In a world where video games and Netflix are King, it can be tricky getting the kids out and about into the great outdoors as much as we’d like to. The key? Planning a super fun day out that keeps them active at the same time. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite sports and activities that’ll help you do just that. Best of all? You don’t need a huge budget. Some of these ideas are completely free, so there’s something for everyone in store.
It’s one of the most adrenaline-inducing activities out there. Just be well prepared for cries of “Again, again!” if you opt for a day out that involves zip-lining. Your little ones will be in safe hands as they’re strapped into a special harness by the experts, and guided on an exhilarating journey through the trees. And where there’s zip-lining, there’s usually other awesome activities to try, such as clambering over nets and wriggling through tunnels. It’s a win-win.
Kids love swimming, and you’ve got a huge choice of days out that incorporate it. Head for the beach and combine swimming in the sea with sandcastle-building. Try a nearby water park and spend the day shooting down waterslides or splashing around by the fountains and tipping buckets. Or head to your local pool to race each other from end to end.
Dancing doesn’t get enough credit when it comes to keeping fit, and there’s so much choice with it, too. It works your entire body, it’s really good for the heart, it greatly improves balance and coordination. And it’ll get your little ones feeling nice and strong. Lastly? Just sit back and watch what it’ll do for their confidence! Ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, ballroom – the world’s your oyster! If dancing isn’t striking the right chord, Zumba is a fun choice – it’s a mix between aerobics and Latin dancing. Get ready to work up a sweat!
Soccer and golf are so 2019 – just ask the kids. The latest sport everyone’s talking about is footgolf – a fun amalgamation of the traditional two favorites. Head for your nearest velvety greens and enjoy the sunshine. The aim of the game? To get your soccer ball putted in a hole with as few kicks of the ball as possible. Oh, and not to worry – the holes are big enough for a soccer ball! It’s great exercise, loads of fun, and would be an especially good choice for a kids’ birthday party if you’re stuck for inspiration.
Homemade obstacle course
On a budget? Create an obstacle course for the entire family in your garden or at a local park. You can get creative here, using things like buckets or plants to mark out different zones, or incorporate a waterpark-esque challenge with the likes of hoses and paddling pools. Up the ante with fancy dress, too – you could create a Clown Obstacle Course, for example, or an ultra-sophisticated Spy School.
Whether it’s dog walking in your local neighborhood, or volunteering at a local shelter – never underestimate the joy that animal interaction can bring to children. Getting out of the house? Tick. Learning? Check. Having a great time? You bet. If you can afford a day at the zoo, this is another fantastic option. They’ll get up-close to creatures they may never have encountered before, stretch their legs and pick up new facts and figures along the way.
Visit your local park
Another brilliant choice if you’re on a budget – the humble park puts the biggest of smiles on kids’ faces. Whether they’re kicking their feet skywards on the swings or shooting down the slide. Not only is it the ideal place for tots to blow off some steam, but it’s also a great place to meet other parents. The bonus? There’s usually an ice-cream truck nearby.
A camping trip
A camping trip is a great way to bond with your kids and keep them active at the same time. From setting up the tent and surrounding area to long hikes through the woods, it’s a double-coup for being out in the great outdoors and learning some real-life skills! And when they’re done with the walks and the outdoor games? You can reward them with hot dogs and s’mores. It doesn’t get better than that, right?
If you can afford it, the Scouts is a brilliant thing to get your kids involved in. For starters, camping trips like our suggestion above are a regular occurrence. The difference? You’ll get to relax at home while they’re out having fun with adults you trust! The Scouts Association exists to teach lifelong skills, build confidence and improve communication. Supporters and ex-members maintain you’ll make friends for life, grow into happier adults and keep active.
Traditional sports races
Anyone up for an egg and spoon race? The oldies are always the goldies, and setting up your garden or a nearby meadow for some good old-fashioned sports day fun is a great way to get the kids outdoors with their friends or family. The hay sack race, the hula hoop pass, and the three-legged relay are a few of our favorites. Dress up as different countries or characters for ultimate fun points.
Cycling is arguably one of the best ways to explore the outdoors. As you’re speeding through country lanes with the wind in your hair, you’ll be burning calories, gaining muscle and losing weight all at the same time. Wherever you can and when it’s safe to do so, encourage your kids to cycle instead of driving them from A to B in the car.
Combine swimming with sports such as surfing or wakeboarding. And it has to be said, that while being in the water is popular with lots of kids, others just might prefer whizzing across the top of the water instead. If that’s the case with your little ones, you could explore kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding. And that’s only naming a few!