Do you love the outdoors but struggle getting the kids outside in all weathers? Here are five top tips from Muddy Puddles about how to make outdoor play fun, whatever the weather.
With sunshine and blue skies in the summer (hopefully!) it’s much easier to feel motivated to get outside than in the winter. And if it’s warm, the promise of a paddling pool never fails to get children off screens and racing for the door. But here at Muddy Puddles we are passionate about enjoying the outside all year round – and we know just what it takes for play to be fun in all weathers.
We are the experts in children’s rainwear, something every youngster needs with our British weather! Our aim is to inspire, encourage and support families to explore the outdoors, which is why we’re delighted to partner with Living Streets. Together we hope to help everyone enjoy more fun in the fresh air.
As much as we love the outdoors, we know it can be harder in the colder months. Grey skies, chilly weather and rain don’t always make it seem appealing to leave the house! We hear you. But once you make the effort, you’ll be glad you did – honest! – and it’s always a good idea to give children the chance to blow off some steam. Kids may need a little more persuading to play outside in the winter, but we’ve got a few tips to make it easier.
If your children aren’t so keen to go outside in the cold, it’s important to be positive about all outdoor activities, even if they’re only brief. A run around in the garden, a walk in the woods or a trip to a local park for an hour can all help to boost their health, without being too overwhelming.
If every trip outside the house turns into a long expedition, it can dampen enthusiasm. But if your youngsters know that you’re not going to force them outside all day long, they might be keener to see what you’ve got planned.
We find ourselves constantly saying “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong kit!”. Being outside is a miserable experience if you’re cold or wet, but there’s no reason it has to be that way.
Lightweight layering helps to prevent children getting sweaty while still keeping them warm, even during the coldest months. A good quality base layer (not made from cotton as that holds sweat), a fluffy mid layer and a lightweight, waterproof shell is the recipe for comfort without restricting movement.
Whether it’s a rainproof jacket and waterproof trousers, or an all-in-one puddle suit, you’ll just need a pair of insulated wellies to keep those little toes warm and you’re all set!
A trip to the park or a walk with the dogs are always good ways to get outside, but there are lots of other ideas which might grab your children’s attention.
In the cold weather, it’s easy to build a den in the woods with all the fallen branches and wood. A scavenger hunt is another top pick, or you could register for a free geocaching account. That’s a type of treasure hunt where you use your phone to track down hidden boxes; the chance to use screens while outdoors keeps both you and the children happy!
While a mucky school uniform is a nuisance, there’s nothing wrong with getting filthy while playing outside. Encourage your children to interact with the outdoors space in whatever way inspires them -–regardless of how messy they get.
Good quality rainwear should be washable in your machine. That means you can relax no matter how dirty the play gets, and your youngsters will revel in the freedom to play however they please.
Quality family time alone is important but meeting up with friends for outdoor play can be very valuable too. If there are other local families who share your passion for natural, outdoor play, arranging to meet up could be a great incentive for your children to go.
If you don’t know anyone locally, you could try joining some local outdoor groups. Facebook is a great place to meet local, like-minded communities – plus, you can never have too many friends!