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It’s all too easy when the weekend comes to let the kids settle down in front of the Xbox etc. You’ve had a tough week and the idea of taking your family out only to be moaned at and told that they’d rather be at home watching TV is not what you want to be doing with your precious time off. Having said that, they really ought to take a break from the screens and get some fresh air.

Playing Outdoors

Well here are a few ideas of things you can do as a family that everyone will actually want to do:

Go Ape

Strap on a harness and have fun climbing across rope bridges and flying along forest zip wires. Go Ape has over 25 different locations across the country that are suitable for a whole range of ages. Time to let your inner Tarzan out.

Go on a scavenger hunt

Split the family into teams and get a little competitive. Traditional lists have things like four leaf clovers and oak leaves on them, but you don’t necessarily have to live near a park to do this one. Tailor the list to suit you. If you live in the city try collecting photos on your phone and taking snaps of things like a person wearing Dr Martens, or a pigeon sitting on a bench.

Build a shelter

Take some string, some scissors, an old bed sheet or tarpaulin, and get out into the woods. Find some fallen branches for teepee supports or some sturdy looking trees to build around. Work together to make your own shelter. Fun and useful for if you ever get lost in the woods.

Plant some seeds

Ideally go out into the garden or down to the allotment to do this one, but if you don’t have a garden then get some pots or use old mugs to grow your own kitchen herb garden. Encourage the kids to take responsibility for watering what you plant. They’ll get real satisfaction from watching their seedlings grow.

And if all else fails and the kids still don’t want to go outside, then make them a deal: if they come out for an hour or two’s walk in the fresh air without moaning, then they can have a slice of cake from the teashop at the end. It’s amazing what the promise of cake can do…

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