9 Valentine’s Day Outdoor Activities for Kids
Valentine’s Day can have chocolate, candy and flowers, but how about something unique and not store-bought? Valentine’s Day outdoor activities are a great way to show someone dear that you love them and they’re healthy and fun too. To celebrate this wonderful day, here are 9 easy and fun outdoors activities that you can do with your kids.
#1 Create a Frozen Valentine’s Day Heart from Natural Materials
What’s in your backyard? This activity involves very little actual prep time, just an excuse to go outside and gather natural materials that can be used in a frozen Valentine’s Day heart (meant to be melted, of course). I chose small red berries that the local crows love but didn’t take too many as I regularly see the birds, both male and female, perched on branches and snacking on these. They must be delicious. Use a heart-shaped mould, stick in the freezer overnight, drill a hole and string it. Tada!
ACTIVE LIVING & HEALTHY HEART
#2 Go on a Wild Love Hike with the Kids
Late winter is a very romantic time for animals and plants as they shake out their winter funk and get ready for the love season. Amorous amphibians! Rapturous raptors! Even plants have courtship behaviors! Did you know that? A few ideas to get you started.
- Raptors are common birds outside of cities and during your walk, you can scan the sky to spot pairs or clumps of raptors. Typical signs of courtship include acrobatic flights, dives, and piercing screams.
- Are wild ducks your local birds? They choose their mates in winter. If you walk along a river or lake, look for female ducks being surrounded by males trying to impress the girls by puffing their chests, pumping their heads, doing head-up tail-up dances, or sprinting on the water with the neck held low just grazing the surface. Irresistible.
- Now, the unlikely wood hunks – woodpeckers! They use drumming both as a territorial announcement and as a part of spring courtship. In the suburbs, they even use drainpipes and chimneys to drum on.
- Frogs, toads, newts and amphibian salamanders mate in the spring and the best time to notice them is at night when they gather around their “watering hole” and sing loudly for all to hear! The mating call of the frog is a real deal-maker for females as they choose their lucky one by how attractive the vocalizations sound. Listen here for a few North American example and keep your ears peeled at night!
- Ah, and slugs. In redwood country, you’ll easily find strikingly yellow banana slugs on the forest ground. Their mating ritual involves producing a thick layer of slime before two slugs curl around each other, producing a S shape or ying-yang symbol. That’s when they start mating and it’s not for the faint of heart.
- Last but not least, plants, the very special specialists of long-distance relationships. Has it ever occurred to you that tasty fruit, nectar or seed was a foil to attract insects to get coated in pollen so that they could pollinate their female counterpart? Think about that next time you spot a wasp or a bee deep in a flower. It’s perhaps all about plant romance and not gluttony.
Wild love, anyone?
#3 Organize a Potato Sack Race
What better way to say I Love You than to take care of your heart? A healthy heart is the best Valentine’s Day gift! This game is as old, well, potato sacks or any sacks really, and it is tons of fun when done with your loved ones. Just have all competitors line up in pairs in their potato sacks and on the signal, have them sprint to the finish line. Laughs guaranteed!
#4 Have a Blast with a Wheelbarrow Race
Don’t have potato sacks at hands? No worries. The wheelbarrow still provides really good cardio (meaning: it’s good for your heart) and the kicker is that you always need two people per team to play. No more, no less. An easy version goes like that. You draw two lines for your race. At the start, find your partner and decide who is going to be the wheel barrow first.
To make a wheel barrow, get down on all fours and have your partner stand behind you. Have your partner carefully lift up your legs while you support yourself with your hands. On the word “go,” race the other teams to the end of the playing field, switch positions with your partner, and go back to the starting line. The first team to finish wins hugs and kisses!
#5 Throw a Three-Legged Race
Come here for a hug and a race! Three-legged races are the best way to hug your loved young ones very close as you both sprint to a finish line with one of your legs tied together. Choose a grassy field for smooth landing should the sprint end up closer to the ground!
#6 Picnic with Heart-Shaped Chocolate and Sea Salt Sables
This recipe makes delicious dark chocolate sables and the sea salt provides an amazing contrast with the sweetness of the sugar crust. Then, oh then, please plan a picnic!
#7 Make a Heart with Winter Berries
Many winter berries are red and are very easy to line up in a neat heart shape on grass or leaves. To stay on a winter fruit theme, the kids can also use small pine cones, wild crabapples or rose hips (which by the way, make a fabulous DIY cough syrup and breakfast jelly).
#8 Draw a Heart of Sand
Do you live on the coast? Awesome! Then you should be able to easily find hard-packed sand at low tide. If your kids brought a stick, they can use the packed sand as a drawing board and go crazy on love messages. This heart of sand will only last until the next tide, but your picture will stay in family memories. Head to the beach in winter – no crowds!
#9 Make a Heart of Snow
Snow-bound? If you press a snowball firmly between your two hands, you will get a compacted snow circle that you can shape into a heart by chipping away at the edges with a stick.
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!