13 articles Tag outdoors

Keeping Kids Healthy At Home

It can be difficult to find ways to keep the kids healthy and active when it’s necessary to spend most of the day at home. Many parents find themselves lost for ideas and feeling uninspired. With a little bit of imagination and some supplies you probably already have at home, it’s easier than you might think to get the kids up and active. Here we have some fun ideas to try out – you won’t hear them saying “I’m bored” for a while when they are enjoying these fun activities!

Make an Obstacle Course or Play Sports

Kicking off our guide to fun, healthy activities for children is the classic obstacle course. You might be thinking you don’t have enough space or the right equipment to set one up, but it’s quite likely you have everything you need already at home. An obstacle course can be set up in the garden using various outdoor toys, and rocks can be used in the place of cones. It’s also possible to do an indoor obstacle course – encourage your child to climb on the sofa, crawl under chairs or commando crawl under a blanket. You can also set things up for them to jump over, or use simple household items like cans of food as ‘dumbbells’.

Indoor sports are also possible with a little care. The hallway is perfect for practicing batting a soft ball, or playing football with a small, soft ball. You could even set up a net on the kitchen table to have a game of ping pong!

Work or Play in the Garden

healthy kids

Activities to do at home don’t have to be done inside the house – on a nice day, it’s great to get some fresh air and venture out into the garden. Kids can help with simple gardening jobs such as digging up weeds and tidying up, and they will also love to plant seeds and check on them each day. If the weather is nice, they’ll love using the hose to water the plants, and themselves!

Playing in the garden can be loads of fun too. There are many great toys out there which are perfect for using in the garden. If space and finances allow, a slide, trampoline, or swing set are great for kids to burn off excess energy. However, there are loads of great, cheaper options also available which will still entertain kids no end. Balls are always a winner amongst kids of all ages, and they will surely have hundreds of ideas on games to play with them. Simple toys such as hoola hoops always seem to be loved by children too – they are ideal for indoor or outdoor use.

There is plenty of toy ideas over at tncore.org if you’re stuck for ideas.

Follow an Exercise Video

Any kind of exercise of course comes under the category of healthy activities, but doing it from home might be new. Thankfully, YouTube is packed full of all kinds of exercise videos, many of them perfect for kids of all ages. Most of these online exercise classes don’t need any special equipment, and they can be done at any time. You can find anything ranging from aerobics to dance to yoga – there is sure to be something out there to interest your child.

Make a Treasure Hunt

Perhaps one of the most fun indoor activities to do with kids is setting up a treasure hunt! They can wait in one room whilst you prepare and hide clues, each of which leading to the next one. At the end, leave a simple treat to reward them for their hard work, such as their favourite snack. A scavenger hunt can also be fun. Prepare a list of things for your child to find around the house, and sit back and relax as you wait for them to bring their goodies to you!

Enjoy Active Games

Board games are a great way to pass time with the family, but there are also a few games out there which can help kids to be active. Twister is a classic, and is fun for the whole family to get involved! If you have a Wii Fit or similar, this is another great game to keep kids active whilst also having loads of fun at the same time.

Play Party Games

It doesn’t have to be someone’s birthday for kids to enjoy playing party games! There are loads of great party games which can be enjoyed on a rainy day spent indoors, and will also help get your child up and moving. Musical statues is always a winner, especially when your child picks out their favourite songs to dance to. To make it even more fun, call out the names of different statues to pose as when the music stops. Another wonderfully simple yet fun game is throwing a balloon around and trying not to let it touch the floor. This is a great game for one child to play alone or for siblings to enjoy together. The final fun party game idea is playing with and popping bubbles. Kids of all ages love bubbles – no one can be sad when there are bubbles around!

