101 outdoor activities for families by The Outdoor Dad…
I am absolutely loving this blog from The Outdoor Dad @ http://theoutdoordad.co.uk
Want to get outside with your kids but struggling for ideas? Then check out our blog posts for 101 outdoor activities for families. There’s something in here for every little explorer!
“I love this time of year. With six months of long evenings stretching out in front of us, birdsong exploding every morning leaves finally starting to creep back along tree branches, temperatures nudging back in the right direction, and the opportunity for endless outdoor adventure.
Getting children outside in winter certainly isn’t impossible, but it’s a million times easier in spring and summer. And to make it even easier for all you outdoorsy parents out there, I’ve searched back through my childhood memories (and a few Google pages) to magic up a list of 101 simple ways to get your kids outdoors.
I hope you find something in here you love doing as a family!”
Blog 1: 1 to 20
2. Camp in your garden
Big camping trips can be terrifying to organise and prepare for. Just think about all the gear. And the weather! But if you camp in your own back garden you can pick a nice warm night; all you’ll need is a tent, air beds and a couple of sleeping bags; and if you all decide you hate the whole experience you can run back into the house and snuggle up in your nice warm beds.
5. Have a water balloon fight
This is every bit as simple and fun as it sounds. Buy yourself a bag of water balloons (they only cost a couple of quid), fill up a big pile of them and stick them in a bucket, then head outside and start launching them at each other. It’s perfectly safe and loads of fun – just make sure you have a change of clothes nearby!
19. Play Pooh sticks
Pooh sticks is one of my favourite outdoor games ever, and certainly one of the easiest to play. All you need is a bridge over a stream or river and a couple of sticks. The aim of the game is for players to throw their sticks into the water, then race to the other side of the bridge to see which one appears first. Prepare to get competitive!
34. Collect some wild treasures
I can’t be the only person who comes back from every walk with pockets full of shiny rocks, conkers, acorns, pine cones, sticks that are good for poking stuff with, and any other nonsense I feel compelled to take home. Since having a kid I’ve realised they love collecting outdoorsy treasures/crap as much as weird adults like me do, so Sonny and I now have a joint horde of wild junk in the garden. And we both love it!
40. Roll down a hill
My mum used to hate this but me and my sister entertained ourselves for hours on end by finding a grassy hill near our house, lying down on our sides and just letting ourselves spin to the bottom like two pieces of rolled up carpet. We’d come home with all sorts of bumps and scrapes, and usually so dizzy we’d be on the brink of passing out or puking up, but I don’t ever remember laughing so much. So find a small hill or slope, make sure there’s a flattish run-off area at the bottom so you’ll roll to a stop before smashing into something big and hard, then let yourself go. It’s one of the best feelings ever.
See 41 > 60 @ http://theoutdoordad.co.uk/101-family-activities/41-60/
46. Do some chalk drawings
If, like me, you have offspring that like drawing all over every flat surface they can get their grubby little paws on, why not turn this into a fun outdoor activity that doesn’t result in you having to redecorate your house every week? All you need is some chunky outdoor chalk, a pavement or driveway, and some imagination. Whether your kids want to write their names, draw pictures of animals, or just scribble nonsensical rubbish everywhere, you can be safe in the knowledge the chalk can easily be cleaned off afterwards.
57. Find shapes in the clouds
If there’s one thing you pretty much guarantee you’ll always find in the sky in Britain it’s clouds, so us parents might as well make some use out of them! I’ve got zero imagination and although it’s infuriating to get constantly outthought by a two-year-old, it’s amazing to watch Sonny point at the sky and blabber on about what he thinks he can see. Buses, trees, fish, dinosaurs, apples, trains – he just stares upwards and gets creative. So next time you’ve got some decent weather and a few fluffy clouds above you, lie on the grass with your kids, forget about all the usual stressful crap running round your head, and let your imagination run away with itself.
See 61 > 80 @ http://theoutdoordad.co.uk/101-family-activities/61-80/
63. Run through a sprinkler
Or a hose. Or underneath a watering can. Or just spray some water from your outside tap. Basically, just get outside on a hot day and get wet!
74. Grow some plants
Sonny’s auntie bought him an insanely cute little gardening kit for his second birthday that includes a pair of toddler gardening gloves; a little spade and fork set; packs of sunflower, cress, wildflower, tomato, sweetcorn and pepper seeds; and a miniature metal bucket to store them all in. We got started too late this year to grow some of the vegetables, but the sunflowers and cress are both going strong. Sonny waters them by himself and is so proud of the results that he shows them to every visitor to our house.
78. Swim in an outdoor pool
I always thought you had to go abroad to swim outdoors, but it turns out people are crazy enough to do it in England too! If you don’t have any rich friends with an outdoor pool in their garden (nope, neither do I) then search for your nearest outdoor swimming pool or lido.
MK is lucky to have @ https://mumtomumuk.com/milton-keynes/places-to-go/woburn-lido opening again soon!
85. Host a mini Olympics
Organised chaos is the best way to do this. Invent a bunch of stupid garden games – running races, obstacle courses, rounders tournaments, crazy golf skipping competitions, water balloon throwing etc – then pick a couple of teams and turn it into a tournament. Make some medals and get a few cheesy prizes for everyone who competes, and you’ll have an awesome time.
96. Try geocaching
Not as cool as popular as it was a few years ago, but geocaching is still a cool thing to do with your kids. There are millions of geocaches hidden all over the world, and by downloading the official geocaching app to your smartphone you’ll be signing up to the world’s biggest treasure hunt. A quick scan today told me there over 5,000 geocaches in my local area – often small boxes containing little treasures left by other people for you to find. It’s a great way to mix technology with the great outdoors, learn how to navigate to specific locations, and explore your local area.
101. Join a campaign or organisation
Sometimes it’s great to join an organised campaign, group or organisation that keeps inspiring and encouraging families and kids to get outside. Luckily for parents in the UK, there are plenty of them. From the Scouts and Guides to Forest Schools and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, there are thousands of volunteers who are giving up their time every single day of the year to get kids active outdoors. Below are some great campaigns you can get involved with as a family. We recently took part in 30 Days Wild by the Wildlife Trusts and enjoyed possibly our most adventurous month as a family yet. Hopefully, we’ll see you out there next year!
*** All credit goes to the outdoor dad for all these amazing ideas and great to connect with an outdoor daddy blogger!!
Thank you & have fun everyone!
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