We're getting not one but three long weekends in May and there's plenty to do outdoors with your children!
We've picked our favourite family-friendly activities to occupy your young adventurers whether you are staying in your garden, visiting your local woods or planning a trip further afield.
Here’s our list of 10 things to do outdoors this May Bank Holiday weekend.
1) Play outdoor games
Everyone loves outdoor games and they’re great for entertaining little ones. There are so many to choose from and you can find one to suit every outdoor space, be it your local park or a small garden plus there are plenty of options to suit the equipment you have to hand. Rediscover your childhood favourites such as tag, 40-40, badminton, Mother may I, or Simon Says and relearn the rules together (or make up your own).
2) Enjoy a family picnic
What’s better than a family picnic on a sunny day? Enjoying a meal outdoors together is a lovely way to spend time together as a family. Even better, make the whole process enjoyable and engaging for them, starting with involving them in food preparation. Ask your growing explorers for their help with making sandwiches or salads, go over what goes in them and which flavours go well with each other. Ask them to make up their own sandwich filler combinations. Peanut butter and cheese anyone? Add some fruit for dessert, pack your picnic basket and now to find the perfect picnic spot!
3) Pebble art
Pebble painting can keep your little ones entertained for hours. Collect some pebbles on your walk together (look for smooth rounded stones with a good surface to decorate), give them a quick wash and your children can get creative with paint (bright acrylic paints work well). When they are finished decorating the pebbles, varnish them with a few coats of PVA glue to seal their designs. To turn the pebbles into characters (monsters or bugs), give your little ones some googly eyes to stick on them. As another activity, you can make up stories featuring the characters you've just made.
4) Teach your children about gardening
Nothing is more relaxing than doing a spot of gardening. Learning about gardening has many benefits and is a great way to encourage your children to spend more time outdoors. Let your explorers dig in muddy soil or if you live in the city, you can plant some herbs or tomatoes to create a great indoor garden. Children will really enjoy learning more about where their food comes from and may even become more interested in eating their greens!
5) Become a wildlife detective
With spring in full swing, the woods, the park and your garden are all full of mini-beasts your little explorers can discover. See if they can find a worm wriggling its way underground after a shower, a bumblebee looking for nectar, a butterfly stopping on a flower, slimy snails or a ladybird. Allow your children to examine the wildlife you find using a magnifying glass. Why not draw what they found once you're home.
6) Camp in the garden
A camping holiday is super fun but who says you can't camp out in your garden too? One big advantage is that you still have access to your own bathroom and kitchen and there is no limit to how many toys the children can bring - perfect as their first camping experience in a safe place. Plus, little explorers will love the novelty of sleeping under the stars together as a family without the distractions of the television, phones or technology.
7) Go on a big walk
Now the children are back to school, there may not be enough time during the week to spend long periods of time outdoors so the weekend is the perfect time to incorporate a big family walk into your schedule. Take your children out for a long walk, bring their bikes, scooters or just walk together. Plan your route together and don't forget some tasty snacks to top up energy levels en route. There's always plenty of fun walking games you can play if your little explorers get a little unmotivated.
8) Take a trip to the coast
If you're lucky enough to live near the coast, why not head there with the family and breathe in that lovely salty sea air? Don't forget to pack the buckets and spades and challenge your budding little builders to sculpt their favourite animals out of the sand. If you have a kite, the beach is a great place to fly it and children will enjoy that exhilarating feeling of controlling their kite as it swoops through the air.
9) Try forest bathing
During stressful times, spending time in nature is a great way to help the whole family de-stress. Forest bathing is a brilliantly relaxing family activity you can try. The idea is simple – head to the nearest forest with your gang and just be in nature, breath, relax and enjoy the moment. Take in the forest, the smells and colours around you and enjoy doing nothing for a while.