With the weather getting warmer, and summer holidays on the horizon, there’s no excuse to not get outside with your family. What to do when you get there however, can sometimes be a bit tricky to decide. So, we’ve put together some handy, and simple, activities that you can do with your young child, to take full advantage of the outdoors, keep them entertained and get your little one exploring their surroundings.
1. Mud pies and forest potions
The great outdoors and a child’s imagination are the perfect combination. A simple stick becomes a wand and a tree transforms into an elaborate castle. Taking inspiration from your child’s favourite book or TV programme can be a great start for an outdoor activity.
The day nursery group, Kiddi Caru has given an example on their blog, of using the story Room on the Broom as inspiration for outdoor activities. If you’re out and about in the woods, or even in the garden, you could encourage your child to find the largest branch, which could then act as their own broomstick and you could recreate the story together. Alternatively you could go on a scavenger hunt to find some small twigs and sticks, and other natural materials, to take home and create a crafty picture of the broom from the story.
If you’re ready to get mucky, then you should set up an activity to make some outdoor potions, just like the characters from Room on the Broom. Grab a bowl that you don’t mind getting dirty, and see what your little one can find outside to fill it to the brim. Mix together with an old spoon, to create a special potion with its own kind of natural magic.
And not to worry if your family isn’t familiar with the witchy story as you can always encourage your child to make some mud pies, which will get them thinking about the cooking process, but using what they’ve found outside instead.
2. Get them gardening
One of the best ways to get your child outside and engaging in an educational activity is through gardening. As a family, you can watch as your plants and flowers grow to their full glory, and see the results of all your hard work. You can section off a part of your garden specifically for your little one to get stuck into, and encourage them to plant the greenery of their choice.
You could always get them their own set of miniature gardening tools to encourage them to take part in the activity. Not only will they learn about nature and their environment, but gardening also will help them physically and improve their fine motor skills.
It’s also a fantastic way to get them to try new foods and eat healthily. By growing your own vegetables together they will be more likely to want to try them!
Who doesn’t love bubbles? There’s plenty of fun to be had, for big and little kids alike. Try filling up a sheet pan or tray with water and bubble mixture, or washing up liquid, and dip in different size hoops and wands.
If you’re feeling super extravagant, you could even invest in a bubble machine! But even simple shop-bought bubble pots will work just as well. On a clear, sunny day, it can be so much fun for your kids to watch their bubbles grow, and then float up into the sky. Why not try and see who can blow the biggest bubble or whose bubble can float the highest?
To keep things non-toxic and more eco-friendly, you can make your own non-toxic bubble mixture and reuse the pots you keep it in. You can make bubble wands in all sorts of shapes from pipe cleaners.
This is such a fun and simple activity that can get you and your family outdoors, feeling connected to the environment around you, and can be done in your own back garden or local park.