Treehouses are wonderfully unique places in which to spend time, and as the days get brighter and the nights longer, your children will have more time to run around, climb and explore. Gardens offer up plenty of opportunity for fun and games, along with a little dose of mischievousness, giving your little ones the chance to keep busy outdoors. To make it even easier to keep your kids occupied, we’ve come up with a few ideas for activities that you can do both inside and outside your treehouse during the seasons ahead.
Take a moment to gaze at the stars
If your treehouse has decking or a balcony, you could use this space for a celestial adventure. Watch the star-filled skies with your youngsters, and encourage their curious minds. Not only will this give them a magical evening, but it’s also educational, allowing you to teach them about the stars above.
Choose a clear-skied night for better visibility, and be sure to do your research into when the best time to stargaze will be — for instance, watching the stars during a full moon isn’t advisable, as the natural light will wash out the brightness of the rest of the sky. When the moon is less visible, however, you’ll be able to see thousands of sparkling stars without the need for a telescope, although you could use one to get a better sense of the moon’s beauty. Find the right spot in your treehouse, avoiding light pollution, a stargazer’s worst enemy. Check for predicted meteor showers too, as these can be fascinating and awe-inspiring to see. The Perseid meteor shower, for example, is expected to peak between the 12th and 13th of August — although this may mean letting your children stay up past midnight, it will be the summer holidays after all!
To make a real event of it, you could also set up a telescope and rotating star map for your children to help them make sense of the constellations. And to keep everyone’s energy levels up, why not bake some space-themed snacks, like crescent moon-shaped cookies or watermelon stars.
Plant vibrant flowers and delicious fruit and veg
Getting your kids involved in some gardening can reap plenty of rewards, not least encouraging them to eat their vegetables. It can also support family bonding, and teach responsibility and patience, and enhance the development of your children’s fine motor skills.
All you need to kickstart your kids’ green fingers is good-quality soil, pots in a range of sizes and some seed packets. You could also invest in some mini tools for them, such as watering cans, trowels and spades, to get them used to gardening gear without having to worry about them getting hurt. Start small by planting some quick-sprouting seeds like sunflowers or cress, as well as nutritious vegetables like radish, lettuce and runner beans, and herbs in small pots, which you can then use in your cooking.
Children love to get their hands mucky, and while the cleanup effort can sometimes be frustrating, just make sure they wear older clothing, to avoid ruining their best t-shirts. And don’t forget sunhats and sun cream!
Host a sleepover
Summer is the perfect time for your children to have their pals over to stay, but letting them spend the night in your treehouse makes it even more special. And there are so many possibilities for activities — your daughter and her friends could enjoy a makeover session, while the boys might want to make a den. And depending on the size of your garden, they could have an unforgettable game of hide and seek before it gets dark. All you really need to do to prepare is help your kids make the treehouse a cosier place to be, with blankets, pillows and fairy lights, and lay out the all-important sleepover snacks, like popcorn or sweets.
Have a picnic
What better way to make use of the space in your treehouse by laying out a delicious picnic for friends and family? Dig out your blanket and wicker basket to get that perfect picnic vibe, and serve up a scrumptious spread of food. You can enhance the occasion with some seasonal decorations too, hanging floral bunting from the treehouse platforms and draping warm fairy lights around the garden. You can even get your kids involved by asking them to help with preparations, giving you the chance to relax with a glass of summery Pimms.
Create a scavenger hunt
A scavenger hunt is simple to create and plan, and all you have to do is hide a certain number of items, and let your children find them. Depending on how many children are playing, you could split the group into two teams and make it a competition to see who can find the most. This activity is interactive and creative, and perfect for the Easter weekend, where you can hide chocolate eggs all over your treehouse. Don’t forget to provide a prize for whoever collects the most — an even bigger Easter egg surely won’t go amiss!
Take a wildlife inventory
Better suited to younger children, though fun for all ages, simply make a list of all the animals and insects that could be found in the garden — like butterflies, worms and birds — and get your kids to search for them. A wildlife checklist will encourage the little ones to explore the ecosystem and understand the nature around them, so not only is it an entertaining game, but a chance to learn. This could also include types of plants and flowers, especially if your garden is blooming in the warm weather.
Your treehouse will give the kids a good vantage point from which to see birdlife, and other tree-dwelling animals, such as squirrels. Before the game starts, be sure to set some ground rules, such as respecting the wildlife and treating them with kindness — suggest they observe the creatures with their eyes, not their hands. Simply give each child a copy of the wildlife list and a pencil, and let them run wild through your garden.