5 Outdoor Easter Games for Kids

5 Outdoor Easter Games

Easter is the perfect time to celebrate the joys of spring and wherever kids are involved boundless energy and enthusiasm for chocolate eggs follows. I’m sure my boys could quite happily consume their own body weight in chocolate over Easter (so could I for that matter!). So here are 5 Outdoor Easter Games that should keep them (and you) busy, and might, just might hold off those chocolate pangs until after they have filled up on a yummy Easter Sunday dinner.

Get messy with some flying eggs. You will need at least two teams of two to play this game. Try pitching the kids against the adults or pull names out of a hat for some random family pairings. Beware though, this one is messy and changes of clothes may be required! Start off with both pairs standing fairly close to each other. Each team starts of with a box of six eggs. Once each pair is ready they start throwing the eggs towards each other. After each successful throw they take a step back. The aim is to get as far away from each other without breaking the egg. Once an egg breaks the team takes another from their six and starts from the same position they left off. The first team to break all their eggs is the loser and the remaining team, who are probably slightly less messy than the losers, usually wins themselves some more chocolate eggs, although you could be a little more adventurous and maybe offer them the chance to egg the other competitors with the eggs they have left over. It probably depends on how messy you really want to get!

Have a go at the good old Easter Egg hunt. These usually require a little bit of preplanning but lets face it, who doesn’t love hunting for treasure in the shape of chocolate. Check out our post Easter Egg Hunt Ideas for some alternatives to the traditional style hunt.

Set up an egg and spoon obstacle race. Make this old favourite slightly more interesting by putting a set of obstacles in the way of the competitors. Hard boiled eggs are often used for these races but spice things up a little and use raw eggs. Again, it could get mucky but hey, it’s bound to be fun!

Have a go at egg rolling races. There are several ways to set this one up. You can use a straight course, give each competitor and spoon and see who can roll their egg to the end the fastest without breaking it. You could create a twisty obstacle course the competitors have to roll their eggs around or you could sack off the spoons and get each competitor to roll their eggs with their noses. This last one has to be the funniest option but also much trickier than you might think.

Run around like hens and chickens! This game is a bit like the popular kids game ‘It’. One person starts off as the Hen, everyone else is chicks. The Hen is placed in the middle of the ‘road’ and the chicks at either end. As the chicks try to make it to the other side the Hen must try to gather up her chicks and keep them safe by catching them. Each one that is caught then has to help their mother Hen catch the rest. This is a brilliant one for letting of some steam after some of the more difficult games and what kid doesn’t love running around like a loopy chicken anyway.

Do you have any favourite Easter games you like to play? We would love to hear about them.

Our favourite outdoor play post from the past week is The Magic of the Secret Beach from the lovely Coombe Mill. The secret beach does sound absolutely magical and holds lots of lovely family memories for her and her children. Do you have a special spot that has stolen your families heart?

Outdoor Blog Roundup – February

Outdoor Play Roundup

We have a lovely mixed bunch for you on the Roundup this month with posts about searching for the first signs of spring to fun with crates. We hope you enjoy!

One of the lovely things about late winter is that some of our first flowers start to appear as spring takes hold and gets ready to take over. Wild about here shared a lovely post about spotting colourful flowers at this time of year including a fabulous spotter sheet that is well worth printing out and taking along on your walks with you.

Everybody knows kids love a cardboard box but who knew about crates? Wonderful fellow outdoor play party co-host Learning for Life shared a great post about the amazing diversity of crates in children’s play. So if you can get hold of any for your garden or your school it certainly seems like they will be well worth the very small investment involved.

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Lastly we loved these grass caterpillars shared by Red Ted Art. They are so very cute and so easy to make. The perfect way to get your kids into gardening.

Over on facebook we discovered a fabulous new Forest Schools Kindergarten based in Sheffield. The will be running The Dangerous Adventure Club over the Easter which sounds like so much fun! We would love to see more of these across the country.

 Please do share your posts with us here at Adventure Togs and tell us how you have been playing outdoors this fortnight.

A Trip to the Beach by Train

This month’s regular guest post from outdoors mummy blogger, Leila Balin is all about their adventures at the beach and a trip by train….

A trip to the beach by train

 

This morning was Little Man’s second time ever on a proper train. He absolutely loved it. He has been a bit under the weather this week so at first he was very subdued, surveying everything from the safety of his pushchair, holding on tight to his special bunny. We were taking a trip to the beach to see a friend of mine who is working out of the country. She was back this weekend and had some time to spare before she had to fly back so the beach was the ideal spot to meet for a mornings catch up.

The train ride was only a short one but Little Man seemed overawed with the sounds of the doors, the whizzing of the countryside and toing and froing movement. He sat very quiet leaving me to guess how he felt about the whole thing. We hopped off at the required station and I was faced with a monster staircase. How on earth was I going to get a heavy two year old who was absolutely refusing to walk and a buggy packed with everything you could possibly need for a trip to the beach up those stairs. Who knew public transport could be so unfamily friendly! Luckily a large nursery group were headed to the staircase just as I was trying to decide how to tackle it. They had plenty of spare hands and a couple of them helped me wrangle the toddler, the buggy and all the bags to the top as well as all their own toddlers, buggies and bags. Phew! So this is why I don’t use trains or buses very often.

