Hi everyone, hope you’re all enjoying the Easter holidays! It’s the second week of the school holidays now in the UK and thankfully the weather has been unusually good to us so far but as the cost of keeping the kids entertained rises and the fact that it is a two-week holiday, why not mix in some ‘free’ creative activities too.
Longer Spring days are an ideal opportunity to get out and about for a country walk and whilst you may get some initial ‘groans’, especially if you have teenage kids, there are ways to make it more enticing.
Firstly, the slight bribery of an ice-cream or some of that Easter Egg at the end will always help! But here are some other ways to make the whole process of getting them out for a walk more interesting and fun for those with little legs!
Here are my top tips.
For the really little ones, Age 8 and under:
There’s so much to see out there at the moment, up high, on the woodland floor and out in the fields too, and you can’t beat some lamb spotting for little ones!
All the suggestions above are about children (and you) using your senses fully and therefore making it a more mindful experience, and to take your time, the slower you are, the more you’ll see!
When you get home, you can then use the items collected in lots of creative ways, for example;
Colourful leaf displays always look really good and easy for little fingers to create
Another great game to play for little ones in the woods is spotting characters faces and shapes in trees or bankings. For example, we have ones that I call ‘Eyes of the woods!’ ‘Screaming pig face’, ‘Monster foot’ and ‘Baby elephant’, see below!
Spot the characters and then encourage them to make up stories about them, and then add in creatures too like squirrels, badgers, an army of ants, blue jays and robins – children can really let their imagination run wild and make up some brilliantly creative stories .
For the older ones…
I’d say it’s always worth going somewhere where older ones and teenagers can explore more physically, such as climbing trees, or making their way across a river; older children like to be more daring!
And whilst I’d normally say leave the phones at home – there are ways you can use them creatively on walks too, such as setting them a photography challenge or using them for geo -caching (basically modern-day orienteering, search for the apps).
Here are some other ideas;
This is the stuff of childhood dreams I think, it’s so good for them to get out and play creatively in nature and good for your soul and sanity too.
And finally, don’t forget the beach!…
If you are lucky enough to get to the coast this holiday, here are some other creative ways to play on the Sand, see photos below provided by my friend Clair from @asocialnature. You can basically use the beach like a giant canvas!
Mermaid tales and pebble towers, there are always great creative materials to be found on the beach!
I hope this has given you a few new creative ideas to make getting outside with the kids more fun, and less hard work for you parents, grandparents and carers, with the added bonus of when you get home, you’ll have had some fresh air and calming scenery, they will have hopefully burned off some energy, and you might just get half an hours peace and a well-earned cuppa and cake!
Please do let me know in the comments if you try any of these suggestions, and let me know how you get on!
Until next time…
Juliet, The Curious Creative
P.S I have just 2 places left on my next Playing with Writing workshop if you live close to Huddersfield and would like a fun-filled, creative evening out, on Wednesday 1st May, click here for further information.