After more than a year of ‘stay at home’, we now have a summer of ‘be outside’. And we’re all pretty chuffed the weather is playing ball – especially parents.
Nearly four in five think playing outside will be really important for their child’s wellbeing this summer, given more than half say their kids have been more lonely during the pandemic, according to a survey by the NSPCC.
Of 1,036 UK parents of children aged three to 12, 65% told the charity their children have played inside more than out since the start of the pandemic, while 70% say their kids have spent less time playing with their friends.
That’s why it couldn’t be more important to get outside while the weather is behaving. Here are a few things that could keep you (and your kids) busy.
1. Make banana ice cream, because it’s really not that hard.
2. Fill balloons up with water and have a massive water fight.
3. Go to the park. Any park will do – as the last year has shown.
4. Got an outdoor cinema in your area? Book in to see Peter Rabbit 2.
5. Have a teddy bears’ picnic in the garden (or just with the windows open).
6. Put squash and water in ice cube trays and make mini ice lollies.
7. Build an assault course in the garden or front room (open the windows!).
8. Meet up with other parent friends – the kids can play while you natter.
9. It’s not too late to plant some veg – try some beetroot and broccoli.
10. Host an outdoor ‘reading club’ with all your favourite books.
11. Make the best picnic ever and drive to a nearby beauty spot.
12. Find a lido or outdoor pool and jump in it with the biggest splash.
13. Mix “mocktails” and be sure to serve them with little umbrellas.
14. Let the kids make lunch for a day (and choose the menu). Gulp.
15. Spend the day in a paddling pool or just let loose with the hose.
16. Get yourself to your nearest pond or river to feed those ducks.
17. Grab some paper and paint and make an outdoor art studio.
18. Have fun with catch or frisbee (or any other one item game).
19. Hear the tune of an ice cream van? Head straight outside to find it.
20. Get into the spirit of the Euros and organise your own football tournament.
21. Find a new outdoor cafe you’ve never been to for family brunch.
22. Assemble a group and play a nice old fashioned game of rounders.
23. Make a makeshift campsite in the garden and sleep in tents.
24. Head to a National Trust property for some space and history.
25. Find some trees to climb. And actually join in with your kids.
26. Teach your kids to ride a bike. In a day.
27. Take the dog for a long sunny walk (or nab one from Borrow My Doggy).
28. Make a family music video – or just do TikToks in the sun.
29. Go to the beach and make sandcastles. Better than Minecraft!
30. Roll down grassy hills, run back up to the top, then do it all again.
31. Make extravagant homemade ice cream sundaes with lots of toppings.
32. Go for a big circular bike ride – and take lots of snacks for the way.
33. Blend some milk, bananas and fruit to make ice cold milkshakes.
34. Learn to do roly polys and cartwheels in the garden or park.
35. Set up a drinks or cake stand at home with all the fancy bits.
36. Take yourselves skateboarding. Don’t forget the kneepads.
37. Go to a fairground or amusement park. They’re open again!
38. Find your nearest river bridge and play pooh sticks.
39. Play the ice bucket challenge… just for fun.
40. Go on a wildlife ramble, and write down every insect you see
41. Find some muddy puddles to jump in after the (inevitable) rain that’ll come.
42. Take some chalk outside and make a pavement hopscotch court.
43. Be brave and befriend some other families at the local park.
44. Get yourself to your nearest farm and ask how you can muck in.
45. Have dinner outside together and pretend it’s a makeshift restaurant.
46. Make bubbles at home for the kids (big and small).
47. Go for your daily walk but let the youngest person lead the way.
48. Get your swimmers on and play in the sea – or your nearest fountain.
49. See what magic treasure you and the kids can find at the beach.
50. Have your own pre-Olympics sports day at home (with prizes!).
51. Lie out in the sun while watching funny cat videos on YouTube.
53. Have a ‘yes’ day, where you say ‘yes’ to (almost) everything the kids ask.
54. Sit in the garden and just let the kids entertain themselves for a bit.
55. Simply look for a beer garden with a great playground. Double win.