As the weekend (finally) comes into sight, you may be counting down the minutes until you can clock out of work and clock in to summer fun with your family. Planning outdoor activities the whole family can enjoy helps your kids to stay active, and allows you to spend some quality time together in the fresh air. Make the most out of your time together and check out our summer ideas for outdoor activities for your kids from toddler to teen this weekend.

Host a Backyard Campout

Who says you need to travel to set up a campsite? Hosting a backyard campout will teach your teens and their friends about the great outdoors while still being within arm’s reach of the comforts of home. Tell ghost stories, make s’mores, catch fireflies at night, and try to locate some constellations if it’s a clear night. These fun outdoor activities for teens will help them (and their younger siblings) become familiar with the outdoors at night–just remember to bring some flashlights and bug repellent from inside!

Break Out the Slip’N Slide

Everyone loves a Slip’N Slide on a hot summer day (including adults)! These backyard “water slides” are especially great for children who don’t know how to swim and are a sure way to cool off and spark a lot of laughter. Just make sure to apply sunscreen before and during your outdoor fun.

Go to the Park

Schedule a family day at the local park and pack a healthy picnic to make it extra special. Going for a walk, feeding the ducks, or simply allowing the kids to play on the playground can make for an active yet relaxing day for toddlers, children, preteens, teens and parents. Some families even pack water balloons to really make it an outing to remember—just be sure to pick up the balloons before you leave and bring some towels!

Embrace Some Family Competition

Everything is more fun with a little competition involved! Break your family into teams (whether it’s kids versus parents, boys versus girls, or a combination of the two) and play outdoor games like Wiffle Ball, kickball, or soccer. You can even switch things up and hold a hula-hoop or jump rope contest!

Have a Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger hunts are a great family activity, and you can even get the whole block involved as well! You can also make it a themed hunt, which is especially fun for smaller children. Set the children up in equal teams based on their age and watch the excitements ensue as the kids run around and search for clues. Just make sure to set boundaries so the kids don’t venture too far from home.

Head to the Beach

Nothing beats a fun yet relaxing day at the beach. Other than taking a dip in the water, think of activities keep the kids entertained and active, such kite flying, sandcastle making, or Frisbee-playing. Of course, you can liven things up in the water as well by seeing who can swim the fastest, or by having a race on the beach!

– By Sara Kildunne

Smart Lifebites