Leave your children out in the cold

So after a week of white, we’re promised yet more snowfall tonight. This brings another possibility that my three and five-year-old will again be stuck at home with school and pre-school cancelled. 

Whilst this is testing my sanity, patience and will to live, it does have one bonus.  Children all over the country are actively volunteering to go outside.

Snow guarantees children outside

Snow guarantees children outside

What I’m wondering is, how do we get them to continue outdoor pursuits when the snow eventually melts? Below is my starter for 10 (or 15)

  1. Hold a treasure hunt – why leave it until Easter
  2. Send them out looking for animal tracks – you can even memorialise one or two in plaster castes
  3. Devise an obstacle course – nothing like the competitive spirit to get my ‘must win at all costs’ daughter outside
  4. Make a spotters sheet – you can use a digital camera and print out things they have to find in their own back garden
  5. Send them out with crayons and paper to collect as many different rubbings as you can – they can then paste them into their gardening scrapbooks
  6. Make a list for a scavenger hunt
  7. Climb a tree
  8. Blow some bubbles
  9. Sink a trampoline and watch them bounce in all weathers
  10. Invest in a playhouse and let them decorate it
  11. Weave your own birds nests from twigs
  12. Make ‘magic mixtures’ – sand, dirt, stones, really anything – add water and stir – it’s disgusting but strangely compelling for the under 10s
  13. Make a bird watching tee-pee from some long poles or canes and some camouflage netting
  14. Go on a mini beast hunt
  15. Hang some homemade bird feeders in trees

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Filed under The active children's garden

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