Kids grow up so fast. One moment they need you for everything, and the next, they have things figured out or would rather turn to their peers for whatever information they need.

This is why you need to be “present” in your kids’ lives because the time they want and need to hang out with you is brief. So, when they want to spend time with you, take advantage of that and drop what you’re doing. Once they reach adolescence, their reach-outs are bound to become more rare.

If you want to connect with your kids in a fun way, there’s a bounty of things that you can do. Among them are different kinds of outdoor activities. Family Life and Child Development specialists recommend these activities because children grow intellectually by being exposed to the world outside of their home. Likewise, outdoor activities reduce their reliance on gadgets which prevent kids (and adults) from boosting their health.

To help you have quality fun time with your children, listed below are nine outdoor activities that will allow you to connect with your kids and have a happy time together.

1. Run errands together

If your schedule is usually packed with responsibilities, take your young ones with you when you tackle some of them. For example, when you need to go to a home improvement store, instead of speeding through the items you need to purchase, take your time.

Have your kids “pick out” paint samples, décor, furniture and other fixtures for their dream home. Afterwards, discuss those picks. This will provide you insight on your kids’ preferences and future plans.

2. Go to a sports facility

Visit your local sports facility — and don’t just sit on the sidelines when your children engage in sports. Consider trying something new together such as challenging sports like ice skating, rock climbing, or aikido.

3. Explore nature

Disconnect from technology for a bit and plan a nature-based scavenger hunt; alternatively, head to out for a walk. The entire family will have a lot of fun because studies have proven that the fun quotient is always higher when people head outdoors. This is because unexpected things usually happen to enhance the overall experience.

4. Take your favorite beverages to go

If the kids love their smoothies and you love your coffee, don’t hang out in a crowded café to consume them. Instead, take your drinks and walk along the beach. This is a chill family thing to do that doesn’t require much planning, and also doesn’t cost much.

5. Go on dates

Have your children research activities that they want to do or places they want to see. Plan how you can all do these things and make a date for them. This will give your entire family something to look forward to. At the same time, it will encourage your kids’ interests and make them feel that you support them.

6. Go on a picnic

A picnic can be as easy as buying a ready-made meal from the grocery store and eating it at the local park. The nice thing about it is that it’s an alternative experience to traditional mealtime. More often than not, children enjoy the novelty of it all.

7. Get fit together

The little kids may not need to lose or gain weight, but they will enjoy working out with you. Take them with you to the gym when you attend a Zumba class or when you go jogging around the neighborhood.

You’ll have more fun getting fit with the people you love. Plus, kids are great cheerleaders – they’ll motivate you to work even harder.

8. Take hikes

Hikes are perfect for taking it slow and smelling the fresh air. Likewise, it is a fantastic way to introduce the kids to nature and teach them about environmental preservation.

Also, if you have preschoolers, a hike presents the perfect opportunity to learn the alphabet. Ask the little ones to find items in their surroundings that start with the letter A, and then B, and so on. Not only will they learn the alphabet better through the hike, but they’ll also improve their observational skills, recall, and knowledge of their surroundings.

9. Go biking

Do the kids love going fast and feeling the wind in their faces? Biking is the perfect outdoor activity for the family then. From local parks to the corniche, or even around the national stadium, you can all explore a new adventure every weekend.

Connecting with your kids is a must. The moments you share with them can shape their attitude toward life. Fun, quality time with them doesn’t always need to be a huge event to fuss over. Most of the time, all it takes is for you to include them in your activity, or stop what you’re doing for a bit and head out with them for an hour or two.