I think one of the first daydreams I had when I was pregnant with Daisy, was imagining her as a little girl, playing outside in the sunshine with her big brother. She’d be just a toddler, and he’d be proper little boy by that stage, and I’d sit, next to Mark, watching them laugh and play and explore.
Fast-forward on, and I have, especially in the last few weeks, been witness to that very scene, several times. And I think it’s probably one of the loveliest parts of having children – watching them explore the world and get muddy knees, or leaves in their hair. The occasional scratch or graze typical of a great adventure had. And those flushed pink cheeks that you can only get with time in the fresh air.
When the weather is lovely, as it has been in the past few weeks (not every day mind, we do live in the North remember), we’ve been been outside at every opportunity. Bill and Daisy have been in the paddling pool, more than once. They have played in the little play area we’ve made in one part of the garden. Bill has been down at the brook that runs through the bottom of our garden, spotting little bits of wildlife and playing pooh sticks. We have eaten outside. BBQs. Picnics. Ice lollies. Or simply just ignoring the dining table inside that day, and bringing food out to eat, because why not?
We went fruit picking last weekend at a local fruit farm. And we’ve been to farms, gone for walks to feed the ducks. And even just gone to a local coffee shop to have a drink in the sunshine.
But we don’t even need the sunshine to get outdoors. We love a good wintery walk when the grass is all crisp underfoot. And we make glittery autumn leaf garlands every year, by going on a leaf hunt for the most beautiful leaves we can find and decorating them when we get home (you can see how we make those leaf garlands here).
Obviously, whatever the weather, getting outdoors with little ones always requires a few necessities. Sun cream for when it’s warm. Sun hats. Swimming costumes. A paddling pool – ours is only cheap. Woolly hat, gloves or mittens when the weather is cool. And wellies for rain. A good rain coat too. And not forgetting a few plasters, just in case!
As well as that, something we’ve had in our house from the get-go, and something I remember using as a child, is Germolene. I’m sure you’ll have heard of it, especially as a parent, but Germolene is used to ease pain and help prevent infections of minor cuts and grazes, minor burns, scalds, blisters, stings and insect bites, spots and chapped or rough skin. So it’s a great all-rounder and a staple for any outdoor adventure.
Now, we’re an outdoorsy family anyway, but Gemolene asked us to try the ‘Smartphone to Scooter’ challenge recently, and exhange 30 minutes a day of technology time, for a little bit of outdoor fun instead. So we’ve really tried to make the most of every second. The good weather has helped. But even a quick trip to the park after school has mean that my son, Bill, who is five, has come home feeling happy and tired-out and eager for his tea, which actually made the whole bedtime process easier.
The same goes for Daisy – she may only be 14 months-old, but a little time outdoors, exploring, seeing new things and having her sense stimulated, means that, come bedtime, we don’t have that usual fight, she happily has a bath to wash of all the dirt from the day, and happily goes to sleep.
So, in celebration of getting outdoors more as a family, particularly with the summer holidays coming up, I’ve partnered with Germolene to host an amazing giveaway inspired to help you have more fun in the great outdoors. It’s a family hamper, worth £250, full of things to enjoy outside, along with a Polaroid camera to capture your memories. All you need to do is enter via Rafflecopter below (T&Cs here), by leaving me a comment below sharing your favourite outdoor memory from your childhood. That’s all there is to it!
*PR Collaboration – thank you for Gemolene for working with me on this post and for this amazing giveaway!