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SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!

Camping in the garden is fun

Keeping your little ones happy through the summer really doesn't have to mean travelling far or spending lots of money. All it takes is a little imagination

Well it nearly is! School children across the country have either broken up already for the long summer break, or are counting down the days! But most mums and dads know it won’t take long until they’re hearing plaintive cries of ‘I’m bored’ as kids quickly get fed up of doing nothing!

If the thought of the next six weeks with your little darlings is filling you with dread, read on! The online kid’s outdoor website www.littleterra.co.uk has lots of ideas to make the most of the long summer days ahead.

Carolyn Budding, who launched Little Terra as a response to growing parental concern in the UK that kids often spend too much time indoors said:

”Keeping your little ones happy through the summer really doesn't have to mean travelling far or spending lots of money. All it takes is a little imagination and perhaps a lot of determination to drag them away from the TV or Nintendo!”

Carolyn suggests that it’s a good idea to have a rough weekly plan in place, filled with a number of different possible activities, so that you can vary which you do, depending on whether the weather is good or bad. So grab your diaries and pencil in a few of these ideas!

Here is the Little Terra team’s top ten ideas for fun with the kids this summer

1. Go exploring!

We all know it’s hard to drag the family out for a walk so turn it in to an adventure instead. Get everyone to put together their own explorers pack with important kit like torches, binoculars, treasure maps, compass, spades and even measuring tape. It’s amazing what you can discover on even the shortest walk and it’s even more fun if you start a treasure box to keep all your ‘finds’ in when you get home.

2. Go fossil hunting!

If the idea of exploring doesn’t inspire the kids then perhaps the thought of finding their very own fossils will. River banks, caves, cliffs and fields near a beach are a good place to start and it is often quite easy to dig up ammonites and sea urchins and even the exciting sounding devil's toenails, which are actually a very common fossil of an extinct oyster. See what you can find and then have fun looking up what they are when you get back home.

3. Go Geocaching!

This latest high tech treasure hunting game is guaranteed to get your children, whatever their ages, out and about and having quality time together as a family. Geocaching is really the latest form of treasure hunting or hide and seek. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors, and then share your experiences online. You need a GPS unit some basic understanding of how to use it (or you can plot details on a map), and lots and lots of enthusiasm.

4. Moths by moonlight!

Summer is an ideal time of year to see moths in your garden. Grab a moth identification book from your library, and attract them by standing in your garden with a torch. It might be a bit scary at first which makes it all the more fun. Awards points for different species and see if you can find any rare or unusual ones.

5. Chasing dragons!

Well not real ones but don’t tell the kids that! Dragonflies and damselflies are real treats to see in summer and are very numerous along canals and rivers as they dart quickly about feeding on insects. See which ones are your favourites. And if you want to tell them apart remember that when resting dragonflies always hold their wings out flat while damselflies always fold them together.

6. Have a woodland adventure!

Woodlands are lovely cool places to visit on scorching summer days, and wherever you live you will find many which are protected by either the Woodland Trust or your local Wildlife Trust.

Look online to see when they are holding special activity days this summer for the kids

7. Spot a large blue butterfly!

This beautiful species of butterfly was extinct in parts of the UK for many years but is experiencing something of a renaissance. Sit in the grass and watch for the bright blue flashes of colour as they go about their gentle summer business.

8. Go a bit batty!

Don’t be scared! Bats are an important part of our natural environment and are amazing animals. There are 18 species of bats in this country all of which are protected as the numbers are in decline. A single bat can eat up to 3,000 insects in a night so just imagine how many flies there would be without them. If you live near a church or old barn or you might even have bats in your own attics, then you’ll be lucky enough to see bats flying in your own garden. You can encourage them by making your garden as bat friendly as possible by planting night scented flowers which attract insects, and not using pesticides. Alternatively check out your local bat societies for any planned evening bat walks.

9. Have a Backyard Campout!

When it’s too hot to sleep indoors, sleep outside instead. Your kids will love looking up at the stars and feeling the cool evening breeze on their faces. You don't need to travel far to enjoy a fun campout, just grab your family and a torch, tents and sleeping bags and head outside in to your own garden. You can even invite your pets, too!

10. Stuck Indoors?

And if you are stuck indoors because of the weather - don’t let it stop you planning fun things to do with the kids. Consider throwing an indoor beach party, making a weather station, learning to boogy or making jewellery together or you can even help your child write their first book.

Whatever you do this summer try to make it one to remember and one the kids will be bursting to tell their teachers and friends all about, when the inevitable new term comes round again! Don’t forget to take lots of photos too.

For further information on what to do this summer as well as a host of games, toys and outdoor gear visit www.littleterra.co.uk

Ends

Notes to editors:

The Little Terra launch comes at a time when the need to encourage children to explore and have fun outdoors is receiving increasing prominence. A recent survey by the National Trust highlighted the fact that many youngsters could identify sci-fi characters but couldn’t name a magpie. Little Terra is a sister company to Terra Nova Equipment, the Derbyshire based award winning outdoor gear manufacturer and designers of the world’s lightest tent.

For more information please contact:

Kim Peatfield
Write Stuff PR
writestuffpr@w3z.co.uk
Tel: 01335 350476

Or

Carolyn Budding
Little Terra
Carolynb@littleterra.co.uk
Tel: 01773 837382

Visit the Little Terra website at www.littleterra.co.uk