Best Scooters for Children

Best Scooters for ChildrenPixabay License

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If you are looking for a present to buy your child for their birthday or Christmas then you should certainly consider a scooter. This is a toy which has been popular amongst children for many years now and thus there is a high chance that it will go down a treat with your little one. We’ve compiled a list of the top scooters available in toy stores and off of the internet today, take a look for some ideas and inspiration for your little one…

But, before we go into the different products that are available, it is important to stress that you must also teach your child about the importance of riding their scooter safely. A lot of parents have had to work with a trusted car accident lawyer because of their child being injured while out playing. You also need to make sure you invest in th correct safety accessories to go with the scooter too.

So, now, let’s take a look at some of the best scooters out there…

Ben 10 Ultimate Alien In Line Scooter

Ben 10 is a popular children’s television programme and if your child is a fan then this is certainly the scooter for him. The scooter itself is blue and boasts lime green handlebars and wheels. This design is eye-catching and is thus assured to be loved by your son. Moreover, it features an exciting and intricate alien graphic on the footplate. In addition to this, it is also worth noting that the scooter boasts a rear footbrake. It is suitable for those over the age of five years old and it has an adjustable handlebar height between 74 cm and 80 cm. 

Cosmic Light Scooter in Pink

Most little girls love pink and thus they are assured to love this scooter. It features a transparent footplate as well as bright pink wheels and bright pink handles. This scooter is assured to be the centre of attention. In addition to this it features three wheels rather than two, with the extra wheel being at the back of the scooter. This is extremely helpful because it helps your child with their balance and ensures a safer and easier riding experience. You are yet to learn about the best part of this scooter; the multi-flashing deck. 

Sponge Bob Scooter

If your child is a fan of Spongebob Squarepants then there is literally no better scooter for them than this one. The scooter is covered in images of Spongebob – even the handlebars feature mini images of the popular cartoon character on either side. This scooter is vibrant and eye-catching; it is one of the most exciting scooters on offer today. Moreover, this scooter is easy to fold away and store because of its simplistic fold and lock mechanism. 

My First Scooter

If you are looking to buy your daughter her first ever scooter then this is certainly a good option. It is bright pink in colour and boasts bright yellow handles and wheels. This is one of the most eye-catching scooters available today. Moreover, the scooter has four wheels – two at the front and two at the back. The wheels at the front are bigger than those at the bike. And this design is something which is extremely beneficial because it makes riding the scooter a lot easier. Furthermore, once your child feels comfortable on their scooter you can then remove one of the wheels, and then further remove another so that you are left with a two wheeled scooter. This saves you from buying another scooter once your child gets older.

As you can see, there are a lot of different scooters on the market today. If you are looking for a fun and exciting scooter for your child, you should have no trouble finding something that is going to put a massive smile on their face. However, it is vital to choose with care because you need to make sure you select a scooter that is age appropriate and is safe as well. When buying anything for a child, safety is always one of the main concerns, and a scooter is certainly no different. 

5 Activities That Encourage Children to Bond

5 Activities That Encourage Children to BondSpending time with friends is not only vital for a child’s happiness and wellbeing, but it also provides an ideal opportunity for them to develop crucial social skills. In this post, we’ll discuss a few activities — from team sports to laser tag for kids — that allow children to bond with one another. 

Every child is unique and will react positively to different activities and scenarios, so it’s important to explore the various options out there to find something that suits their needs and allows them to evolve both mentally and physically. Bonding with others is highly beneficial for children and can have a positive impact in many different ways, making finding things to do that encourage them to spend time with others well worth the effort.

  1. Team Sports

Let’s start with something that is and has always been a go-to activity for team building, socialising and fitness. Many of the world’s biggest sports are team-based, examples of which include football, rugby and basketball. Aside from the primary benefit of being extremely fun, they allow your children to meet new people, get in shape and learn how to work efficiently as part of a team. 

Although kids take part in these types of activities at school, finding teams or clubs outside of school can provide additional benefits, as they’ll be able to widen their social circle and may even take on a new long-term hobby.

