Turn those square eyed TV monsters into wide-eyed wandering explorers
The weather is getting colder, the hours of daylight are getting shorter but these aren’t reasons to stay indoors this half term. Spending family time outdoors when young can kickstart a lifelong love for adventure. It’s easier in summer, so here are a few tips for the autumn months to try.
1. Explore a story
Keeping things interesting is the best way to get the kids excited about time outdoors. Do a little research in your chosen area, find an interesting story attached to a location whether it’s true or not it’s always exciting to tell the story while you walk. Castles, caves, beaches can all make for exciting locations when you know the myths and stories that surround them.
2. Include friends
It might seem daunting, taking more than your own kids outdoors, but it’s worth it as the time will pass quicker and be more enjoyable for kids with a friend involved, especially if you’re playing games along the way.
3. Get creative with nature
Sticks, leaves, pine cones can all be useful for creating ‘big’ artwork in the garden, or collect pieces of nature to stick to a piece of paper and create an autumn collage.
4. Collect Leaves
Autumn is a stunning array of colours, how many different colour leaves can you find on your nature walk?
5. Conquer Conkers
All parents know how much they enjoyed conkers as a child, help the kids make neighbourhood beating conkers. Why not set up your own tournament for a prize, or play for fun.
6. Catch a vacant spider web
With Halloween around the corner, can you catch a real spider web? Make sure there are no spiders on the web before doing this. For full instructions click here.
7. Learn about the weather
The ever-changing British weather in autumn is a fantastic time to learn about the weather. The folks over at Netmums have a wonderful page of ideas related to weather learning with children, and some fun activities to try out.
8. Give nature a home
The RSPB are currently offering packs filled with ideas for how you can help build nature a home in your own back garden. Whether insects, frogs, birds or hedghogs, kids will be enthused over building a home for a small animal. They can also check up on the home from the safety of the house to keep track of anything living there. For info on how to get your pack, click here.
9. Family bike rides
Riding a bike in a group makes everyone have more fun, there’s the quiet competitive edge, there’s heading out exploring with family and friends. As the weather gets a little cooler, there’s no better time to ride, than autumn. Check for trails local to you, or head out to a national park. Let the kids pack their own bag and lead the way a safe distance in front. Make sure a helmet is worn though, fallen leaves can be slippy on wetter days.
If you’re looking for ideas, check out our article: 15 family-friendly cycle rides in the UK
10. Fly a kit
It’s a classic, and as I write this i’m trying not to break into the Mary Poppins song, but flying a kite is a relatively cheap and fun activity for anybody, and autumn makes for the perfect time to do it.
11. Blackberry Picking
Give the children their own containers and see how many they can collect (it helps if you like Blackberries of course). The blackberry is in season and tasting great, a blackberry crumble makes for a fantastic weekend dessert.
12. Wildlife walk
Most children have a natural intrigue when it comes to animals and wildlife, why not head out on a nature walk with a pad an pen and see how many you can find? Separate the animals into groups of mammals, insects etc and find out more about each animal when you get home.
13. Skimming stones
Teach the little ones how to skim stones at the local lake or river, how many skips can they make?
14. Go Climbing
Climbing is fun at any age, whether it’s climbing trees, heading to an indoor climbing centre or even climbing over rocks while out on a walk. Climbing adds real adventure to any walk and will keep things fun for kids.
15. Visit a local farm
Local farms that accept visitors will often be a great place to visit animals, buy local produce or wander around getting muddy in your wellies. A good choice for a short walk for smaller children.
There we have 15 ideas to get you started, whatever you do this October half term (or throughout autumn) don’t think you have to do it all indoors. Wrap up warm and head out exploring, there is plenty to see as the seasons turn.
Got any more outdoor ideas for autumn? Let us know in the comments below.