There are days when you just can’t convince the kids to go outside, you know a run in the park would do everyone good but they’re just not interested! There are ways to encourage them outside – try “I’m off for an adventure, who’s coming” – far more interesting than “Let’s go for a walk”. If the weather is nice take a kite or a football, organise a treasure hunt – it doesn’t have to be for treasure, you could list 5 things to find – a brown leaf, a ladybird, a pinecone, a feather, something beautiful, once they get the hang of it or as reading progresses they could have a printed list of more complex treasure to collect. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration if you need ideas!
Another simple (free) thing to do is look into the sky; lie down on a picnic rug, on your back and just look into the sky, what do you see? Clouds make amazing pictures, trees – have they got leaves, bare branches, it’s a great way to communicate with children of all ages. Can you see any birds or planes – where do you think they might be going?
We have a great range of toys to use outside, obviously we have plenty of skipping ropes, pocket kites and pogo sticks but we also have a new Bug Viewer – a brilliant way to get up close & personal to your favourite creepy crawlies and observe how they live, an Explorer Head Torch – a must for camping (or reading in bed!), or a Den Kit, Geosafari Compass Binoculars and Night Mission Goggles, all perfect for adventuring!
The Live Butterfly Garden, Stick Insect Kit and Ant World are all great for exploring nature inside the home, for days when budding naturalists can’t get outside. We also have a brilliant Window Bird Feeder – fantastic for all ages, simply attach it to the outside of a window, pop some bird food in it and see who comes to feed. The large portal with one-way mirror allows you to observe birds feeding without disturbing them!
Our advice is to make the most of the seasons. Spring is a great time to plant a few seeds in pots and children can be easily persuaded to help with this – lettuce is so easy to grow, just sprinkle a few seeds on a pot of soil and in a few weeks you will harvest your first leaves, sow the seeds regularly through the summer and you will have a constant supply and (hopefully) willing helpers to harvest and eat it. And before you know it the summer will have been and gone, the autumn (and the accompanying shorter days – sigh!) – will be upon us. So put down the devices, get them outside, get them interested in nature, the environment around them – and enjoy the time together!