5 Outdoor Summer Activities To Inspire Bravery and Connection with Your Kids

by Grandma Metta (Jimetta Mayne) 

I’m constantly moved by the consistent nature of childlikeness. Just as my children fell in love with the beauty of God’s creation, splashing in icy lakes, and racing down the meadowed trails at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas where we raised them, I now get to witness the same wonder on the faces of my grandchildren. They fearlessly jump into the same waters and race down the same overgrown trails as their parents once did. Regardless of the times we find ourselves in or what feels like a relentless pull towards busyness and a life of staring at screens, kids never lose their wonder of nature or the possibility for adventure. Simplicity and creativity still mesmerizes them.

I love to pull all my little ones away from their screens and technology and open their eyes to the beauty around them in the great outdoors. I have yet to find a better way to connect as a family with your young ones, then in silly summertime games and exploring together. These precious summer memories we’ve built have helped shaped my children into the brave, inquisitive, mindful, loving people they have become.

Here’s five creative activities I encourage you to try with your kids and grandkids this summer for a bit of fun, silliness, and hopefully, life-long memories:

  1. Search out as many parks as you can in your city. Depending on your available time, do one a day, or one per week. You might want to get silly and see how many swings you can swing on in one day, bouncing from park to park. Your kids or grandkids won’t forget that challenge!

  2. Make a big mess together! Go to a store that has a bulk section and get a big bag of cornstarch. Mix it with water in a big bowl, lay out a tarp and enjoy the crazy texture. Silliness will ensue, and remember, it’s always more memorable if you join in the fun.

  3. Bubbles never fail to fascinate. If you have extra kids split them in two groups.  Put one group in the middle, set a timer for 1 minute and have the other group blow bubbles all around them as the group in the center pop the bubbles. Try not let any touch the ground! Laughter and mayhem will ensue.

  4. Go camping in your own backyard. Who needs a campground if you have a bit of backyard or deck space, a tent, and some cozy sleeping bags? Storytime is so much more magical in a tent.

  5. Write a story with your kids. Here’s where you have to put on your creative brains!  Go on a walk (or sit inside if it’s raining), ask each child in the group for one word, and then craft a story around that word with them as heroes of the story. We’ve written so many creative stories with words like “chocolate,” “mouse,” and “popcorn.” It’s amazing to see what kind of imaginative, funny stories your children can dream up, like a talking mouse that shows them a world of chocolate rivers and popcorn trees.

Life can be mundane or it can take on an exciting new flavor when we intentionally add a dash of creativity into our days, and enjoy it together as a family.

– Love, Grandma Metta


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About jimetta mayne

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Raised in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Jimetta Mayne  has always held a deep love for the outdoors and adventure. Her father was a pilot and her mother was always packing the camper or the airplane to take off and explore. In 1976, she married another adventurer, Rod, and they had four children.  Jimetta enjoyed crafting stories and taking the kids on adventures in their imaginations, a large inspiration to her interactive style of writing in What If?.

 After the children left home, Jimetta channeled her energy into encouraging and coaching other mothers and parents. Today, Jimetta and Rod continue to reside in the beautiful Sierra Nevadas and are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren.

 Jimetta laughs when people ask who she is.  “I’m me,” she says.  “I often show up as a wife, a teacher, a coach, a mom, a daughter, a grandma, a storyteller, a medic, an author, a speaker….but all in all, I just love being me.” Jimetta began writing What If?, the first of seven books in the Adventures with Grandma Metta series as a legacy for her own family and to empower children everywhere.