  1. Laser Tag for Kids

Think paintball, minus the pain and with the added intrigue of modern technology, and you’ve got laser tag. An exciting, immersive experience that offers realistic combat scenarios in a safe environment, the nature of the sport is perfect for kids who are fascinated with action-packed films and television shows. More importantly, though, it’s an ideal alternative to video games that encourages kids to exercise and spend time outdoors.

So where does one go for a brilliant day of laser tag? GO Laser Tag London is one of the UK’s leading laser tag facilities. There, your children will be able to enjoy adrenaline-fuelled action and a variety of game modes while immersing themselves in an enormous forest battlefield. You’ll even get a free pizza for every player. Lunch and a fun day of laser tag — what more could your child want?

  1. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms have become more and more popular in recent years with both adults and children, as it’s not only an engaging experience that requires creative thinking, but it also demands the need for efficient teamwork. Problem-solving is an essential life skill that can benefit people no matter their age, but for children, these skills prove crucial throughout their education and career. 

A quick search online will give you a decent idea of what escape room experiences are near you, but if you’re looking for something special, it’s worth checking out some of the best escape rooms the UK has to offer.

  1. Hiking

Not all bonding activities require teamwork or a competitive environment. In fact, activities such as hiking can be an effective way of improving your child’s communication skills and fitness while encouraging them to explore the great outdoors. While on a hike, your kids will have plenty of time to engage in conversations with both children and adults. 

Whether they’re discussing everyday topics, navigating the terrain using a map or talking about something else, talking to others in real life, rather than online, is vital for the development of essential social skills and general confidence in social surroundings.

  1. Zorbing

The thin line between excitement and fear is one that many of us love to walk from time to time, and adrenaline activities offer children an engaging and unforgettable experience in a safe environment. One great example is zorbing, which consists of one or two participants getting inside a huge inflatable ball and rolling down a steep grass hill.

Although this is one of the more simple activities on the list, especially as it doesn’t really require any effort or teamwork, that isn’t to say that it’s not a brilliant bonding experience. There are also three different zorbing options to choose from; harness zorbing, aqua zorbing and black hole aqua zorbing. 

The “aqua” options involve 40 litres of water inside the inflatable sphere, which creates a waterslide-style experience with the added excitement of rolling down a steep hill. The black hole option is a blacked-out sphere, which creates an immense sensory two-person freestyle aqua ride unlike anything your children will experience at a theme park. Plus, the addition of water makes it perfect for cooling down during a hot day.

10 fun outdoor activities to do along the Surf Coast

After a long winter, Victorians are busting to get outdoors to enjoy the sunshine. Thankfully, the Surf Coast offers a plethora of experiences that allows you to enjoy the best of the outdoors in this picturesque part of the world.

From family friendly activities in Geelong to adventures for adrenal junkies, we’ve got 10 fun outdoor experiences that will allow you to make the most of your time exploring the Surf Coast.

  1. Take a dive

Geelong’s waterfront is a thrive of activity on a sunny day especially the Eastern Beach Swimming Enclosure. Paddle with the young ones in the kiddy pool or make a splash from the top of the historic tower.

  1. Ride a wave

From beginner to pros, the Surf Coast is the ideal spot to explore if you want to catch a wave or two. After all, its plays host of one the world’s best surfing competitions, Rip Curl Pro! If you are yet to stand up, try a lesson at Ocean Grove or Anglesea with the crew from Go Ride a Wave. Serious surfers are best off heading to Bells Beach, Fairhaven or Thirteenth Beach for some big swells and epic breaks.

  1. Round of golf

Breath in the fresh salty air and take in the coastal views as you navigate the 18-hole championship golf course, The Sands in Torquay. Boasting of high-class facilities, it’s one of the best places you can play a round of golf in Australia.

  1. Picturesque trek

Take the picturesque trek along the Great Ocean Road to experience dramatic cliff views, local flora and fauna and the region’s rich heritage. Stretching more than 100Kms, the walk is a one-way long-distance trek that runs between Apollo Bay and the famous twelve Apostles.

  1. Make a splash

For a family friendly day out, head to Adventure Park to make a splash. With Victoria’s longest water slide, it’s guaranteed there will be some spills and thrills and plenty of laughs along the way.

