We love summer. Colds and sniffles vanish. There’s less washing cluttering up the laundry. And no-fuss barbecues and salad replace fussy dinners. Things are just easier when the sun is shining.
But as the temperature rises outside, things can become heated inside too. There’s nothing better than hot, sweaty and irritable kids to test your patience, especially over the holidays.
So we’ve come up with 1`1 easy and adventurous activites to get out and about and enjoy the sunshine this summer with kids in tow. Just remember to slip, slop, slap when you play outdoors!
1. Dig a Veggie Patch
A veggie patch can be as big or as small as you like. Find a special spot in the garden or use a simple pot (even old Tupperware works). You can pick up seedlings cheaply from your local garden centre or hardware store. Cherry tomatoes and strawberries are great for little fingers and easy to grow or try herbs like basil and mint plants they can smell and taste. Whatever you choose, they’ll love the messy play and the sense of responsibility they get from growing their own food.
2. Have a Water Fight (and Let the Kids Win!)
Is there a more fun way to play outdoors in summer than with a water fight? Little ones can grab a bucket or be in charge of the hose (if you dare!), while bigger kids can grab their water pistols or some water balloons. Whatever your weapon of choice, there really are no rules when it comes to water fights… except maybe to let the kids win just once!
3. Go for a Stroll
A morning walk before it gets too hot is the perfect way to start a summer day and kids love the freedom of meandering along at their own speed. If you have a little one who wants to be independent too, but can’t quite keep up, then this unirider from Mountain Buggy gives them the feel of the wind in their hair, without giving you the feeling they’re dragging behind. Plus it helps develop early balance skills too. As a special treat, go for a post-dinner stroll past your favourite ice-cream shop for the perfect end to another glorious day.
4. Tackle a Scavenger Hunt
Here’s a great summer outdoor activity for kids of any age. A scavenger hunt doesn’t have to take any real planning and you can do it in the garden, at the park, or the beach, anywhere you like really! Give the kids a list of things to find, which could include sticks, stones, shells, a feather or leaf, and then let the hunt begin.
5. Get Creative
Arts and craft don’t have to mean indoor play. Sidewalk chalk is a cheap and easy way to get creative outside. And kids will love spreading the bright colours across such a big canvas. These chalks work on pavers, bricks, concrete and asphalt, so get outside and get drawing.
6. Hit the Skate Park
Grab the skateboards and scooters and head to your nearest skate park. Most of these have smaller ramps and tracks that younger kids will enjoy too (and won’t give you a heart attack). Probably best to go in the morning to avoid the local big kids and remember to take your helmets. If all that skate park action wears them out and they’re too tired to scoot home, the freerider from Mountain Buggy can connect to your buggy to go from scooter to stroller board in seconds. Problem solved! And guess what? It’s not just for Mountain Buggies! A universal attachment means it works with most popular prams.
7. Build the Biggest Sandcastle
You don’t even really need a bucket and spade to build a sandcastle (although they’re good for the turrets), just get to the beach and get digging. You can even challenge the kids to build the biggest sandcastle, with moats, towers, drawbridges, it’s a Grand Designs dream. Don’t live near the beach? Add some water to the backyard sandpit for super-sticky sandcastle sand.
8. Try a DIY Obstacle Course
Test your little soldier’s coordination and climbing skills with an army-style obstacle course. Cardboard boxes make great tunnels, blankets become nets to crawl under and buckets can be cones to run around. You can make it a race or time trial, or simply camo-up and get crawling. What’s more, they’ll love building the course as much as getting through it. Trust us, they’ll want to play this one all summer long.
9. Host a Teddy Bear’s picnic
Pack up a picnic and get to the park. You can go the whole hog and bake cakes or make sandwiches beforehand or you can just let them choose some fruit and snacks to take with them. Add in a big blanket, a plastic tea set and their favourite fuzzy friends and you have yourself an extra-special teddy bear’s picnic under a shady tree.
10. Run through a sprinkler
Tthe classic cool-down caper, running through the sprinkler is a no-brainer this summer! Is there anything easier that gives kids this much fun? If you don’t have a sprinkler, just put some holes in a plastic bottle and attach it to the end of the hose for hours of outdoor fun.
11. Master the Slip ‘n’ Slide Action (for kids young and old!)
You can’t go past the favourite slip ‘n’ slide for some adventurous tumbling summer fun! The perfect way to both water the lawn AND let the kids get wet and worn out! Hilly backyards like ours a bonus!
And there you have it – our handy guide to getting outside and enjoying some summer fun with the kids. Head over to Mountain Buggy to find out more about their fab toddler ride-ons.