Schools out! Now how to keep the kids busy for the entire summer holidays? Fear not, use some of these ideas for inspiration to keep the kids happy as well as getting in some movement! Although restrictions have now been eased and we can steadily get back to doing some things that we haven’t been able to for so long, we shouldn’t forget all the great new things we’ve discovered on our doorstep. With that in mind, Bradley at Active Dorset has come up with these great suggestions which focus on low cost, family time in your local area.
We’re incredibly lucky in Dorset to be so close to some of the nicest stretches of coastline in the world, never mind the UK. It would be rude not to take advantage of that, right?
Take the whole family down to the beach for a day full of adventure! Start off by testing your artistic skills with a sandcastle building competition. Use that imagination and build a whole fortress! Once you have found the King and Queen of the castle dig out those beach games. Beach cricket, rounders, frisbee, football, throw and catch, the list is endless! Once you’ve had your fill of fun and games take a family dip in the sea to cool off or head off to see what you can find in rockpools!
If the beach is a little busy, stretch your legs and tackle a portion of the famous South West coast path. Every part of it provides stunning scenery and although it’s notoriously up and down, the views are most definitely worth the effort!
If you think watersports might be more your thing then you’re also in the right place! Explore the world’s second largest natural harbour in Poole on paddleboard or kayak. There’s so many islands, channels and creeks to explore! If you’re into wildlife spotting you can combine the two in Christchurch Harbour which is a SSSI site. If you’re lucky you might spot seals and otters swimming alongside you! If you’re keen to get the family into watersports but are unsure where to start, head on over to Portland Harbour. Instructors there will help you get to grips with the basics on paddleboarding and kayaking.
Jazz up those daily walks and think up a fun activity you can do on the way, like...
See if you can find a natural object for every letter of the alphabet, or every colour of the rainbow. Can you find a feather, something that has been nibbled by an animal, or a stone that’s shaped like a heart? You can make your own list before you leave home or take it in turns to set the rest of your family something to find.
Make some natural art
Collect natural objects such as stones, leaves and feathers from the ground as you walk along (but don’t pick anything that’s growing). Then find a clear spot, set back from the path where you can make a piece of art for others to enjoy as they pass by. You could try to make a picture of your favourite animal or just make a pretty pattern. Maybe next time you walk past, someone else will have added to your art gallery with their own picture.
Who said tech was bad for kids? Use your smartphone to exercise both your mind and body. Geocaching is the worlds largest treasure hunt. Use GPS to navigate to your chosen cache, exchange one item after signing the logbook and most importantly, Leave No Trace! Find out more and get started here; https://www.geocaching.com/play
The county of Dorset has a huge variety of food and drink producers that you’ll never have heard of so what better way to explore these culinary delights than on a bike? The Dorset Pedal Project has guided cycle routes you can follow to find some amazing local food and drink! Take the whole family and make it a day full of movement and new discoveries! Your family might find a new, favourite, local producer! Find a route near you here
Fancy trying some nature based learning to keep the kids brains occupied? The Dorset AONB Picnic in the Park website has a variety of engaging ideas to break up the boredom. Sit back and relax on Inspiration Hill. Boost health and happiness on the Wellbeing Trail. Discover new places and activities in your local area in the Discovery Wood.
Host your own mini Olympic Games in your garden or local greenspace! Pick five events from the Olympics like a running race or throwing event and challenge your family to see who can win the gold medal! You don’t need any specialist equipment that you might see on TV, just use your imagination and find things you have around your home or in your garden to recreate any events you like! Use a tennis ball as a shot put, a wrapping paper tube as a javelin, race the dog around the garden! Go for gold!
If you love being out in the garden yourself, why not get the kids involved and help them learn a new skill whilst they enjoy getting muddy and discovering insects? As well as helping you out, it’s a great way to help them begin to understand the importance of nature and why we should look after our local environments. If you’re feeling adventurous and have some space you could try and grow some seasonal fruit and veg like gooseberries!
???? Keep on eye on this page for more ideas throughout the summer on how to get the family together during the school holidays!