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.

Sustrans – Support Free Range Kids!

We, at Adventure Togs have been in full support of Sustrans for many years and regularly use the Sustrans cycle routes in our area. We were very pleased when they asked us to help publicise the new “Free Range Kids” campaign…..

Free Range Kids is all about putting the right to roam back at the heart of children’s lives. Today the average eight year old’s horizons extend a few hundred metres or, for some kids, to their back garden and bedroom.
Childhood should be a crucial time in our lives – a time to develop independence, explore, have fun, discover friendships, scuff our knees, and generally learn about life. These days it’s more about being removed from our environment, and denied freedom to get out and about.
There are things we can all do to give our kids more freedom now, or we can get together with our neighbours to do something for the children in our community, or call on those in power to make changes for the better, like lower speed limits.
Sustrans launched the Free Range Kids campaign in June 2011 with the aim of encouraging and enabling more children to play outdoors and travel more freely, safely and independently around their local area.
The Free Range Kids website has a wealth of resources for parents, giving advice and ideas on how to get their kids out and about.

The more people who get involved by holding an outdoor play event and simply just encouraging their children to play outside more, then the more likely it is that we will be looking at a future with brighter, happier and healthier kids.

Childrens Wet Weather Gear is Our Passion

“Childrens Wet Weather Gear is Our Passion” – I wrote this text on our website today and pondered for a moment. Does it sound a bit “over the top”? I thought. I decided to leave the text as it was, because, yes it is true.

Adventure Togs has been selling childrens wet weather gear and waterproofs since 2004, since my youngest son was a toddler. Constantly falling over and rolling around in the wet! Finding good quality waterproof and outdoor clothing was a challenge and hence the idea for Adventure Togs was born. We have many families who come back to us year after year, grandparents who buy for their precious grandchildren, schools, nurseries and playgroups who have become loyal customers and sometimes friends.

We are passionate about our role in providing comfortable, practical wet weather clothing for kids such as the Togz waterproof all-in-one suit shown below.

 You will find a full range of childrens outdoor clothing and wet weather gear such as Togz on our online shop www.adventuretogs.co.uk

 

"Happy Birthday" Adventure Togs

It's been 6 years since we opened our virtual doors! How time flies when your having fun. It just seems the other day that Penny & John, the Outdoor Scene rep's at the time, poured the contents of their suitcases over my living room floor and my first (very scary) order was placed. Very quickly, the Jumbo Suit, a childs waterproof all-in-one suit became our best seller.

Over time our website has been updated for our changing needs and our colour scheme from greens to blues. Many of our early products have remained, e.g. the Keela Waterbug and Snugbug although the colours have changed, and new brands have come along e.g.Togz Waterproof Rainwear and Target Dry.

We have embraced social media with our own facebook page, twitter account and of course this very blog. And to co-incide with our 6th birthday, we have joined forces with some Twitter friends to form http://kidsclothescollective.co.uk, a blog which represents quality Independent Childrenswear shops in the UK. The blog features news from our shops, reader reviews of products as well as some lifestyle features and predictions of the latest trends in the Childrenswear sector. We are thrilled to be involved with "Kids Clothes Collective" and hope you will join us!

 

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.

New Waterproof Clothing for Onkthank Nursery School Children

 

We were so pleased to be asked to kit out the children of Onkthank Nursery School in East Ayrshire.

As they spend more of their time learning outdoors, they were looking for some robust waterproof all-in-one suits and fun wellington boots and umbrellas.

 

 

 

We think the children look super in their waterproof suits and hope they have lots of fun learning in the outdoors!

Click here for more info on the waterproof suits purchased by Onkthank Nursery and contact us (sales@adventuretogs.co.uk or tel: 0845 0945 840) for Schools & Groups discounts.

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

Healthy Schools Awards

I was recently invited to both the Neath Port Talbot and Swansea Healthy Schools Awards in order to promote our schools waterproofs range. There was a great deal of interest from healthy schools coordinators and head teachers in our range of outdoor clothing. The Bugzz rain ponchos drew a great deal of attention, as modelled by Helen Crocombe from Evolve Sport. As well as foundation stage, there was much interest from teachers of older children, with some schools becoming Forest Schools or even adopting parcels of land in which they planning a woodland garden. It was enlightening to see the range of sports activities children take part in at school these days with many putting on exercise and dance displays, and to hear how healthy eating is encouraged using awards for fruit eating etc.

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.