A collection of great activities to do outdoors with your kids.

Log rolling

A Child’s Sixth Sense

During the Covid-19 pandemic, life had changed dramatically for our little people.

Playground equipment was off limits. Until recently, we could only head out for 1 hour of activity outside the home. Nurseries, child-care facilities and activity events shut their doors for the time being.

The focus shifted to the home setting for all the play, activity, learning and fun.

It was certainly a challenge for parents and children to adjust to this ‘new normal’

The aim of this blog is to give you a few suggestions of activities that can be done at home or in any green space around your local area to boost one very important sensory area for your child.

We are all familiar with the 5 senses of sight, sound, hearing, smell and taste. But this 6th sense sometimes called The Movement Sense, is equally as important. It is vital that this system be developed within the early years of a child’s life as co-ordinated movement is fundamental for all life’s activities.

This Movement Sense involves the Vestibular System and proprioception.  The Vestibular System is a sensory system that is responsible for providing our brain with information about motion, head position, and helping to know where our body is in space. It’s actually one of the oldest of the sensory systems, thought to have evolved about 0.6 billion years ago! The sensing ‘machinery’ is found in the inner ear and is essential for normal movement and balance. 

Here’s a 2 minute clip that tells you more about this Vestibular System if you’re interested.

Balance is not something we automatically have; it is something that we do. And it needs practice, lots of it! This means that our vestibular systems needs regular stimulation to build up those neural pathways which help our children in their day to day lives.

Sadly, children sitting still for long periods of time without moving their heads in a range of movements does nothing to stimulate this vital sensory system.

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The vestibular machinery in the inner ear responds to three different types of movement and it’s vital to allow your children to do activities that stimulate all three types.

Type 1: Vertical movement around a horizontal axis or horizontal movement around a vertical axis

Activities like spinning on a roundabout or spinner at a local playground are perfect for simulating this part of the inner ear.

Log rolling down a gentle grassy slope is another fun easy activity for this. You can do it on a flat surface too, but it’s a little harder that way. Just make sure you check the grassy area for any unwanted items before they roll along the area. 

Rolling | For vertical movement around a horizontal axis

Want to make it more challenging? Can they roll one way, then back the way they came?  Or can they roll with their arms stretched out high above their heads, making a peak with their hands together. I call these ‘rocket ship arms’.

Of course, if your child loves dancing, spinning round during a dance routine is a perfect motion to practice this movement too

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Type 2: Movement forwards and backwards through the horizontal axis.

Activities like rocking and swinging give this part of the inner ear a fabulous workout.  

Initially, the passive gentle rocking of a cradle or being rocked in a parent’s arms helps to stimulate this system.

As the child develops, and when there is a level of muscle strength and postural control, rocking toys can feature in the play mix.

The Wishbone Flip or Mini Flip in rocking mode works a treat at stimulating this part.

Or a swing. This snap is of our Solvej Baby and Toddler swings that can be set up inside the house or outside on a verandah or under a tree. What child doesn’t love to spend hours swinging backward and forwards – it’s a gorgeous feeling!

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Type 3: Tilting side to side

This is the least stimulated vestibular movement in everyday life. When a boat tilts in a strong wind or seas or an aeroplane banks from side to side, this part of the inner ear is stimulated.

Wobble Boards are the perfect toy to practice this movement safely. First they can sit, cross legged on the board and wobble side to side. When they get better with balancing, they can try to stand up.

If you don’t want to buy a wobble board, you can easily make something at home that practices the same movement. I’ve created one here with a short plank of wood, sitting on a half round log from the log pile. Make sure that the wood is smooth as you don’t want to get splinters in feet.

Want to make it more challenging?

Use a larger log underneath or use a completely round log which will have much less stability.

You’ll notice that young children don’t get dizzy doing any of these movements where adults certainly do! I go weak at the knees at the thought of getting on a Waltzer these days! This is just because the connections between balance and other centres are still being formed in our children.

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With any of these activities, it’s essential that you fully supervise your child when at play.

So, the tiny Vestibular System, tucked away in the inner ear, is a vital cog in the heathy development of your child.

Not only is it king in developing your child’s balance and co-ordinated movement. This system has also been shown to have a profound effect on emotions, and is essential in higher cognitive skills such as reading and writing, which require directional awareness coupled with the improved integration with the other sensory systems and benefits in stabilising eye movements.

Happy playing!


Little Wheels Lockdown Riders Alfie & Connie Wills

During the summer months, I put together a little virtual charity event for our local riders in Exeter and East Devon. So many children had made massive progress during lockdown with their riding. Some had managed to master their balance bikes or scooters for the first time, others had made the progression to riding with pedals. I felt so sad that all of the usual kids activities couldn’t operate, my events included. And that our Whizz Kids needed a bit of a morale boost as well as some incentive to keep active and use these new found skills.

