If someone asked me that then I’d say the time we spend outdoors together as a family but actually, I could probably say something similar about Autumn. And Winter. And definitely about Spring. To us, it doesn’t matter what the weather’s like outside – if it’s hot we’ll slap on the sun tan lotion, if it’s raining we’ll pop a jacket and wellies on and if it’s cold then outcome the hats and gloves.
This week I’ve seen lots of people in my timeline on Facebook and Twitter saying how sad they are that Summer’s over and how much they’re going to miss the kids now they’re back at school so I thought I’d share a few things you can do together, after school and at the weekend, to get outside and have as much fun as you’ve been having over the Summer. I’m sharing these ideas in conjunction with Smart Insurance a family life insurance provider who are working on raising awareness around the importance of family time and getting your kids more in touch with nature.
As well as trying to make sure we eat together every night, we also set aside every Sunday and at least three nights a week for family time. To me, that’s a good balance of making sure we spend time together having fun and giving everyone their own time and space to do their own thing.
Here’s some of the things we do together….
September is a great time for blackberry picking so find somewhere near you where they’re growing wild (ask your friends on Facebook for advice) and pop along to pick some. Then you can come home and make a blackberry crumble with your pickings and believe me, it always tastes nicer when you picked the ingredients yourself.
When all of the trees are bare and the leaves are covering the ground, put on a pair of wellies and go leaf kicking. My two like to push the leaves into big piles and run through them!
I don’t think you’re ever too old to enjoy splashing in puddles so when it’s been raining, pull on your wellies and go find some big puddles to splash in. We have a place near us with a little tiny stream that swells a bit when it’s been raining so we sometimes wrap up and go there.
Explore somewhere new
We like to explore when the weather’s not so good – it usually means that we have the place to ourselves and as long as we know we have something warm to put on in the car and a hot chocolate waiting for us at home we don’t mind getting a bit cold and wet.
Just enjoy kicking a ball about
Master Frugal is football mad and will happily kick a ball about in all weathers so we often pop to the beach on a night just for 10 minutes for him and his Dad to have a kickabout. Miss Frugal like’s to pretend she’s too old to join in but can never resist after a couple of minutes.
Don’t miss an opportunity to have fun
I keep a small ball in the back of the car that I just pop in my bag when we’re getting out somewhere so we don’t miss any chance to have some fun. The photo below was taken when we went to explore a local abbey in the rain but it had been flooded so we couldn’t go in. The car park was deserted so we had fun there throwing and kicking a ball about instead.
Go conker picking
We love conker picking even if we never do anything with the conkers other than put them in a bowl and try to tell ourselves that they’re going to keep spiders away. We’ve been in all weathers but we find that the worse the weather is, the less people there are which means better conkers for us!
What I’m trying to say is that just because the weather’s on the turn and the kids are back at school, it doesn’t mean that the fun has to stop. It’s only just getting started!
National Trust are running a campaign to encourage children and families to get outside and play rather than sitting indoors on electronics and social media and I’m a huge fan of the idea. Personally, I’m happy with the amount of time my two spend on electronics but even so, the more they’re outdoors the better which is why I make sure that as much of our family time as possible is outdoors!
We all know it’s important but it’s really easy to let it slip at this time of year when the weather may not be ideal or everyone might be off doing their own thing. I hope my ideas help a little…. If you have any other ideas to share, drop it in the comment box, or better yet write a post of your own encourage others to promote the importance of spending good old fashioned family time together!
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