Fun Ways to Get Children Active Outdoors

In this day and age, children have grown up with technology. Smartphones, tablets, gaming consoles and instant access to the internet is completely normal to them – meaning it’s a different world from when we grew up. While technology is fantastic, it does mean it can be difficult to get kids outdoors. When they have the world at their fingertips they’re less interested in running around outdoors than previous generations have been. But it’s so important to get them away from their devices and outside, learning about the real world and what matters. Here’s how you can go about it…

 Fun Ways to Get Children Active Outdoors title with image of child throwing leaves

Get Them Involved in the Garden

Gardening is an active hobby, and also teaches children patience. It shows if you work hard now, something fantastic will grow later on. It shows them the importance of daily care and nurturing of the garden, helping to develop empathy for the natural world around them. They will also learn about things like soils, types of crops, fertiliser and much more.

Since the growing season is relatively short in most places, it’s worth investing in a greenhouse to stretch this out as long as possible. If you have an old dilapidated one in your back garden, you could bring it back to life with some new sheeting for your greenhouse and a good clean. Choose some crops that are easy to grow in your climate zone, and then work your way up to more difficult ones. Children are more likely to try foods that they’ve grown too, so could be a good way to encourage healthier eating.

Take Them Camping

Camping is a cheap and cheerful vacation that all the family can enjoy, and is a great way to get kids outdoors. From putting up tents to building dens, and generally running around and having fun, it’s a great way to get kids outdoors and away from their screens without it feeling like a chore. You could stay in a tent, an RV or more of a glamping experience in a ‘pod’- check out local campsites and see what kind of things are available. If you go away with friends and their children it could be a fun bonding experience too.

Two children outdoors studying something on the ground next to a pond.

Go on Hikes

Hiking is a great way to keep your family fit; even if you have younger children you could simply pick an easier hiking trail. You get to observe nature, you could print out fun worksheets from Pinterest and do a fun nature trail, take photos or look at birds and wildlife through binoculars. You could collect items such as feathers, pine cones and interesting pebbles, then use them to craft with later on. Or see if your local area does rock hunting even!

Make these walks fun, keep the conversation light and upbeat, and encourage them to really get into it. Even during the colder months, simply wrap up warm and wear wellies to keep your feet dry. If you have a dog you could take them along too, or alternatively you could all take your bikes out and follow biking trails instead.

Find An Outdoor Sport Or Hobby

There are lots of outdoor sports and hobbies that encourage children to have fun outdoors. From water sports and team games, to geogaching or traditional orienteering, there are many examples of lovely activities that will inspire children to spend time outside.

Another example is fishing; this isn’t just a fun hobby, there’s plenty that it can teach children. One of the main being patience, this isn’t a skill many children (or adults for that matter) are blessed with, and it’s something that could come in useful to them throughout their lives. Learning that good things come to those who wait and practicing calm and patience during uncertainty is a fantastic lesson.

*This is a collaborative post.

The Best Places to Find Birds on a Rainy Day

Here in Britain, we’re well accustomed to the rain and wet weather; and sometimes it takes a  little bit of extra work to find wildlife on a drizzly day. Despite this, with a keen eye and a touch of willpower, you’ll be able to spot some of the fantastic wildlife our country has to offer!

If you’re keen to spot a few birds on your next winter walk, the bird enthusiasts over at Kennedy Wild Bird Food are here to help! They’ve generously offered their top tips on where to find birds on a rainy day, to help you make the most of your next wildlife adventure. Read on to discover their helpful hints…

Take a look in nearby trees and bushes

Two birds sat in a tree full of red berries.

Birds are designed to withstand a range of different weather conditions, which is part of what makes them so brilliant! However, sometimes they need a helping hand to protect themselves from the cold temperatures when it rains.

In wet weather, you’re more likely to find smaller bird species nestled in the branches of trees. Small birds lose body heat more quickly, and therefore they have a higher risk of catching hypothermia. Staying tucked away in bushes and trees allows them to hold on to as much body heat as possible when it’s raining.

Check your bird feeder

A small bird next to a large hanging bird feeder.

When looking for birds in wet weather, they may be closer to home than you think! No matter what the conditions are like outdoors, birds need to eat regularly to give them enough energy to survive.

Unfortunately, this means that many birds will have to endure getting a little bit wet whilst feeding, but their bodies have some clever adaptations that make them highly water resistant!

Their feathers are made of a protein that makes them both flexible and resistant to water. As well as this, birds have an oil gland at the bottom of their tail. This is used to put a water resistant coating over their feathers, so the water glides right off in the rain – amazing, right!

Keep an eye on the sky

If you’re lucky, you may even be able to see a few birds flying from branch to branch when it’s raining! This is more tricky because birds usually only fly very short distances when it’s raining.

In heavy rain, the downpour may make it more difficult for birds to fly, therefore it’s safer for them to stay sheltered in trees and bushes. However, should they need to fly from A to B, their oil-coated feathers can protect them from the wet weather conditions.

A picture of a bird on a thorny branch with the title 'The Best Places To Spot Birds On A Rainy Day' and blog address.

