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Get outdoors for fun with the kids

A new survey has revealed that parents are worried that the traditional outdoor games they grew up playing face extinction in the 21st century because of a rise in the number of indoor activities, such as video gaming. The research found that 60 per cent of parents asked blamed themselves for being lazy when it comes to playing outdoors with their children – and most thought they should spend more time getting outdoors and having fun. More than two-thirds of respondents in the Capri-Sun study also believe that parents should take responsibility for encouraging their children to exercise, rather than looking to other places of people to blame for childhood inactivity. An exercise expert said: “Regular outdoor play makes children healthier and happier – both physically and emotionally. Added to this, outdoor activities, such as tree climbing and den building, encourage important life skills, including negotiation, co-operation, problem solving and risk management. "And when parents value the outdoor environment children learn to value it, too. Parents who make the time to get involved in fun outdoor play with their child enjoy this shared experience.”

Guide to having more fun outdoors with your kids

British bulldog: Who remembers playing this game as a child? You’ll need a group of people, divided into two teams. While one team lines up as the “barrier” the other team must try to make their way from an appointed start line to the finish line. The barrier team must try to stop this happening by "capturing" the other team. Build a den: Gather useful itesm from the garage and shed and take a few things from indoors that you do not mind getting mucky, such as old sheets and blankets, and then get creative. A den can be made against a fence, hanging over a tree or between trees. If you have a local woodland, head there for more den building opportunities. Make mud pies: The ingredients include mud and water. You then round the mixture with your hands and leave them to dry on patio stones of flat fence posts.What's the point? It's so much fun! 50:50: While one person counts to 50 the other people run and hide. This is a version of hide and seek. The task is then to find all the hidden people. Explore rockpools: If you are lucky enough to live near the beach there is no excuse for not enjoying outdoors play. Rockpooling will keep children and adults absorbed for hours. Count and identify all the different species of sea creatures that you can find. But remember to be careful not to damage the creatures and always return them to the place you found them. It’s a knockout!: If you remember the TV show, It’s a Knockout, you’ll know what this outdoor game is all about. Let your imagination go wild as you build an obstacle course that your children will then need to race around. Ideas include  hopscotch, rope races, throw a ball in a bucket, basket ball etc. Go fly a kite: You could make your own kite or buy a cheap one and find a windy place in a local park. Flying a kite is lots of fun for kids – and children. Hike and camp: You don’t need to go far for this adventure – and it could even include a hike around your neighbourhood or local park followed by a camping adventure in the back garden. The aim is to have fun, get some walking exercise and then enjoy camping out. Go the whole hog and build a campfire for toasting marshmallows!  

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