With lots of research suggesting that being outside can help improve our physical and mental wellbeing, and with half term fast approaching, we’ve got some ideas of activities you can do to stay active and have fun.
The phrase ‘There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing’ absolutely rings true. So, make sure you all have a waterproof jacket and trousers, hats and gloves and you will soon learn to embrace the elements and feel a remarkable sense of freedom. Once encouraged to get out there, children will absolutely love it too, especially getting muddy and splashing around in puddles!
Here are some ideas of ways you can get outdoors with friends or family:
1. Explore the woodland
Go for walks. You will be surprised how many wooded areas there are right on your doorstep. Take a look on a map for green patches and go out and explore! Whilst wandering the woodland you could identify common trees that grow in your area and look out for Robins at this time of year!
Have you tried Geocaching? Labelled ‘the world’s largest treasure hunt,’ this all about searching for small hidden boxes which can be found through the app. You will need to navigate your way to the ‘cache’ and sign and date the logbook when you’ve found it! This is loads of fun for both children and adults and gives a goal for getting outside!
Make a den! What child does not love making a den? A great activity for the family, using sticks, stones, branches and leaves all found in the environment around you. Put them together to make your own little hideaway! Children will love foraging for the different materials and putting it all together is very satisfying!
2. Discover the natural environment at the seaside
Go to the beach. If you are lucky enough to have the beach on your door step then get out there and enjoy it! It’s as lovely in the winter as it is in the summer with a lot less people!
Crabbing is a favourite with children and is really easy to set up. All you need is some string and a bit of bait. Collect in a bucket and release them for an exciting crab race at the end!
Go explore sealife. At low water the beach also provides an expansive area to explore rockpools and search for ocean life such as fish and plant life. Rocks are a great hiding place for beach loving creatures. As you explore the beach you are likely to find some interesting shaped shells, fossils and stones. Why not take a photo or remember what they look like so you can look up and identify some new species when you get home.
3. Get on your bike
If you haven’t got a bike already you can pick up a preloved one cheaply to get started! You will find trails and cycle routes all over the country with many cycling tracks linking you to historic monuments or places which make them interesting to explore. Why not take a picnic and make a whole day of it?
4. Visit a River
Paddle, kayak and explore. Rivers can provide a perfect environment for exploring too either by foot along the riverbank, on a paddleboard or a kayak! This can be such a relaxing experience although be prepared to get wet if there is a mischievous family member amongst you!
Play Poohsticks. This is an old favourite where you search for sticks and race them down the river. Alternatively, you could make a homemade modal boat and have a river race in the shallows.
Search for minibeasts. Rivers and river banks are great environments for minibeasts, have a look out for any which live around the area. Lots of small creatures also live under river rocks, find a shallow area of a creek or stream and have a peek to see what you can find!
5. Get on the water
Paddle, kayak, bodyboard, surf or sail. If you live by or are holidaying near the sea then this can provide the perfect opportunity to get out on the water. If there are good waves, grab a bodyboard – you don’t need to have done it before and it is so much fun. A great opportunity for adults to act like kids. For the more adventurous, grab a surfboard – if you’ve never tried before there are places which offer beginner lessons.
If the sea is calm, why not try stand up paddleboarding or kayaking. Anyone can do it and the inflatable versions are super sturdy and fun. If there is a bit of wind then give dinghy sailing a go. There are RYA recognised centres dotted all over the country offering beginner, intermediate and advanced level courses for youngsters and adults. It may be the start of a new passion!
6. Multi-Activity Holiday Camps with Rockley
If your children have spent too much time in the classroom recently and need a bit of outdoor adventure, why not try a Rockley Holiday Camp which runs daily over October half term, 9.30am-4.30pm from Rockley Beach. Children aged 10+ get to have a go at a range of fab activities including paddleboarding, kayaking and windsurfing. It’s their chance to enjoy the outdoors, make new friends and above all, have a great time on the water. For more information on our Holiday Camps, click below.