It’s that time of year again - school holidays have begun and the kids are at home for six glorious weeks. This is a great opportunity to spend more time together as a family, but planning six weeks’ worth of school holidays activities isn’t as easy as it sounds – especially on a budget!
Of course, some children will be happy to stay at home and play with their toys or video games. And for family time, you may just be thinking about bringing out the board games or watching a film. But this won’t be beneficial to kids’ physical or mental wellbeing - or yours for that matter! Getting outdoors can really benefit our physical and mental health. Just a simple walk can give our bodies some much needed daily exercise, while the fresh air and fresh scenery is good for the mind and can help you to feel more relaxed.
That’s why Hi-Tec Europe are urging families to get outside for the summer and enjoy some free school holidays activities together. To help make this happen, we’re sharing a two part blog with our Top 10 free school holidays activities to do as a family in the great outdoors. Don’t forget to pack the picnic!
1. Take a Geocaching treasure hunt
If you’ve got a smart phone with GPS, then geocaching is a great fun free school holidays outdoor activity. If you’ve never heard of it before, geocaching is a real life outdoor treasure hunt!
Geocaches are small waterproof boxes containing a logbook and pen, and sometimes one or more little treasures (small value items such as a badge or yoyo). A geocacher hides this at a location (usually in the countryside) and then records the coordinates of this location on a Geocaching website. Other geocachers can then use these coordinates to go searching for it. Once the geocache is found, the geocacher enters a log in the log book and re-hides the geocache in the exact same spot they found it.
Kids can also take an item from the geocache, as long as it is replaced with another item of the same of higher value – why not donate a small toy that they no longer play with?
To get started with this free school holidays activity, simply download one of the many free Geocaching apps on your iPhone or Android. Then turn on your GPS, pull on your walking boots, get outdoors and start your adventure!
2. Hold a family sports day
Get all the friends and family together and head to your local park for your very own family sports day filled with plenty of free school holiday’s activities! If you’ve got a bat and ball, play a game of Rounders (you can usually pick up plastic bat and ball sets for as little as a quid at a £1 shop!). If you don’t own any types of balls or bats, then just go for the old fashioned races – the three legged race (use laces for the leg ties), the sack race (use old pillow cases), and the egg and spoon race (we think you know what you need for this one!). You can also take a football to have a kick about, or bring the summer holiday inflatable beach ball for a game of catch.
Remember to also take a few water bottles or old T-Shirts to mark out your goal posts, Rounders bases or finish lines.
3. Go wildlife watching
To really get back to nature in the school holidays, find your local nature reserve and take the family out for a long walk to see if you can spot any wildlife. The Wildlife Trusts website manages 2,300 nature reserves across the UK, many with an array of wildlife from deer to woodpeckers to seals depending on the location. Explore the website to find nature reserves in your local area and see what habitats and species you can discover. Then enjoy a day outdoors with the kids trying to spot the various wildlife while also enjoying the countryside or coastal scenery on a relaxing walk.
4. Hit the beach
If you’re lucky enough to live near the coast then kid’s school holidays are the perfect time to head to the beach. Pack a picnic, take a blanket, blow up the beach ball and invite the whole family. Beach days out can be a lot of fun for everyone with plenty of free school holidays activities to keep the kids occupied. From building sandcastles and digging holes to crab fishing or paddling in the sea. You could also play a game of volleyball or take a coastal walk for added exercise to get your full dose of sea air.
5. Get green fingers with gardening
Kids often like to get dirty, so getting muddy should certainly keep them entertained – especially when there’s worms to be found! And as most adults know, gardening can be hard work, so this is still a great option to give the kids some exercise and fresh air.
The BBC has plenty of great tips and advice on gardening with the kids.
Don’t have a garden? Why not ask family and friends if they’d like some gardening done or see if there’s any options to volunteer in the local community? We think grandparents and elderly neighbour in particular would love some free school holidays gardening done!
Remember, the great outdoors starts right on your doorstep, and it’s always free for the whole family. So make the most of it! Keep an eye out for Part 2 of our Top 10 Free School Holidays Activities blog next week with more ideas for outdoors summers fun.
Need some new outdoors footwear for summer? Take a look at our Spring Summer Collection for men, women and kids.