The summer is very almost over, a new school term has begun, and the children have almost finished playing Halo 4. Now it’s time to kick them out of the house have and them breathe in some of that “fresh air” stuff everyone is always going on about. However, once they’re outside, squinting at how bright it is, how high the ceiling has gone and wondering why the carpet is all wet and green, you need to give them something to do before they automatically return to prodding their smartphones again.
With that in mind, here are a few things you can do to get your kids excited by the outdoors.
Slip and Slide
Kids love mucking about in water, and they love going fast. You can combine these two passions my laying down a tarp and sticking a hose at one end. Take a run up and shoot right across the tarp at incredible speeds! Just make sure there’s a soft landing at the other end or they might get there with a nasty bump!
The Water Spilling Jump Rope Challenge!
You’ll need at least three players for this. Two to hold the rope, and one to jump it while holding a plastic party cup filled with water. The aim of the game is to get as little of the water as possible over the ground and yourself. Everyone takes a turn, and whoever has the most water left in their cup by the end is declared the winner!
Using old boxes, plastic cones, skipping rope, or anything else you can find you can rig up some great obstacle courses and mazes across the back garden. Then, for added fun, blindfold the kids and see how well they can navigate it!
Anything can be useful for this. Carboard or plastic boxes can be climbed over and navigated around. Garden toys like slides and swings can be turned into a gauntlet. The fact is the effort and imagination that goes into designing a suitably effective obstacle course even outstrips the fun your kids are going to have trying to make it from one end of the course to the other!
Set Up A Den
Dens are the best fun. Whether you’re building a play fort, a secret base or a treehouse these are great projects to get involved in, and can be as simple or elaborate as you like. At one end of the scale you can get some lumber and design and construct a luxury treehouse where the kids can spend days on end. At the other end of the scale you can put together a pretty satisfactory fort by making a tent out of chairs and old blankets.
However, with enough chairs and enough blankets even that set up can become an elaborate labyrinth of blanket tunnels and cushion dungeons. Why, if you spend enough time building your den while having a great time outdoors, you might suddenly discover you’re indoors again!
Sam Wright is a freelance writer who paradoxically loves the outdoors. He’s currently working with Flights of Fantasy in between working on his blanket fort.
Image from Flickr.com used under the Creative Commons license. Image Credit: plasticrevolver.