It seems a shame to be cooped up when the weather is nice – but keeping children entertained outdoors on sunny days can be costly, so below we’ve listed a few free activities that can be adapted to suit your child’s age and needs.
Exploring outside when the weather is good is always a great way to get some fresh air and sunshine and can be adapted to your surroundings. A ‘Treasure Hunt’ can also vary wildly, so while you could plant treasure for your children to find around your garden, you can also venture further afield and make a tick list of things to discover such as a yellow flower, an interestingly shaped twig or three different kinds of leaves. You can also find different textures to feel, or insects to spot or even collect treasures to turn into artwork at home on a day when the weather isn’t as nice.
Whether you go to the beach, forest, nature reserve or only venture as far as your own back garden, a picnic is always a fun way to spend time outdoors when it’s sunny, especially if you invite a few friends to join you. If possible, get your children involved in making or preparing the food and drinks, then all you need to do is grab their hats, any bibs and wipes needed along with an extra-large blanket and some factor 50 and you’re ready to go – even if you’re only going as far as your own back yard!
Cheap chunky chalks are a great way to let your little artist loose on your outdoor walls and paving stones, without risking your indoor furniture. If you are brave enough, let them get messy with water-based paints outdoors, whether they just enjoy the feeling of squidgy, gloopy, paint on their hands, help you create some handprint pieces to frame, paint rocks or create a fridge masterpiece, it’s an enjoyable way to spend a few hours, which works whether you have just one child to entertain or several.
Play is a great way for children to develop motor skills, learn about cause and effect and boost their confidence, so whether it’s you and your child or you’re with a group of friends, just play in the fresh air with games designed to meet your child’s needs. This could be making music with pans to bang and containers of rice to shake, practice catching a soft ball, sorting piles of different objects into colours or even getting them to wash the dolls hair or clean their toy car collection with lots of soapy water.
Blowing bubbles and popping them, the feel of jelly or shaving cream between your fingers, the shapes and textures of different leaves, crunchy cereal, popcorn, bare feet on sand and grass – and bowls of water to splash in as you clean up – these are all great for sensory input and your garden is the ideal place. As well as textures you can add in scents too, think oranges, lemons, apples or coconut – which your child may also be able to sample too. If that’s not for you, collect different flower they can smell, and you can even go out after the lawn has been mown for the aroma of freshly cut grass. By using what you have readily available around you home means it doesn’t have to cost a penny either.
You can also apply to our sensory toy service to keep your child entertained this summer – just click here to find out more