Mini Outdoor Adventures For Exercise, Fun And Frolics | Kidadl


Mini Outdoor Adventures For Exercise, Fun And Frolics

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What exactly counts as ‘exercise’? The lines blur somewhat when you have younger kids who aren’t necessarily going to want to kick a ball or go for a jog every day, so how do you encourage them to stay active in a way that isn't boring?

Setting off on an outdoor adventure is a great way to get the blood pumping and the laughs flowing, whether it's lazily wandering through the park on a warm, sunny day or bundling up for a brisk autumn walk. Here are a few ideas for getting the whole family active while also having a bit of outdoor fun.

Boy jump over obstacles

Personal Bests

The simple idea here is to see how quickly your child can run between two fixed points. Then attempt the same run on the following day, and the next, each time trying to break their ‘personal best’ You can do this almost anywhere: between two sets of goal posts and back; from one oak tree to another; three times round the mulberry bush -- whatever works best in your local park. Alternatively, do exactly the same but while dribbling a football or riding a bike (over a longer distance, and away from pedestrians).

Rescue Rangers

This works best if your child has a set of related action figures or dolls (plastic so they wipe clean). You need to find a quiet corner of a park, then hide the action figures behind trees or in long grass. Then designate a central-ish spot to serve as ‘rescue base’. Your child runs around the area trying to locate and ‘rescue’ the toys. After each discovery, they have to sprint back to base with the rescued toy, before dashing back out again to find the others. Remember to keep walking round the area yourself, otherwise you might be accused of not exercising!

Walk Through The Alphabet

This one works best while out for a walk. The idea is to work through the alphabet, spotting objects that begin with each letter. “Ash tree!’, “bottle top”, “cat”, “dog poo… eurgh!”, etc. This activity combines physical exercise with observation and wordplay, so you can also count it as a bonus lesson in your child’s home-schooling.

Scavenger Hunt

In a similar vein, turn your walks into a bit of a treasure hunt. Before you set out, note down 10 or 12 things that the kids might be able to spy on a walk around the area. Then, see how many they can find. If you want inspiration, here’s a checklist we put together for the summer months, and one for a garden scavenger hunt.

Do What The Captain Says!

You are the captain, they are your deck hands. As you stroll around the park, give the kids orders to follow -- ones that’ll have them running off on short missions. “Deck hands: fetch me a stick”; “Go see if there are any scurvy dogs hiding behind that tree”; “Yargh! I’ve heard there be treasure hidden round the back of that hawthorn. Go report back, me hearties”. They’ll enjoy the directed exercise, and you’ll enjoy doing the pirate impression.

The Classics

You could always fall back on the tried-and-tested games over every childhood. Tag, piggy in the middle, follow my leader, skipping, frisbee… we’ve previously rounded up some of the simplest outdoor games that require no, or very little, equipment.

Every Street In Town

This idea involves nothing more complicated than going for a daily walk. But instead of taking the same route, plan ahead so that you take in roads you seldom walk along. Print out a map of your local area, then mark off with highlighter every road you’ve walked down. Try to fill them all in over a set period of one or two weeks.

Matt Brown
Written By
Matt Brown

<p>With a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and a Master's in Residency specializing in Biomolecular Sciences and roots in the Midlands, Matt has developed a passion for writing about London. As a former editor and prolific contributor to, he has authored several books exploring the city's hidden gems. In addition to his work, Matt enjoys spending time with his two preschool-aged children.</p>

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