Summer is finally getting into full swing now, the kids are on vacation until September, which can only mean one thing — it’s time to head outdoors with the kids!
Whether you have kids of your own, or whether you’re looking after someone else’s this year, you’ll want to find some way of getting in and amongst nature with them, spending quality time with them — and keeping them from getting bored!
But what eco-friendly fun can you have this year? Indeed, how can you balance fun with coronavirus restrictions?!
Don’t believe us? Let’s have a look!
Plant a tree
Planting a tree was one of our “top 10 eco-friendly things to do this summer,” and it’s also something you can do with your kids. Indeed, it’s something you should do with kids because children are inherently curious about nature. If they see a tree, they’ll want to know more about it, including how it got there, how old it is, what it’s called, how many leaves it’s got (I hope you’re good at counting)…
Nature really is inspiring and it never fails to stir a child’s mind. So go read this guide all about how to plant a tree and then get to it with your kids. Make sure to give it a name, too!
Race toy cars
When I was a kid, toy cars were one of my favorite things ever. My friend and I would use chalk to make lines in my parents' yard. Then, we’d grab ten toy cars each, roll the die — and start racing them.
For example, we’d each pick a car to begin the race with. Then, I’d roll the die. If it landed on “one,” my car would move forward one space (rats). My friend would then roll the die. If it landed on “six,” his would move forward six spaces (double rats).
And the thing with taking a box of toy cars outdoors is that there are all kinds of natural props you can use to create some realistic rocky terrain, including twigs and stones. So. Much. Fun.
Racing toy cars can also teach everyone the spirit of competition, but it’s important to remind the kids that it’s not the winning that counts — it’s the taking part.
Unless you win. Then it’s all about the winning.
Make an outdoor den
Another thing we’d love to do as kids is make our own outdoor den. This acted as a play area a.k.a. house, and it represented our secret hangout that adults weren’t invited to.
Of course, it’s up to you whether or not you’re invited to your kids’ den (or whether they’ll let you in!). But den building can be something you do together. It’s great for bonding and learning, and it will spark your child’s imagination, as well as help to connect them with nature.
And, hey, if it rains, your den could be an awesome shelter from the storm!
Go here to learn more about building an outdoor den.
Make a sand volcano
If you can get to a beach, making sand volcanoes with the kids is a whole lotta fun in the summertime. If you can’t get to a beach, try and find your nearest sand pit (or even invest in one of your own, jeez).
Not sure how to make a sand volcano?
Fortunately all you really need is a bucket, some baking soda and vinegar.
Oh, and sand.
Lava is optional.
Go here to learn more about making a sand volcano.
Build a bird box
The first (and sadly, only) time I ever built a bird box was at school. It was so cool and I’m pretty certain that, while we’ve since moved out of my childhood home, that bird box is still there, housing birds and witnessing births and so on. So cool.
Building a bird box is a great thing to do with your kids during the summer time. It’s challenging, for sure, but it’s an exciting and rewarding project that gets everyone involved. Plus, you can paint it afterwards.
And when it’s done, the fun really begins because you can watch birds making the box their home and raising their young (and, okay, making lots of noise).
Learn all about how to build a bird box here.
Make mud pies!
Who didn’t make mud pies when they were younger?
I even knew a kid who made mud balls that he threw at people!
Jeez. I wonder what became of him.
Making mud pies is a fantastic outdoor activity for kids for a few reasons, not least because the mud feels super squishy!
And let’s face it, kids have this endless fascination with setting up their own kitchen and cooking for you! Such helpfulness tends to die away when they hit their teens, sad.
Anyway — go here to learn about how to make your own mud pies from mud and water. Be prepared to get messy!
Have a water fight!
No, we don’t recommend that you waste loads of water with a hose pipe. But we do recommend that you have an entertaining water fight on a hot summer’s day, either using your water guns if you have any OR sponge water bombs.
What are sponge water bombs?!
Well, they’re not exactly rocket science but they are a tad more complicated than soaking a sponge in water and throwing it at people!
In fact, you can learn all about making a sponge water bomb here using a sponge and an elastic band.
We hope you enjoyed these outdoor ideas with kids! But hey, if you’ve got ideas of your own that you think should be on this list, let us know in the comments. And be sure to check NatureHub out for more fun outdoor ideas!