Time to have fun in the sun with your little ones

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kids funkids fun


Time to have fun in the sun with your little ones

Parents, it’s time to prepare. The festive season is around the corner and with it comes the December holidays. You’ll likely be given time off work or take leave and the little ones will be free from school, pre-school or crèche (teachers and caregivers also need some time off at the end of a long year). Which means you’ll have loads of sunny summer days to fill up with activities to keep both you and your children happy. If the kids aren’t happy, neither are you, right? And, unlike you who probably wants to relax for a bit, they want to be busy doing fun things from the moment they wake up to the moment they need a nap.

It’s during these times that it’s so tempting to put your children in front of the TV or hand them your smartphone or tablet. And that’s okay for an hour or two while you catch up on the novel you’ve been trying to finish since they were born. But they shouldn’t be staring at screens throughout their holiday. Instead, they should be outside enjoying nature and all it has to offer. Whether it’s an afternoon at the park, a morning at the beach or a kid-friendly full-day hiking trail, they need to spend some time outdoors while the weather is great and you have the time.

So, if you’re looking forward to having some fun in the sun with your little ones, here are some things to keep in mind to make the outing as exciting as it can be.     


Choose activities you know they’ll enjoy and be able to handle

A five-year-old is not going to be able to climb a steep, rocky mountain and they’re likely a little too heavy for you to carry. A 10-year-old is also probably not going to want to play in the park for an entire day. It’s important that you choose activities that are appropriate for your specific children. If you have a little one who hates water, a day out at the beach is not going to be pleasant. And if you have a child who is terrified of bugs, going camping is out of the question. Even if it’s something you really want to do, remember that if they’re not having fun, neither are you.


Ban all technology when you’re on an outdoor outing

There’s no point in taking your children on a picnic in the most scenic area if they’re just going to play on their tablets the entire time. Being outdoors should be about enjoying the fresh air and looking at all the wonders nature has to offer. It should be about finding shade away from direct sunlight so they can see the screen. As much as it might start a tantrum or two, make sure to leave all screens at home. No tablets, no gaming devices, no smartphones. And that goes for you as well.

While you should definitely bring your cellphone along in case of an emergency, you should put it on airplane mode as soon as you leave the house. Your calls, emails, text messages and social media updates can wait. How can you expect your kids to enjoy nature without a screen if you’re busy liking Instagram pics from your favourite travel photographer? On that note, you’re definitely still allowed to take photographs because these are memories you’ll want to keep, but save the uploading and captioning until you get home.   


Have all the summer necessities on-hand

The sun is a very real threat to your children’s health. For starters, it’s easier than many people think for kids to end up with heatstroke. And you don’t want to return from a fun day in the sun with a child who’s nauseous, in pain and drowsy. That’s why it’s super important that everyone (including you) wears a hat and has access to a shady spot when the sun gets too much. Then, of course, there is the most obvious threat of sunburn when you spend too much time outdoors. Which is why you already know to bring along sunscreen to any outdoor activity. However, even if you apply sunscreen regularly, you may miss a spot leading to a sunburned area of skin. It may not show up at the beach, but, by the time you’re in the car and one the way home, your little one may be in tears from the irritation of sunburn. In case this happens, you definitely want to have an aloe vera cream or gel on-hand. One of the many benefits of aloe products is that they soothe dry, irritated skin and help the skin heal quicker when affected by harsh sun rays.


It’s important that growing children spend quality time outdoors. And, during the December holidays, the weather is right and you have the time to take them on fun adventures in the sun. So, go ahead and make some memories, just keep these tips in mind.


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