“There’s a huge sense of freedom associated with being outside,” Nicole Booz, 27, tells ASN. Her forthcoming book “The Kidult Handbook” is based on content from her self-care-focused website GenTwenty.
“You can imagine whole new worlds, not be on your phone, and when you have other people around there’s an opportunity for a huge bonding experience,” says Booz. “You can connect on a deeper level, while not worrying about stress, and focusing on what’s right in front of you.”
“Even in my age group it’s all about the new, hip and trendy thing, but there's so much we can take from our childhood,” she continues. “‘Kidulting’ is refocusing on yourself, getting back to simple things, letting go of the extra noise and focusing on the things you want to be focused on.”
Here are a few of our outdoor favorites from the 160 featured in Kidult (available May, 15):
Cloud Watching and Stargazing
“Is it a shark? Is it a bear? What do you see in that cloud passing overhead? Head out on a warm, dry day and pick a soft spot where you have a clear view of the sky,” Booz tells ASN. “Bring a blanket and your imagination and lie back and watch the clouds roll by.”
Better yet, bring a buddy and compare notes, or lunch for a wondrous work break.
Stargazing is also encouraged, even when you’re all grown up. “Check the Internet for celestial happenings such as the Perseid meteor shower (every August) or a lunar eclipse,” says Booz. “If possible get as far away from city and suburban lights. You’ll be amazed at how many stars you can see with the naked eye when you’re truly in the dark.”
Adult-Mixer Scavenger Hunt
Rather than following the traditional object-locating hunt, invite acquaintances together and make a list of 10 to 25 “items” to find out about each other. For example: Whose hobby is fishing? Who is vegan? Who has run a marathon?
“The goal of this sleuthing activity is to find one person in the group who matches each description,” Booz says. “You’ll get to know peoples’ backgrounds and experiences to promote a deeper, more meaningful connection by highlighting what you have in common.”
“What doesn’t move, requires no responsibility on your part, and is the perfect gift for someone allergic to animals?" asks Booz. You guessed it: a pet rock. One goofy concept first marketed commercially in 1975, but no less relevant to today’s DIY generation. Find some friends, search for smooth rocks, and paint them up as your favorite (or spirit) animal.
“Choose a rock based on what you want your pet to look like, or let the rock serve as inspiration. Maybe you’d like a whole litter of rocks, or a rock band,” says Booz. The variations – and laughs – are endless.
Capture the Flag
“Can you sneak into enemy territory and return with their precious flag without getting caught?” asks Booz. That’s the name of the game. You need a large outdoor space full of obstacles to make the adventure more fun. Break into two teams of five or more. Then you get 5 minutes to hide your team’s flag.
Once the game starts, if you get tagged in enemy territory, you go to “jail,” but can be freed with a tag from one of your own players. If you’re tagged with the flag in hand, you go to jail and the game starts over. First team to capture the flag and safely return to their own territory untouched wins. (Cheers and beers typically follow.)
Oh yes you can. “What's just as fun as paintball but far less painful? Nerf Blasters, of course! Run around your backyard and duck and cover to avoid getting hit. Make it a tradition that everyone can look forward to year after year between dips in the pool and burgers,” Booz tells ASN.
More Kidult-Approved Ideas for Consideration:
1. Play giant Jenga outside. With snacks.
2. Watch an outdoor “bedsheet” movie on the deck.
3. Fly a kite.
4. Blow bubbles – oversized wands or initiate mini purse-sized suds are all welcome.
5. Make grown-up root beer floats: old-fashioned root beer, whole milk, bourbon, whipped cream.
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