Two months ago we moved to Cornwall, one of the most beautiful places in the world. We’re surrounded by amazing beaches, dramatic scenery and beautiful moorland and do my kids want to explore it? Nope. I can’t think of a single time I’ve suggested going anywhere other than soft play when one of them hasn’t had a moan. There are times when it’s good to stay at home and chill, when they haven’t slept well and you’re all tired there’s no shame at all in pizza, popcorn and Netflix but no one wants to do that everyday. Ok, well my kids might but I don’t! So as I’m busy honing my skills on getting the kids out of the house and having some fun I thought I’d share my best tips with you too.
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9 Ways to get your kids outside when they really don’t fancy it
1. Bribery – Not ‘I’ll buy you a toy if you come out’ because apart from obviously no, that’s going to cost you a fortune over the course of the summer. My current bribe of choice is ‘would you like an ice cream?’ I know that if we go to the beach I’m going to get tapped up for an ice cream anyway so rather than hear ‘I don’t want to go to the beach’ which drives me insane, I aim for ice cream and once they’ve finished that the sugar rush normally gets them out exploring.
2. Be adventurers – I’m trying to encourage my kids to have adventures and explore their local area. Being an adventurer sounds a lot more interesting to my kids than going for a walk. Maps can help with this or scavenger hunts for different sights, colours or textures
3. Snacks – I use these little pots for carrying around chopped strawberries and grapes in my handbag and I normally have a couple of boxes of raisins in there too. Being able to pull these out at a strategic point is great for cheering the kids up, whether it’s complaining that they don’t want to get in the car to go out, or they don’t want to get in the car to come home.
4. Go camping – I always get The Fear a bit before camping because it’s basically spending the whole time outdoors but it’s a great way to make them (and you!) realise that they’re perfectly happy in the outdoors.
5. Go hunting – Not with guns, obviously. Go crabbing or take magnifying glasses and go on a minibeast hunt. When we lived in Essex this was one of my favourite ways to get the kids out when I needed to nip to Tescos for some milk.
6. Go puddle jumping – either at the beach or down your road
7. Go on a photo walk – I’ve been trying to be brave and let me five year old use my DSLR sometimes. This is possibly madness though so I’d recommend a kids camera like this. Go and see what’s interesting to photograph and them print off your best pictures.
8. Take a bag for a treasure hunt – look for stones, driftwood, seaglass, pinecones, leaves or whatever just looks pretty and then bring it home for some crafting.
9. Try foraging – my kids love foraging because it feels like it might be a bit naughty? Blackberry picking is the easiest for most people and has the added bonus that your kids will eat lots of fruit.
What do you do to get your kids out of the house when they don’t fancy it?