So, I applied to Exeter City Council for a grant to supply the medals and postage costs. And a few other local businesses offered free help with the design of marketing materials and certificates. Thank you Exeter City Council, GX Accountancy & Bookeeping, TobyRix Design, & Tiny Designs!

Four courses were mapped out in the Exeter and Exmouth regions. Check out my other blogs for the course information if you’re looking for some new routes. Distance wise, they varied from about 2.5 – 3km long and were an out and back course. Hopefully far enough to challenge them but not too far that the parents ended up carrying them and the bikes for some of it!

Little Wheels Lockdown Ride

The parents signed up to either the Gold, Silver or Bronze level depending on the number of rides that they thought they could do over a 6 week period. Once completed, the whizz kids got sent their medal and certificate in post to celebrate the achievement.

We had around 125 riders sign up to complete the event. I’m so proud of them all! Together they rode about 800km! Brilliant isn’t it??!!!

And the icing on the cake was that we managed to raise £458 through voluntary donations for the UK charity Whizz-Kidz. They were over the moon too! They do amazing work in supporting disabled children throughout the UK lead a more mobile life.

Little Wheels Lockdown Ride Finishers

Our riders mainly joined in from Exeter and East Devon but some even travelled from Plymouth and Cullompton to take part!

The feedback was totally positive from parents which I loved to hear.

“Thank you so much for the challenge. Arlo only learnt to ride in lockdown, not only was the thought of a gold medal a great motivator, but it’s brought to our attention some really lovely child friendly family routes which we will continue to enjoy.”

“This event has been the perfect way to build both their confidences and bike skills. Harry, Callie’s big brother has taken part alongside her and encouraged her the whole way. Fantastic teamwork!”

We also made it into the press. Read the Devon Live article here and the East Devon News here

To all our Little Wheels Lockdown riders, congratulations on your amazing achievements and I hope that you keep up the riding!


Exmouth Esplanade Cycle Lane

You can’t beat a ride alongside the ocean blue. The sound of the waves against the shore line, the squawking of seagulls, the fresh sea air. Plus a play on the gorgeously golden sands of Exmouth Beach before or after the ride. This route is a must for all budding riders!

The Exmouth Esplanade is a shared pathway for some of the way so its important to be wary of other users, especially when you have a young inexperienced rider.

If this is your first time riding this route, I’d try and pick a time when it might be a little quieter as it can get quite busy during peak weekend hours.

Make sure that you don’t pick a windy day either. It’s an exposed course and a strong head wind or side wind that whips up the sand can turn a lovely family outing into a painful experience!

Green Whizz


Exmouth Esplanade Cycle Ride Map
Red Whizz

Starting Points

The starting point for this ride is the Ice Cream Kiosk on the Esplanade, just opposite Queens Drive Space, EX8 2AY.

Ice Cream Kiosk Exmouth Esplanade

There are two public car parks nearby, one just along from Queens Drive Space and one further along the Esplanade by the RNLI building. There are also plenty of on-street parking bays all the way along the Esplanade.

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Section 1

The whole ride is on tarmac so it’s a good surface for cruisy riding. Stormy weather does tend to whip up a bit of sand onto the pathway so it’s best to avoid this ride straight after some nasty weather.

Exmouth Esplanade Cycle Lane

This section of the ride has two sides to the pathway separated by a small concrete hump for most of the way. One side is for cyclists and the other for walkers. It’s always a little tricky when you are taking a toddler or pre-schooler along here to know which side to let them ride on. If you are walking along with them, I’d have them on the walkers side. If you are all riding together, stick to the the bike side.

This two lane section runs for about 700 meters one way and finishes just by the RNLI Lifeboat Station.

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Section 2

Exmouth Esplanade near Orcombe Point

Follow the pathway that skirts to the left of the RNLI building as this gives you plenty of room. The walkway that goes to the right has a narrowish tight corner which can be a little dangerous on the bike.

This second section of approximately 800 meters one way is a shared pathway. It’s nice and wide but keep a close eye on your rider as you head down here. You often get people heading out of their cars and cutting across the pathway without really looking.

Exmouth Esplanade Orcombe Point

The turnaround point is the very obvious cluster of flag poles by Orcombe Point.

You may want to stop and grab some refreshments here at Bumble and Sea. Or head on back the way you came for a well earned ice cream!

If you wanted to start down at Orcombe Point, you can do the course in reverse.

