The nights are drawing in, leaves are falling, and the temptation is to laze about in your warm home – but outdoor games for children will keep your little ones happy, even as the air chills.
Besides, by getting them out and about, you’re helping children make friends and keeping kids’ screen time down.
We’ve got some tips on the kind of activities that can extend Barracudas summer fun philosophy well into the autumn.
And we’ve one or two indoor activities that will keep them active and away from the TV or tablet when weather means outdoor games for children are off the agenda.
Have a ball
Invest in some balls – you can find some bargains in your local discount store – and you’re halfway to fun and games with the kids.
Get them out in the garden or down in the park with the balls, kicking, throwing and bouncing. It’s a cliché now, but the old “jumpers for goalposts” routine really does lead to fun times that build memories.
Be sure to join in – every child loves it when their parents want to play. So take advantage while you still can. Before you know it, they’ll be teenagers and you’ll be too old, slow and uncool for them to bother with!
Hours will fly by.
Skip to it
Sure, your kid is a ninja master at searching YouTube. And their fingers are on fire when they play Fortnite.
But how good are they at real-life skills your parents and grandparents picked up in the school playground?
Skipping was one of the outdoor games for children that kept generations fit and fleet of foot. So look out a skipping rope or cut a length of clothes line and find the family some space in the garden.
Part of the fun is the skipping rhymes. Don’t know any? Grandparents may be able to help with this, but if not take a look at these fun skipping rhymes.
And, again, cooperative play like this is great for helping children make friends.
If you want to go totally old-skool, reach for some chalk and draw out a hopscotch court.
On your bike
Hit the cycle path or the school playground for some safe cycling that will really blow the cobwebs away.
Just make sure you’ve checked the brakes, the chains have been oiled, and the tyres are fully inflated before you all set off.
“You all,” I hear you say. Of course, we mean all of you – get fit as a family. And don’t forget your cycling helmets!
Sometimes, it’s too wet and windy outside to venture into the wilds. So why not bring the great outdoors indoors?
Dig out paints, pens and papers and get doodling with the kids. Draw your best ever day out, the home of your dreams, the fairground ride you fantasise about, a dinosaur park, an autumn scene, or the alien space base on the other side of the moon.
Let imaginations run wild.
No time to be board
Whether it’s Ludo or Cluedo, everybody has a favourite board game. So dig them out for family fun times.
Young kids might favour the likes of Operation, Connect 4 or Snakes and Ladders, while older children could be ready to give you a whipping at Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit (they’ve been putting in all that time on the internet – you’d be surprised).
The important thing is to join in, keep it light-hearted and help them become good winners and better losers. Knowing how to do both is great for helping children make friends.