Family time seems to be in a bit of a decline. No longer is it the early 2000s, in which you could find plenty of time to get things done around a lax schedule of primary school life and higher value for any work you got done at your job. Nowadays we need to craft a bit more of a space in which we can have this similar amount of time that’s not in the household and entertains kids away from their consoles and computers so you can be with them more often. So once the kids have been productive around the house and got all their chores done, it’s time for you to head outside and catch some rays and good bonding moments at the same time.
If you feel that as a family you’re not spending enough time outdoors together, then this is the list for you. Here’s some good recommendations on making sure you and your children are getting all the fresh air and bright exercise you need, whilst having the max amount of fun together at the same time.
Have a Local Day Out
You don’t need to take a daytrip away from the city or town you live in for it to be a good day. Plenty of local attractions can keep you entertained together as a family as well; plus it’s a lot cheaper!
For example, you can book in a tour at the local fire station to see how they operate, and for any little ones to hone their love of working in the public service sector. Saving lives and putting out fires, climbing up trees to fetch down some cats, and wearing what kids consider cool costumes, it’s an interesting dream to watch unfold! It can also give our kids an early appreciation of what these services can do for them, and give them real life heroes to look up to.
You can also take to the museums that exist around your town and have a history lesson at heart. It’s a lot of fun to learn about swashbuckling pirates if you live on the coast or secret wartime conspiracies and rooms if you live in a major city.
Go on the Search for Conkers
How many of us adults as children went conker hunting? If it’s a good portion, then maybe we should do the same with our kids. There’s a lot of superstitions that surround conkers, such as the idea that they can keep spiders out of our house, but they’re simply fun natural items that you can set up a good competition with.
Go on a walk in a country park or take a trip to a castle and keep an eye out for the spiky shells that may hide a perfect chestnut conker underneath. There’s plenty of heritage sites that even encourage the activity, which means you’ll have a nice cafe to settle down in with a cup of tea and cake for everyone afterwards.
Hikes with a Difference
A hike is a good exercising route, and also means we bask in the fresh outdoors for a while away from the hustle and bustle of civilisation. However, if you’re the kind of parent who likes to go the extra mile with your family activities, this could be the perfect one to give you an edge. Go to your proposed route an hour or two beforehand and set up a treasure trail for your kids to find clues for and follow, and then give them a prize at the end.
If you live in the city, there may not be any good hiking opportunities for you, so it’s time to spice up an afternoon walk to the park and back. Pick up some kids scooters, hand them out, and watch as your youngsters joyously skate to and fro as you stroll behind them.
Try Capturing the Flag
This can get very competitive so you might need to keep an eye out for accusations of unfairness, but otherwise it’s an incredibly fun activity to take part in. Let your kids invite their friends over, or even mention it to their schools as a fun PE or play time activity for the teachers to supervise, and then get a game going.
You’ll need quite a few players on each side to be able to defend and run along to grab the other team’s flag, but otherwise you can set up your own rules for it. You can even make the flags yourselves as an extra bit of fun, which makes them extremely customisable.
Let the Kids Stay Up for Stargazing
We’re more likely to get clear nights in summer and winter, and with the days getting shorter the further the year goes on, you can still get the kids to bed early with this one. However, it’s a great enrichment activity for any family, as the more experienced adults can point out constellations, and kids can start budding for a career in astronomy if it really takes their fancy.
Buy your family a telescope to make the search a lot easier, and then simply take turns to peek up at the night sky in all its glory (and high definition!). It might be an idea to have some notebooks and pencils out with you for your kids to draw what they see down after they’ve found it, and you can even do some researching for facts once you go back inside.
Set Up a Talent Show
We all love a good talent show; indeed, the nation’s guilty pleasure is to watch them on reality TV all the time. However, put a little more of a classy spin on them with your children! Kids love to show off to the people they love the most, so it’s time to let your little ones, and big ones, indulge in this habit and set up a talent show for them to show off their natural comedic timing with a joke routine, or the magic tricks they’ve recently taken a shine too and now want to impress you with.
This one might need to be saved for the warmer months, but you can set out a little backstage area in your garden, as it likely has the most room, and during the summer months you can make more noise than seems socially acceptable in winter due to the longer daylight hours.
Cultivate the Garden Together
Just because winter is rapidly approaching doesn’t mean you can’t set up a beautiful garden for it. Wrap up nice and warm, put your wellies on, and get the trowels out. It’s time to turn over the soil, clean up the yard, and head on over to the garden centre for some winter blooming seeds.
Common pretty flowers you can plant for your winter garden include honeywort, violets, honeysuckle (the winter variety) and a lot more than you would think! Pick up the right seeds, read up on their planting needs, and then have fun digging around in the dirt together. Kids are more likely to want to get their hands dirty after all, and you might as well get more use out of that behaviour than mud pies!
When your kids have put some hard work into something, they appreciate it a lot more, just like adults do. It’s similar to letting them design their own room or some art pieces for it, as they can smile whenever they look around them knowing they had a hand in their decoration and thus it feels more like them, and it wasn’t just mummy’s or daddy’s decision.
Try Some Climbing
Whether it’s rock climbing or just scaling the tree in the garden, when we let our kids do slightly riskier activities under our own supervision, it becomes a safe activity for them to indulge in. It also means they won’t be up to no good when we’re not around!
Tree or rock climbing is a good way to build up strength, as well as healthy bones and muscles, and it helps them be a little more dexterous in their daily lives. They’ll soon be sweeping any clumsiness under the carpet, which can prepare them for a variety of careers when they’re older.
You can set up an obstacle course in the backyard if you want to spice it up a little more! Collect some branches or leaves or some gymnastic pieces and pop up some hurdles for your kids to loop over, or a bridge building exercise for them to get their logical thinking skills around.
You have so much freedom when it comes to spending time outside, so make sure you and your family make the most out of it. From taking walks to splashing about in the rain to collecting shells from the beach when the weather gets a little sunnier and taking a swim in the water will be a nice respite from it! Pack up a lunch or few snacks and give your legs a good workout.