more fun things with her. But it’s definitely the best time of year to go on adventures for sure.

    Like

    • Ha! I put backyard in brackets because I wanted to make the distinction that adventures don’t have to be these huge, expensive trips or plans. But adventure can be found anywhere. Even in the most ordinary of places, like the backyard. 🙂

      Like

  8. Pingback: August: The Smallness of Grace | Grace Mountain Diaries

  9. Pingback: Summer of Adventure: A Look Back | Grace Mountain Diaries

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s