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What to do outdoors

There are lots of great outdoor activities and we’ve searched out the best of them for you. We’d love to see your photos of your favourite family outdoor activities – send them to [email protected]

How to build a den

It’s always great to have a base to return to for those all important snack breaks. Be it an amazing tree house or a clothes dryer with a blanket slung over it, there are lots of great ideas below on making your very own outdoor den.

For all den-related tips, click the links and find out what you have got in your house that are the perfect building blocks for a great den without having to spend lots of money!

https://www.edenproject.com/learn/for-everyone/how-to-build-your-own-den

Blanket Fort – Gather your blankets, garden chairs and fairy lights to make a cosy den in the comfort of your own garden!

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Blanket-Fort

http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/family/kids-parenting/blanket-fort/kitchen-table-fort

Tree House – For the more adventurous parents and those wanting something more permanent there is always the option of building your kids a den suspended off the ground in your favourite tree!

http://www.thetreehouseguide.com/building.htm

http://www.wikihow.com/Build-a-Treehouse

Bean Teepee –This one is a little different! Get the whole family involved in creating your own teepee from scratch in your vegetable patch or in a spare corner of the garden Not only will the kids have somewhere to hide out, but you will be groing your own veggies!

http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/special/children/childrens-bean-teepee.htm

Forest Den – For the wild ones amongst you, build your own den from scratch in a forest using things that you find on your walk!

http://www.forestholidays.co.uk/forestipedia/how-to-build-the-ultimate-forest-den

Great outdoor games

From tag to elastics, simple outdoor games can be the most fun. Here are some great ideas we’ve found:

Sugary sweet doughnut game – eat donuts that are suspended above you without the use of your hands or licking your lips. Sounds easy right?

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/the-donut-game

Pass the water – play this is the garden and the kids can water the lawn whilst having fun. Less daunting than the ice bucket challenge and lots of other great games here too:

http://www.agirlandagluegun.com/2014/05/outdoor-games-to-play-in-summmmmer.html

Bubble snakes – another homemade option to make rainbow-snakes from bubbles that the adults will no doubt want to have a go at too!

http://www.housingaforest.com/rainbow-bubble-snakes/

Building the campfire

The highlight of the day will be building your campfire together, sitting around and being entranced by the magic of the flames as well as getting down to some serious cooking. Once you’ve eaten, it’s time for a good old sing song or perhaps you might feel like telling a spooky tale or two. There are also some great games that are made all the better played at night whilst sitting in the glow of the fire.

How To Build A Fire

Check it out:

  • If you choose to build your fire somewhere other than your back garden, make sure fires are permitted. Here’s a list of camp sites that allow camp fires;
  • You’ll need an open space at least 3 metres away from hedges, trees or buildings.
  • To avoid burning grass, remove large sections of turf and put to one side until you have an area of about 1 metre square. If the soil is really damp, make a bed of rocks or bricks on which to build your fire. If possible, place a ring of stones around the edge to help prevent your fire from spreading.
  • Make sure you place the fire down-wind of anything potentially flammable

Build your fire

  • You will need to use a firelighter such as Flamers, kindling and dry logs - make sure you have enough for the evening. Our kiln dried logs are ideal for campfires as they produce less smoke, don’t spit and your fire will reach a much higher temperature, making it perfect for cooking.
  • Take 8 pieces of kiln-dried kindling and stack neatly in a criss-cross similar to a game of Jenga. Place a single Flamer into the middle of your kindling stack. At an angle lie 2-3 smaller logs across the kindling so that it looks like a tipi
  • Light the Flamer and let it burn for about 5 minutes to ensure everything is burning well.
  • Add two or three more smaller logs, leaving these to burn for another 10 – 15 minutes. If you build a good base of heat to the fire, it will be easier to keep it going
  • Now add 3-4 more logs and make sure when you add them to the fire, place them vertically, leaving lots of space between each log to allow the air to circulate.
  • Once your logs begin to turn white, you’re ready to being cooking.

Clearing up after the fire

  • Always make sure you leave your site how you found it.
  • Make sure the fire is completely extinguished - if in doubt, cover it with water.
  • Remove any charcoaled logs and debris, disposing of them safely. Rake through any remaining ash, then replace the turf that you removed.
  • Press into place with your feet

Staying safe

  • Make sure you have access to a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water
  • Always make sure your fire is just large enough to meet your needs; the smaller the fire, the safer it is. And once lit, your campfire should never be left unattended.
  • Never have a campfire during long periods of drought when grass and hedges are brown and tinder dry.

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