52 free ideas to get you outside
January! The time of year for resolutions, goal-setting and general life improvement. The trouble is, despite knowing our resolutions are good for us, research suggests 80% have failed by February. Sticking to new habits is hard.
When it comes to being outdoors with your kids more, the evidence is clear. Being outside is good for all of us: it improves our mental wellbeing, our physical health, our connection with nature and our creativity.
But often, busy lives mean that outdoor time falls to the bottom of the pile, especially when the weather is looking grotty.
So we recommend the outdoors inspiration jar. A jar full of simple, free activities you can do outside. Something that costs you little in time or money and gets you outside together to have fun. Something to look forward to.
You can use this however you like – maybe decide to do an activity once a week, at a specified time (after school on Fridays, on Sunday afternoons, for example).
Or just take an idea from the jar whenever you’re feeling at a loose end, have cabin fever and think a bit of fresh air will be in everyone’s best interests.
Here are 52 ideas to get you going:
1. play hide and seek
2. create chalk art on the pavement
3. climb a tree
4. try to spot and identify three different types of bird
5. make mud pies
6. pick up three pieces of litter (and reward yourselves after)
7. play pooh sticks (in a big puddle if you can’t find anywhere else)
8. paint a fence with water
9. go to the playground
10. have a treasure hunt
11. identify five sounds and three smells outside
12. plant a seed (if it’s winter plant garlic or spinach in pots)
13. find seven green things
14. paint stones
15. create mosaic pictures out of pebbles
16. create a bug hotel
17. decorate plant pots
18. create a fairy/gnome house out of twigs, leaves and moss
19. charm some worms
20. feed the birds (seeds not bread!)
21. dig a hole as deep as you can
22. take someone’s dog for a walk (your own if you have one!)
23. treasure hunt
24. jump in puddles and get as wet as you can
25. find three different mini-beasts
26. spot shapes in clouds
27. make a den
28. stargaze (if it’s midsummer swap this for a more bedtime-friendly activity!)
29. create objects for a season table inside
30. make a journey stick
31. do leaf or bark rubbings
32. have a three-legged race
33. watch a sunrise or sunset (if it’s midsummer, swap this for a more bedtime-friendly activity!)
34. have a snail race
35. draw a plant or tree
36. read outside (in a den if need be)
37. have a picnic
38. have an adventure on wheels (cycle, scoot or something else!)
39. play catch
40. take photos of a flower or leaf
41. have an egg and spoon race
42. pretend to be rabbits and foxes and chase each other
43. spot the colours of the rainbow outside (red doors, purple coat, green grass, blue car etc)
44. build a sculpture or tower
45. play tag
46. lift a rock and see what hides underneath
47. play hopscotch
48. roll down a slope
49. create and bury a time capsule
50. pull up weeds (and reward yourselves afterwards)
51. make green dye with grass and leaves and paint
52. get as muddy as you possibly can and have a bath/shower after.
We wish you all the happiest, healthiest of years in 2018 and we look forward to hearing about your adventures!
We'd love to see your photos too, share them with us on Twitter, Facebook and or Instagram.