Finally. The summer months are with us.
The days of cold, blustery showers and muddy puddles that would have thrilled Peppa Pig are a thing of the past (for a couple of months at least), and we can plan exciting outdoor adventures for the whole family.
If you’re looking for inspiration for outdoor activities you can do with your family, then read on. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best ideas that can be enjoyed by babies, toddlers, and teenagers.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has a heap of fun outdoor activities to keep the family busy. From heading out into the wild, to activities you can do in your very own garden.
Their challenges have been created as a way to connect children (and grown-ups) with the natural world, and earn rewards as you go. Best of all, every activity is free. All you need to do is create an account and a profile on the website and choose activities that best suit your needs and your location. Complete three activities from each section and start earning your awards.
There are 30 activities to choose from and each one has a list of what you’ll need, downloadable activity sheets, and how to complete the activity. Here are a few of our favourites:
● Wild Miles - Travel under your own steam on journeys where you would normally drive. Download the wild miles sheet, choose a different bird and match their flying distance, and cut down on your carbon footprint while getting lots of fresh air and exercise.
● Rockpools - Visit a seaside and wait for the tide to retreat, then spend time exploring the rockpools and have fun seeing how many different creatures you can find.
● Wild Sleepout - Spend a night under the stars. Camp out in the garden or in a camping site and experience an exciting night in nature. The RSPB also hosts Big Wild Sleepout events which you can join in with.
● Bug Safari - Pack your bags with snacks and supplies and head to the woods to go on your very own bug safari. Download the activity sheet and ID sheet for minibeasts, as well as a camera and paper and pens, and start your adventure.
The Woodland Trust has lots of ideas to keep you and your brood busy in the woods while learning about wildlife and how to protect the environment.
● Build a den - Read their den building guide for some great tips about how to build a brilliant outdoor den and head to a woodland near you. Watch for animals and bugs and be respectful of the habitat around you as your family works together to create an exciting woodland hideaway.
● Spot wildlife - You can buy different guide books from The Woodland Trust’s website to help you identify what you find as you go on a trip to explore wildlife.
● Scavenger hunts - Take the fun of a scavenger hunt outdoors and explore the natural world. Read the scavenger hunt blog for lots of inspiration and ideas.
● Woodland art - Take a few bags and search the woods and fields for leaves, petals, sticks, pebbles, feathers, and anything else that you find before heading back home and creating some natural masterpieces together.
Discover wildlife in the Capital with the London Wildlife Trust, which works to protect wildlife across London.
The London Wildlife Trust also runs lots of regular events and activities across London, including free and ticketed activities to help raise funds to support conservation. Here are some of our favourites taking place over the summer.
● Wonderful Wildlife Weekends - Held at Woodberry Wetlands throughout the summer, these weekends are full of fun exploration and free family-friendly activities.
● Family Drop-In Day at Camley Street - Have a go at pond-dipping to see what you can find, and take part in a mini-beast hunt.
● Sensory Nature Workshop at Walthamstow Wetlands - Enjoy a family nature sensory experience as you explore the wetlands and beautiful woodlands.
● Bees, Beetles, and other Beautiful Bugs at Grosvenor Square - This summer event is all about discovering and celebrating bees, beetles, and other bugs in London.
Who says going for a walk has to be done during the day? A nighttime walk in the great outdoors is an exciting and inspiring outdoor activity that your kids will love. And staying up late makes it an extra special treat!
Wait for the sun to go down and pack a dinner picnic and some torches and go for a ramble under the stars. They’ll love all the sounds and sights of outdoor wildlife as you spot bats, birds, foxes, and other creatures that come out at night.
This is like a treasure hunt for the digital age. A cache is a small waterproof treasure box hidden outside and this is a brilliant activity for teens and tweens.
All you need is a GPS device or a smartphone and look for a cache near you on geocaching.com. Choose a cache and enter the coordinates and follow your GPS towards the spot, then hunt for the treasure. Once you find it, write down what you find and return it to its hiding place.
If you take an item from the box, replace it with something of yours for others to discover.
Perfect for older children, there are lots of different cycling tours you can take part in to explore the Capital. Enjoy seeing the sights, getting fresh air and exercise, and learning a little something along the way.
There are different routes and themes you can choose from and the tours also include the use of their bikes, so all you need to bring is yourselves. Here are a few companies who offer the service:
● Fat Tire Bike Tours
● BrakeAway Bike Tours
● Tally Ho! Cycle Tours
● Blue Badge Tourist Guide’s Cycling Tours
● London Bicycle Tour Company’s Cycling
RSPB - Information and activity sheets for the Wild Challenges
Woodland Trust - Tips and ideas for outdoor activities
London Wildlife Trust - List of events and dates
Visit London - Fun outdoor activity ideas in London
Geocaching.com - Information about how to play geocaching