How To Get Children Outdoors – 10 Questions To Gill Of “A Baby On Board”October 10, 2018 • Get Outdoors
We’ve caught up with the wonderful Gill of A Baby On Board blog and mum to the lovely Eliza and Florence to talk about getting little urban adventurers outdoors.
Juggling school and outdoor activities can be tricky (too many balls in the air…) We’ve decided to ask our favourite bloggers for their top tips on how to make time for outdoor activities. Meet Gill and read more about her gang’s outdoor adventures.
1) For those who are new to your blog how would you describe yourself in a few sentences?
Hello! I’m Gill and I write A Baby on Board, a blog about London life as a mum of two. I have two girls who are three and six, and we live with my husband in south-east London. I’m a freelance writer, editor and social media manager.
2) Can you tell us a bit about how you started the blog and what you write about?
I’ve always loved writing and blogged on and off throughout my twenties. I also worked for one of the first digital PR agencies in the UK in the early days of blogger outreach and was tasked with looking after parent blogs, which I loved because of their openness and warmth. When I found out I was expecting our first daughter in 2011 I started A Baby on Board to talk about my own pregnancy, and it took off from there.
It’s always been important to me to write honestly about the highs and lows of parenting, and I write about everything from motherhood – with posts like 25 things they don’t tell you in NCT classes – to family-friendly interiors such as our washi tape rainbow shelves – and things we get up to in London, like joining the recent Women’s March.
3) What were your favourite outdoor activities as a child?
I loved dancing and gymnastics, but also got up to a lot of tree climbing and outdoor den building with my two brothers.
4) How much time do you spend outdoors with your children in a typical week?
It can be tricky during the week due to school and work, but we walk everywhere and play outside in the garden when it’s not raining. We always have at least one epic park trip at the weekend
5) What are some of your children’s favourite outdoor activities?
Anything involving a trip to a playground, or going anywhere on scooters. They also love Junior Parkrun at weekends
6) How do you make time for outdoor activities with school and work in full swing
It can be difficult but I think it all counts – we walk to and from school each day, and we also don’t have a car to tend to walk to most places.
7) How do you encourage your little ones to spend more time outdoors? Could you give us a few tips and tricks?
It helps if they are comfortable and that their feet don’t hurt. Having secret snacks helps. And scooters are really useful for getting everyone around and making trips out fun.
However, I also think it’s important to know when to stay at home, too – school and nursery can be exhausting and everyone needs to relax.
8) Why do you think being outdoors is important for children?
I think it’s important for everyone. As a new mum I made it my mission to get out of the house every day, even if this was just a trip to the shop. Fresh air is very soothing and can also wake you up if you’re sleep-deprived, getting outside clears your mind, exercise uses up energy and hopefully helps everyone sleep better, and the simple act of leaving the house makes it feel like you’ve accomplished something that day. Needless to say, we took a lot of trips to the shop when the children were little.
9) How do you kit your children out for outdoor play?
Layers are key, especially as my children tend to get hot and cold quickly (it’s a running joke over on my Instagram account that I’m always carrying their coats in freezing weather).
Waterproof coats are essential. We went to the beach this weekend and it rained the whole time but they played in the sand for hours due to their coats (did I mention warm, waterproof coats are essential for parents, too?)
10) What advice do you have for urban families who want to spend more time outdoors
Go to the park! There tends to be a perception that most cities are grey, concrete places, but this couldn’t be further from the truth and there are loads of wonderful green spaces in London, even right in the centre. Our favourites are Crystal Palace Park which comes complete with dinosaurs and a zoo, and Brockwell Park which has a brilliant playground (and good pubs nearby for lunch, which is always important!).
Thank you so much, Gill!
Follow Gill on Instagram
(We couldn’t help but share a couple of photos of Gill’s adorable little explorers 🙂 )