  1. Reel in a fish

Set up and enjoy some quiet time while you wait for a fish to bite on one of the many piers of the Surf Coast. At Portarlington you’ll find snapper, flathead and whiting or some squid at Point Lonsdale. Alternatively, you could take a charter boat out of Queenscliff to tour Port Phillip Bay.

  1. Tear it up

Strap on your helmet and dust off the mountain bike for an adventure in the You Yangs Regional Park. With its purpose-built downhill and XC trails, there’s plenty of diverse and challenging terrain to tear up.

  1. Take a leap of faith

Adrenaline junkies rejoice, the Surf Coast is one of the best places to test your bravery threshold and experience an unbeatable rush with a skydive. During your tandem dive, you’ll get the best view of the famous Bells Beach and the region’s rugged coastal bushland.

  1. Sail the open waters

Take to the open waters on a voyage aboard Melbourne’s Tall Ship Enterprize. Enjoy a leisurely one hour sail from Geelong’s Steampacket Quay during the day or a romantic 1.5 hour evening tour.

  1. Pitch a tent

The Surf Coast is bustling with great places to pitch a tent and camp out. Along the Great Ocean Road there are plenty of free and paid campsites for tents or caravans. For those who prefer a little more luxury, there are some great camping grounds that offer comfortable cabins too.

Sudocrem – Getting Kids to Play Outdoors

Hands up who’s relieved to have seen a little bit of nice weather this week? In a week full of terrible news and nasty political tactics, sometimes something as simple as feeling the sun on your face is enough to bolster your mood a little. It’s really nice that a little less rain means that we’re able to spend more time outside, taking advantage of our lovely surroundings and blowing away some of the cobwebs of what felt like the longest winter in living memory.

Now that Chuck isn’t as able to go on long walks, we limit his walking time by allowing him to take us on shorter walks and let him dictate the length and pace, and this newly relaxed attitude from him makes it a lot easier for me to take both girls along with me while I walk him. Spending time walking with all three of them (and even better when Husband is with us, too) is one of my simplest, happiest pleasures in life.

Getting Outside with Sudocrem

Last year, I teamed up with Sudocrem to tell you all about the Play More campaign they’d launched which was intended to get our kids outside more, by donating funds to schools and nurseries for updating their outdoor play areas. The project was such a huge success that they’re doing it all again this year and they’ve asked me to tell my readers about it.

“With stories of childhood obesity never far from the headlines, it’s easy to believe that each generation of children is lazier than the last. But a new survey of 6 – 11 year olds suggests that British children believe they’re wrapped in cotton wool by their parents and would like more freedom to play outside.

The research by family skincare brand Sudocrem found that almost 3 in 5 children (57%) said their parents worried too much about their safety and almost two-thirds of those aged 8 – 11 (64%) thought they should be able to go to the park with their friends, unaccompanied by an adult.Sudocrem Play More for schools and nurseries

 Encouragingly, the study also revealed a generation of children who recognise they don’t play out in the fresh air often enough, with 52% of those questioned admitting they spend too much time on games consoles and a further 60% saying there should be more games to encourage kids to play outside, like Pokemon Go.”

Sudocrem’s Brand Manager, Georgina Fotopoulou said, “Children love outdoor play but they’re bound to scrape their knees. This is all part of the learning process. A cuddle and a tub of Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream can make a lot of things better. We’ve been healing skin for generations and we’re proud to promote the spirit of adventure with Play More.”

If you think your child’s nursery* could do with improving their outdoor facilities, go to www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub and nominate.

