Six suggestions for outdoor activities for kids
With a climate so changeable that the best of the weather can be over and done with before the schools have even broken up, it’s important to perfect the art of grabbing it while you can.
Don’t wait for your summer holiday – take time after school and at weekends to get out and about, and squeeze every ray of sunshine out of the not-so-great British summer.
Here’s six suggestions for outdoor activities for kids.
1) Pack a picnic: even if it’s just to take to the local park, or even the garden, most children love the idea of packing a bag and setting off to eat lunch on a blanket outside. Treat yourselves to a new picnic basket or some cheerful plastic plates from your local discount shop or supermarket and make a day of it.
2) Get on your bike: whether it’s hitching up the trailer buggy so that all the family can enjoy a day’s cycling or simply taking the scooters to the park, there’s plenty of fun to be had on two wheels. If you don’t have bikes for the whole family, check out your local bike hire where you can usually find a selection of bikes, baby seats, trailers and tag-alongs to meet your needs so you can try before you buy and find what works for you.
And if you haven’t cycled for a while, you’ll soon find out that you never forget how to ride a bike, or just how much fun it can be!
3) Run an errand: for some children, the idea of going for a walk is not half as much fun as going to post an important letter! If you are struggling to motivate them to get out of the house, why not suggest drawing a picture or writing a letter for Grandma and then walking to the postbox to post it to her (even if she only lives down the road)? Then you can take the scenic route to the postbox and get some exercise at the same time.
4) Do the garden: don’t save the outdoor chores for when the kids are at school or having a nap; even young children love ‘helping’ in the garden, whether it be passing you pegs for the washing line or cleaning the play house. Give them a patch of ground to dig or some tomato plants to water and they will be thrilled with the responsibility of helping something to grow. Just slap on the sun cream, get outside and let their imaginations run wild!
5) Recreate your old school playground: children have so many games and gadgets to keep them occupied, it’s easy to forget how much fun simple outdoor games can be. So why not help them out by reviving some of the old games you used to play? Elastics, skipping, hopscotch, even a tennis ball in the end of an old pair of tights! Simple, home-made games like these were all-consuming in my school playground and kept us happy outside for hours on end in school holidays!
6) Cloud-gazing: when you’ve finished your gardening and eaten your picnic, lie back with your children, look up at the clouds, and ask them what they see. It’s amazing what an insight this gives you into the hidden wonders that occupy their minds!
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