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Exciting Outdoor Activities to Get Your Children Moving this Summer.

Exciting Outdoor Activities to Get Your Children Moving this Summer.
Fun Outdoor Activities to try this Summer At the tail end of the academic year, when the weather (hopefully) gets warmer and the pressures of exams and revision have waned, it’s perfectly understandable that children just want a bit of time to rest and recoup.  Finding ways to encourage our children to get out and [...]

Fun Outdoor Activities to try this Summer

At the tail end of the academic year, when the weather (hopefully) gets warmer and the pressures of exams and revision have waned, it’s perfectly understandable that children just want a bit of time to rest and recoup.  Finding ways to encourage our children to get out and enjoy the season has therefore always been a challenge, but with so many events and activities out there to enjoy, the issue should be easier than ever to address.

 

Mobile phones and tablets may have replaced the TV screens of their parents’ youth, but essentially the logic is the same with today’s youngsters: the highlight of our summer is out there; we just need to find it first. Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling… 

 

Fluids: A Quick Note

 

Before we start talking about the ways in which your child can expend their energy during the warmer, drier months, it really cannot be overstated how important it is to ensure that they drink enough water. 

 

Similar to planet earth, the human body is made up of almost two-thirds water – and when we’re younger this ratio is larger, at nearly three-quarters when we are infants – so suffice to say that hydration is fundamental. Obviously, when we’re more active, we use up more water, but as a rough guide, in any 24-hour period you should aim for your child to consume the following amounts:

 

  • 6-12 months – 0.8 litres
  • 1-2 years – 1.2 litres
  • 2-3 years – 1.3 litres
  • 4-8 years – 1.6 litres
  • 9-13 years – around 2 litres
  • 14-18 years – around 2 litres

 

The 8×8 rule is often quoted, which equates to 1.9 litres.

 

Sports and Games

 

Now that we’ve made sure that our water intake is adequate, we’re ready to enjoy the offers of summer. The CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends that children aged 3 to 5 years should be active throughout the day and those aged 6 to 17 should aim to be active for at least 60 minutes every day.  

 

This might sound like a lot, but don’t worry, you’d be surprised how fast an hour will go by when you’re having fun; and it needn’t be done in one go – or spent doing the same thing, for that matter.  

Anything counts, from organised events in your local park to an impromptu game of tag in the nearest green space.

 

Swimming

 

Swimming is an incredibly efficient mode of exercise in that it requires the movement of the whole body. It’s great for your posture and breathing – and new research suggests that it’s even great for the reparation of brain cells as well as the growth of new ones. If you were looking for an activity that is beneficial for just about everything you can think of, look no further than swimming.

 

Festivals

 

As evidenced by this year’s Glastonbury, where there were a higher number of children in attendance than ever before, the demographics of festival-goers have changed significantly over recent years. Not only do they offer the opportunity to spend the day dancing – another great form of exercise – but they’re an ideal way of broadening cultural horizons too.

 

There are so many festivals that it’s difficult to keep up. Here’s just a few of the family-friendly events taking place this summer:

 

  • Bath Carnival (8 July) – A celebration of carnival culture, featuring a procession that you can register to take part in, starting at the Bath Recreation Ground and ending in Sydney Gardens, where there will be live music, food and drinks stalls and a host of workshops and activities to get involved with.
  • Bristol Harbour Festival (15-16 July) – From live music and comedy acts to circus performers and maritime activities, there isn’t much they haven’t thought of to include in the Bristol Harbour Festival.  It stretches the entire length of the Harbourside, but the Children’s Area can be found in Queen Square, where there will be a dizzying number of things to do.
  • Bristol International Balloon Fiesta (10-13 August) – The largest festival of its kind in Europe. This 4-day, child-friendly and free festival is centred around balloons – with mass ascents of hot air balloons scheduled for dawn and late afternoon each day, wind permitting – but there’s plenty more to do besides: live music; fairground rides and a family foam party all feature. Located in the beautiful Ashton Court Estate.

 

Nature

 

With an abundance of sun – it will happen, mark my words – comes the unfurling of the beauty of the British countryside. The UK has so much to offer in this regard; things which tend to get overlooked in today’s global age. Take a closer look around you and you’re bound to discover something you hadn’t even realised was there before… 

 

Walking

 

There is no better way to learn about the natural world than to see it with your own eyes. Walking has the added bonus of being one of the best and most accessible forms of exercise. Similar to sports, it can be as casual or organised as you would like or your schedule allows. Depending on the route, a walk can serve a secondary function as a lesson in geography, history, biology, etc, simply by pointing out the things you see along the way.

 

Gardening

 

There are few greater pleasures in life than eating something that you’ve grown yourself.  You needn’t have a garden to benefit, either: a windowsill will provide ample space. Flowers and non-edible plants are just as satisfying to grow – albeit without the gift of the harvest at the end of the effort – but whatever you choose to grow, it will provide the perfect point of interaction between your child and the natural world.

 

Apps

 

Despite the fact that this list is aimed at drawing children away from their devices, the opportunity to bridge the gap between the world of technology and the world of nature shouldn’t be missed. From the Woodland Trust’s British Trees app, to the bird-identification app Merlin by The Cornell Lab, there are countless ways your child’s device could be promoting their relationship with the nature beyond their doorstep.

 

Get a Move On…

 

Summer can pass you by in the blink of an eye. With British weather the way it is, it’s best to make the most of the sun while it’s there.

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