Green Whizz

Ride Stats

Exmouth Esplanade Cycle Lane
  • Total Distance: 3km
  • Section 1 Distance: 700 meters one way
  • Section 2 Distance: 800 meters one way
  • Turn Around Point: Flag Poles at Orcombe Point
  • Surface: Tarmac the whole way.

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There are public toilets just between Budgens and Exmouth Rowing Club although they may still be closed due to COVID-19.

You can grab a cuppa from either the Ice Cream Kiosk or the other end at Bumble and Sea.

If you have brought a picnic, the tables and seating at Queens Drive Space is a perfect spot for it.

Happy riding! I’d love to hear how you went.

Drop us a line in the comments box below or via any of our social media contacts.


Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride

In the heart of Exeter City centre, flanked by the Exeter Canal and the River Exe, is a gorgeously lush peice of green space that is perfect for little wheels.

This is another traffic free ride with an aquatic theme. The path is tarmac the whole way and is open with marshland to one side and grassy banks to the other. It runs parallel to the Exeter Canal for part of the ride, and in the Spring time and early Summer, you can spy the white swans and their cygnets floating serenely on the water.

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Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Map
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Starting Points

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride

The main starting point is off Haven Road and Maritime Court, EX2 8DU, right by the Sea Cadets building.

There is FREE on street parking for 2 hour blocks up behind Exeter Rowing and Canoe Clubs.

Alternatively, there is Haven Banks Car Park EX2 8GW nearby.

Green Whizz

Section 1

This ride starts with two bridges to cross, over the two branches of the Exeter Canal. Wooden boards make a great rumble sound with scooter or bike wheels and there are often canoes or sculling boats to watch as you bridge the water.

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park

Then you are onto a tarmac single multi use pathway that bends round to the right and runs parallel to the Exeter Canal. Look out for the white swans and their cygnets in Spring and early Summer here.

This section probably lasts for about 200 meters before you take a left hand branch up a slight rise into Section 2.

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Section 2

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride

You are now onto the split pathway with a cycle lane and walking lane.

It’s always tricky to know which path to use when you have a very young rider with you.

I would suggest that you take the cycle lane if you have a relatively experienced rider. If you are walking alongside your whizz kid, make sure that you keep well to one side. Commuters and recreational riders buzz along here quite fast at times.

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride

Towards the end of this section, the path bends round to the right and on the left hand side is the gate into the Riverside Valley Park, managed by The Devon Wildlife Trust.

Hop off the bikes and have play through buttercup-filled meadows alongside the winding River Exe with wonderful views across the city to its cathedral. It’s a lovely spot to have a little picnic as you are almost at the half way point of this ride.

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park.

The metal barrier just before Salmon Pool Bridge, marks the turnaround point and this section is about 1km one way.

On your way back, you have stunning views with Exeter Cathedral rising above the green trees with the Quay and moored boats in the distance.

You can do the course in the reverse and start at Salmon Pool Bridge if that is a easier option for where you live.

Green Whizz

Ride Stats

Exeter Quay to Riverside Valley Park Ride
  • Total Distance: 2.4km round trip
  • Section 1 Distance: 200 meters one way
  • Section 2 Distance: 1km one way
  • Turn Around Point: Metal barrier
  • Surface: Mainly smooth tarmac with two bridges to cross.

Red Whizz


There are public toilets on the other side of the Quay by The Craft Cellar that are open.

The Welcome Cafe is currently closed at the time of writing but is a gorgeous spot for some drinks and the biggest slices of cake you will ever see!

The Quay has a variety of eateries although sadly many of them are still closed due to COVID-19.

Happy riding! I’d love to hear how you went.

Drop us a line in the comments box below or via any of our social media contacts.


Exe Estuary Cycle Trail - Topsham

Birds and trains is the theme for this ride. Part of the wonderful Exe Estuary Trail that snakes its way around the Exe Estuary, this section is completely traffic free.

Running beside the RSPB’s Goosemoor and Bowling Green Nature Reserves , a large section of this ride is a fun rumble along a wooden boardwalk. With openings at various heights to spy on the bird life, it’s the perfect place to stop a while and take a goosey gander at what you can see.

The imposing metal bridge that spans the Clyst River is the perfect view point to check out some more aquatic life and boats resting in the mud.

There are a few little ups and downs but nothing too scary to put off our budding riders.

Further along the trail, you ride alongside the railway line to Exmouth. Try racing a train or wave at the passengers as one passes by.

Green Whizz


Exe Estuary Cycle Trail - Topsham
Red Whizz

Starting Points

Exe Estuary Trail - Topsham

The main starting point is from Bowling Green Road, EX3 0AX which is off Elm Grove Road in Topsham.

