This post is sponsored by GSK Australia as part of the Hay Fever Help education campaign.
Playing outside improves behaviour, reduces stress and anxiety, offers lots of opportunities for learning and development in all areas, and lots of opportunity for healthy physical activity.
We all know that playing outside is good for kids, and it’s good for us adults too, but sometimes it feels almost impossible to go outside.
Lately it has been the freezing cold weather and pouring rain that is making us want to stay inside, but come summer it will be the crazy heat, and in between it’s hay fever season which will keep my allergic kids from going outside to play.
As annoying as these things are, they are really just excuses.
Let’s ditch the excuses and find ways to get outside.
When the weather is bad.
“There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”- Ranulph Fiennes
I heard this saying a lot as a child, and I am pretty sure I rolled my eyes a lot in response, but it’s true. Put on some warm, waterproof clothes and go outside! If my kids have warm hands, a warm head, and warm feet, they’ll stay out for hours. It also helps to plan your outside time for the middle of the day when it is warmest, and plan something active to help keep you warm.
You could simply take a walk in the rain with an umbrella, or you could paint with the rain, or paint on the snow if you are lucky enough to have some, or make an origami boat to float in the puddles.
When it’s too hot.
We get some super hot days during summer, and with fair skinned kids who get sunburned in an instant, hot weather can make going outside just as daunting as it is in winter. But if you head outside early in the day, or wait until the late afternoon when the sun is not so strong, it’s easy to get outside even on the hottest days. Make sure you have sun protection, take some water with you, and find a cool spot in the shade to do some quiet activities.
When it is hay fever season
If it’s not cold wintry weather, or sweltering summer days, it’s hay fever season.
My girls suffer from terrible hay fever in both autumn and spring. They used to spend a good part of the year sneezing, wheezing, and trying to scratch their eyes out until we headed off to the doctor and got a referral for an allergy specialist. Now that we have the right treatment for them, their hay fever is much easier to manage, but it’s still tempting to keep them inside to try and avoid a flair up. It’s such a shame to waste the perfect outside weather though, so instead of avoiding outside during hay fever season we head out prepared.
A visit to your GP is an easy way to make sure you have the right hay fever management or treatment options in place before the season hits. We also check the pollen count for the day to help us prepare. If you are like my girls (and over 3 million1 other Aussies!) and hay fever is keeping you inside, check out Hay Fever Help and speak to your doctor for lots more tips on how to manage hay fever and to check the pollen count in your area.
Once your hay fever is under control you can go outside and make a nature wand, take out a clipboard and some pencils and draw, or play with a spring flower sensory tub.
Autumn is the perfect time for collecting leaves and natural items for imaginative play, or make a rocket to fly on a windy day!
So now that you are armed with ways to play outside no matter what the obstacle, you need something to encourage you to actually get out there!
Let’s face it, there is nothing worse than putting on coats and hats and mittens and boots, or finding sun hats and slathering on sunscreen, or taking your hay fever meds and finally getting everyone out the door, only to have them all want to come in five minutes later because they are bored!
We fixed that problem with our super, mega, huge, free printable, scavenger hunt!
This is not the kind of scavenger hunt you can do in an afternoon, it’s not even the kind you could do in a day, this scavenger hunt is going to take you a lot of outside time to complete.
There are more than 60 different things to find, and some of them are pretty tricky. Some items on the list you can collect, but many you’ll have to snap a photo of, or make a sketch to prove you’ve actually found them. Keep a copy of the list in the car, or your pocket whenever you head outside, you never know what you might be able to tick off the list!
This printable is an A4 sized pdf file, you will need a pdf reader such as adobe acrobat to open it. If you are printing on US ‘letter sized’ paper be sure to select ‘fit’ or ‘shrink to fit’ from your printer options.
Please remember that the printables at picklebums.com are for personal use only, you may not sell, share, or link directly to these files.
Don’t let difficult weather or hay fever stop you from going outside – rug up, keep cool, or manage your allergies and go play outside!
For further advice on managing your hay fever symptoms, please consult your doctor.
Do you get outside every day?
What’s your best tip for getting outside even when it’s a bit tricky?
1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Allergic Rhinitis Accessed 4 July 2016. http://www.aihw.gov.au/allergic-rhinitis/