If there is anything I have learned since having children, it is that everything is better when we’re outdoors. Even the squabbles seem less intense. I remember our first ‘proper’ trip to the countryside last year as a family when the twinnies were in their Little Life child carriers. It is literally the only way we could have got our brood outdoors together all at once! You can imagine how excited I was then, to talk to Little Life and find out their top tips for getting our children outdoors (and away from those screens)!
What are your top tips for making the outdoors fun?
- Gather outdoor equipment
- Give important jobs to your tribe of walkers
- Know when to call it a day. Give those little legs and achievable challenge but don’t plan a six hour hike!
What kind of outdoor equipment are we talking?
Any outdoor equipment you can find: Head torches, map cases, compasses, bags, Mini First Aid kits and emergency foil blankets (for fun). Give everyone some equipment so each little explorer has a role to play.
When should I get them into using maps?
As soon as you can. Print out maps of your area using Google Maps, footpath maps or street maps depending on your route.
Even little ones?
Yes. You can tailor everything to the age of children involved. You can show older ones how to use a compass, explain contour lines or map symbols. You can tell littler ones how to plan an easy route and overlay it on the printed map using colourful pens.
I had never thought about getting littlies to use maps
Another trick is to hand-draw a map of your route; marking hills, boggy paths and other features like a fallen tree with mushrooms growing on it, or perhaps an abandoned hay bale.
Any tips for keeping my children going as they get tired?
Add a sprinkle of magic to the adventure by calling an old highway marker a ‘wishing button’ which you have to press with your bottom to make a wish; or turn an old hay bale into Gruffalo bedding for example. Often children then start to make up their own narrative too which is far more imaginative than ours!
This is brilliant! Any other tips?
Don’t leave without emergency snacks and a thermal mug of hot chocolate to pep up any flaggers!
Thank you Little Life. I’ll be making an extra-large flask of hot chocolate for our growing brood (and for me!)