Summer is great! Long days, great weather, ice-cream and fun fun fun! Although, summer often comes and goes in a blink of any eye. If you aren’t careful you might miss it, especially if you live in sunny Britain (otherwise known as rainy Britain). Here are some tips to get you making the most of the outdoors this summer.
1. Pack a summer change bag
Be ready to go at the drop of a hat with a few extra summer essentials:
- Sun cream: I reccommend SPF 50 for your little ones.
- A large muslin and a couple of pegs- this makes a great sun shade/tent at your picnic destination. Please don’t peg a muslin across a pram as this can cause overheating in children/babies.
- Refillable water bottles- don’t get dehydrated!
- Sun hats and long sleeved spare clothes for extra sun protection
- Swim nappy – many parks have outdoor swimming pools for summer splash fun
2. Check with your council for local events
Your local council will want you to use their facilities. Many produce promotional material to get parents to use their parks and fill up their parking meters. Subscribe to their newsletters or request their annual events programme so you don’t miss out on local events or opportunities.
Bubbles are great fun for all ages. Little ones love to watch them and they make excellent visual sensory fun. Older children love them just as much. In fact.. add bubbles to your summer change bag pronto!
4 Chalk- get creative
If you are stuck in the house for some reason but want your children to enjoy the outdoors, arm them with a chunk of chalk. Here are some suggestions:
- Draw pictures on your patio
- Draw a large letter and ask the kids to find objects in the garden beginning with that letter
- Draw a chalk mural.
- Draw different coloured crosses around the garden. Whilst enjoying a sit down, should out colours and watch your children dash to the correctly coloured cross. Repeat until bedtime for a peaceful evening.
5 What about my newborn?
Getting out of the house is important for the parent as much as it is the newborn. Here are some ideas to make going out more of a sensory activity.
Plan a stroll in areas with different noises e.g. Walk along a road to a park where children are playing, then along a river/canal or near a lake where water can beard heard or water birds can be seen.
Walk under tree canopies to allow the broken light onto your baby who is looking up.
Don’t forget to talk to your baby the whole time to keep them stimulated and help with your bonding.
6 Using the environment to get creative
Children are wired up to learn and be creative so just getting them to a park, field or footpath might be enough to get them excited and playing with the environment. Here are some more ideas to help you along:
- Make a musical instrument with a grass blade
- Spot different birds
- Look at leaves and try to identify the tree/plant – take care not to pic poisonous plants- this is a good way to teach your children about natural dangers
- Play pooh sticks
- Blowing heads off dandelion clocks
- Collect twigs and fallen leaves for a nature collage when you get home
Check out this link for my suggestions for walking with babies and toddlers.
7 Make the most of those evenings
If you are stuck at work all day or if the days are just too hot to handle, an evening outing could be just the trick. The temperature might be more favourable and it really means you are making the most of your time. Plan an evening picnic along with a short stroll. An evening away from the TV is great for family bonding time and it’s easily achieved. You don’t have to go far, it could even just be a quick trip to the local park. It’s free and your kids will love it!
I hope you like my suggestions and take the opportunities as they arise.
If the weather never comes though you can always get away – here are some flying tips
Leave a comment with your suggestions for outdoor fun.
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Have a great time enjoying some fresh air