After our little adventure, of which Little Man was most upset about having to leave the safety of this pushchair, we headed down the ramp to the beach and met up with my lovely friend H. As we sat and chatted Little Man refused to be coaxed from his comfortable, cosy seat until H handed him a stone. This was received and then thrown with a big grin on his face as far as he could get it. After a few stone throwing minutes he soon plucked up the courage to leave his throne and hit the beach. Then he was off, in usual Little Man style. I’m not actually sure me and H got to catch up very much. We spent most of the time throwing sand around, running up and down and making sure Little Man threw his stones into the water and not accidently through one of the other tiny tots taking up the beach.

Time flies when you are having fun and it wasn’t long before H needed to catch her train back. Little Man was by this time hungry so after one of his ‘I’m not having my nappy changed’ episodes we were headed back to the platform. After some strawberries and grapes Little Man had warmed up and was very excited to see the trains. H’s train was just before ours so we said goodbye. Little Man looked quite lost when she had gone. We had a good 10 minutes before ours arrived so we spent the time exploring the platform. He was asking me what everything was, naming it as he went. He was interested in the yellow line so we talked about what it meant and then he was off jumping on the benches telling me they were bouncy castles. Everything was viewed in wonder and no space was wasted. I just love how toddlers take up the whole space around them as if it is their own.

Our train finally arrived and this time Little Man was not quiet and subdued.  He pointed out everything he could see out of the window, talked about how fast we were going and he even asked why H wasn’t there. Surely she must be, he had seen her get on back at the platform afterall. When we got off at our stop we then had to wait a few minutes before we left just in case we might spot anther train pulling in. I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before he starts asking to go on another train ride. I keep telling him we have to try the bus next. Have you taken your little ones on a train journey lately? Was it a novelty or something you do more often?

Leila writes a personal, nature inspired blog at Mud Marvellous Mud. She is passionate about connecting children to nature and writes about her son’s experiences as they explore together. She is trained to Forest Schools and Beach Schools level 3 and is currently studying for an Open University Open Degree.

Outdoor Blog Roundup – April

Outdoor Play Roundup MarchIt’s time for our second monthly outdoor play roundup and we have some lovely outdoor inspiration for you all.

Do you live near or are planning on visiting Yorkshire? Then Yorkshire Wildlife Park looks amazing and well worth a visit. Little Luca & Me certainly recommends it and shares some great shots of her little one getting up close and personal with a wallaby and a monkey.

Loving Life with Little Ones shows us just how much fun washing your car can be.

Over on facebook this month we discovered the lovely Twig Stories by Jo Marshall. These books are accompanied by wonderful illustrations and bring important environmental issues to children in a series of exciting adventures. They look like a must buy for any keen young reader.

So what are you waiting for? We would love to see pictures of your very own toddler car wash or find out if you have read any of the Twig Stories, or maybe you just have some great ideas to share. Either way let us know by posting on our facebook page Adventure Togs or tweeting us @Adventure Togs

10 Best UK Wildlife Experiences for Kids

This week we have a special guest post by Christine from www.afamilydayout.co.uk, which is a great blog filled with information about UK attractions, events, walks and cycle rides, all for families. You can follow what’s happening on A Family Day Out on Twitter @afamilyday and G+ .

 

UK Wildlife Experieces

Introducing your children to the natural world is one of the most important gifts you can give them. The UK has some great wildlife watching opportunities so why not grab a pair of binoculars and take a look at the suggestions below to get your family started.

1 Pond life

Pond dipping is a great way to explore the underwater world. Water beetles, pond snails and water boatmen are present in most ponds and at some times of the year you’ll also be able to find frog spawn or watch dragonflies flitting around. The best way is to look out for organised pond dipping sessions at your local nature reserve as they’ll have the right kit and will be able to help with identification.

2 Puffins

Ask a child to name their favourite bird and a fair proportion will say the puffin. Its multi-coloured beak and comical walk certainly make it one of mine. Puffins can be seen on and around Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire and the Farne Islands, Northumberland during the early summer months. If you’re in Scotland, do not miss a trip to the Treshnish Isles near Mull. It’s a truly magical location where you can lay on the cliffs and watch puffins close-up. Getting there is an experience too, travel sickness tablets are recommended for the boat trip!

3 Osprey

The osprey is a spectacular fish eating bird of prey. Previously hunted to extinction in the UK they have subsequently returned to our shores, migrating here from Africa each spring. Video cameras at the Loch Garten Osprey Centre in the Cairngorms provide close up views of nesting osprey during summer months. You can also see them from viewpoints in Dodd Wood, near Keswick where volunteers with telescopes can point out a nesting pair near Bassenthwaite Lake.

4 Red squirrels

Grey squirrels are present in just about every park. On the other hand, the cute tufty ears of red squirrels are much rarer and only found in a few spots around the UK. These include Brownsea Island, Dorset and Kielder Forest, Northumberland. We’ve also seen them close up at both of the osprey viewing points mentioned above.

