Rain and Shine! 16 Inspiring Ways to Spend Time with your Kids OutdoorsMay 6, 2021 • Outdoor Ideas
We asked Cecily Henderson, from PomPom to share some fun and inspiring ways to spend time outdoors with the family.
Cecily is the Co-Founder of PomPom. Proudly plastic-free from product to packaging, PomPom sells unusual and imaginative designs for babies and children from toys, gifts, games and homeware. It is also the home of the indoor climbing triangle. Read on for her fun and inspiring ideas to spend time with your kids outdoors.
Everyone feels better after a walk. Fact. Others feel better after a run (that is not me!) but it is most certainly my children. They are happier and more relaxed having spent time outdoors. However, they don’t always jump at the chance to get out, however enthusiastically they are jumping on my sofa!
Children have enormous imaginations and can find fun anywhere. However, when they are beginning to flag and puddle jumping has come to an end… sometimes a little guidance towards a new game or idea, prompts yet more fun.
So, what are the easiest ways to make outside fun? I kick against the Insta-Mumma image and refuse to engage in any activities that need a PHD in handicrafts – so let’s keep this simple, fun and possible whether you have access to a park, a garden or the countryside. Outdoors is free! (She says truthfully and reluctantly as the owner of PomPom, a plastic-free toy shop!)
And yes, use these ideas and go for broke at any time of the year. As Muddy Puddles like to say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad kit, so grab your rain gear or a t-shirt and let’s go!
Any time of the year…
1) Supper outside: Mid-winter aside, take a picnic to the playground, the beach or the park. It doesn’t need to be a three-course feast, throw ham sandwiches into a backpack. Fun and no clearing up (and you can stay longer)!
2) Toys in the mud: Rainy or sunny, kids will create whole worlds in the earth, using sticks and leaves as part of their games – farm yards, zoos, Jurassic Park.
3) Car Wash: You win, they win, the car wins!
4) Stick bodies: Love this from my favourite outdoor app Twigs, find sticks that match the length of your child’s body parts, arms, legs, nose and create their body with sticks, grass and stones.
5) Try a new sport: The old-fashioned tennis ball, football, frisbee, skipping rope. So underrated. Try dodge ball, tennis with a stick, rounders with a tennis racket, piggy in the middle, volleyball over a skipping rope.
6) Clean up litter: We love this one and oddly so do kids. Children surprisingly really enjoy this. Use rubber gloves, treat it like a scavenger hunt!
7) Chalk drawing: Did I say chalk? Chalk. Chalk. Chalk. On the pavement, in the park, so much concrete to be found, the perfect blank canvas. Rain or sun, oddly the rain makes it easier to draw!
8) Bath Toys in puddles: Why not?!
9) Camp fire: Less good for the local park. Roast marshmallows or hot dogs on the end of a stick. All health and safety is on you.
10) Nature bracelet: Wrap tape sticky side up around the child’s wrist, they can attach anything they find to their bracelet – feathers, small leaves, berries, dead bugs!
11) Paint rocks outside: Let the little Picassos go wild; faces, animals, messages of love. Either wash off the paint afterwards, with a hose or in a bucket, or my children like to leave them along a walk way and watch people find them.
12) Stick dog: So simple, so genius. Let your child find their dog stick, introduce them, tie a piece of string, go for a walk, feed it. Rubbish I thought. Hours of fun my son thought! (Thanks again Twigs!)
13) Fun in the mud: One for the April showers – shoes and socks off and squelch in the mud. Go on, be a sport!
14) Melt crayons: Gather all the old broken bits of crayons. Place on tin foil on a plate and leave in the sun, inside for winter sun. When melted use cookie cutters to make new shapes and use again. Take paper outside and use them to do leaf rubbing.
Perhaps wait for Summer but your call on the time of year!…
15) Body Painting: Another excuse to get the hose or a bucket.
16) Sponge tag: When the wet sponge hits you, you’re IT! Please don’t aim for the face. No sponge? Balled up wet socks would work too.
And indeed, what happens when you come back inside? Oh, we have got you covered! 21 blindingly easy ways to keep kids entertained at home!
PomPom’s Best Designs for Outdoors
- Personalised Gardening Tools (£24.99) – perfect for little hands.
- Chalk (£5.99) – Oh chalk, you saviour of many afternoons.
- Giant Bubble Kit (£14.95) – wickedly large bubbles.
- Magnifying Glass (£12.99) – bugs always look best big!
- Foldable Climbing Triangle (From £219) – designed for indoors & works beautifully in the sunshine!