As the summer holidays approach our thoughts turn to how to keep the little ones entertained without breaking the bank. Here at AWTYK we love getting outside with the kids, aside from the obvious health benefits, open spaces just seem to make burning energy a little easier and gives you a chance to bond as a family away from screens.
Here are our top tips for having fun outside for free!
Sometimes it’s hard to drag the kids off the sofa and convince them its fun to walk around a park or through the fields, but mention a treasure hunt and all of a sudden it’s a whole different story. Start by visiting the Geochaching Website, sign up for free and enter your postcode to find caches near you. Watch the videos to see exactly how to play but we think this is a great way to get kids exploring and learning to follow direction. You can even take a prize home if you find one (these vary in quality though!), just be sure to take something with you to swap for the next hunter!
Visit a Park
There is sure to be a local park near you, these will vary massively by size, quality and facilities available but you are almost guaranteed a few swings and maybe a slide. If you have transport, and a bit of extra time, try to head to one of the larger ones, most have adventure playgrounds, refreshment stands and even donkey rides. Keep the costs down by packing a picnic and creating your own bug discovery trail. We love these printable spotting sheets from Wildlife Watch.
Enjoy the garden
If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, there are loads of activities you can plan to keep busy for a whole day. Pick up a cheap rounders or cricket set, invite some playmates over and enjoy your very own sports day. If you have a tent you could camp out overnight. Perfect for toilet breaks or those camping for the first time. If you have a firepit or camping stove, try toasting marshmallows and telling spooky stories as the sun goes down.
Getting outside means kids can get messier than you would usually allow indoors, let them draw in chalk on a patio or even the walls, find the biggest box you can and transform it into a rocket ship, spread out a roll of paper and let them create their very own splatter picture – the opportunities are endless!
Younger kids will love setting out a teddy bears picnic or making mud pies. Can you give them their very own corner of the garden to experiment in? (wreck!)
Get splash happy
What kid doesn’t love a water fight or splashing about in a paddling pool? If you have a slide you can super charge it by adding a hose pipe (careful, these get fast!). Or find yourself some water balloons and prepare to get soaked! You could even turn a hose into a high stakes limbo game.
Build a sandcastle together
Everyone loves a sandcastle. If you have a sandbox you can create an elaborate one at home but most parks have sand pits you can use. Even better, depending on where you live, take a day trip to the nearest beach and get creative. Make sure you take flags, old jewellery, anything to bling up your final castle. Just remember to take everything home with you. And let little ones enjoy destroying what they have just built as much as they did creating it. If you’re looking for coastal inspiration, check out this guide to the best beaches in North Cornwall.
Hopefully we’ve given you some inspiration for getting outside with the kids. Don’t let the great British weather stop you, a few extra layers will keep everyone warm and cosy.