With the summer holidays in full swing and shocking statistics claiming that children will spend more time in front of screens that outdoors over the break, we've got some top tips on ensuring your kids have fun with the family outside.
Anna Yusef, a ParkLives coach and Nostalgia Games, Drama and Play instructor came up with the tips, on what you can do for free to entertain the little ones this summer.
Make a to-do list
Get everyone in the family to make a list of activities they'd like to do over the summer holidays and then share those lists with one another. Work out what will be possible to do together as family and vote for your favourite suggestions. A great way to find something that everyone wants to do.
Visit the great outdoors
Whether it's your back garden or the local park, getting everyone outside is a sure fire winner. Getting active outdoors is proven to be good for body and mind alike, helping to reduce stress and improve wellbeing.
Try something new
Trying a new activity for the first time helps to get the whole family interested, especially as you'll all be learning together. There are lots of family-friendly sessions being run over the summer to try new sports or activities. For inspiration visit National Trust, ParkLives, National Parks and Love Parks, which all offer suggestions for free and fun activities to do.
Share your favourite game
We all had favourite games growing up but some of these games are being lost over time. In fact, our research showed that just a third (31%) of children play hopscotch today compared to three quarters (71%) of adults who played growing up. Similarly less than a third (32%) of children play rounders and only a quarter (24%) play 'What's the time Mr Wolf?' So try teaching your children one of your favourite games growing up.
Travel from A to B
Think about the journeys you're due to make as a family and see if they can be made on foot, roller-skates, bikes or scooters! It could be as simple as a walk to the local shop or taking a bike ride to a friend's house, but thinking of new ways to get from A to B is a good way to be more active, without even noticing!
Explore what's on your doorstep
There can be a lot of pressure on parents over the holidays to pack each day full of exciting trips and excursions, many of which take time to organised and aren't cheap. Find out what's on in your local area instead. Local Authority websites are a great source of information and list lots of free and fun activities taking place in the local area. If you've got local green spaces nearby, then taking the family out to look for insects or on a treasure hunt to spot interesting items and landmarks can be a great way to get everyone out on a walk. ParkLives runs a number of sessions developed especially for families, with a range of activities on offer including hula hoops, skipping, nature trails and lots more.
Love your park
Nearly three quarters (72%) of parents told us being more active in their local park would make them happier. So what are you waiting for? Check out what events are happening in your area you can go along to.
Get everyone involved
Get a big group together at the park and have a game of football or rounders. Use it as an opportunity to bring together family, friends and neighbours and invite them down for some friendly competition. Share the load of the organising by asking everyone to bring a picnic item and make a day of it. You could even set up a family Olympics, with each family member competing in events like hula hooping and skipping.
As a ParkLives coach, Anna and the ParkLives team run in partnership with local authorities and deliver daily free activity sessions in 140 parks and green spaces in Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Nottingham, Glasgow and East London. All of the sessions are free and suitable for all ages and availabilities. The full timetable as well as details on your nearest park can be found at www.parklives.com.
Statistics are from research completed with 2,540 adults aged 30+ with at least one child aged between 5 and 13. 500 of these were grandparents with at least one grandchild aged 5-13.
Tagged in Parenting