There’s no doubt about it, this lockdown is definitely tougher than the last two. It’s been a lot colder, with freezing temperatures and snow, and we’re all getting fed up of being cooped up at home together. Work demands seem higher this time and home-schooling demands too.
Whilst some outdoor attractions have been able to remain open this time, money is still tight for most families (and future income uncertain), so we’re still looking for free activities to do with the kids.
These are hard to come by and we definitely miss being able to get the kids out of the house when they’re climbing the walls and into a soft play to burn off their energy, whilst we get to stay warm!
In case you are looking for some inspiration of outdoor activities to do with the kids during lockdown, here are several ideas.
Build dens in the woods
If you have some woods nearby then den building is super fun, easy and free! Simply find an area with lots of large branches and let the kids get creative.
If you’re lucky to live nearby some horse stables then take the kids to see some horses. Stables will come with fields for the horses and many in our local area have footpaths through the actual fields with the horses, or it’s possible to walk up to the gates and the horses love to come and say hello!
Check out local farms
Some local farms will have animals you can see in the fields, again via footpaths in surrounding fields, or even through the farmers’ fields. Just check out FootPathMap or an Ordnance Survey map if you’re unsure where your nearest footpaths and bridleways are.
One local farm by us is having a drive through service in its farm shop. You drop the shopping list off to the staff, drive around the farm to see the animals and then collect your shopping at the end! Search yours online to see if they are offering anything unique like this!
Go on a nature walk
Take a walk in any local countryside you have available and make it fun with a scavenger hunt. You can find printable lists online for free with things to spot as you walk such as squirrels, robins, berries, snowdrops, etc. The Woodland Trust also share some scavenger hunt list ideas.
Right now, playparks are still open to children providing they are outdoors. Why not walk a little further and explore a new playpark they haven’t played at yet? Let kids be kids and run around playing as much as possible!
If you have a garden and a not too cold day then go camping in your garden in the day! Providing you have a tent and some camping essentials then set it up, fill with cushions and throws to stay cosy and pretend you are really on holiday. You might just need to sleep inside the house at night time as it will be freezing…!
Use these tips to encourage wildlife into your garden so you can spot it with the kids!
Scoot or ride around the block
When it’s not raining or icey then make your daily walk more interesting with scooters or bikes for the kids. Sometimes my kids aren’t so keen on a walk, but if I say they can bring their scooters then they jump up and are raring to go!
Feed the ducks
There’s something so calming about water, so take a walk by whatever is near you and spot the wildlife as you’re there. Whether it’s a lake, canal, pond in a park, or if you’re lucky enough to live by the sea - go for a walk near water and enjoy the different birds, sights and sounds on your daily exercise.
If there will be ducks, then take some food to feed them, but not bread. According to the Canal and River Trust, the best food items to feed ducks are:
- Sweetcorn – tinned, defrosted or fresh
- Lettuce – all types of salad leaves are fine if fresh
- Peas – no need to cook them, but allow frozen peas to defrost
- Oats – rolled oats and instant porridge oats
- Seeds – bird seed or seeds we eat
- Rice – cooked or uncooked
It’s cold yes and it’s sometimes miserable outside, but hopefully these ideas will inspire you to find something fun to do outdoors with the kids when it is dry, for free and locally.