The summer holidays are well under way and we are always looking for ways to get kids outside and enjoying the fresh air. It’s not all about the latest technology – there’s so many amazing things to discover in the great outdoors!


Inspired by The National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before you’re eleven and three quarters’ the competition is now officially over and the winner has been chosen. Congratulations Anne Warner! Winner Anne sent us a beautiful picture of her three children exploring the beach in Lyme Regis.

All of our entrants have given us great ideas for making the most of the summer sunshine. Here are some of our top picks from our competition entries for enjoying the outside world:

Exploring the seaside – plenty of our competition entrees found exciting alternatives to sunbathing when visiting the beach, and this was our most popular exploration destination.

Fiona Haward’s son explored the rock pools and Joanne Colao’s baby daughter had her first paddle in the sea. Samantha Fernley’s children were playing on the beach at Aberporth, Wales, and competition winner Anne Warner’s children could also be found enjoying the rugged landscape at Lyme Regis beach.

Why not try something different next time you visit the coast? Create pebble art in the sand, make a sailing boat before you leave to sail in rock pools, or take Thomas the Tank Engine along with you and create a train track for him from sticks and shells.

Enjoying country walks – running through the long grass is lots of fun when you’re small, like Jenette Ogborn’s daughters. Watch out for fields of long grass to play in on a country walk, but make sure you’re not trespassing!

If you keep your eyes peeled you might see wild rabbits hopping about, horses and sheep in the fields and pretty birds in hedgerows. See how many different creatures you can all spot!

Meeting creepy crawlies – if garden insects fascinate your kids, like our competition entrants Christy Beckett and John Cartwright’s, why not encourage their natural curiosity and help them learn about different insects and the role they play in nature?

Find insect-inspired crafts, activities, and even recipes here. Children can get a clearer look at the bugs they catch with a magnified ‘bug viewer’, and you can explain a little more about the insects they are looking at.

Paddling in waterfalls – Dani Grave’s son paddled in the waterfall at Aysgarth falls, and Hazel Pearson’s kids were at Glenoe Waterfall in Co.Antrim. How exciting! When you get home, you can help kids create their own mini waterfall – a fun craft activity on a hot day.

Stone skimming – This is one taken straight from the National Trust list! Michele Elton took a picture of her daughter skimming stones in the sea. It’s not always as easy as it looks though! A little tip for you – physicist Lyderic Bocquet says the key to a good skip lies in spinning the stone: “On the water, a stone’s spin keeps it poised on its trailing edge, rather than somersaulting. In the air, spin provides stability, as with a Frisbee. If the thrower gets the stone off to a bad start, spin can bring it into better position before it hits the water.”

Climbing trees – A favourite childhood challenge before the days of video games, climbing trees is still pretty fun – just make sure they don’t climb too high! Carmen Whittle sent us a picture of her son Matthew climbing a tree in a local water park.

Thank you all for sharing your lovely exploration ideas. If you didn’t win this time, keep your eyes peeled for our next competition, via FacebookTwitter and Instagram.