It’s so important for kids to be regularly active – and that means more than just their thumbs on the latest video game.
We’re talking running, skipping, climbing; anything to jump start their excitement and turn their little cheeks red. It’s time to lure your little ones outside – to the great outdoors, to be at one with nature and to stretch their legs, come rain or shine!
Step away from the TV, put the iPad down, and go get a breath of fresh air, and don’t forget snacks and a bottle of water each. Staying well fed and watered is a super important element of a whole day of fun, especially hydration, without it the kids will tire (read: whinge) quicker than you think.
So, this year give your kids the gift of adventure! It’s OK, we’ve made it super easy with these fun ideas…
1. Scavenger hunt
An outdoor scavenger hunt is a great way to slow kids down – especially the runner in your family! Gather the family for a walk, but before you go write a list of things they can look out for – add things like: a bird’s nest, a squirrel, clouds, footprints or acorns and then get the kids to check them off as they see or find them.
It doesn’t have to be nature, no matter where you are, you can turn almost anything into a scavenger hunt. They’re easy to create and can be tailored to any theme, any age, any place. Enjoy!
2. Play follow the leader
Give one child the ‘leader’ role and then go on a walk to the park or even nearest shop, then everything the ‘leader’ does the whole family has to copy, encourage hopping, jumping, skipping, even galloping… maybe throw some lunges in there too!
3. Garden Olympics
Get creative and include things like: gymnastics (a few roly poly’s and hand stands), a water-balloon relay, who can do the most jumping jacks in a minute, a garden race, the long jump – the list can be as endless and fun as you want.
First give each kid a name tag to wear, and record scores for each person on their nametag, the winner gets to choose what’s for dinner!
Top tip – keep them well hydrated, all Olympians need plenty of water to be at the peak of their game.
4. Chalk it up
Invest in a few packs of chalk, find a clean piece of tarmac in front or at the back of your house – somewhere safe, and not in the road – and try one of these fun activities.
Draw large ‘frames’ on the ground (as many as the number of children joining in). Ask the children to start drawing a picture in their square. Set a timer for 3 minutes, when the time is up the children move to another square and draw on that picture too, adding more colour or extra drawings. Continue until all the mini artists have coloured on all the rectangles.
Have the kids lay down in different positions on the concrete and then draw around each other’s shapes. Then let them fill and colour the outline with their face, features and clothes. Why not give them a theme such as beach, formal, summer day, winter day.
5. Get them gardening
The great outdoors isn’t always about being active, enjoying nature is a huge part of it. And this is one of the easiest ways to get the little ones out for some fresh air.
Turn those little fingers green with a sunflower growing competition. First let your kids choose their own flower, then let them create their own label – so they know which is theirs – then simply track the growth each day to see whose can grow the tallest. Also, invest in some canes or grow them against a wall that they can be tethered to so that they don’t droop as they grow.
Don’t worry if your little ones aren’t green fingered, you can always ‘build’ a bird house (and by build we mean design). Keep it simple and buy a cheap and cheerful, plain birdhouse from your local garden centre.
Sit your kids outside for inspiration, and let them paint it, then your little one can scatter seeds to attract birdy visitors.