Smart Insurance, has recently launched a campaign to encourage families around the UK to spend more family time together. You can find out more about their product offering over here.
They asked me to share my top tips with reference to the best activities to embark upon for good old-fashioned family time.
When I think back to my childhood, it was filled with days spent at the park at the bottom of the road. Long walks with my Grandad and his dog to the river, or over the back fields. Trips to the river and sliding down the weir in my underwear (I was 7 and it was much more acceptable in those days). Picnic’s in the garden, attempting handstands against the back fence (I still can’t do them) and collecting pine cones in my Grandad’s red and white handkerchiefs (which were huge, not quite sure why they were the size of a muslin cloth).
When I’m gone I want them to look back at their childhood and remember the times we walked on the beach after school. The days we got caught out by the British weather and were soaked through to our pants. The days they walked for miles, stopped for a picnic and then walk miles home again.
I don’t want them to just remember the toys they had, the films they watched and the games they played on the computer. Childhood should be about getting outdoors and exploring what the world has to offer. From nature hunts, woodland walks and trips to the park.
Great ways to get outdoors as a family
Although there are times when I am a fair weather parent who doesn’t quite fancy going out when it is blowing a gale or the heavens have opened. I am also the parent who believes that you can make the most of what is around you. You can opt to pay out for big days out or you can content yourself with the area you live in, exploring the parks and finding places to enjoy a picnic.
We have a red map book (which you can get for various places) that I originally bought for when I passed my driving test. Not being a local I had no idea what many of the street names were called and how to find various places. Mr Boo did chuckle at me whenever I got it out of the glove box.
Anyway, the red map book shows the local area in quite good detail. Take a look at your local area and decide which direction you are heading in today and see what you can find. You can then colour in the roads that you have been down. Make a note of parks and benches etc. that you see along your way. Not only will you be getting to know the area around much better but you are getting outdoors with the children (I apologise in advance for the ‘I want to hold the map’ arguments that may occur).
An English Heritage membership for a family (2 adults and up to 12 children) costs £92.50 a year which might sound a lot but with over 400 places to visit you’d have a mission on your hands to see them all within a year. Come rain or shine English Heritage sites offer you something to do, plus they have a great selection of cafes and tea rooms to enjoy too.
Take a look at Hexmum + 1’s recent trip to Framlingham Castle
The National Trust are famous for their 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4 inspiring both children and parents to cross off as many things as possible from the list. We are very lucky in that we have a number of National Trust properties within our area so make full use of your family membership. With different events organised throughout the year (although my children will tell you it is the Cadbury’s Easter Egg Hunt that they look forward to the most) there is always something new to see and explore.
What ways do you find to get outdoors as a family?
This post was written in collaboration with Smart Insurance, the family life insurance provider.