I’m sharing some of our favorite Fun Outdoor Summer Activities and How I Worry Less & Play More with one big thing that gives parents peace of mind in this sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Relay by Republic Wireless.
I can still feel the breeze in my hair and the freedom of the open road below my spinning wheels. Time would slow in exact proportion to the speed my little feet could tread.
It was our time. My brother and I would explore, imagine and practice the art of saving each other. He’d save me from a mission gone wrong – us “spies” hopping on our escape vehicles and pedaling to safety, and I’d save him… from the bees. The very real bees who swarmed our “escape vehicles,” parked leisurely under a climbing tower at the park.
To this day, biking is a favorite outdoor adventure for our family. Thankfully, it’s been sans the very real threat of a swarm of bees since that day in the park with my brother. But the adventure, the fun, the feeling of freedom and the wind in our hair… those memories are still actively being made just with a team now made up of 6 spies.
I know that it doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but the true freedom found in fun outdoor summer activities is so important. Watching my kids through the kitchen window and into the open space of our backyard… their imagination playground where they take blocks (from our Giant DIY Tumbling Blocks Game featured in The Fresh Edit, page 66-67) and create worlds for their toys or as they splash and dive through challenges into the pool; it all brings a this-is-what-it’s-all-about kind of exhale.
And it’s worth noting that in the stage of childhood that most of my little people are at, the one where they all transform into some kind of dog, or lion, or a current favorite… Incredible’s character Dash who can run at lightning speed – it means that our home is loud. It’s fair to say, as the indoor collective volume increases, unfortunately, I can tend to get loud as well.
When that’s happening, I know it’s time to take things outdoors.
I suppose that’s when the call of the open road is at it’s strongest. You know those moments where the space you’re in feels to small and frantic for a number of reasons, some very real and some imagined. That’s when I find my mind remembering the feeling of freedom, the exhilaration of the wind in my hair and I remind myself that it’s just a few steps out the door.
Now I will say, as a mother, we don’t feel the same empowerment to let our kids ride free. There’s this push and pull to let them be kids, play harder, ride further juxtaposed to the net of safety we want to keep them in. So while I feel the nostalgic pull of my childhood, I also feel the different set of rules this world has offered us parents this time around. And so, I ride with them.
Chris straps the carrier to the back of his bike, of which Aria calls her bike, and we ride, together.
Lately we’ve been using new devices reminiscent of old school walkie talkies (remember those?!) that we used as kids to help explore and play, but now… it’s a smart walkie talkie (with 4G LTE coverage). Relay is a nationwide cell phone alternative that safely empowers childhood and outdoor summer activities. The simplicity of Relay is that it has one-touch communication making it simple to use, but it’s sans a smartphone, screen or phone number so each hand-held device is only able to communicate with those that are approved through an app on the my phone. Basically, we’ve got these really cute little walkie-talkies that I can control with my phone, can locate through GPS tracking and can communicate with each other with the push of a button.
On our family rides now, my kids have a little more freedom to push further, discover and explore, and I know they’re safer because I can see exactly where they are and they’re just a button-call away. I can feel good about letting them go far (but stay close.)
Now, I just need to find something to protect them from bees.
10 Favorite Fun Outdoor Summer Activities (besides biking, of course):
Old-Classics like Tag or Hide and Seek
Create a Backyard Obstacle Course
Giant Dice (for games like Yard Yahtzee)
Draw, Color and Play Games with Sidewalk Chalk
Giant Tumbling Blocks Game (for games like Jenga or imaginative play)
Scavenger Hunt / Treasure Hunt
Fun With S’mores (also try these 10 best s’mores recipes!)
Water Fun (sprinklers, swimming, water guns or even a bucket of water!)
Finger Paint (we love this edible version, and playing outdoors makes cleanup a breeze)
Head to the Beach or Park