Six ideas for summer family fun

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Outdoor play is perfect for the summer holidays – it's heaps of fun, plus experts agree it helps kids become more resilient and confident.

Remember learning to ride a bike, building a den or playing in the park all day? It was the best fun ever, yet kids today spend half as much time outdoors as their parents did as children.

Recreate that sense of fun and freedom for your kids by getting them out in the fresh air and away from their screens.

You’ll be helping them improve their physical and mental health (think increased muscle strength and lung capacity, improved self-esteem and great social skills).

So, don’t wrap them up in cotton wool – get the summer fun started with these easy outdoor activities.

1. Chalk it up

An inexpensive pack of coloured chalk equals hours of imaginative play. Draw a hopscotch grid, mark up directions for a treasure trail or brighten up the garden fence with some pretty pictures – let your kids decide!

2. Build a den

Head to the woods and let your kids search for several sturdy sticks and leaves. Leant against a wall or tree trunk, they’ll make a great shelter. Add a blanket and a packed lunch so they can picnic al fresco.

3. Toast marshmallows

Having a barbecue? Give children a skewer of marshmallows to cook over the embers (supervised, of course). Or, try campfire popcorn: simply put a handful of popcorn in a square of tin foil with a tsp of oil. Fold up the corners and tie with string, put over the embers and shake with a stick untill corn is popped. Yum!

4. Top a tree

Climbing a tree gives a child a great sense of achievement – and helps them learn to assess risk and conquer fears. Did we mention it’s fun, too? If they don’t want to scale the heights, arm them with a jar and a magnifying glass for a bug hunt. Check out the Forestry Commission for more tree-inspired activities.

5. Get on a bike

Learning to ride a bike is a major skill for kids. But with fears about traffic, parents are reluctant to let little ones wobble around the streets. Sustrans has a great directory of family friendly off-road routes, including ones that end up at fun places to play.

6. Embrace the weather

Don’t let rain stop their play. Kit out your kids with wellies and waterproofs, and let the fun continue. Take inspiration from the new breed of Forest Schools, where children play outdoors every day, and learn how weather affects their environment. They can make mud pies, jump puddles and ditches, see what objects float or sink in water, or try welly boot dancing (yes, really!).

With all this freedom and adventure, there are bound to be a few grazed knees or scraped elbows along the way. But with Elastoplast’s innovative three-step system, you’ll have them on the mend in no time.

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Simply cleanse dirt and bacteria away from any scratches or scrapes with Elastoplast Wound Spray, protect with an Elastoplast Water Resistant Plaster and heal the injury faster with regular application of Elastoplast Wound Healing Ointment. It’s proven to speed up recovery up to twice as fast as an untreated injury and reduce the chance of a scar developing.

By creating a moist, protected and clean environment, the wound will heal faster and with less chance of scarring than leaving it uncovered.

So all you need need to add is a kiss to make it better.