GP: 4 Outdoor Play Ideas for Kids



Many kids would rather do their homework than play outdoors. We have raised a generation of house cats.


So how can we get them interested in the outdoor world?


For their health, it’s important that kids have a sense of autonomy outside the four walls of their bedroom.


Here are some ideas for getting them excited about outside play:


National Trust Membership


For a bargain annual membership price, you have access to all sorts of historically rich buildings, their extensive grounds, mills, coasts, forests, moorlands, archaeological remains, and nature reserves. Most National Trust properties tend to have fun play parks on-site, so you can settle down for afternoon tea, while the kids work off some steam.


There are plenty of play areas for the children. But importantly make sure have all the playground safety measures are in place, especially if your child has a natural instinct to climb and explore.


Create a Treasure Hunt


Obviously, before you start your treasure hunt, you should know your audience and prepare accordingly. The clues will have to be age appropriate – it’s no fun if they get stuck! Create a funky treasure box and fill it with chocolate gold coins, or some other prize that’s suitable.


For older kids, make the experience challenging by incorporating riddles and clues written in a code that needs to be deciphered; for example Nordic runes, for a Viking themed treasure hunt. Work backwards from the treasure chest, creating clues as you go. Try to present the first clue in a dramatic, surprising, and creative way.


If you really want to make things interesting, you can create a story narrative, such as fairies trying to relocate their magical circle after a goblin invasion or Jane Austen looking for her lost books. Let your imagination lead you!


Conserving the Wildlife


One sure-fire way to get kids to appreciate the outdoors is to introduce them to the importance of wildlife conservation. Gardening brings its own rewards: colourful flowers and edible vegetables are just a few. But planting the kind of flowers to attract bees and butterflies can turn your garden into a wildlife haven in the summer.


Try growing foxgloves, wildflowers, lavender, thyme, mint, wild pansy, and honeysuckle – choose as many native plants as possible. Over the last few years, the bee population has fallen drastically. And if they go, so do our pollinators!


Hedgehogs have suffered similar population drops. They hibernate during the October or November months, so are careful of tree roots, sheds, and compost heaps – you could help them by creating a hedgehog house. Leave out shallow dishes of water in the spring and summer months, but not milk; it gives them a poorly tummy. Tinned dog food (not meat) or boiled eggs are also much loved by hedgehogs.


Let your garden go a little wild and hang out bird feeders. If you have any cats, make sure you put your feeders in a safe place – you might need to do a spot of tree climbing! Go as organic as possible in your garden – pesticides kill unwanted creatures, but it also creates a toxic atmosphere for other wildlife.

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