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10 Fun things to do with kids in a Country Park

Posted on
December 20, 2015

Much as I love a good theme park, some of our best days out are out in the wild, running free.
We live in Dorset, close enough to visit the seaside, forest or countryside – all of which is fun and best of all free. There are a few country parks local to us but one of our favourites is Avon Heath as it is less commercialised than its close neighbour Moors Valley.
Avon Heath has miles of tracks offering an opportunity to explore some of Dorset’s internationally important heathland and its rare wildlife. The park is dominated by lowland and wet heath, acid grassland and heather, which is broken only by clumps of birch and pine and we always take a different path whenever we visit in the hope of spotting some of the resident creatures which include Sand Lizards, Smooth Snakes, Dartford Warblers, Woodlarks, Nightjars and the Silver-studded Blue butterfly.
Spotting wildlife isn’t for everyone although they have made it easier here with a hide and a big blackboard to write down what you have seen that day and the kids love to join in, even if they have just seen a Wood Pigeon.
So what are the 10 best things to do when at a Country Park?
1.  Climbing Trees – make sure you find a sturdy one with lots of branches to make getting up, and back down, easier.
Tree Climbing
2.  Animal Tracking – this is great fun to do along sandy or muddy pathways. We found lots of dog paw prints and also some birds and judging by some rather large cow pats, there were some cows around too
Animal Tracking
3.  Jumping Up and Down in Muddy Puddles – if it has been raining, and it has been raining a LOT, take a change of clothes for the kids, don your wellies and release your inner Peppa Pig.
Muddy Puddles
4.  Look for local wildlife – Wildlife is all around us and we have found ants, snails, beetles, worms and of course bigger creatures like horses and cows. We haven’t been lucky enough to spot a deer yet though.
Beetle Hunting
5.  Water Play – Nothing seems to capture a child’s imagination like water. We have great fun skimming stones, creating ripples or just gazing at our reflections in the water.
Water Play
6.  Build a Den – OK, so this one we found pre-built but we added our own finishing touches to it. I love watching it fire the kids imaginations and they were busy “cooking” us all sorts of wonderful delights.
Build a Den
7.  Walking with Friends – it is always more fun when you go out with friends and we were hanging out with the CharlieMoos gang. When one child got tired the others rallied round and we had races, sword fights (with sticks), joke telling and a few games of hide and seek.
Avon Heath Country Park
8.  Find a stick! – When you are a child there is apparently no better toy than a stick. You can build your own stickman, have sword fights and even pretend its a gun. Apparently the bigger the stick, the better it is!!
Stick
9.  Take a picnic – Nothing beats eating in the great outdoors where you can find a comfy spot and sit down to eat whilst having a good old natter with friends and family.
Avon Heath Country Park
10. Let them run free and watch their imaginations fire. Eliza was looking for elves and fairies here and the boys were off building a bridge over a stream.
Avon Heath Country Park
There is so much to do outdoors and all seasons are different, plus a I find a couple of hours of outdoor play puts my kids in a better mood and they sleep better that night!!
What are your favourite things to do when visiting a country park?
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
 
 

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17 Comments
  1. Reply

    Tori Gabriel

    December 20, 2015

    It just goes to show you don’t have to spend a fortune to make lasting memories. It’s also nice to get the kids out and away from the TV and computer

  2. Reply

    Rachel

    December 20, 2015

    Now this looks and sounds like lots of fun to me, especially hopping about in puddles and climbing trees x

  3. Reply

    Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    December 20, 2015

    Most of these are on our list of things we enjoy doing when out and about in country parks although the girls are too young yet for tree climbing. Jumping in muddy puddles is always a big favourite though as is finding sticks to play with 🙂

  4. Reply

    Coombe Mill

    December 20, 2015

    What a great list of exciting things to do in a Country Park, I must admit that my lot loved doing most and some they still do! Your lot look like they’re having the perfect wintry day exploring the Avon Heath Country Park, there’s definitely plenty there to keep them occupied and their imaginations working. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids and for supporting it throughout the year. Merry Christmas to you all.

  5. Reply

    Pinkoddy

    December 21, 2015

    What great suggestions – and ones my boys all love. I also like to make the children aware of things changing with the seasons. We also like to look at nature and all her beauty and see if we can find things that we don’t know what they are (and find out)

  6. Reply

    Shell Louise

    December 21, 2015

    I think we should get out a bit more than we are doing at the moment. We’ve been stuck in watching Christmas movies and eating far too much junk. A day in the fresh air would do all good 🙂

  7. Reply

    JuggleMum, Nadine Hill

    December 21, 2015

    Kids are so attracted to sticks aren’t they? My lad always seems to find the biggest one when we are out and about!

  8. Reply

    Jenni - Odd Socks and Lollipops

    December 21, 2015

    So many wonderful things to do out and about, we have a place like this near us and it’s just a great place to spend an afternoon and jumping in puddles is our favourite thing to do!

  9. Reply

    Claire at Tin Box Traveller

    December 21, 2015

    Get list of suggestions – I think all our favourites are on it. Muddy puddles and picnics in particular. Something else I can’t wait to try with my two is bark rubbings. Maybe not in the wet but something for spring time 🙂 #countrykids

  10. Reply

    Zena's Suitcase

    December 21, 2015

    There is so much you can do in a park. My daughter is fond of finding lots of sticks. Parks are just great for kids, for fresh and and exercise

  11. Reply

    Sarah Bailey

    December 22, 2015

    What some lovely suggestions there is nothing quite like being out in nature. x

  12. Reply

    Jen

    December 22, 2015

    What a super post/ I have pinned to my out and about board. Perfect for getting out and enjoying the unseasonably mild weather

  13. Reply

    Sonia

    December 23, 2015

    We love visiting country parks, I just love to let the kids roam free. They love it x

  14. Reply

    Globalmouse

    December 24, 2015

    Great tips and gorgeous photos. My daughter loves picnics and is always asking to go on one. It’s brilliant to get them used to going to parks and not always having to have organised activities isn’t it?

  15. Reply

    Erica Price

    December 27, 2015

    I’d agree. We have some great memories of days outside in the open exploring nature. Personally I prefer that sort of day out to a theme park.

  16. Reply

    Cass@frugalfamily

    December 27, 2015

    We have more fun in a park like this than anywhere else – even at 10 and 13 x

  17. Reply

    Laura

    December 28, 2015

    Outdoor fun is the best! We love exploring our local nature reserve and my children adore jumping in muddy puddles too.

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KARA GUPPY
Bournemouth

Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog chelseamamma.co.uk