Bring the outdoors inside with these fun activities

As we enter National Garden Month and the weather brightens, Brits are looking for ways to incorporate outdoor activities into their children’s daily routines.

However, with one in eight British households having no access to a private or shared garden¹, outdoor space for activities isn’t easily accessible. This is evident as only 23% of 8-15-year-olds admitted to carrying out outdoor activities in 2022, a 7% decrease from the previous year².

With this in mind, we’ve created a guide to outdoor activities in that families with no garden can partake:

1. Windowsill gardening

Gardening is a great way to bring nature and outdoor experiences inside your home. All you need is a plant pot, soil, seeds, light and water, and you can use your window space or balcony to ensure the plant gets enough light. Whether you choose flowers, vegetables, or herbs, your child will learn how to nurture and care for the plant. This is an inexpensive, fun activity that allows a sense of accomplishment.

We recommend growing flowers, tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, green onions, herbs and potatoes. A great way for the little ones to partake in sensory and messy play is to have a Play Tray, parents can fill this with soil, moss and bark, in which children can dig around, find buried treasure, and plant different seeds. Get some ideas for play here

2. Camping

Camping doesn’t require leaving the house; you can make some of the best memories in your living room! Simply pitch a tent in your chosen space indoors, then set up the tent with pillows, sleeping bags and blankets. Play board games inside the tent, eat marshmallows and tell spooky stories to live the whole camping experience. If you’d like to take your indoor camping one step further, you can include den kits into your exciting evening.

Lincoln Miles, Founder and camping expert at Preppers Shop, says: “Camping is a fantastic activity that all children should experience. Whether they’re learning how to put up a tent, exploring a new area with mum and dad, or collecting sticks for a campfire, there are a whole heap of benefits for young kids.  
“Not only can camping help them to develop a sense of adventure and boost self-esteem, it also can help whole families disconnect from technology, feel closer to nature, and bond in a fun and exciting environment.
“I have so many memories of camping trips with my family when I was younger, and I love that I’m able to provide the same great moments for my own kids.”

3. Wildlife watching 

Bird watching is an excellent way for children to connect with the natural world inside their homes, and it’s also an inclusive activity that almost everyone can try, no matter where they live. A great way to get creative with bird watching is to create a bird feeder; this is a particularly great way to attract wildlife if you live in an apartment and have a balcony. If this isn’t possible, simply lay seeds in your window and watch out for the birds. Check out the Make a Pizza for the Birds set here, we love this!

4. Make a picnic

While many enjoy a picnic at the park or in other outdoor spaces, they’re just as fun and delicious to do indoors. You only need a blanket or quilt, plastic or paper plates and utensils, napkins, food and drinks to create the perfect picnic set-up. Why not play nature sounds in the background to channel the outdoor environment?

We recommend getting your child involved in the setting up process. If they’re old enough, allow them to help in the kitchen, choose what snacks they’d like, and prepare food for the picnic. By doing this, you’ll be using the Montessori method, which involves putting emphasis on real-world skills.

5. Scavenger hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great way to use space and encourage children to build their critical thinking skills, build memories and have fun! A scavenger hunt requires a place or several places; this could be done in one room of your home or several, where players search for hidden objects.

The planner of the scavenger hunt will need to make a list of things the participants will need to find. The game is adaptable to the amount of space and people involved. Players can receive clues, and the person who finds all the items wins. This inexpensive, fun activity can keep the family occupied for an extended time.

Why you should incorporate outdoor activities within the household

No family should miss out on exciting activities due to not having a garden space. With many families living in flats and apartments within towns or city centres, parents need to know about the activities you can do indoors to make it feel like the outdoors.

A child’s imagination is such a significant part of their childhood. By partaking in their wild ideas and pretending to be somewhere you’re not, you encourage them to be creative and make the most out of every situation.

Play is an important learning method for young children, and no type of play should be off-limits. That’s why we sell a dynamic range of toys in categories that suit everyone. Check out some of our faves for garden inspired play below:

Laura Davies is the founder of the The Kid Collective, the ultimate shopping destination for toys and brands that support learning through play. Everything is consciously selected with the benefits of play in mind, ensuring that each toy inspires growth in children, for today and tomorrow. When it comes to play, we know what matters.

ONS Data correct as of 2021 - The Children’s People and Nature Survey for England: 2022 update


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