With London back into a full lockdown and remote schooling, we find ourselves desperate to spend as much time as possible outside getting some fresh air and some much needed time away from screens. This week for my editor’s picks I have decided to put together a list of outdoor activities for kids that the entire family will enjoy.
Things to do in your own garden
We are lucky enough to have a garden for our kiddo to play in when we cannot make it out for a walk or a wander in the woods. With so much time spent at home in the past year, we know that it is a true blessing to have a little outside space of our own where our little one can blow off steam and get a little fresh air. The past year we really have made the most of it. If you have a garden here are some of our favorite activities:
- Mud Kitchen: by far our best buy, there also plenty of make your own ideas on the web. A loves spending time making mud pies and having tea parties in the garden.
- Gardening: we are big supporters of growing your own and have started gardening with A since she was barely walking. It’s amazing how much fun and how much learning they can do by just planting a few veggies and flowers. It’s great to see them exploring new flavors and getting curious about food simply because they have helped grow them themselves.
- Make bird feeders: as they say, if you build it and they will come. Nature is incredible and even if we live in a big city like London there is so much we can do to help nature out. We built bird feeders, bee houses, and bugs motels in the past year and it’s amazing to see how excited our kiddo gets when she sees a new bird stopping by or when she checks out the bugs motel for new guests.
Things to do in the woods
We love a woodland walk and we are lucky enough to have a few around us. We are also members of the National Trust so that makes it easy picking. When we go out to the woodlands we try to make a day out of it to make the most of our time outside. Here are a few of our favorite things to do:
- Build a den: what better way to spend an afternoon in the woods than building your own den with sticks and fallen logs. This activity never fails us, it gets the whole family involved and it sure tires the little one out.
- Balancing on fallen logs: this is one of my favorite things to do and I always try and encourage my other half and our kiddo to join me in a funny poses competition.
- Look for signs of wildlife: like most people, we tend to mostly look down when we walk, by encouraging us to look for signs of wildlife like squirrels and birds we also start looking up and discover so many things in the process.
Things to do during a walk
No matter where you live, big city, middle of nowhere, a small village you are bound to find yourself out for a walk with the children. So why not make it fun? Here are a few great outdoor activities for kids while taking a walk around your neighborhood.
- Scavenger hunt: turn the daily walk into a scavenger hunt. Pick a few things the kids have to find during the walk, i.e. a red house, blue flowers, something pink, etc. You would be surprised how many new things you will discover about your surroundings.
- Collect stones to paint at home. We love doing this and we now have a nice painted rock collection in the garden.
- Take pictures: give your little one a simple camera and discover how they see the world.
Things to do at a park
London has so many parks, we are really spoilt for choice.
- Ride bikes/scooters: this is an easy and simple one. Get them out, get them to exercise and move.
- Pond dipping: I admit this is not my favorite but my spouse and kid love doing this and the things they find can sometimes be very interesting, in the eye of a five-year-old.
- Make daisy chains: who doesn’t love making daisy chains, is relaxing, gets the kids to sit down for more than five minutes and it’s great for fine motor skills development.
Things to do at the beach
We missed the seaside a lot. I come from a coastal town in Italy and the sea is something I crave all year round. For obvious reasons we have not been in the past year, but here are the outdoor activities for kids that we really enjoy!
- Build sandcastles: an oldie but goodie. We like to have little competition on who can build the biggest, or wonkiest, or most abstract castle and spend ages playing on the sand.
- Rock pooling
- Balance rocks: we love working together and see how big a tower we can build with rocks. It’s great and can be played in summer and winter!
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