7 ways to get kids enjoying the great outdoors
We’ve all heard the scary statistics: most children aged five to twelve spend less than an hour outside everyday - that’s less than prisoners.
Not only is being outside in the fresh air, away from screens, good for little ones’ mental health, but it can help them build confidence, get creative and exercise too! With winter and the snuggly indoor season fast approaching, we wanted to share our top things to do (we’re all mamas here at WIATC HQ) to get everyone outside - whether that’s on your way home from school, during holidays or at weekends. Grab your coats and wellies!
Get exploring the garden
Whether you’ve got a grass-filled garden or a petite patio, kids will love getting outside looking for bugs and getting their hands dirty in soil. Give them a science lesson they’ll never forget by planting your own herbs or flowers - just imagine their faces as they grow and burst into life!
We love sowing seeds with our little ones, as it teaches them about how things flourish and gives them a little responsibility (building confidence in the process). We know so many other parents enjoy this too, so much so, we’ve created kids’ party seed packet favours, perfect for popping into party bags for plenty of fun, long after the party has ended.
Organise an outdoor play date
They’ll quickly forget about the telly and their computer games when they’re playing outside with a pal. From sports day-inspired games (go retro with sack racing, an egg and spoon race and bean bag hoopla) to frizbee fun, get together with other mum (and dad) friends to ban those cries of ‘I’m bored’ and get ‘em moving!
Plan a new adventure
When we’re so busy, we can easily get stuck in a rut. Shake up the same-old by heading to a new park or further afield for a weekend walk in a woodland. Even just walking a different way home after school (and finding a new park or cats to pet) can have a positive impact on their (and your) outlook.
Uncover treasure on a hunt
Hide plastic toys or chocolate coins in the garden, giving your children clues to hunt them down - guaranteed it’ll take them longer than expected!
Walk (or borrow) a dog
Having a dog is a great excuse for getting the whole family on a walk. Instead of the usual walk around the block, get the kids involved and excited about planning a longer weekend walk - along the beach, in the countryside or in a woodland. They’ll enjoy devising something special for their fave four-legged friend! If you don’t have a dog at your disposal, ask a friend if you can borrow theirs or check out sites like Borrow My Doggy, which allows you to build a rapport with neighbours’ pups.
Pack a picnic
Who doesn’t love a picnic? They don’t just have to be for summer months though - during the rest of the year, dress up warm, fill flasks with warm soup and cordial, pack home-baked treats and head outside for lunch with a difference.
Jump in puddles
Let’s face it: most of the time we’re begging our kids to NOT jump in puddles, but on the next rainy day, don those waterproofs and let them splash around! Getting messy helps children get creative and feel stimulated… and jumping in puddles is quite a lot of fun too!