5 Starlings

Perhaps not the most exotic of birds, but responsible for a stunning wildlife spectacle. During autumn and winter, just before sunset, check out the skies above you. If you’re lucky you’ll see a starling murmuration, a huge flock of birds swooping and swirling almost as if in time to music. I live in a town and frequently see this, but other well known places include the Somerset levels, Brighton Pier and Gretna Green.

6 Rock pools

Rock pools are a fantastic place to discover sea life. They’re like mini aquariums with different varieties of seaweed, fish, sea anemones and molluscs to look at. Visit at low tide and take a small bucket to put your finds in one at a time. Some top spots for rock pooling are Kimmeridge Bay, Dorset and Porth y Pwll in North Wales.

7 New Forest ponies

Not strictly wild as the ponies have owners, but they do roam free across the New Forest. They’re a recognised breed of pony, and have inhabited the area for around 2000 years. The ponies are pretty easy to spot throughout the forest and you’d be very unlucky not to see them if visiting. Sadly some do get killed on the roads each year, so drive slowly and keep a watchful eye out!

8 Minibeasts

Woodland floors are usually teaming with mini beasts. Using a trowel, carefully move aside the top layer of fallen leaves and you’ll probably spot woodlice, ants, spiders and perhaps centipedes. The Nature Detectives website (www.naturedetectives.org.uk) has great identification sheets to help you work out what you’ve found, and some top tips for bug hunting.

9 Garden birds

It’s amazing what you can see in your own back garden. Our small garden attracts starlings, sparrows, robins and finches as well as rarer visitors such as a blackcap, white throat and sparrow hawk. We provide bird food and a water dish, and also leave berries and seed heads on plants. The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch (www.rspb.org.uk/birdwatch) takes place each January, why not join in and see what you can spot?

10 Seals

Grey and common seals are found along many of our coastlines. You can take a summer boat trip to visit the seals basking at Blakeney Point in Norfolk. There are around 500 seals in the colony, and they often swim inquisitively around the boats. Alternatively, if you’re in Pembrokeshire in early autumn you may be lucky to spot seal pups from some of the cliff paths. Be careful not to get too close to the edges though!

I hope these suggestions encourage you to get out with your family and start spotting the wonderful nature on our doorstep!

 

I don’t think I’m adventurous enough

This is a guest post written by Emily, a work at home mum with three children under five. She writes a blog called babyrambles

I’ve been having a read of the Adventure Togs blog and website. And I have to say it makes feel very enthusiastic about getting out and about. My problem is I’m a bit of a fair-weather adventurer. If it’s pouring with rain I tend to stay put.

Even though my children love rain and playing in the puddles. They’ve all got waterproofs too so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t go out and enjoy ourselves in the rain as well as in the sun. It’s just a bit… wet.

This wasn’t how I was brought up. My parents were big believers that nothing should be cancelled because of rain. We had two week long rainy holidays in places such as the Lake District and Scotland. And we were always out every day, rain or shine (mainly rain).

I think it’s an admirable quality to refuse to let weather stop you from doing something. Unless it’s extreme weather I suppose. It’s all too easy to cancel your plans, stay indoors and have your children climbing the walls with boundless energy.

So I need to take a lesson from my childhood. I need to make sure we get out whatever the weather. The children always thank you for it and I don’t want them to grow up being wimpish about the rain. Maybe we should get a dog? You have to get out and walk a dog whatever the weather. On second thoughts, three young children and two cats is enough for now.

You read it here first: from now on I’m going out in the rain. Luckily we’ve had quite a nice summer so far. But on a rainy day you can just end up in soft play and that really is hellish.

Family Cycling

Just a little plug for a local event which sounds fab for familes. I'm sure the Adventure Family will be there!

To celebrate Bike Week we are holding a Bike Festival, on the 26th June in Margam Park. There will be activities and stalls throughout the day, so come along at any time to join in:

  • Cycle rides for all ages and abilities, plus a goodie bag at the end for all participants
  • Picnic in the park
  • Childrens bike ramps
  • Cycle training skills for all ages and abilities
  • Dr Bike- Bike maintainance and servicing
  • Led themed walks throughout the day
  • Treasure hunt for children  
  • Plus much much more…….

Entry and participation in all the activities listed above is free, however there is a £3.50 charge for car parking in Margam Park if you bring a car.

Margam Park is free for people coming on bike,  and you can get to Margam Park on the Sustrans connect2 cycle route.

The Outdoors Show

We had a wonderful family day out at The Outdoors Show at the NEC last weekend. Loads of exhibits: Orienteering, mountain biking, high ropes, diving, etc.

My two sons loved the caving experience provided by the British Caving Association. I was a bit concerned when my 5 year old wanted to go in the “cave” alone, but one of the lads from the caving association offered to guide him through. Rhys came out beaming and couldn’t wait to have another go!

The climbing wall was a favorite with Lewys who is 9. He was a little disappointed that he was unable to reach the bell at the top, but nevertheless he made it to the summit!