Getting Our Kids Outdoors

One of the main reasons that we moved to the countryside back in September of last year was that we wanted the kids to be able to spend more time outdoors, surrounded by nature. Our house, as well as having big front and back gardens, is completely surrounded by farmland and footpaths which are perfect for exploring or going on an evening ramble after tea. Here’s a shot taken by Husband just this evening whilst taking Chuck out for his evening constitutional (isn’t it absolutely stunning?!):

outdoors

The thing is, Husband and I were raised during a time when it was completely normal for kids to play outside; we both remember leaving the house in the morning and only ever popping back for lunch and dinner, and we often comment about how sad it makes us that our girls will never experience the same sort of freedom. That’s why when I heard about the new campaign being spearheaded by Sudocrem and PlayMore, I knew I had to write about it.

Their research has shown that, on average, the modern child spends less than five hours a week playing outside, compared to over 11 hours for their parents’ generation.

Child psychologist Dr. Lindsay Ip explains, “Children today are more used to immediate gratification from technology and digital games than active, creative play in the outdoors and connection to humans and nature. That’s why we have a responsibility as a society to encourage our children to get outside and play. It’s important for their health and educational development.”

Based on this research, Sudocrem has teamed up with PlayMore to offer 10 nurseries across the country the chance to win £500 towards improving their outdoor play facilities, in an effort to get pre-school aged kids outside more.

Sudocrem’s Brand Manager, Nick Lang said, “Children love outdoor play but they’re bound to get stung by stinging nettles and scrape their knees. This is all part of the learning process for parents as well as children. A cuddle and a tub of Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream can make a lot of things better. We’ve been healing skin for generations and we’re proud to promote the spirit of adventure with Play More.”

The reception classes at Sausage’s school have recently upgraded their outdoor facilities, including an astro-turfed area to allow year-round ball sports, mud kitchens to let kids enjoy messy play and a canopy-covered area so that they can still get fresh air during wet weather. It’s really refreshing to see the outdoor space being incorporated into the classroom in this way and I can’t wait to see how BB enjoys it when she starts school in a couple of years.

If you think your child’s nursery could do with improving their outdoor facilities, go to www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub and nominate.

A Good Winter Coat

Sausage has had a real growth spurt recently, as I keep discovering when I give her clothes to put on and she comes back wearing what looks like a crop top and 3/4 length leggings! This means that we’ve had to replace a lot of things, not least of all her winter coat; I was hoping to get a few months out of her old one but it just wasn’t cutting it anymore! We opted for this one, from Regatta:

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The coat itself is super warm and waterproof. which means that even in the horrible weather we’ve been having lately, she’s been well protected from the elements. The hood is HUGE and has a fabric peak which pulls out to give extra shelter when it’s raining, as well as the lush fur lining around the hood. The front has a zip but also a button-down flap which gives total protection from wind and rain and means that I don’t have to worry about her being cold in the playground.

Husband and I have always tried to make sure that Sausage has the best quality clothes we can afford, especially with her outdoor gear as it’s so important to stay warm and dry. A hood is a must because of her reoccurring ear infections – it’s probably an old wives tale, but we like to make sure she doesn’t get the wind in her ears! Also, the coat seems pretty popular amongst the other kids – I’ve seen two other girls wearing at Sausage’s school this winter!

Now that we live in the county, it’s even more vital for us all to have excellent outdoor clothing. We often go for long walks with Chuck, our dog, and as we’re surrounded by farmland and river coastline, we have to make sure that we have things in which we can get wrapped up warmly. Sausage’s Regatta coat is the perfect thing for her to wear and it’s breathable too, which means that she doesn’t overheat or get too sweaty!

All in all, we’d definitely recommend this coat, and Regatta as a whole, for the high quality clothing they make.

Bringing the Outdoors In: Indoor Picnic Ideas

Post provided by Fisher Price

Spending hours outdoors is an activity that most children will love to do; heading to the park, riding their bikes, playing in the garden – whatever it is, they love being outside. When the summer approaches, the opportunity for fabulous picnics on the green become an instant possibility, giving you and your family a perfect chance to enjoy eachother’s company. But what do we do in the meantime?

With the weather like it is during the winter and early spring in the UK, the possibility of spending plenty of time outdoors dwindles and the chance for a picnic disappears completely because of the risk of rain or a strong gust of wind blowing your sandwiches away. Instead, why not bring the picnic idea to the living room?

