Guest blog post written by Miriam Spall, Where To Take Our Children/ Suffolk Kids.
As the weather warms up and the sun shines, the great outdoors offers the perfect setting to to spend some quality time as a family, it is fun, low cost and your children will treasure these memories forever. With a fantastic selection of places to visit in the UK, you will be spoilt for choice! and if you happen to be in Suffolk with the family, visit our Family Guide and calendar of events for ideas on things to do with your children.
Geocaching is such a great way for children to explore and enjoy what nature has to offer. But what exactly does it mean? Geocaching is a series of tiny boxes hidden all over the world for the kids to find and is described as “a treasure hunt for the digital generation” by the National Trust. You can track the coordinates on a smartphone app or GPS to find hidden boxes, known as ‘caches’. If you would like to have a go, you can visit your local National Trust, many of their places have GPS devices available for you to try geocaching for free.
Wild swimming is a great activity the whole family can enjoy, including your dog if you have one! There are many hidden natural spots in the UK where you and your family can enjoy a picnic and a swim surrounded by the bliss of nature. If you have small children keep in mind that even shallow waters can warm up to 25 degrees in a hot day, much of the year the water will be around 17 degrees. Make sure you bring warm clothes, towels, tanning lotion and a mosquito repellent!
Wildlife Trust Activities
The UK has the most beautiful landscape and wildlife. The Wildlife Trust is a charity dedicated to preserve wildlife and wildplaces, they look after more than 2,300 nature reserves, covering 98,500 hectares, and operate more than 100 visitor and education centres in every part of the UK. They also organise activities for children throughout the year run by knowledgeable volunteers, that are fantastic fun! These activities are available to all age groups, from toddlers to older children with themes like; “Wild Tots” “Go Wild – nature group and young wardens among many others. They also organise seasonal events, including Halloween and Christmas. To find an activity near you, take a look at their events website for more information here.
Explore England’s Woods & Forests
The kids will love a day out in the forest! there are so many fun activities to choose from! You can start by heading off into the woods, and by letting the children have a go at spotting the different characters hiding among the trees waiting to be found! Every year the Forestry Commission organises a themed trail for children, this year’s theme is “Highway Rat” from the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler book. Collect your activity pack from the visitor centre for £3, which contains stickers, puzzles and even a Highway Rat mask!
You will find trails all over the forest and traditionally designed wooden play areas as you make your way around the forest, where the children can climb, run and play to their hearts’ content. However, if you prefer to cycle this is the perfect place to ride safely with the whole family. Their cycle trails has been designed for all abilities, and the ones with a more adventurous nature will love having a go at their forest mountain biking trails which are suitable for children and adults alike!
Having a BBQ is an old time favourite, nothing beats the aroma of sizzling sausages and hamburgers being cooked in the great outdoors. You only need to fill out a form from the Visitors’ Centre or book it online. Please note that portable, disposable and personal BBQs and camping stoves are not allowed on site! Most forests and woodlands are opened every day except on Christmas Day so there isn’t an excuse not to visit!
I hope you feel inspired and try one if not all of the ideas written on this blog! Spending time outdoors with the family not only creates bonding opportunities and warm memories for parents and children alike, it also reduces stress and improves children’s creativity and their love for nature.