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June is Great Outdoors Month: Celebrate by Going Outside!
Jun 02

June is Great Outdoors Month: Celebrate by Going Outside!

By Melissa Harding, Phipps Science Education Specialist

June is right on the cusp of the seasons – not yet steeped in the intense heat of July, yet more dependable for sunny days and picnics than May. Half spring and half summer, June is a great time to get outside. Perhaps that’s why we celebrate Great Outdoors Month now – there is no better time to go hiking, bike riding or just lay in the sun than June. Being outside is not just fun, but good for you as well. Nature has a positive, direct impact on human health; it enhances the ability to cope with and recover from stress and illness, reduces the risk of obesity, increases happiness and positive life outlook, increases the body’s natural immunity to diseases, increases creativity, and improves mental health. This is especially true of children, who benefit greatly from time spent outside as well. In addition to the above benefits, playing outside also makes children kinder and more compassionate, more confident and more likely to become a successful adult. Not bad for a game of catch, eh?

Here are just a few easy ideas to help you spend more time outside with your family this month:

Outdoor Recreation: Ride a bike, take a hike, go fishing, hop in a kayak or canoe, take a jog, visit a local or state park, go camping in your backyard, go rollerblading or skating, play miniature golf, play catch or basketball, start a pick-up game in your yard or local park.

Good Garden Fun: Plant some flowers or vegetables, weed the garden and harvest produce, hunt for worms, play in the hose, watch the bird feeder, feed the squirrels, stop and smell the flowers, cook together with produce from the garden, create garden markers.

Playing on the Porch: Read a book, work on a craft project like knitting, crochet or painting, eat dinner outside as a family, play cards or board games, throw a BBQ for your friends and family.

Art Outside: Draw with chalk and watercolors on the sidewalk, paint the sidewalk with water, blow some bubbles, create a nature mandala, build a fairy house, create a colorful yarn weaving, build a fort, make a bird feeder or a bird nest helper, make a butterfly feeder.

Spending time in nature not just is proven to make you smarter and happier, but it’s also really enjoyable. Head outside today and have some fun!

The above picture was taken by Cory Doman.