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Looking for ways to encourage your children outside this spring? Try our Top Ten ideas – and let us know your suggestions for making the most of the season.
1. Fly a kite
A kite with two strings is easier to control than one with a single string. Hold the kite high and keep the controller low as you launch.
2. Have a treasure hunt
Not just for Easter, hide things around your garden, park or playground for the children find. Or try a variation on I Spy and award points for each item on a list – for instance, one point for a pedestrian crossing, two points for someone walking a dog, three points for a litter bin.
3. Spot a rainbow
Compile a list of things to spot, each of a different colour: red bus, orange writing on a poster, yellow coat, green leaves, etc.
As you walk around the playground or the park, the leader walks a bit, runs a bit, jumps, hops or skips and everyone behind has to follow suit. Children can take it in turns to be in charge.
5. Read the signs
Take a walk around town looking at road signs. What do they mean? How many different ones can you see? How many have pictures? How many have words? Who are they for – drivers or pedestrians? Back indoors, children can design their own.
6. Nature rubbings
Grab some sturdy paper and a pack of wax crayons and discover textures in the natural world. Take rubbings of trees, park benches, fences, railings: any surface that leaves an interesting pattern.
7. Get close to nature
Use a magnifying glass to examine the centre of a flower, a seed head or a leaf, and dig around in the soil to find some creepy-crawlies!
8. Set up an obstacle course
Egg-and-spoon, dribbling a ball between cones, jumping through hoops or walking along a low balancing beam. Make the challenges appropriate for the age of the children – but not too easy or it’s no fun!
Use playground chalk to mark out the grid, grab a beanbag to throw on to the numbered squares and see who can finish the challenge first or quickest or with the most imaginative hopping style!
10. Don’t go on a walk!
If the thought of ‘going for a walk’ makes your children groan, tell them instead, ‘Grab your explorer’s hat. We’re going on an adventure!’