We're not talking a serious game of flag football here, just a little back-and-forth toss of the ball. In fact, nearly any type of ball will do. Packing a baseball and a catcher's mitt, a large kickball or even a Frisbee, is all you need for a few minutes of uninterrupted fun. Be sure to set a few ground rules about chasing balls, especially if you're playing catch with younger children. The balls could go into an area of high grass or near a roadway; one is prone to unexpected creatures like snakes, the other to inattentive drivers.
If you suspect your children will go through Wii withdrawal as they experience a few unplugged days in the great outdoors, take some toys. Even if they complain at first, after a while they're sure to be tempted to drive plastic dump trucks through mud puddles or pretend to bake dirt pies with a discarded serving spoon and bowl. Likewise, most children will spend hours playing with bubbles and a bubble wand. They can even take waterproof toys on a canoe ride. We'll explain, next.