As the weather gets colder and wetter, it’s definitely tempting to spend less time outside as a family. However, its really important for children to get their active 60 minutes every day and whether you’re walking, cycling, scooting or playing a sport in the park, getting active outdoors is a great way for children to get exercise. Being active in the fresh air, particularly in green spaces, is really beneficial for children’s development in other ways – for example, it can improve the whole family’s mood and mental wellbeing. As long as you wrap up warm, autumn is a great time of year to enjoy time together outdoors as a family.
We’ve bought together some tips, inspiration and ideas to help you get active this autumn.
We’ve also got a downloadable Activity Log for half term that your children can use to record how they are getting active every day and how it made them feel. Download it here
Enjoy a trail or scavenger hunt
Sometimes children need a bit of extra motivation than adults to go for a walk. The trick is often to put it to them in a different way – younger kids will enjoy going on an ‘adventure’ in the woods, or a conker hunt, or think of an interesting destination for them to reach at the end of the walk.
Look out for organised trails you can follow as a family – Lincoln Uphill Pumpkin Trail is taking place from 17 October – 1 November. Just follow the trail of pumpkins in uphill shop windows and businesses in the Bailgate and answer the questions. You can complete the trail on-line via www.visitlincoln.com/pumpkintrail using a QR code scanner on your smart phone to answer the trail questions, or you can pick up a leaflet from the Visitor Information Centre.
There’s also a Harvest Time Trail taking place in Spalding town centre until Saturday 31 October. Try and find the ten scarecrows in shop windows – find out more about the trail competition here
You can make your own scavenger hunt to enjoy in a local green space, or even your garden quite easily – simply make a sheet of items to find/ tick off – think about what you’d be likely to find where you are going – it could include finding conkers/ acorns or spotting some local wildlife like a blackbird or squirrel. If you’re doing it at home, you could hide items or clues to find in the garden.
Find a walk on our Go Explore App
Our Go Explore app features walks and routes around Lincolnshire. The app is suitable for all levels with walks ranging from short strolls around urban areas to longer countryside hikes. Choose a route and the app will guide you around it by map using GPS technology on your phone. Local guides and points of interest are included in many of the maps and supporting imagery and text add to the overall experience. Find out more and download the app here.
Finding Places to Explore
The Ordnance Survey has joined forces with Natural England to create The Getting Outside during Covid-19 website bringing together current advice from government, councils and other outdoor organisations, to help you decide where to go and what to do in the open air. The site enables people to search by activity and location for suggestions and ideas about how they can enjoy the outside safely. Search Lincolnshire and see what you can find!
You can also find suggestions of places to enjoy family walks, or days out on the Visit Lincolnshire website. Just make sure you check if places are open, or need booking, before travelling.
Active Play Outdoors
From hide and seek, to making dens there are lots of ways for kids to enjoy playing outdoors in natural spaces. We’ve got some links to ideas and inspiration below, but you can always make up your own games based around your child’s interests.
The Woodland Trust have some good ideas for family activities to enjoy in woodland areas – and you can also find a link to discover woods you can visit near you. Click here to visit the page
The National Trust 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 provides a great list of outdoor activities, to encourage children to enjoy adventures in the great outdoors. Why not see how many you can tick off? Find the list here.
You might also like to take a look at the National Trust Autumn Adventure Sheet
Bad Weather ?- Get active indoors!
If the rain is keeping you inside, or you aren’t able to get out and about, we’ve got plenty of ideas to get children moving at home. Find a selection of links to fun active games, challenges, and videos which can be done at home on this page.