friendship

How to make the most of the last of the warm weather.

Thank the bureau we still have a good chunk of warm weather left because my kids go full feral if they are stuck indoors. Over the last few weeks, my previously passive 18-month-old has decided that he hates life and everyone/everything in it.

He screams, grunts and points when he wants something and most of the time that something is dangerous/expensive/unhealthy/belonging to someone else. When he’s not shrieking with displeasure or getting into a headlock with his older brother he wants an “uppy” so you’d think my post pregnancy bingo wings would have turned into guns but no. The key to serenity is spraying on some sunscreen and getting out the house because who can be grumpy when you’re ODing on fun?

outdoor activities for kids
Writer Jacqui with her children. Image: Supplied.

Studies have shown that kids who play outside are fitter, have better language skills, a more active imagination and yes, less behavioral problems. That’s why Banana Boat has launched the More Fun Outside Challenge to encourage parents and kids to get away from their screens for a bit and explore the great outdoors.

Banana Boat sunscreen has become the gateway to all kinds of activities that keep my toddler’s mind off his myriad problems and ensure my threenager remains tantrum free… for a few hours at least.

Here’s what we love getting up to in the summer months.

1. Beach-time bliss.

Swimming and building sandcastles are among my boy’s favourite activities. Mr Three jumps through the waves then clutches onto me and begs to go further into the water while his baby bro sticks sand into his belly button at the water's edge. Not a grunt can be heard for hours.

"Mr Three jumps through the waves then clutches onto me and begs to go further into the water." Image: Supplied.
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2. Getting our green on.

When we can’t get to the beach my boys love climbing trees, walking the dog along the river or hunting for invisible treasure under the bushes at the local park, all of which inspire their curiosity and keep their dimples on display - all they need is their imagination, a sense of fun and a good layer of sunscreen.

They also happen to love planting offcuts in the backyard and watching them grow, even if their method of watering often involves indecent exposure.

"They also happen to love planting offcuts in the backyard and watching them grow." Image: Supplied.

3. Rubbin’s Racin’.

Chasing each other on their scooters along the foreshore can lead to the odd face plant but it’s worth it because when they manage to stay upright they are in fits of laughter. While Mr 18 months still needs some guidance and the odd push, he loves nothing more than rear-ending the back of his bro’s Micro Maxi.

Mr Three has also just started learning to ride the bike he got from Santa and asks everyday if he can have another lesson despite eating the pavement every 10 metres.

"Chasing each other on their scooters along the foreshore can lead to the odd face plant but it’s worth it because when they manage to stay upright they are in fits of laughter." Image: Supplied.
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4. Outdoor café caffeine hit.

Call me a victim of inner city gentrification but I love getting my caffeine fix in the sun. We are lucky enough to live near some great cafes with outdoor play areas where my boys can play hide-and-seek with the local kids and my threenager can charm me into getting a “marshy” with his babycino.

5. Trainspotting.

While most commuters find trains an inevitable (and often frustrating) necessity in their daily routine, my sons think they are the embodiment of wonder and excitement. So at least once a week we find ourselves perched on a bench watching the trains toot past and waving at the plugged-in passengers. Every now and then someone waves back which leads to star jumps of victory (ours not theirs).

Jacqui's sons think trains are the embodiment of wonder and excitement. Image:Ssupplied.

After an active day outside there is no negotiation/bribery required at bedtime, my kids pass out for a good 11-12 hours which gives me some time to catch up on status updates and shop for shoes online.

I hope all parents and kids take the Banana Boat More Fun Outside challenge and enjoy exploring the outdoors together, one adventure at a time.

How do you keep your kids entertained outdoors?

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