In a time of increasing technology, it’s more important than ever to get our kids outdoors and active. But it can be difficult to persuade them from the screen, unless the activities offered are entertaining and fun! Here are 11 of the Best Outdoor Activities to Ensure Your Kids Stay Fit, and have so much fun, they won’t even realise they are exercising!
Ask your kids if they want to go outdoors for a trek or nature walk and you are met with moans of protest. Introduce them to the fantastic activity of ‘Geocaching’ and you’ll never have a problem pulling them away from the television again!
Geocaching is basically a modern-day treasure hunt, that uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) to guide you to the treasure. People all over the world have hidden trinkets and objects at various locations, which you and your child(ren) can go out and find. A perfect way to get you and the kids out and exercising in the fresh-air!
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You can forage for all kinds of food – wild garlic, mushrooms, sorrel, blackberries, winberries, elderflowers, hazel nuts, sloes etc., which will give your kids a much better sense of where their food comes from too.
3. Water Fun
If weather permits, play some water games outdoors. Kids seem to love nothing more than having water fights and playing water games. From wet sponge relays to sprinkler statues, here are 10 Wicked Water Games for Kids, that will have them running and shrieking for hours!
And even if it’s raining, there’s nothing stopping them from getting dressed in their raingear and heading outdoors. Here’s 12 Kids Rainy Day Games Outdoors for Guaranteed Fun & 10 Good Rainy Day Activities for Kids Outdoors.
Or just have them wash the car – a great form of exercise, and opportunity to earn some extra pocket money too.
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Don’t miss Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular this July in Dublin and Cork. Since first opening its doors in 2006, Laya Healtcare’s City Spectacular has grown into the biggest date in the street performance calendar – with over 250,000 people expected to attend this year. All activities are free and all event details are available from www.cityspectacular.com
This year there will be free children’s workshops in art, music, theatre and science, a family farm area and an award-winning trampoline spectacle to name only a few. So get out with the family this summer and visit Laya Healthcare’s City Spectacular from July 10th – 12th in Dublin’s Merrion Square and July 18th & 19th in Fitzgerald Park, Cork
4. On your Wheels
Head off as a family for a cycle, or let the kids scoot/ride to your local skate-park, where they can try out some tricks, or watch some older kids do their impressive stunts.
Give your child their own space in the garden, and teach them how to grow plants, vegetables and flowers. Let them see how things grow and then become food for your table or beautiful flowers to decorate. Here’s how to grow a pizza garden.
Seeing the results of their work gives great fulfillment, and they may be more inclined to eat the vegetables/salads they have grown themselves.
Older kids can also help keep the garden mowed and weeded, which are great exercise and perfect for earning some extra pocket money. Here’s 20 Simple Ideas for Summer Jobs for Teens & 10 Ways for Kids to Make Money in their Free Time
6. Build a Treehouse/Outdoor Den
Building it will be a sense of achievement for them too, and a great way to get some exercise and fresh-air. And even if you don’t have trees, they can make a den outside, with sticks, tarpaulin, rope/paracord and pegs. The best part is it can be ever changing, as they can add to it once it is built.
Get out with the Kids has simple instructions for building a den outside.
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Skipping is great fun and a super energetic workout too. It can be done with one child up to any number that want to join in. Not much is needed – just a rope and children.
Get the kids to learn some skipping rhymes to make it even more fun.
8. Play Games
Kids love playing games outside – all the old classic games that we played are all still really popular with kids today. And the best part, is as the kids run and play chase, and tip the can, and red rover etc. all around your garden, they are keeping fit and burning off energy – a win-win.
If you need some inspiration, here are 20 Great Childhood Games.
9. Hold a Mini-Sports Day
A mini-sports day course could have egg & spoon races, relay races, sack races, obstacle courses etc. You can even get the kids to make their own winners certificates/badges. And best of all, when it’s all over, get them to help tidy all away, for extra exercise!
Here’s Obstacle Course Ideas for Kids.
10. Scavenger Hunts
Here are 10 mega fun scavenger hunt ideas for kids, from beach to bug to backyard hunts – to turn your little darlings into mini-explorers.
11. Fly a Kite
Younger kids may find kite flying too challenging, so get them to fly balloons instead.
Over to you. Let us know your favourite kids outdoor activities for keeping fit in the comments below.