Making the most of the weather and get outdoors this summer
One thing that we as parents can often worry about is making sure our children are getting enough exercise. Eating healthy and not spending too long in front of a screen of some description is also important. Something that can help put our minds at ease is when the weather is dry enough for children to play outside. Get outdoors this summer and make the most of any dry weather we get!
Some children are happy to run around in the garden or at the park for hours on end, but some may need a little encouragement to do so.
We have come up with some ideas to make the outdoors a little more appealing – especially if your children are limited to your own back garden.
Re-vamp your old play equipment
A topic that can easily put your children off being engaged outside is old toys and games. Giving these a good clean or a spruce up can be a great way to re-ignite their interest in something they once discarded. You may have a trampoline for example, which is looking a little tired. It can be fairly inexpensive to replace parts such as the padding around the outside of your trampoline. This will give it a new look in an instant. We have written an article all about preparing your trampoline for the summer season here.
We would suggest you make sure this type of play equipment is still safe to use. Springs on trampolines can rust after many years being left out to face the elements. The bed (bit the children bounce on) can wear and it is very important to be sure these are all in good condition. Mainly for the children’s safety, but renewing parts on the trampoline will give it a new lease of life.
Create a fresh face for your equipment
Do you have an old playhouse, swing or climbing frame in your garden? A good scrub down and a lick of paint or wood stain will make any tired piece of play equipment look new. You could even think about adding accessories such as new swing seats, or something a little more imaginative like a steering wheel or telescope. There are some great climbing frame accessories here in our accessory range.
Playhouses can have a new look, both inside and out. You could create a den inside (no doubt your children would love this) with a small table and chairs or cushions and blankets. An old climbing frame or tree house can have a new lease of life with a lick of paint and some little extras. If you don’t already have one, maybe you could create one with some wood, rope and ladders. If you aren’t feeling very DIY-inspired then there is a selection of whole frames ready made for you here. Alternatively, there is a section of add-ons and extras which could help you on your way if you wanted to make some of it yourself click here to take a look.
Re-inventing old toys and games may get you thinking more creatively. Passing this vibe onto your children could be a great way to get them outside. Being outside doesn’t always have to be about games and physical activities. Getting creative in the garden can be just as beneficial and exciting for all different ages. You could instigate some art and craft activities outside.
Using nature to do this is a good way to bring the garden into these sorts of activities. You could use leaves as prints or templates for painting, or take different textures from wood and stones to do crayon rubbings and patterns. The best part about being in the garden is you can have them be a bit messier than you would normally allow inside. Chalks on paving slabs can always be a fun way to brighten up the patio – and you can always wash it down again afterwards.
Sandpits are another way to encourage your children to be creative. They have been around for so long I am sure most of us remember playing in one as a child. The feeling of sand between your toes is something most children enjoy, so if you don’t already have a sandbox, they are a fairly inexpensive way of bringing another fun and creative activity into your garden. You can view our range of sandpits here – or you could make your own.
Sporting Activities: get the whole family involved
You can get the whole family involved in outdoor activities using sports games. The traditional games like cricket and French cricket are great games to involve a variety of age groups. Rounders is a popular game and you can find beach for very little. You could get the younger ones in your family a lighter bat than the older ones. This will even the playing field so to speak.
More traditional games such as croquet are becoming popular again and they can involve children and adults. A competitive element to any game will have your children hooked. There are a lot of giant games which can bring different dimensions to classic games such as jenga or connect4. We have a whole range of fun family games that will add to any afternoon or family get together. You will find all of our garden games here.
Whatever you decide to do with your children, get outdoors! It is so beneficial for any age group. Burning off steam and taking in some fresh air will certainly help the whole family get a good night’s rest.