Summer is well and truly upon us, but now I’m a Mum things are a little different. It no longer means lazy afternoons in the beer garden, BBQs in the park and lying out in the sun. It’s more geared around paddling pools, suncream and trying to stay in the shade.
Those days are surprisingly easy, but unfortunately for us the sun isn’t often out here in the north east of Scotland. It is all too easy to stay inside and play with toys and watch the TV. With the summer holidays fast approaching we have been thinking up ways to encourage Piglet and his cousins to get outside and burn off some energy.
1. Go On A Scavenger Hunt
The boys all love pottering about looking for pine cones and leaves etc in the park or along a disused railway line near where we live. Sometimes we write a list of things we want them to look out for, or others times we let them decided what they want to collect.
Watch out though – it takes quite a few reminders that they’re not to pick fresh flowers or anything off the plants!
We then like to take the items home and use them to make a picture. Two activities in one!
2. Scoot Or Cycle Somewhere
Don’t just walk beside them while they ride – get your own bike or scooter and join the fun! My nephew thinks it’s great when I scoot along side him (leaving my sister in charge of the double buggy 😉 ). Not only does it keep us both fit, it’s a lot more enjoyable for me too.
If we just go for a walk I can find myself getting grouchy and hurrying them along for no real reason. We’re all a lot faster if we’ve got a set of wheels!
3. Water The Plants
If you’re not planning on leaving the house that day you can set the kids the task of watering the plants. One of my nephews fancies himself as a mini gardener and loves getting his mini watering can out and helping with the plants in the greenhouse.
It’s a great way of teaching responsibility too, as you can assign it as their “job” that they have to go and do every day.
4. Create And Obstacle Course
Use every day objects to create a course in the garden. Things to run around, climb over, jump in to. If it’s hot then we get the paddling pool and sprinkler out too.
You can make it competitive by timing them as they go round. If they’re on their own, challenge them to beat the clock. Or if they have friends or siblings then they can race each other.
For older children you can even try blind folding them and getting them to do it by being guided. There are loads of ways to mix things up and keep it interesting.
5. Try Out New Parks
There are 6 parks that I can think of off the top of my head that are within walking distance of our house – and hundreds more just a short drive away. Kids can get bored of going to the same place all the time so try to mix it up by visiting different ones.
For older children, get them to keep note of which are their favourite ones so you can be sure to go back to them again.
Our favourite days out are all ways the ones where we go with Piglet’s cousins. The more people we have the more exciting the trip seems, even if we haven’t gone very far. I’ve captured one of our mornings out last week in the video below.
What is your favourite thing to do to outside with kids?
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