10 Ways to Make Outdoor Play Happen

Outdoor play - ideas for kids
Childrens outdoor play
  1. Create a nature trail – Print off a sheet of clues and a short quiz or word search of what you will see on your walk. Collect leaves along the way and try to identify them when you get home or (even better) make pictures with them by gluing on recycled cardboard.
  2. Head to the beach – Collect shells, seaweed and count the crabs. Write your names in the sand and paddle in the sea.
  3. Go to your local park – Let them run around and simply play. Interaction with other children is an important part of child development.
  4. Play ball – Play catch or have a kick around on an open field. Always a favourite!
  5. Take a camera or binoculars – Let your children take some photos and they will love to show them off to their friends. Try some bird watching with a pair of (not too expensive) binoculars and introduce them to a new hobby.
  6. Get planting in the garden – Create a small plot for your youngsters to sow some lettuce or herbs and they can enjoy watching them grow. They are also more likely to eat it!
  7. Get on your bike – Enjoy a family cycle ride, take along a scooter, skateboard or roller blades! Check out the Sustrans network for some great cycle routes.
  8. Wear suitable outdoor clothing – Layer your kids with a fleece mid-layer and waterproof outer-layer in winter or UV protective clothing with high factor sunscreen on sunny days. Hats are always important (pick something bright and fun) and gloves for chilly days.
  9. Take a picnic – Kids can’t go far without being hungry or thirsty, so remember to pack some fruit and treats in addition to a water bottle.
  10. Make it so much fun that they will ask to do it again and again! – Fly a kite or take torches on an evening walk.

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.

Childrens Outdoor Ideas – Pushchair walks

We’ve teamed up with the excellent website “Pushchair Walks” to provide our blog readers with some new walking ideas with their children. Here is a walk written especially for Adventure Togs customers.

Beware – you need good weather for this one if you are going to attempt to reach the waterfall and a good all terrain pushchair! (Could be dangerous otherwise)

Here it is: “Determined to get out between showers at the end of a wet weekend in the Brecons, we wanted to see how far we could take the off-roader up the famous waterfalls valley to test a route for www.pushchairwalks.co.uk. We knew the waterfalls from our pre-pushchairing days and the path on the map looked good. Not only that, but the information board at the car park in Pontneddfechan said pushchairs could get to a riverside picnic area, so we thought we’d give it a go! With Rhodri snuggled up in the pushchair and Rhiannon in the papoose, we set off in the first dry spell of the day. The river valley was beautiful, with the Nedd Fechan cascading down beds formed by the natural dip of the sandstone rocks. Lined with trees, the broad gravel path followed the river along past overhanging cliffs and abandoned mine buildings where it joined the old mine railway – you can see the stone sleepers still in place now forming the path. It’s hard now to imagine that this beautiful valley was once a silica mining area. We soon reached the picnic area, which really is accessible for all pushchairs, including double buggies, and is a lovely place to go for a walk in itself. However, as we had the off-roader we decided to push into the unknown and aim for the waterfall! The path narrowed shortly after the picnic site and our hearts fell when we saw a flight of steps, but there were only 12 and they were pretty easy to be honest, after which the path levelled off again. Crossing small tributary streams, we continued through woodland and up the river bank. We knew we were getting close when we heard the thundering cascade of water and then the path divided at a bridge. Which way should we go??? Well, needless to say, we tried both. It was far easier staying on the same side of the river where the path leads you to a fenced viewpoint overlooking Sgwd Gwladus, where the river cascades over an undercut bed of rock like a horse’s tail. The waterfall is named after a daughter of a 5th century chieftan – one of 25 sisters! After admiring the falls, we attempted to get further up the valley, but the path deteriorated rapidly and we had to admit defeat. So we headed back down the river, catching sight of dippers and flycatchers on the way. As we got back to the mine buildings, we felt the first drops of rain and by the time we got back to the car we knew we’d timed it well as the heavens opened, just in time for a soggy drive back home to North Wales! ” A map and full route details for this walk (along with over 200 others!) is available from www.pushchairwalks.co.uk . Click here to download this trial walk free of charge. Walk URL: http://www.pushchairwalks.co.uk/swales.html

Brecon Waterfalls

Dsc_0485_3 Dsc_0488 After seeing an image of a waterfall the other day, I suddenly realised that the boys had never actually seen one. So we today we planned a family walk to Pontneddfechan near the Brecon Beacons. Yesterday it had rained for most of the day and I was hoping the waterfall would be worth the visit and the children would enjoy. We parked outside the White Horse Inn and got kitted out in our wet weather gear – waterproofs, walking boots and a rucksack filled with snacks.

The river was fast and furious and our youngsters were very good at walking single file away from the river bank. They were both quiet and a little in awe that we were trusting them on such a "dangerous" walk. We learnt that our 10 year old has been studying rivers in school and we talked about erosion and we watched how the flow changed. Our six year old thought he was Indiana Jones as he carefully walked across little bridges and stepping stones. It took us about 40 minutes to reach the waterfall and the complete walk was 2 hours including some exploring, stopping for a bite to eat and drink and taking photos.

I would thoroughly recommend this walk for older children. Our six year old is very sensible but I would not recommend it for younger children as the route can be dangerous in parts and you will definitely need walking boots or wellies. Our two young adventurers really enjoyed their walk and they are looking forward to their next expedition!

Warning: Please take care when walking in waterfall country as walks can be dangerous.

Distance: 2.9 Miles.