There’s not much children love more than an adventure. As parents, it’s a privilege to be involved in their exciting plans and schemes. Whether it’s climbing trees in the grounds of a National Trust property or searching for creatures in rock pools, there’s an adventure around every corner. Sometimes, it’s difficult to put your own fears aside and let children explore. That’s why we’ve put together an adventure checklist. This is what we think you need to search for excitement and stay safe.
Firing up some enthusiasm for adventure
When there’s a cosy living room and a screen to tear yourself away from, adventures don’t always seem as appealing as they should. We’ve got a few tricks to get the children fired up to do something outdoors though. The first thing we turn to is books. Reading the Famous Five really made my girls keen to get outside and find some excitement. We even managed to find the old 1970s Famous Five television series on YouTube for some extra motivation! Other books and films that are great include the Harry Potter series. So many places in the UK were used as film locations for this that exploring them all would be an adventure in itself.
We also love the i-spy books. Gone are the days when i-spy was something to play in the car on long journeys. My girls have an i-spy book each to take out with us. Libby’s is about nature while Lia’s is about birds. Wherever we go, there’s usually something exciting to see. Unfortunately for Lia, the most exciting bird we’ve seen so far was the Kingfisher and she missed it despite the rest of us seeing it three times in one day.
Finally, if you’re planning a day out, get the children involved. There will be things they want to see and do and the next step is finding somewhere to do it. I think most of us learned from lockdown that there’s a huge amount of fun to be had right on our doorsteps. Rather than just going for a walk, we go out looking for trees or rocks to climb, swings to play on or hills to roll down. If there’s a destination that really interests them, it keeps them much more motivated.
Staying safe while adventuring
I have to admit, I have all the fear when my girls are doing something vaguely risky. Libby once fell off a balancing beam in a park. It was only about an inch off the ground but she landed on her glasses which smashed into her face. There was blood everywhere and of course, I had absolutely no first aid kit with me. Since then, I’ve tried to be a bit better prepared.
It’s always good to have plasters available when you’re out and about with little ones. I’m not really sure why they think a plaster heals everything, but they really do. Of course, a plaster with a fun character on it will always be the first choice. Safe and Sound Health have got you covered for this. They have a dinosaur plaster kit and a unicorn plaster kit. Each one has four fun designs to choose from so there’s something that will make every child feel better.
It’s also important to make sure cuts are clean before you put a plaster on. Safe and Sound Health Antibacterial Hand Foam kills 99.9% of bacteria. A quick squirt of this before you start touching a cut is essential. Then, a spray of Safe and Sound Health Antiseptic spray will sooth any minor skin irritation or scrape. Since Libby’s accident at the park I like to keep a clean cloth or bandage too, just in case there’s a lot of blood.
There’s no such thing as bad weather…
That’s not technically true. But we tend to go out anyway. So, my tip is to pack both for the weather you’re having right now and for a change in weather. There’s not much that’s more fun than splashing in puddles in wellies and raincoats on a wet day. But if you’re going to be out for a while, don’t forget the suncream and sun hats as well.
I always pop an extra jumper in a bag for the girls because they feel the cold a long time before I do. And if they’re puddle splashing, a change of trousers and underwear is usually a good idea. The same goes for very little ones who are prone to accidents. There’s nothing worse than having to walk them home in wet clothes.
An adventure in the UK
Now that lockdown is over, plenty of fantastic attractions are reopening across the UK. But you don’t need to spend a fortune or travel a long way to have a family adventure. National Trust memberships are great value for money and offer days out all over the country. Better still, local parks and commons are amazing places to explore completely free. We are very lucky to live near to the beautiful Malvern Hills so we often head there to run, walk, climb and play.
There’s also the old adage that to cheer up a child, you just add water. For us, surfing, paddling, stand-up paddle boarding and wild swimming all provide fun days out. Living in the Midlands we’re a long way from the beach but that’s not the only place to enjoy the water. We make use of our local rivers, lakes and streams. Children often feel more comfortable with a wetsuit and buoyancy aids are always advisable.
Other things to consider
One way to make sure children don’t get fed up of walking is to cycle instead. We will often pack a picnic and head off for the day with the girls on their bikes. There are lots of family cycle routes around, some even offer something extra like a family trail. Cycle skills areas are always a firm favourite for us too. We can recommend cycling in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, Cannock Chase in the West Midlands and Sutton Bank in Yorkshire.
Picnics are always a good idea when you’re going off for an adventure. Even if you don’t think you’ll be away from home during a mealtime, children WILL get hungry and thirsty. I always grab a bottle of water and at least some snacks. Usually we’ll go for a full on meal though. Sandwiches, fruit, salad, crisps and whatever other snacks I can lay my hands on. I don’t recall a time when we haven’t eaten it all. If you do intend to stop and eat during your adventure, a mini bottle of Safe and Sound Health Hand Sanitiser will come in handy to clean grubby fingers.
Please do let me know your tips for family adventures, anything that can make things a little easier is always welcome.