It’s that time of year when everyone is thinking about new years resolutions, goals for the year ahead and how you want life to be different this year.
If you want to get yourself and your kids outdoors and active more this summer and this year, here’s some practical, achievable simple ideas that will help you make this a part of your everyday lifestyle (rather than another new years resolution that is too hard to keep!).
1. Write a list of the outdoor activities you’d love to do
Sit down as a family and write down a list of outdoors activities you love or that you’d like to do this year. Don’t just think about them – take the time to actually write them down, and get input from everyone.
Like any good brainstorming, it doesn’t matter how crazy the ideas are – hopefully you’ll end up with some that are simple weekday afternoon activities like playing at the park or playing in sprinklers in the backyard, and others that take more time and organising, like a weekend away camping; hiring or borrowing kayaks, bikes or stand up paddle boards; or going to stay with a friend or extended family near the beach, countryside or in the mountains.
2. Refer to your list regularly
When you’re planning what to do on the weekend, or when you hear ‘I’m bored’, take a look at the list. Stick the list up on a pinboard or on the inside of the pantry door, so that you can refer to it to come up with an idea for an outdoors adventurous activity throughout the year.
We find it helps to categorise the ideas into when you can do them or how long they will take. For example, put them into columns of things that you can do in half an hour, half a day, or a full weekend. This way, it’s easy to pick an activity that is achievable on a weekday afternoon from the half hour list, or something more ambitious over the summer holidays.
3. Go outside every day
Plan simple outdoors activity and outdoor play into your days. An easy way to do this is by doing everyday routine activities outside.
- Reading a book to your child? Sit on the grass outside together.
- Time for lunch? Have a picnic in the backyard. Eat icypoles or snacks outside (easier clean up is a bonus!).
- Do homework or drawing outside.
- Think about which toys or activities your kids like to do that you could do outside instead of inside, or simple backyard ideas that could make it more enticing to be outside, like a blow up pool, sand and water table, chalk board, bikes or bubbles.
- If you're doing something outside (like gardening, planting or picking veggies, or playing cricket), involve the kids too.
- If you live close to your kids school, or a playgroup or park, try walking there instead of driving.
4. Make time for more adventurous outdoor activity each week or each month.
These may be the ones on your list that would take a half day or a whole weekend. Take some time each weekend to do something you enjoy outside.
Have a look at your calendar for the year and block out a couple of weekends to go away camping (if you’re into that), to go away for a weekend to a mountain bike park (Derby is on our list this year!), or to hire an Airbnb unit near the beach (or stay at a friend’s holiday house, or even try a house swap). If you book it in in advance and block out the time, you’ll make sure it happens even when life gets busy. Even better if you can find another family to go with you too.
5. Be ready for spontaneous outdoor adventures
My husband laughs at me when I ask ‘what shoes should I wear’ when we’re going somewhere, but really I’m asking “is there some possibility we may want to go for a hike / kick a soccer ball around / go rock hopping, and will I be able to do that in what I’m wearing”. It’s frustrating for you and your kids, if you get somewhere and they want to kick a ball around, play in the river, run under the water feature, climb that amazing tree, or roll down that rolling grassy bank, but they’re wearing a fragile white dress or impractical shoes.
Wild Island Apparel’s kids clothing is designed with all that in mind, and is perfect for the spontaneous everyday adventure, being practical, durable, stylish and machine washable. Chose practical clothes and shoes for kids to wear that are ready for adventures. Leave a bag in the car with a spare change of clothes for kids, sunscreen, water bottle and some non perishable snacks for those ‘just in case’ times so you can explore outside, or stay longer.
It can also be frustrating if it cools down or starts raining, and the kids don’t have the right gear with them to be able to keep playing outside. Throw one of Wild Island Apparel’s windswept pullover and Rainseeker Jacket in the car and you’ll be ready for any adventure even when the weather changes.
6. Make it fun
When you do go outdoors or on adventures, try to make it enjoyable for yourself and your children. Starting with having input from everyone as to the types of activities you’re like to try helps. Other tips include:
Take a backpack of supplies – snacks, drink bottles, spare nappies or spare clothes, maybe a picnic blanket or some basic open ended toys to play with.
Involve friends if you can. Invite friends of yours that have similar age kids, or offer for older kids to invite one of their friends along on the adventure with you.
Come up with some simple activities to play or things to talk about while you’re out walking or playing. If you’re out for a walk, get kids to notice the sounds and sights and smells around them by playing eye spy or trying a nature scavenger hunt.
7. Start small
Don’t try to do everything. This is the main problem people come up against with New Years resolutions, or when they are trying to change or create a habit. They pick something that’s too ambitious, or they try to do too many things at once. Pick something small that feels achievable (even laughably easy), build it into your daily or weekly routine, and do it consistently for at least a month before adding something else.
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If you’re interested in buying some kids clothes that inspire outdoor adventures and are ready for spontaneous outdoor active play, shop the Wild Island Apparel range now (go to Shop Now in the menu).