Creating a picnic in the comfort of your own home is great fun, not just for the children but for you as well. Why shouldn’t you fetch the hamper from the attic and pack it with loads of yummy goodies? Just because you’re not going anywhere doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the experience. Kids enjoy their own little tea parties and picnics all the time; laying out place settings for their teddies and using their say please tea set to pour pretend cups of tea for their favourite doll. Why not turn it into a full on indoor picnic? Here are some ideas that you can incorporate.

  • Lay a picnic blanket on the living room floor and pile high with various plates and bowls ready for the food
  • Alternatively, make a den! Having a picnic inside a homemade den adds to the experience.
  • Use the picnic hamper for an authentic picnic experience. Cover the floor with scatter cushions and cosy throws so that you can really relax and have fun.
  • Make some traditional picnic sandwiches and stock the hamper with savoury and sweet treats.
  • Ask your children to help to prepare for the picnic so that they can feel involved
  • Let their imaginations run wild! Encourage them to dress up and let their creativity flow.
  • If they do decide to dress up, theme the picnic food to coincide.
  • Introduce a couple of games to play as part of the afternoon. Perhaps an indoor treasure hunt that you have been able to plan in advance, or some board games that can be enjoyed by all.
  • Invite some of their friends for a tea party to remember.

Picnics don’t just have to be outdoors – make a rainy day special using what you have at home, instead.

Trampolining for the Whole Family!

One of the things that we’ve been looking forward to about the warmer weather maybe/possibly/potentially arriving is getting Sausage back on her trampoline. She’s been a bouncy child ever since she could first take weight on her legs (which, and I’m not exaggerating here, was at about 6 weeks old. We nicknamed her Tigger and everything) and when we were trying to come up with something to get her for her last birthday, a trampoline was the obvious choice.

The trouble is, her birthday is in August and we didn’t have a particularly brilliant summer last year, so the amount of time she actually spent on it was limited. We were hopeful that she’d be springing into action as soon as spring arrived (did you see what I did there..?!) but that was not to be as, despite being a fan of extreme sports, ‘Dodge the Lightening Trampolining’ is not my idea of healthy recreation for a four year old.

I was having a little Google up, as you do, and I found AllTrampolines, a site which does exactly as its name suggests and sells all things trampoline related. I saw this little 5ft trampoline and it got me thinking; trampolining doesn’t have to stop when the rain and snow starts! There’s even a smaller one on the website called a ‘Jogger’ which is specifically for keeping fit indoors and I’m genuinely considering investing in one for myself. I’ll need some serious sports-bra-chest-binding action before I even get near it, but I reckon indoor mini-tramping could be an amazingly fun way to bounce back to fitness. Not that I’d get a chance to use it, once Sausage got her mitts on it.

Another thing that looks amazingly fun is this trampoline tent – on more than one occasion last year, Sausage asked if we could throw blankets over the net enclosure of her trampoline and make it into an enclosed den for her, but this tent would be an amazing accessory to have for days when she wants to do that and it would save my bed sheets too!

So, here’s hoping for the scorching July and August that I keep hearing about from the grapevine of British Weather folklore so that we can all get bouncing again!

Closer to Nature – Photo Linky

I’ve been totally slack with getting a Closer to Nature post up the past couple of weeks, so apologies to anyone who’s been patiently waiting to link up any nature photos! Here’s my photo for this week:

I took a photo of this moth, sitting on our living room wall, a couple of weeks ago and fiddled about with contrast and lighting in Picasa and I think it came out rather well! We’ve had something of a moth infestation this summer, but I read in the news that that’s happening because of their woodland habitats being levelled, so I didn’t begrudge them a place to sleep. I do have a couple of items of clothing with holes gnawed in them though, which takes the mickey a bit!

So, now it’s your turn, I want to see your nature snaps and you can use the widget below to link up. The rules and details are here if you need them.

 

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