What's so great about the great outdoors? Well at the moment it’s the only place where we can meet our friends so that’s a big plus!
As well as the obvious appeals - the fresh air, breathtaking scenery, and the company of other members of the animal kingdom - it's the wonderful puzzles and exciting challenges of outdoor living. All people, particularly the young ones, enjoy puzzles and challenges, and life out of doors presents them at every turn. From the simple and almost intuitive conundrums, like tackling an overgrowth of undergrowth and an obstacle course of fallen trees and puddles, to the character building feats of lighting fires with wet firewood.
Here are a few ideas that you can do outdoors.
Summertime gives us great views of our local star, the Sun, but if you stay up late then you can take advantage of the warm summer nights to gaze up at the more distant stars too. These are millions of times further from us than the Sun, the light from some taking hundreds of years to reach us.
For those too young to stay up until it’s dark, why not try Cloud Shape Spotting? On a spring/summer day lie back and look up into the fluffy clouds and see what shapes you can see.
Get out for a walk with friends
Lest walk is a free app with loads of local walks for all abilities. Its really easy to navigate and tells you how long each walk will last and facilities en route
Grow your own vegetables
This is a fun and easy activity to get your children into the fresh air and learn about food in any size garden with a tasty reward. All you need for perfect veg are pots or grow bags and a sunny area in the garden or greenhouse. Grow from seed under cover in early spring or buy plants from our local garden centres and nurseries in the summer.
Lots of shops sell little fishing nets (great for safely catching butterflies too!), so get on down to the river. Our favourite is the stream at Wheathampstead where you can paddle in the beautifully clear and shallow water and catch little fish.
Geocaching is a fantastic hobby to get into. It's creative, sociable and provides some much needed fresh air! If you're unfamiliar with what geocaching is, our ultimate guide will tell you everything you need to know. Now were able to get out and about a bit more and meet friends, geocaching is a great activity.
Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
Compile a list of natural objects to find eg a fir cone, a feather, something spiky, something soft etc - or combine digital technology & time outside & set your teams a 'photography challenge' on their phones or iPads - something blue, something in the air etc.
Build a Den
Nothing beats building a den - whether using natural materials or tarps and string
Step outside and re-discover a world of fun and adventure with Treasure Trails this summer. Solve the clues and uncover the secrets with one of more than 1,200 self-guided adventure trails across the UK.
Make Nature Paints and Perfumes
Crushing blackberries, mud, clay, charcoal or petals and adding a little water will give you natural paints & dyes and who remembers that rose perfume made from rose petals and water? You can even make some paint brushes by tying small pieces of fir, feather, leaves or other woodland finds to the end of a stick!
Lots of NT venues are reopening now – the parks and gardens to start with but there is always lots of open space and a years’ worth of fun to be had with a family membership
Get to know a Tree
Lay a piece of paper up against the tree bark and colour over the paper with wax crayons - leaving the impressions of the bark on your paper
Become an artist
Making natural art - Using leaves, twigs and other woodland finds, create a beautiful 'painting' with collected materials