Have Fun With The Family In The Great Outdoors

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If you haven’t prepared anything this summer because times are tough and you can’t afford to splash out on cash this year – don’t beat yourself up about it. There are tons of different things that you can do as a family that’s fun, but doesn’t empty out your pockets.

If you’re one that likes adventures, then what’s nicer than exploring the forest with your children? Discover the outdoors and use this as a bonding experience as well as a learning one.

If you’ve never done anything like this before, then you don’t want to get too over ambitious by going any further than you need to. So do some planning beforehand and pick a nice spot that’s safe to go to, and isn’t too far out.

Wear clothes that you don’t mind you and your kids getting dirty. This is your chance to live a little on the wild side, so don’t worry about scuffing your shoes or staining your pants – it’s time to forget about things like that for a while. Let your kids have a run around and feel totally free for a moment or two.

Respect the forest

Before you leave, you should sit down with your family and have a talk about how to be respectful of the area, as well as the creatures that live there. Tell your children that the forest is home to so many other animals, and it’s important to keep it clean and safe for them so that they can live a happy life too.

Activities to do in the forest

If just going for a stroll isn’t enough for your kids (or you for that matter,) then come up with some fun activities that you can all do together as a family.

If you’re not too sure about what you can do, here are some ideas.

Make some art

Bring some sketchbooks and an array of different colored pencils. Have a sit down with everyone and pick out something you each like looking at. This could be a wild flower, an interesting looking leaf or even a pretty butterfly (if it sits still for long enough!)

You can then use the drawing as a memory of your family day out, and hang them in your kid’s bedrooms, or even use them as a card to give to someone.

Take pictures

Get your camera out and start taking photos. If you don’t want to worry about damaging your expensive goods – get some disposable cameras for the day. Because they’re so cheap, everyone could have a camera each to do with what they wish. This a very cool idea as children tend to have a completely different perspective on things, and they may just take some incredible looking photos of things that maybe you never even thought of. It’s exciting because you don’t know what you’re getting until the pictures are printed out!

A picnic

Now, who doesn’t love a good old picnic? And you don’t need much. Get a few blankets (depending on how many of you there is!) And bring some ready made sandwiches, salads and some naughty snacks of course.

After you’ve been walking for a while, find a nice looking tree to sit under, or if there’s water, like a stream or a small lake, cop a squat there and enjoy sharing food with one another under the sun.

Stop, listen and take it in

It’s a wonderful idea to take a moment to really appreciate where you are, so once in awhile, tell everyone to stop what they’re doing, stop talking and just listen. What can you all hear?

Ask your children to tell you what kind of noises there are, and what do they think is making them.

Keep your eyes open

Tell your children to be alert at all times. Examine the floor and the pretty plants, and the big tall trees. Touch them; feel the different textures and look at any wildlife that may be lurking around. See if you can spot buds that are sprouting through the ground, getting ready to blossom into something beautiful.

Another way you can encourage this is by playing a game of ‘I Spy.’

Bird watching

Some kids may not see the ‘fun’ side of this, so it’s your job to make it something a lot more exciting than it’s expected to be. Instead of using the ‘boring’ traditional bird book – print out some of your own pictures off the web and take them out with you. You can also make a checklist with the different breeds on. Then you can make your day out a bird catching quest, where you trek through the forest trying to locate the birds in your photos, crossing them off one by one as you do.

Collect the trash

A wonderful thing that you can do is come equipped with some trash bags and rubber gloves. Sure, the mess wasn’t made by you, but showing your children that you care about the environment and that you are willing to do some of the dirtier jobs in order to make it flourish again, is a very lovely message to put out there. And you could be saving lives for the furry friends that live in the forest too. You would be surprised about how many animals actually get hurt and killed because of litter lying around that they end up getting stuck in and aren’t able to escape.

Go and collect firewood

It may only be the early days of summer, but logs need time to dry out properly, so they are suitable for burning when the winter swings round. So doing this in advance is a great way to prepare for the colder months. Have a look online for the best log splitter for homeowners. You will then be able to cut the wood yourself with ease, and show your kids what it means to be sustainable and use what you have, without wasting what you don’t need.

Play games

Make sure that everyone is having fun and the kids aren’t getting bored. Children have a short attention span at times, and so you will want to keep their energy up and make it an awesome day out for them. If this means taking five minutes out to play tag, or have the best game of hide and seek ever – so be it. (Yes, parents, you can absolutely peek through your fingers when your children go off to hide – we wouldn’t expect otherwise!)

Design a scavenger hunt

Pack some things in your bag and then use them to hide around an area within the forest. Make a list of what you have hidden, and then your kids can cross them off as they go.

If you didn’t want to have to pack more than you needed though, you could use what’s already around you. Have a look for some interesting twigs and rocks, show your kids and let them inspect them for a couple of minutes, and then go and hide them! Even if you aren’t able to remember exactly what you hid, it’ll be a funny game to play.

Do some homework

If you’re feeling extra sneaky, you can even incorporate some of those dreaded maths equations and tricky words to spell along your adventure. If you packed some sweets, these could be given out if the answer is answered correctly. So don’t tell anyone what you’re doing, just shout out a word or a sum and see what happens. If someone gives you the response you were looking – give them some candy.

You could even go as far as coming up with a silly song to help them remember the correct answers.

Walking is great exercise

Not only is walking together and discovering an area a lovely thing to do as a family. But the benefits it has on your health are too good to miss out on.

Walking gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing, so you are essentially improving your circulation while keeping fit. But it isn’t just a physical thing either – getting out in the fresh air and going for a walk can clear the mind and relax any tension you may have. It also releases endorphins within your brain that make you feel good.  And it works exactly the same for your children too. They may not be aware of certain things how you would be, but their bodies will be working the same way.

Make it a family tradition

If this goes down well, and your children really enjoy the day out – make it into a regular thing – a tradition even! Things like this stay with a child forever, and one day when they are older, and they have their own family, they may just carry that tradition on. Family is such an important thing and should be cherished and nurtured, so being able to create memories like this from an early age can have some really positive impacts on your little one’s lives.


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