Ever since my two were little we’ve had an unofficial family rule that we’ll try and get outside every day, no matter what the weather’s like, for at least twenty minutes.
That rule isn’t as easy to stick to now that they’re older because a trip to the park or a bike ride to the woods isn’t of interest to them anymore. They don’t want to go to the skate park to practice their stunts anymore and even though I’ve tried telling them you’re never too old to splash in puddles, they don’t even want to do that anymore!
It’s not that they don’t want to get outside anymore, they really do, it’s just that their interests have changed so they want to do different things.
I’ve found a few new ways to get them to want to get outside though – we now family walks to the beach (much more fun than it sounds) with a football and the dog on a night, we’ve just renewed our English Heritage membership so we can get exploring when we have a few hours and I’ve spent some time making our garden a fun place.
Basically, aside from our little veg patch, our garden is now just a big square of grass! I got rid of anything that could be trampled, smashed, damaged or broken which means that, whilst I have a very boring garden, they have space to play without me shouting at them to mind the plants or move away from the big rotary washing line I had.
I then bought some garden ‘toys’ that I knew would tempt them outside – a swingball and a fold away badminton net have been the most popular purchases to date but anything you can throw catch or kick works well.
We don’t put everything away out of sight when we’re not playing with them, although we do tidy them up when we’re finished. so they can just go outside and start playing without having to set anything up and this works really well for us. One of them will often just go out and start playing and before you know it, the other one appears and they just start playing together automatically. Their time in the garden is the most harmonious that it gets between them!
A more recent addition to our garden games was the Sun-Pat Sports Kit which they sent us a few weeks ago. It has a skipping rope, a cricket set and a football in it and the cricket set especially has given us lots of fun….
Then there’s the skipping rope which has kept Miss Frugal occupied for a surprising amount of time….
And finally the football which is obviously Master Frugal’s domain….
It comes in a handy little bag that it all fits in perfectly so you can pop it in the back of your car and take away with you.
Research shows that 85% of kids wish they spent more time outside over the summer but it’s really easy to get them (and you) outside with very little effort. I know that I don’t always have the time to take them somewhere so I made my garden a place they’d want to play in and that’s meant they spend more time outside than ever before but there are lots of other ways to keep the kids active and outdoors every day. The Sun-Pat Fuelling Families Guide offers 42 different ideas which works out to one activity for every day of the school holidays – you can download it here for free!
You can win your own Sun-Pat Sports Kit to get your family outdoors this Summer!
You can see full Terms & Conditions on the Sun-Pat website.
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