It’s important not to be deterred by Britain’s rainy weather, as you’ll miss out on some of the best wildlife! If you’re taking the time to do some bird spotting this winter, don’t forget to log your sightings in the Kennedy Wild Bird Food BirdSpotter map!

*This is a sponsored post.

How To Make An Apple Bird Feeder: Protecting Birds in Winter

As it is starting to draw closer to winter and food for wildlife is becoming more scarce, I thought it would be a good time to share this simple, fun activity we did at home recently.

bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

How To Make An Apple Bird Feeder

You Will Need…

  • Apple
  • Twigs – Thick enough to be a perch but thin enough to fit through an apple.
  • String or raffia
  • Peanut butter
  • Seeds

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step by Step Instructions

    Step 1

    Core the apple.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 2

    Carefully push the sticks through the apple. You might need to use a knife to help make a hole first.

    Step 3

    Tie the string through the apple. Use it to also hold the sticks in place if possible.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 4

    Use the peanut butter as ‘glue’ to stick the seeds on.

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Step 5

    Hang it onto a tree branch. Then just sit back and observe the birds enjoying their treat!

    bird feeder, protecting wildlife, birds, winter, garden, nature, how to guide, childhood unplugged, outdoors

    Do you feed the birds in winter? What type of feeder do you have?

    Aylett Nurseries: Celebration Gardens and Butterfly Corner

    One of the free places we have visited a couple of times recently over summer is Aylett Nurseries in St Albans, Hertfordshire. It is good for kids; sometimes they have activities and events specifically for children, and generally is family friendly. 

    At the moment, they currently have a butterfly corner but you will have to hurry – it closes on 17th September! It is very small but is still a lovely little experience that adds to the visit. It is interesting to watch the butterflies feeding on the fruit and having them fluttering around you. Here are some of my favourite photos taken in their butterfly corner last week…

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    butterfly, insect, pollinator, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    According to the website, the Celebration Gardens are open all year round but the best time to visit is when the flowers are in bloom of course. We have only just discovered the Celebrations Gardens over the last month, which was perfect timing! Their multi award winning Dahlias are particularly beautiful, and we also love the wild flower section too. Here are a selection of photos from the Celebration Garden in August…

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, bug hotel, wildlife, insects, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, wild flowers, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    Celebration Gardens, Dahlias, flowers, outdoors, get outside, nature, places to visit, Aylett Nurseries, Hertfordshire, Living Life Our Way

    For more information about opening hours, news and events see Aylett Nurseries website.

    Highlights of 30 Days Wild

    So, it’s now July and therefore 30 Days Wild is officially over. It has been loads of fun! There have been so many wonderful adventures and activities that I could not possibly name them all, but here are some of the highlights:

    My Top 3 Random Acts of Wildness:

    Visit to Gobions Wood, Hertfordshire

    Rock hunting

    Seeing a hedgehog for the first time ever

    Other Peoples’ Highlights:

    Wildlife cocktails, mud masks, building wildlife hotels, nature picnics – can’t pick one! Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

    Litter picking jumps out. Spending time with someone I love in nature + art inspiration = idyllic. In fact, community would be joint first favourite thing. Really hoping lots of people #staywild. Going to miss everyone! ~ Grow Eat Gift 

    love nature, grow eat gift, get outside, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Loved doing 30 Days Wild for the first time this year. It has helped my daughter greatly; she has Autism and we have been out and about together with her camera. She is very happy to have been chosen as the first person to take part in a new project by wildlife.net She is thrilled to have a slide show on YouTube featuring her wildlife photos and they have given her her own page on their site. I am very proud of her and thanks to 30 Days Wild for helping her and giving her lots more confidence. She has even sold one of her owl paintings- awesome. ~ mum of Emilived 


    The kiddies really enjoyed making ice bird feeders.
    The World is Their Classroom

    This is my favourite, my son catching newts. Happy Handley 

    Being chased by a crazy chicken on Day 25 was the funniest moment but having a reason to get the family outside and spend time together has been the best part. croftie goes wild

    What were your highlights? Tell me in comments! 

    Don’t forget that just because 30 Days Wild is over now, it doesn’t mean your ‘wild’ adventures have to end! Carry on your wildness and share using hashtag #StayWild 

    For my first #StayWild act, I have signed up for family membership of our local Wildlife Trust. Have you joined yet? Find your local trust.

    The Wildlife Trusts, Hertfordshire, 30 Days Wild, #StayWild, #LivingLifeWild, membership, wildlife, nature

    And if you are looking for a new challenge, it is now Plastic Free July too! #PlasticFree 

    Our (Sub)Urban Nature Walk #30DaysWild 

    To mark the end of 30 Days Wild, Squiggle was given the choice of what nature activity to do. (Making it a totally random act of wildness for me!!!) She chose to go on a nature walk to the ‘burbs, so we set off on our ‘final’ adventure (of course it isn’t really – we will #StayWild and continue #LivingLifeWild as we always have!) 

    We took our time, stopping to take photos and study the beautiful plants, flowers, insects and other nature along our way. We then stopped for a quick play in the park, which we were delighted to find had been left overgrown and wild, before heading back.

