How to Entertain your Kids Safely in London
More and more kids are being raised in cities such as London – there are more job opportunities in the city than the countryside, and often more affordable housing. Figures show that half of all children will be born in a city by the year 2020, but, of course, city living does come with a downside. While parents who live in rural areas can easily get their kids outdoors, city kids don’t always have these same opportunities. The problem is that outdoor life is hugely important to development and growth, offering children the chance to exercise their legs just as much as they exercise their minds, but many mums and dads worry that a city environment just isn’t safe.
The good news is that city living doesn’t have to reduce the amount of outdoor activities your kids participate in. Yes, you need to be a little more creative in your activity choices, but the truth is that there are loads of fun outdoor activities for kids that can be enjoyed safely in the city. London is an amazing city, with its many outdoor hidden little escapes – city farms, local parks, zoos, wildlife parks, perfect for a family day out, or a picnic away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re looking for some extra inspiration, here are 3 great ideas that are perfect for getting out and about at the weekends or after school:
Map Reading & Orienteering
Think you have to take your kids to the forest to teach them to read a map? Think again! Map reading in the city can be transformed into a fun treasure-finding game that’s safe and supervised – it’s the perfect activity for kids and adults to do together. If a regular map is too complicated, you can usually find smaller maps with lesser detail at tourist information centres in the city, or you could create your own, showing a pathway from your home to your kid’s favourite ice cream place, for example.
Parks & Playgrounds
Although the city is primarily made up of wide, busy streets, commercial buildings, and imposing skyscrapers, chances are you’re never too far from an open green space, even if it’s only small. Even central London offers an oasis of peace in the form of Hyde Park. Parks and playgrounds provide an opportunity for your city kids to let off steam in a safe, contained environment away from traffic and under your supervision. Locate your nearest park and take your kids to experience the beauty of the great outdoors, without having to venture into the countryside.
If you’ve got creative kids, then the city is the best place to encourage them to use their imagination and hone their talents. A small, inexpensive camera is all they need (or, if you’re sure they won’t drop it, they could borrow yours) and the city is their oyster. London has no shortage of photo-worthy sights, including Big Ben, the London Eye, and the historic London Palladium. Of course, if you’d rather your kids learnt to use their camera away from the streets, there are plenty of green areas to practice those skills in, such as Kensington Palace and the Russia Dock Woodlands.
If you’re struggling to come up with more ideas of your own, don’t worry. While we might think of something as being too boring for kids – such as sitting outside at a cafe for example – a child’s imagination can turn practically anything into an incredible adventure. That chair you’re sitting on sipping your coffee? That’s a boat, floating over crocodile-infested waters. Or perhaps it’s a seat on a rollercoaster, racing around the track. Don’t be afraid to take your little ones out with you – they’ll find fun wherever they go, and you’ll be able to supervise to ensure they’re safe and happy. City life? It’s the best!