This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.
Getting outside and exploring definitely gets a bit more challenging when you add young kids to the mix. For us, with twins plus 4 other kids, things get extra tricky when we want to plan an outing. Fortunately, we have a few tricks we’ve learned over the years that makes it easier for us to get outside and have some fun.
Spending time outside with your kids is such a fun way to get everyone to unplug and spend some quality time together, though, so we make sure that it happens as often as possible. My kids love getting away from the house and exploring a new place.
Some of our favorite things to do during the summer months are hiking, swimming, and just exploring some of the fun places we have locally.
Getting kids outside is the best stress reliever I know. I love watching what happens when they unplug and get away from everything. Even siblings who haven’t been getting along always put arguments aside when they have some great outside places to explore.
With 8 of us, including 3 kids ages 5 and under, the logistics of actually getting out there to explore can be kind of daunting.
Good news! We have some tips for you.
I’d love to be spontaneous. In theory, it sounds like a blast to be able to just drop everything and head out for an adventure. With kids, though, the reality is a fun outing takes some serious prep work. No one has fun if you get to your destination unprepared (especially mom). Planning ahead may be a bit more work, but it is so worth it to be able to enjoy the time as a family.
Recruit your kids to help you with the planning. It will make the adventure more fun and will help you lighten your load.
Keep a to-go Snack Bag Packed
I try to limit the planning by keeping some things ready to go. We have a to-go snack bag that is always stocked with some great treats.
If we will be out for the full day, we’ll add in some lunch foods and fresh veggies to tide us over, but for short outings, we just have to grab it and go. I keep separate bags packed for the lake and the pool so we have everything we need in one place. That seriously cuts down on the work I need to do before heading out the door.
This trick works for other things too. I stash a few extras of things we use frequently in the car in case that I leave there all the time so we are prepped for most things. My girls all have a change of clothes tucked away in the car, I have baby wipes, extra water bottles, and more.
Protect Sensitive Skin
Nothing spoils an outside adventure like coming home with a sunburn. Most of the people in my family burn easily, including my twin toddlers. It may be a bit of work making sure everyone gets sunscreen applied but it’s so worth it to keep everyone healthy and avoid dealing with painful sunburns later. We have sensitive skin so we always go with sunscreen we know we can trust. I’ve used AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 on my kids since they were little, so I love that I can trust their sunscreen to get the job done without hurting sensitive skin.
Right now Walmart has the AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Twin Pack for a great price. Ibotta has an additional incentive that will give you $5 back when you buy the 2-pack.
With my kids having such sensitive skin, I love that AVEENO® Baby CONTINUOUS PROTECTION Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 works to lock in moisture. My kids actually like having this put on because it makes their skin feel good. It uses 100% Zinc-Oxide UVA/UVB Mineral Protection and has always done a great job protection my kids’ skin . . . and we’ve seriously put it to the test with our desert summers. Even with the Zinc-Oxide, this is a non-whitening formula and it is easy to apply and tear-free, which is always a plus when you are putting sunscreen on multiple kids.
We keep a bottle in our pool bag and in the car (you never know when you’ll have time for a quick trip to the park) so we always have it ready to go when we need it.
Plan time to Explore
As much as I love a well-organized day, an outdoor adventure really loses something when you don’t have the time to just explore. This is especially true with kids, who want nothing more than to find the coolest rock, race to the top of a hill, or see what’s just around the next bend.
One of my twins is obsessed with rocks. No matter where we go, she’ll end up coming home with hands and pockets full of rocks in all shapes and sizes.
She could entertain herself for hours just going rock hunting. Remind me again why I buy her toys?
On our last little hiking trip as a family, my boys scattered to explore when we sat down for lunch. One of my boys came back super excited and when he took us all back to the spot he discovered, we saw why. He had found a little protected cave filled with petroglyphs. It was such a fun discovering and something that we never would have seen if we hadn’t taken the time to just slow down and go with the flow.
Make a Summer Bucket List
Every summer feels like it flies by. I’ve learned that the only way to make sure we get most of the things done that we want to is to make a summer bucket list. This doesn’t have to be in any particular order. I have my kids sit down as soon as the weather starts to warm up and name off anything they may want to do for the summer.
No idea is too crazy. We write them all down.
Each week we pick a few things that we want to do. This saves us from getting to the end of the summer and being bummed out that we didn’t do as many things as we wanted to.
With the weather warming up here, we are definitely starting to work our way through our summer bucket list now.
Check out our latest adventure in the video below: