Can you believe it’s end of August already? The summer has flown by this year, I honestly can’t quite believe it. With our European travels in June and early July, followed by several weeks of the whole family playing flu tag, we’ve definitely been making the most of our summer this past month. One of the things I love most about living in Canada is that we get all four seasons and, because of our long winters, everyone here fully appreciates when the weather is nice and makes the most of it. We head outdoors every single day, usually twice a day, rain or shine (just going home for nap time), because we know this warm weather won’t last forever and we want to enjoy every single second.
With that in mind, here are my favourite five outdoor activities to do with young kids. Perfect for end of summer and those beautiful, crisp fall days to follow. I’m also sharing what goes into my diaper bag to make all of our outdoor adventures go smoothly.
[ 1 ] Fruit picking . I love visiting local farms with my kids. It’s nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy nature whilst also providing my kids with some really fun memories. Berry or apple picking alone is already really fun for young kids, but what I love most about visiting these farms is everything else that’s there. The tractor rides to the fruit bushes or trees (Nicolas calls the tractors “E-I-E-I-O” and it’s the cutest thing ever), the farm animals, the playground, and of course the quintessential kid-friendly meal of hot dogs followed by fresh berry frozen yogurt. For any GTA mamas, my favourite farms for pick-your-own adventures are Whittamore’s, Chudleigh’s and Andrew’s Scenic Acres.
[ 2 ] A beach picnic . We’re lucky that we live by the beach (it’s about a 10 minute walk away) so we make sure to head down every chance that we get. There’s nothing that says childhood to me quite like spending a day at the beach, collecting shells, throwing rocks into the water, building sandcastles, flying a kite, and then of course a yummy snack to top it all off. I love grabbing fresh scones and croissants from our local bakery as we’re heading down – my kids are obsessed.
[ 3 ] Bubbles . Is there anything that says quintessential childhood more than bubbles? The pure bliss on their faces as they pop a bubble or when they’re finally able to blow their own bubbles. And these days there are so many contraptions that you’ll be able to find something that works for every age and skill level. My kids have been fascinated with bubbles since they could crawl and it’s always been a great mood booster no matter where we are. We even buy bubbles whenever we travel because they’re cheap and always good to have on hand no matter where you are (standing in line at the Eiffel tower comes to mind).
[ 4 ] A family bike ride . My kids are little speed devils, so bike rides are one of their favourite things to do. We have both bike seats for shorter rides and a bike trailer for longer trips or when it’s nap time. I find biking (and rollerblading) to be the best exercise with young kids – they don’t get bored as easily since we’re going faster and there’s more to see, we get to try out a lot of new playgrounds that we don’t normally reach by foot, and it’s a much gentler form of exercise for the postpartum body.
[ 5 ] Gardening . If we don’t feel like going anywhere, we head to the backyard. I love that, at this age, kids want to mimic everything their parents do, including housework. Gardening is such a perfect activity for young kids as it incorporates so many elements they love: getting dirty, playing with water (those plants don’t water themselves, afterall), helping mom and dad, and learning about the world around them. And, as long as it’s not the middle of winter, there’s something you can plant anytime of year. As an added bonus? Take them to the gardening centre beforehand and let them help pick out something for the garden that they can plant all by themselves.
Being outdoors has endless possibilities for fun but it also brings on the possibility of a few not so great side effects, like sunburn and insect bites. Which is why I always make sure to pack sunscreen, insect repellent, and Gold Bond Medicated anti-Itch Cream and Lotion in my diaper bag. The first two for prevention, of course, but I find the latter just as important! Whilst we wear sunscreen everyday, I only like to put insect repellent on my kids when we’re in an area with a ton of mosquitos. But there’s always the possibility of a mosquito or two being out anywhere we are. Itchy bug bites are not fun for adults, yet alone kids, which is why I use Gold Bond Medicated Anti-Itch Cream on any pesky bites that my kids and I get. It’s enriched with aloe and vitamin E and it gently soothes irritated skin. Perfect for a targeted itch like an insect bite or minor cut.
Even with wearing sunscreen, burns can happen. Sometimes we forget a spot, it washes off in the water, or we forget to apply soon enough. Gold Bond Medicated Anti-Itch Lotion is perfect for larger areas of your skin where a body lotion is better. It temporarily relieves pain and itching from minor burns (like sunburns) and other skin irritations, and contains a blend of moisturizers, plus aloe and vitamins E and B5. It’s also good for relieving dry and chapped skin. From time to time, my kids’ get patches of really dry skin on the insides of their elbows and backs of their knees, which they scratch incessantly. This lotion is great for soothing that itch so that the skin can get better faster. Both the cream and lotion are also steroid and fragrance free as well as dermatologist tested, which of course is really important for sensitive skin.
What are your favourite activities to do outside with your kids? And what do you make sure to bring with you on every outdoor adventure?
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Gold Bond Canada. All thoughts and opinions are my own.