    So I will leave you with a small selection of the photos we took…

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, bee, insect, wildlife, pollinator, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, suburbs, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Nature Photography (Taken During Rock Hunting)

    We took a few nature photos during our rock hunting, and I just couldn’t resist posting them as I do love to share! Enjoy…

    30 Days Wild, soldier beetle, insect, wildlife, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild
    Soldier beetle
    30 Days Wild, fungi, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild
    Fungi on tree trunk

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    30 Days Wild, nature, nature walk, nature photography, Hertfordshire, childhood unplugged, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    #30DaysWild  #StayWild  #LivingLifeWild 

    Rock Hunting: Nature’s Answer To Pokemon Go! #30DaysWild 

    Have you heard of the new craze? Painted rocks have been hidden all over our local area to encourage people to get outside and explore to find them. And to spread some love and positivity around; like a little act of kindness for the person who finds it. What an amazing way to put a smile on peoples’ faces! Of course, we could not wait to go out on a rock hunt to see what we could find!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    It turned out to be much harder than we thought! We knew very rough locations, and had vague picture clues, but looking for small rocks in a very large area is… well… abit like looking for a needle in a haystack! But that just encouraged us to look more closely, stay out longer, walk further and explore different areas – which is great!

    Just a little note to anyone considering doing this as a set activity (e.g. home educators or organised groups for example): it would be easier, and an awesome educational activity, if they were mapped out in advance. Great for developing old school map reading skills too! (I guess this would make it more of a geocaching style activity). Of course this would rely on people not removing, or relocating, any of them. (Hopefully no one will remove them anyway though obviously, as it is meant to be an activity for everyone to enjoy!)

    Also, if you were doing this, a handy suggestion might be to map them out with a small circle radius rather than a precise location, so that it still gives abit of freedom to rehide them elsewhere – as long as it is within close proximity to the original spot. I say this because Squiggle was really keen to move one to a new hiding place so we compromised and she hid it right by the next tree instead, less than a metre away!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Anyway, they are just little tips if anyone is thinking about doing it as a home ed activity or setting it up as an ‘organised’ event. But back to our fun of rock hunting…

    We were incredibly lucky to find not just one, but two painted rocks! Squiggle was delighted that she spotted them!!! The first was a beautiful heart rock…

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    The second was a pretty colourful rainbow…

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    We had so much fun! It is such a lovely activity and a brilliant, creative, inspired idea – love it!!! Thank you so much to the wonderful people who came up with this initiative and organised it in our area. We are so grateful! For more information, check out St Albans Rocks UK.

    We then also painted our own rocks when we returned home, so we will be hiding those in our local park soon too! Thanks again!!!

    painted rocks, rock hunt, St Albans Rocks UK, Hertfordshire, get outside, kids need nature, outdoors, 30 days wild, #30dayswild, #staywild, #livinglifewild

    Happy rock hunting! 

    Visualisation: How To Connect To Our Natural Environment From Anywhere

    Whilst visualisation is often a major part of guided meditation, for me personally I feel that meditating is more about aiming to clear your mind and let thoughts float into your head naturally whereas in contrast, visualisation involves purposely constructing thoughts. Both serve the purpose of helping us to relax, regain/ maintain balance and achieve a sense of inner peace, plus help us to feel connected with ourselves, each other and our planet. These are brilliant to do outside in nature.

    However, visualisation is also a great tool to help us maintain a deep connection with nature and our natural environment even when we can’t physically get outdoors. Using visualisation techniques, we can take our mind outside and on a journey to a place we love, intentionally focusing our thoughts and mind on what it really feels like to be there, by imagining and recalling using all the senses, whilst switching off to anything else around us. 

    Find a quiet spot anywhere and close your eyes. Picture in your mind your favourite natural spot. What do you see around you? Take it all in, imagine every detail. Take some deep breaths. What do you smell? What do you hear? What can you feel? Really immerse yourself in the moment and the feelings of being there.

    For example, I am going to visualise sitting on a rock in an entrance to a waterfall at sunset…

    The waves created by the waterfall crash around as the water cascades down in front of me. The rock is cold and wet but the warmth of the sun bares down on my skin. Splashes of the waterfall catch me; it feels cool and refreshing. I take in the clean air and that glorious smell of fresh running water.

    The sun begins to lower, turning the sky into a beautiful canvas of orange, red and gold. The fading sunlight reflects on the water, dancing colours around like a carnival of light. A bird soars past gracefully. I close my eyes and take in my surroundings using my other senses for a moment. I feel at peace, a deep sense of calm.

    visualisation, meditation, 30 days wild, #livinglifewild, #30dayswild, natural environment, nature, our planet, waterfall, connected, peace
    Do you use visualisation techniques to connect to our natural world from anywhere? If not, give it a try! 

    Puddle Jumping #30DaysWild

    Today has been a very wet day. But that definitely doesn’t stop us from getting out and having fun; it was the perfect day for a rainy walk and splashing in puddles! 

    30 days wild, #30dayswild, #livinglifewild, childhood unplugged, puddle jumping, splashing, rain, blue mind

    What have you done today? Tell me in comments!