With holidays about to slap those of us that are parents squarely in the face, you’ll be looking for things to do with the kids. Don’t want to sit in the house all day staring at the flickering box in the corner? Bored of the local park swings? Do you still want to Get Outside but don’t know what to do? Well here are a few ideas for you in my: Five Great Outdoor activities for families this holiday (or any holiday really).
Five Great Outdoor activities for families this holiday
While this was originally written for the half term between Christmas and Easter, all the outdoor activities for families can be fun at any time of year.
(can be free, but there can be upgrade costs if you want more choice).
Yeah I bang on about it quite a bit I know (I really should get sponsored by the Geocaching app!) but it is a great thing for all the family to do, and if you want to #GetOutside with the kids this half term, then this really is a great activity to look at.
If you don’t know what it is, well read this first: What is Geocaching?
But it can be done at any time of year, teaches kids to use GPS and maps, is great exercise if you follow a trail of caches, and best of all is a fun way to get you and the kids outside in the fresh air. If they are little (or still enjoy this kind of thing) you can even dress them up as pirates and it becomes a treasure hunting game. Just don’t forget to take extra “booty” to swap in the caches you find.
I’ve not done much orienteering, in fact the last time we tried, we failed pretty quickly, and switched to geocaching, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a great Outdoor activity for families this holiday. Many local park trusts or councils will have free orienteering courses set up (mine certainly does). And it is a brilliant way to teach kids about maps and exploring. While also being a fun “treasure” hunt.
The idea is to follow a series of clues and a map to find posts dotted around the countryside or town. Collecting stamps, numbers, letters etc. you can read more here: https://www.britishorienteering.org.uk/familes
Visit a Nature Reserve
(Some free, some will have a cost).
Visiting a nature reserve allows you and your kids to get much closer to nature than can often be found around towns (although not always). They are usually managed to be great for certain wildlife, and accessible. Making many suitable for anyone young or old, able bodied or not.
Giving children easy access to nature will teach them to love it for the rest of their lives.
Thankfully we live in a country where there are hundreds of nature reserves, so there is likely to be one near you. Just remember not all are created equally. Look for one that offers what you want, preferably good access (Birding For All has a list of ones with great access), hides, and if you are planning on a full day out then a small shop or cafe can be useful. Some even offer extra activities for kids.
One of the simplest things you can do with kids, young or old, is to set them a scavenger hunt.
Pick a list of items they have to find, or locations they have to visit, and Get Outside. The great thing about this is that along with being completely FREE! You can change it up every time you go out. Tailor it to the time of year; the location you are visiting; the age of the kids you have with you.
Things can be as complicated or as simple as you like. “find a leaf” or “find the leaf of an oak tree”. We like to throw in locations that the kids have to find. This gets them using maps (or mapping software on a phone); a skill we should all have up our sleeves, at least in a basic form. And keeps young minds occupied though the holidays, while engaged with fun.
Picnic in the Park
(Free, with the exception of food you will need anyway).
This post is going live in February, so many of you might think a picnic isn’t ideal for the cold weather, but there is something amazingly satisfying sitting down in the freezing air and coddling a steaming cup of hot chocolate (or tea/coffee if that is your thing, it isn’t mine!).
Eating when you are out will also help give you energy to keep warm.
Of course if you are reading this in warmer times, then a proper picnic is still great. I love a little alfresco dining. And so do kids! Sitting in the fresh air chowing down on your favourite sandwiches is sure to be enjoyable for nearly every kid out there.
Five Great Outdoor Activities For Families This Holiday
If you build a love of nature and the outdoors in kids when they are young it’s far more likely to stick when they get older! My advice for this half term is to don you walking boots, wellies or any other suitable foot wear and just Get Outside with the kids this half term.
You’ll also notice many of the activities are not just fun, but also teach your kids (and you maybe) some vital life lessons. Holidays don’t have to mean sitting around bored or entertained only be electronics. Get out there and enjoy natures bounties.
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