Summer holidays are slowly coming to an end, but your growing explorers still have some time to enjoy the great outdoors before school starts. Make the most of the last weeks of summer with our guide.
We have rounded up 10 things to do before the end of summer. From garden glamping to stargazing, we have something for everyone.
1) Garden glamping
Who says you have to go to a campsite to go camping? Dig out a tent or teepee to put up in the garden and tell the children they can decorate it with anything they can find - cushions, duvets and pillows, fairy lights, bunting, toys etc. Then have them make a picnic and pack some camping essentials before heading back to their new "home".
2) Discover a local landmark
Summer is the perfect time to be a tourist in your own city and discover your local landmarks. Visit a castle or a museum together or simply go on a family walk and explore your area before the end of summer. Make sure you pack a waterproof jacket as the weather might change with little notice.
3) Build a campfire
Childhood summers are made for roasting marshmallows over a campfire and again, you don’t have to be on a campsite to enjoy this delicious tradition. Teach your children how to collect dry twigs and larger sticks, help them to light them (a flint and steel is great for the bushcraft enthusiasts, or a match on some cotton wool coated in vaseline), and then let them create marshmallow skewers for all the family to enjoy. Ghost stories are an optional extra…
4) Host a scavenger hunt
Task your little adventurers with finding an A-Z of flora and fauna and mini-beasts in your back garden or the local park. You can even create two teams and make it a competition. All you need to do is write a list of items to find and make the promise of prizes to be won.
5) Outdoor painting party
A large canvas (or unused area of garden wall) in your back garden will allow for hours of artistic fun for your children. Provide a collection of water based paints and kit your children out with lightweight overalls. Messy play at its best but with all the mess out of the house! Alternatively, give your children some chunky chalks and let them decorate your patio or the street pavement. Bonus: it will wash straight off!
Let your children stay up late one evening as a treat and see how many stars they can find and name. If you are not quite up to speed on the constellations yourself, you can download a map of all the stars and give yourself a lesson too! Have a look at our top stargazing tips.
7) Mini sports day
Set up a mini athletics track in your garden and have your children compete with their siblings or friends. Running races are always firm favourites with budding athletes and there are all sorts of other creative ways to get them competing. You can use mini bean bags or tennis balls as shot putts, eggs for an egg and spoon race, old tins for a tin can alley, and a bucket for a ball toss to name a few…
8) Create an outdoor reading nook
Whether it’s a den, a hammock or a little makeshift seating area, this is a great way to encourage children to read more during the summer. Create a small area where they can take bean bags or cushions and rugs and let them make it their own. Tell them this is where they can eat their snacks each day and enjoy some quiet time reading their favourite books.
9) Try pond dipping
If you are looking for fun things to do before the end of summer, try pond dipping with children. Pond dipping is all about looking for pond mini beasts and identifying them. Put on your wellies, grab a net and see who spots more pond creatures.
10) Bug Safari
Discover and observe the unknown creepy crawlies with your little ones and try to name all of them. Use a magnifying glass (if you have one) to get a closer look.