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Outdoor Activities to Keep your Kids Busy this Summer

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on

School holidays are fast approaching and I bet, like me, many of you are thinking how you are going to keep them entertained over their long summer break?  This weekend we went to a friends party, she had invited her family and friends and hired Whitwell Hall Country Centre in Norfolk.  Some people camped and many stayed in the dorm rooms full of bunk beds.  It was a weekend filled with fun, laughter, fantastic company and tech free.  Not once did any of the children ask to watch TV, play video games or be inside, they spent the weekend, running, playing traditional games such as rounders, musical chairs and a huge pass the parcel, all the adults also joined in the games making it a truly family weekend.  Keeping our children entertained this summer should be about keeping them outdoors and we have found a fantastic range of outdoor activities which you can enjoy together, but they will also have fun with on their own. Who would have thought that inventing a hoop of plastic would cause such a timeless toy.  This Hula Hoop is slightly different as it comes in 8 separate pieces that slot into place and is adjustable in size. Each individual piece is brightly coloured so you can pick and choose which pieces go in order to create your very own, unique hula hoop.   So the challenge is on, who can do the most complete circles this summer, my money is on the kids! [caption id="attachment_5672" align="aligncenter" width="620"]he Slot Together Hula Hoop,£5.99 The Gift Oasis he Slot Together Hula Hoop, The Gift Oasis £5.99[/caption] A little piece of nostalgia now, remember back to your school sports days?  One of the most popular races was always the sack race, now you can host your own sports day in your garden with this fantastic kit. [caption id="attachment_5663" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Sack Race Kit, £20.00 Aspace Sack Race Kit, Aspace £20.00[/caption] In a good way our British weather is perfect for flying kites, this one has been designed for children of all ages and takes only a couple of minutes to assemble. [caption id="attachment_5665" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Pilot Kite, Clare Loves £17.50 Pilot Kite, Clare Loves £17.50[/caption] For older kids why not let them express their artistic side with a bit of graffiti.  Before you start panicking, this non-permanent chalk paint comes in a spray can and can easily be removed.  Why not paint a large piece of hardboard black, and allow them to bring their artistic visions to life, although their masterpiece may not be around for very long. Art [caption id="attachment_5666" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Chalk Spray Can, £24.01 Chalk Spray Can, £24.01[/caption] Younger children will also be able to create temporary works of art on this drawing mat with washable felt tip pens.  Not only is it a colour mat, they can also play dot-to-dot, noughts and crosses, snakes and ladders and other dice games, all they will need is refreshments. [caption id="attachment_5667" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Fun & Games Double Sided Activity Play Mat For Children, Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous £24.00 Fun & Games Double Sided Activity Play Mat For Children, Gift Wrapped & Gorgeous £24.00[/caption] Now one of the toys on offer for the children this weekend was this stomp rocket.  This simple toy proved a huge hit as they attempted to get it higher than the child before them and then racing to find the rockets after they had landed.  Now trust me these rockets can go unbelievably high, so I would suggest you play with this in a park if you have a small garden, unless you have very understanding neighbours. [caption id="attachment_5656" align="aligncenter" width="449"]Original Stomp Rocket, Amazon £9.02 Original Stomp Rocket, Amazon £9.02[/caption] Come on admit it, you love a game of Jenga!  Fantastic fun for all the family and even more so when the kids have gone to bed and you bring out your competitive side. [caption id="attachment_5675" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Giant Wooden Tower Garden Game, Not on the High Street £25.00 Giant Wooden Tower Garden Game, Not on the High Street £25.00[/caption] Imaginative play is what a child is all about, so treat them to some toys which will allow them to explore, discover and go on incredible adventures.  Whether they are a cowboy or this teepee tent turns into a space ship, or a princess castle, you know they will enjoy letting their imaginations run wild [caption id="attachment_5670" align="aligncenter" width="620"] Cowboy Print Teepee, Mini Eden £86.00 Cowboy Print Teepee, Mini Eden £86.00[/caption] Do you remember swinging on a monkey swing over a stream or in the woods?  If you have a garden with a tree, no need for a fancy garden play set, your children will have as much fun as you did on this carefully designed and beautifully crafted wood & rope swing. There’s even a pull loop under the seat for the brave!  A timeless activity that your whole family will treasure. [caption id="attachment_5664" align="aligncenter" width="451"]Oak & Rope Monkey Swing, Clare Loves £135.00 Oak & Rope Monkey Swing, Clare Loves £135.00[/caption] Any mini Bear Grylls in your house?  They will love this Real Adventure den kit with real tools, camouflage tarpaulin, groundsheet, mug, face paint, rope, tent pegs and a green haversack bag to carry it all, everything they need to set off on their adventures. [caption id="attachment_5662" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Original Real Adventure Den Kit, Not on the High Street £34.95 Original Real Adventure Den Kit, Not on the High Street £34.95[/caption] Ball games often are the most popular of garden entertainment.  We had a game of rounders this weekend, parents and children alike and it really doesn't matter who wins, the real fun is just playing. [caption id="attachment_5659" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Rounders Set, Laura Ashley (Was £18.00) Now £14.40 Rounders Set, Laura Ashley (Was £18.00) Now £14.40[/caption] My son loves a game that  he can also enhance with his own creations, this is certainly one of those.  I can imagine him raiding our recycling bin for yoghurt pots and toilet rolls to design a bespoke crazy gold course that will be the envy of his friends. [caption id="attachment_5660" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Children's Crazy Golf Set, John Lewis £8.00 Children's Crazy Golf Set, John Lewis £8.00[/caption] Wimbledon fever will be shortly upon us and your children may want to have a go for themselves.  This is great for a starter set which you can have in your back garden, what's more its multi-purpose as they will be able to play Tennis, Badminton and Volleyball in this 3 in 1 set.  Game, set and match! [caption id="attachment_5658" align="aligncenter" width="620"]3 in 1 Tennis, Badminton and Volleyball Set, Smyths Toys (Was £39.99) Now £29.99 3 in 1 Tennis, Badminton and Volleyball Set, Smyths Toys (Was £39.99) Now £29.99[/caption] I'm not ashamed to admit that Swingball freaked me out as a child, I not sure whether it was the game itself or the power and speed my sister would hit it back at me.  It's a great 'play anywhere' game and could easily be packed up and taken with you on day trips. [caption id="attachment_5657" align="aligncenter" width="620"]All Surface Swingball, Toys R Us £18.75 All Surface Swingball, Toys R Us £18.75[/caption] I couldn't end without having a luxury activity for your garden, one which your kids will idolize you for and which we as parents will look on in envy.  There is no doubt your children will have endless fun on this Surf ‘n’ Slide, but for those thinking of stealing a go, the maximum weight is 80kg. [caption id="attachment_5661" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Surf 'n' Slide, John Lewis £75.00 Surf 'n' Slide, John Lewis £75.00[/caption]  

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