Go out and Play!!
Hiking, Hill walking and buggy pushing through nature
You are never too young to appreciate the joys of hillwalking and hiking. A good pair of walking shoes and suitable clothing is essential to happy trekking trails for younger humans. Just as it is for older hikers! Explore the map and plan the route together before you go, marking the stopping points where treats and drinks can spur their little legs to go a bit further along the way. Remember that younger hikers may not have the same stamina as you do and therefore you should choose achievable goals. The Sugar Loaf Mountain in Wicklow, for example, is an accessible trail for most levels. Check online for medium and easy treks in your own area. For tiny tots, there are many forest walks that will bring adventure and excitement to an afternoon walk. The Gruffalo Trail in Belfast is an incredibly cute and engaging walk, with carved characters from the iconic story marking the way.
Rock Climbing and Mountaineering.
Rock climbing and mountaineering are excellent for adventurous children of all ages and abilities. Climbing on real rock is actually very accessible for young climbers. It is a thrilling activity which can be accessed with the expertise of qualified outdoor instructors, making it both safe and fun, in a number of centres and clubs. Rock climbing and mountaineering can increase a child’s confidence and foster that sense of adventure that makes life worth getting out of bed for. Outdoor rock climbing is available for younger folk at a variety of venues including Carlingford Adventure Centre in County Louth. For suitable mountaineering possibilities for kids, follow this link: mountaineering.ie & Outdoor rock climbing
Zip Lining and other adventures
Birthday treats and summer holiday adventures may even see you, the willing adult, shelling out some money for outdoor adventure experiences. Zip lines and aerial walks are super popular with children and best experienced as a team activity. Safe enough and yet scary enough for the more timid child, zip lines are a wonderful memory making activity. Trip advisor have a comprehensive list of outdoor adventure parks and zip lines in Ireland. Consult before you go and leave a review when you come home. Delphi Adventure Resort
Water Play with a boost
Forget the large water parks of Europe and check out Ireland’s new craze of inflatable water parks. Somewhere near you in the lakes and sea inlets are large inflatable slides and bouncy castles which are awaiting childish laughter. Check out the links below and plan a day of splashing and playing in a well supervised outdoor water park.
Surfing and stand up paddling
Young people can take to surfing like ducks to the proverbial water! Surf schools have popped up all over the coastline offering affordable surfing lessons for young enthusiasts. Be warned though, a taste of the trills of surfing can lead to a life of outdoor adventures, riding the waves from Brittas to Bundoran. Surfing builds up a child’s confidence in the water and in their own ability. They usually take place in waist deep water with qualified instructors with them at all times but are often standing up on their surfboards with big smiles in no time!
A more gentle and sedate fun can be had on a stand-up paddle board. An afternoon paddling down a quiet river with the family is perfect for enjoying all the nature which thrives along our riverbanks. Supping was unheard of in Ireland a decade ago, but has taken on huge popularity with young and old and makes a wonderful outdoor activity for your bored summer holiday kids.
Back garden fun
Being outdoors doesn’t have to be a planned activity every time. Encourage outdoor play with bed-sheet tents and impromptu picnics. All you need to provide is pots, pans, water and lots of imagination. With making tiny fairy houses and insect hotels from moss, twigs and whatever you can find. Lie on the grass. Make daisy chains. Climb trees and swing on gates. The winter is long enough. Make the best of the long days, the summer sunshine and showers and for heaven’s sake, go out and Play!!