It’s park season again!
Spring officially begins in March, but in many areas it isn’t until April that the air warms, snow melts, and grass starts to green up enough to make us want to venture out to our local parks for some outdoor fun. April’s warmer days and gentle sunshine herald the beginning of park season, which is why we celebrate National Park Week during April 16 – 24.
Parks are perfect for outdoor play and a wonderful way for the whole family to enjoy healthy activity together in the fresh, crisp spring air. Physical activity is a great way for kids to maintain a healthy weight, but did you know that it can also help them have strong bones and muscles, improve balance and flexibility, improve posture, promote a healthy heart and blood vessels, prevent disease later in life, help them relax, develop social skills and make friends?1 Those are pretty compelling reasons to making active, outdoor play part of your everyday routine.
Check out these wonderful ways to celebrate National Park Week with your whole family:
- Pack a picnic. You can prolong your park visit if you bring some snacks along with you. Check out our article with 10 tips on how to plan the perfect picnic, and enjoy the first one of the season!
- Stay overnight. If you’re the camping kind, celebrate the start of park weather by setting up camp at a campground or provincial or state park near you.
- Go exploring. Make a day trip out of your trip to the park by heading to another city or town to explore a new-to-you park.
- Bring a crowd. Invite friends and neighbors to join you in a game of flag football, bocce, or capture the flag at your local park. For more group outdoor game ideas, visit Purple Trail.
- Stargaze. Bring along a thermos filled with something warm and blanket to cuddle under, and enjoy looking at the night sky together. Visit the Harvard-Smithsonian Center For Astrophysics to find out what you’ll be able to see in the April night sky.
- Knit or crochet. Gather some crafty friends and have a stitch ‘n chat session in the fresh, open air. You might inspire a whole new generation of people to pick up a pair of needles or a crochet hook.
- Have some doggone fun. If you’re a dog owner, take your four-legged friend to a local dog park for some canine shenanigans, or invite other dog owners to join you in a walk to the park. Make sure to bring extra balls and treats!
- Spruce up a playspace. Your local parks may need a little TLC after winter. Organize a Foresters Playfinders event during to help make your local playgrounds summer-ready! This program provides the resources for you, your family and the Foresters community to explore the playspaces in your area, tidy them and make sure they’re mapped on the KaBOOM! Map of Play. For more information visit MyForesters.com.
Even simply taking a leisurely stroll to your neighborhood park after dinner is a nice way to celebrate National Park Week – and a great healthy habit to get into.
413495H CA/US (04/16)