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DC is scared of outside world - some fun activities please

(14 Posts)
EvaM Fri 29-Mar-13 12:46:38

Hi there,

one of the kids I look after HATES the outdoors. It's very hardvto motivate hher to go to the park or even the garden. And while I insist that we go out especially during the holidays and I try my best to make this fun (picnicks/ treasure hunts/ games...) I feel drained of my outdoor activities ideas. So am looking for some inspiration.

She has a set activity which involves a walk through a lovely little forest ("I HATE the forest!!!!") or a trip on the bus. I used to take her on the bus during the winter (don't fancy taking kids through forest with no artifical lighting in the dark for starters) but parents and I were very clear that we would be going through the woods in spring. So, we started with the woods last week and I got (as expected) a big tantrum. While I will insist that we walk through the forest I don#t really make this more of a fighting point than it has to be. Can you think of some fun forest activities that could be done to 'disguise' a walk.

Thank you for your input.


nbee84 Fri 29-Mar-13 12:53:35

A basket or bag to collect treasures along the way - sticks/leaves/stones, all sorts of things really.

Before you go out make a chart together of things you might see - snowdrops/trees(!)/squirrels/dog walkers/birds etc and put them on a clipboard for her to tick off as she sees them.

Give her the choice of activity that everyone will do when they get home - but only to be done if she has no tantrum.

Make some cakes/biscuits before you go and leave them to cool down to be eaten when you get back.

JollyYellowGiant Fri 29-Mar-13 12:54:34

Have you looked up geocaching?

Don't know how old child is so it may not be appropriate.

Reinette Fri 29-Mar-13 13:35:32

Can you give us a little more information on what she dislikes exactly? Does she get overstimulated and emotionally fraught, or does she have allergies, or is she afraid of bugs/animals...where is her dislike for the outdoors coming from? Could you also tell us how old she is?

It might be easier to problem solve if we know what issues we're trying to distract from.

EvaM Fri 29-Mar-13 19:50:11

DC is 8yo.

She is very arty and loves making stuff and drawing. She is in a way quite creative but needs a lot of stimulation, guidance and ideas on what to make. She definitly prefers to 'make' to playing so one idea is to collect stuff in the forest that we can artwork with though I'll have to get this past 'mum' who is a bit of a germophobe.

She is on the timid site and scared of dogs and cats confused, getting ill, mud, falling ... She tends to overcompensate a bit with being shouty and bossy, but I think she is literally not very used to and therefore intimidated by nature. (We are in London, so very lucky to have a little forest close by).

Another factor is probably that she is going to Tutoring (rather than something more fun) and the walk is taking her away from her beloved drawing.

Ideally I'm looking for activities that woukd involve her 4yo brother as well.

Iggly Fri 29-Mar-13 19:53:33

Wrap her up warm and bring a mug of hot chocolate and biscuits for a treat.

Try just walking through a nice playground on the way to somewhere and get her to help her brother on the swings. Try going for walks to somewhere so she gets fresh air (as opposed to going to somewhere outdoors).

What about the garden?

EvaM Fri 29-Mar-13 19:59:27

Iggly... thanks for this; it might really be helpful to go outside for walks rather than 'babystuff' ;).

There is a nice garden. It's quite big for London standarts mostly lawn with some flower beds along the outside. There is an un-baby-ish swing, but it's completely uninteresting. I remember her once asking, if, instead of going to the park, she could just STAND in the garden for half an hour.

Iggly Fri 29-Mar-13 20:00:49

Lol at stand in the garden. Maybe you could get her to grow some things in pot plants outside? Obviously once it is a bit warmer though!

EvaM Fri 29-Mar-13 20:05:06

I actually went through with the standing in the garden suggestion thinking that she would eventually get bored and join me and her brother playing on the lawn. She didn't grin.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Fri 29-Mar-13 20:07:00

If she loves drawing, why not do art outdoors? No point trying to force her to like the swings or whatever if she doesn't but a walk to an art club/gallery or take art things out might combine something she likes with the outdoors.

Couldn't she take her drawing to the park?

I don't see why she has to enjoy the park, it is not a legal requirement!

JollyYellowGiant Fri 29-Mar-13 20:07:08 definitely appropriate for an 8yo and a 4yo smile

EvaM Fri 29-Mar-13 20:19:34

Yellow: I agree but her brother enjoys the park ;), so some outings should really be for him...

I'm quite happy for her (and she know that) to take art stuff or a book to the park when we go there with mixed success. I.e. sometimes she goes for it, sometimes it's an excercise at avoiding the outdoors at all costs.

EvaM Fri 29-Mar-13 20:20:26

oh, and jolly, thanks for the link. I will be giving that a closer look now.

nannynick Fri 29-Mar-13 22:45:10

getting ill, mud, falling

Is inappropriate clothing an issue? If she had a suitable coat, gloves (even thin gloves for wearing when warmer) would that help her feel less concerned about getting muddy, getting ill?

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