10 fun ways to keep the kids entertained outdoors over the Easter break
April has arrived.
And the Easter break is around the corner.
We are still waiting on that glorious heatwave we had there to return to us again, but in the meantime, we guess we have to just settle for the normal April weather.
A bit of sun. Some rain. And plenty of puddles. Green parks, the beach, the woods – in other words; everything you need to have some great outdoors time and plenty of adventures with your kids.
Hailing from Scandinavia myself, I'll be the first to admit I am all about the benefits of outdoor play for kids. It can literally do wonders, not only for their general health and fitness – but also for their mood, their mental health, their energy and their imagination.
Want to encourage your little ones to spend more time outdoors this spring? Here are 10 easy outdoor activity ideas the whole family will enjoy getting up to:
INTO THE WOODS…
1. Woodland Walks
Ireland has so many wooded areas that are easily accessible and free of charge to enter. Why not head off with the kids to explore the one that’s closest to you. We like the ones that have a looped walk.
Stop at the map at the entrance to the woods to let the kids plot your route and discover the way out. Many of the walks are colour coded which is a great way to build up their confidence and let them practice their reading and colours along the way.
2. Nature Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of some of the nature items found in Irish woodlands. From acorns to pinecones, daisies to daffodils, be as creative and adventurous as you wish and let the kids find as many items as they can.
Consider giving each kid a little backpack or small bag to collect their treasures in.
3. Champion of the Woods
Pick three of the wooded areas you like to visit the most and take a scavenger hunt list with you to each one. Whichever wooded area the kids can find the most scavenger items in wins the ‘Woodland Champion’ prize.
This activity can go on for a few weeks and is a great way to get the kids out of the house when they have extended time off.
4. Beach Fun
Beaches are always somewhere the kids are guaranteed to find endless hours of fun. Never mind if it is still too cold to swim, they will love to paddle on the shoreline, build sandcastles, collect seashells or even skim stones along the waves.
Seek out beaches when the tide is out so you can discover what is in the rockpools. This may take a little bit of research on your behalf but the options are endless.
Depending on where you go you can expect the kids to find rockfish, shellfish, crabs, starfish and maybe even some shrimp.
6. Scavenger Hunt by the Sea
A beach-themed scavenger hunt is also enjoyable. Get the kids hunting for as many different seashells as they can find, different sized rocks and even different shaped seaweed. We have a collection of pebbles at home from all of the beaches we have visited over the years.
7. Garden Games
You don’t always have to travel, simply get out into the garden after the rain for some unlimited fun.
While the ground is still wet, encourage the children to explore - you can even search for ladybirds and caterpillars to make the adventure all the more exciting! Use a magnifying glass to see what little creatures you uncover.
8. Marshy Meadows
If you live near fields or marshland, this one is ideal. One of my favourite activities as a child was to find a large pond with frogspawn. We would then visit every week or so and watch them turn into tadpoles and then into frogs.
Most cities now have large parks that are geared towards kids, with playgrounds suitable for lots of different ages.
Know that local playground that is busy on sunny days? Why not take them there on a wet day?
10. Snap Happy
Finally, if you have none of the above available to you, you can still encourage your kids to get outside.
Consider buying each child a disposable camera – they are inexpensive. Create a photo scavenger hunt whether it’s an item beginning with L or something yellow. Get outside with your list and mini photographers to explore.
Then, when you are finished, get the photos printed and make a scrapbook of their adventure to get a second day of activity.