Getting outdoors is good for the soul. But when it comes to family days out, they’re not always good for the bank balance. Here are 10 fun family activities for when you’re looking to enjoy more time in nature without spending:
1. Find a stream and play Pooh sticks
Named after the game played by Winnie the Pooh, this game involves the family each picking a stick and dropping it into a stream at the same time (usually from a bridge), then watching the sticks race! A very simple way to add a little competition and excitement to a countryside wander.
2. Let your kids lead the way on an adventure walk
If you want to mix up how you do your day outdoors, why not let your children take charge? Whether you head to a new village, pick a national park or head to a countryside heritage site – when you get there, give your children permission to lead the explorations! Which route will they take? Will you end up taking a loop or get lost in the woods? Just make sure you have Google map access to guide yourself back if you need it!
3. Take a nature scavenger hunt
If your children have lost their enthusiasm for getting outdoors, you can easily gamify your trip by taking a nature scavenger hunt. Create your own by doodling out natural finds you want your child to look out for or download a ready-made free nature scavenger hunt from the Cotswold Baby Co.
4. Hold a family photo shoot
If you want to do something different on your countryside explorations (and create a keepsake while you’re at it) try a family photo shoot. Decide on a picturesque venue, dress for the season, and head there with your camera or smartphone. Prepare yourself for a session of silliness, it should be more about having fun than capturing Instagram-perfect shots. Who can strike the funniest pose? Who can find the most amazing countryside backdrop? And can you set the auto capture to get a snap where everyone is smiling?!
5. Pack a sketchbook and be artists
For another creative challenge for all the family, pack everyone a sketchbook and art materials then find a pretty spot to sit and capture what you see. Watercolours, pens, pencils or oil pastels are good options for on-the-go.
6. Go foraging
Foraging is the act of searching for and collecting natural edible finds out in the wild. A skill we would all benefit from and yet have become very disconnected from as a society. Teach your children the delights of finding their own food and how to spot what is safe to eat and what is not. This is a great site to help. And yes something as simple as picking blackberries counts as foraging!
7. Have a picnic
Sometimes simple activities are the best. Don’t forget the joy of packing a picnic and sitting together as a family to the backdrop of birdsong and bug spotting. You don’t need to spend anything extra or do anything fancy, just take your usual lunch outdoors. Even having an afternoon snack outside on a picnic can be novel!
8. Stop for a woodland hot chocolate
Another fun way to make a countryside ramble more exciting? Bring a surprise flask of hot chocolate and some marshmallows. It will save you on a coffee shop or service station stop and give your children an unexpected treat.
9. Try stargazing
For something else a bit different, get outdoors in the evening with a stargazing trip. Drive out into the sticks for the clearest skies, wrap up warm, and see what you can spot. If you’re not up on your constellations, this app is helpful.
10. Follow a new cycle route
There’s so much to see in the countryside, but with little ones, there’s always the chance of tired legs on long walks. Instead, pack a bike and explore a new cycle route so you can explore at speed! The National Cycle Network site is a good place to find one near you.
This article was written by the Cotswold Baby Co an online lifestyle store celebrating outdoor family fun. Head to their website to browse their delightful children’s farm-themed clothes and accessories for ages 0-5 years.