Free parking is on the side of the road just over the railway bridge. Walk or ride down the hill and the gated entrance to the off road section is on your left.

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Section 1 & 2

The very start of this section is tarmac as you pass under the railway bridge. It only lasts for about 150 meters before you are onto the boardwalk.

Once you are on the boardwalk, the kids will love the rumbling sound their bikes make on the boards which sends vibrations up through their bodies. It’s one long rumble strip!

Exe Estuary Trail - Topsham

All the way along, there are viewing points to stop, have a rest, and see if you can spy any bird life out on Goosemoor Reserve.

Towards the end of this section, you ride up and over the metal bridge that spans the Clyst River and gives you gorgeous views out across the top end of the estuary.

Exe Estuary Trail Junction

You then roll down the other side and the boardwalk ends just before a 3 way junction. This part is about 550m in distance one way.

The path from the left comes in from Darts Farm via a narrow path that wends it way past houses and industrial areas.

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Section 3

The remainder of this ride is back on tarmac and runs right alongside the railway line out to Exmouth.

Exe Estuary Trail

There is small metal bridge half way along this section that makes a cool echo as your ride over it.

High hedgerows in this section provide great shelter and at the end, there is a tight left bend with a seat and views out over the estuary. A good spot to have some food and drink to refuel.

Exe Estuary Trail

Just around the bend, you meet the gate which marks the end of the traffic free part of the trail.

This gate is the turnaround point for the ride and this section is about 600m one way.

Head back the way you came to complete the ride.


For those bikers that might like to go a little further, you can turn left out of the finish gate and head down Bowling Green Lane (open to traffic) towards Bowling Green Nature Reserve (250m) and further down the water and the start of Goat Walk Path (500m). RSPB’s Bowling Green Nature Reserve viewing building is currently closed but do check this before you head out because it may have opened up.

Devon Daze has written up a lovely article about Goat Walk Path if you want to continue further which can be viewed here. Cyclists must dismount though for this walk though.

Green Whizz

Ride Stats

  • Total Distance: 2.3km round trip
  • Section 1 & 2 Distance: 550 meters one way
  • Section 3 Distance: 600 meters one way
  • Turn Around Point: Gate to Green Lane
  • Surface: Half boardwalk and half tarmac.

Red Whizz


There aren’t any public toilets or cafes in the immediate area but Topsham does have cafes that are currently doing take away at the time of writing.

Happy riding! I’d love to hear how you went.

Drop us a line in the comments box below or via any of our social media contacts.


Exmouth to Budleigh Cycle Way Main Section

This is a lovely family friendly cycle ride along the old disused railway line that connected Exmouth to Budleigh Salterton. It runs along National Cycle Route 2 and heads through rolling countryside and woodland.

It’s a sheltered ride with high hedgerows and woodland later on so this ride is a great one for a windy or cooler day.

It’s the perfect step up for your youngsters who have mastered riding and are wanting to explore a little further on their balance or pedal bikes. The big bonus is that the first section has just been newly tarmacked too so it’s a nice smooth ride for most of it.

There is often livestock such as horses and cattle in the surrounding fields and plenty of bird and insect life in the hedgerows to stop and investigate along the way.

This distance that I’ve marked out on the map below is around 3km as a return trip and is probably a good starting point for your first ride.

At the turn around point, there is a handy picnic bench, nestled under the tall trees. This is a perfect stopping point for some refreshments for hungry and thirsty riders before heading back for home.

As your kids get stronger and build their stamina, they can carry on along the track a little further each time. It continues all the way to Bear Lane in Knowle, Budleigh Salterton EX9 7AQ.


The gravel section has now been tarmacked so it’s a smooth ride from Littleham all the way to Bear Lane in Knowle, Budleigh Salterton EX9 7AQ. This is great news, especially for scooter riders as the gravel is tough going on hard wheels!

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Exmouth to Budleigh Cycle Way Ride
Red Whizz

Starting Points

The main starting point is from Bidmead Close EX8 2TF, off Littleham Road. There is a small car park in the cul-de-sac to leave your car if you drove there.

The path rises up a gentle hill off the Close for a small way, then flattens off as you head under the bridge of Capel Lane and out into the countryside.

Exmouth to Budleigh Cycle Way Entry

Or you can enter the track a little way along from Capel Lane EX8 2PN, off Salterton Road, if you prefer too. This shortens the overall ride distance though.

The entry path from the road slopes down and joins the route avoiding the small starting hill.

You can do this ride in reverse and start from Castle Lane EX9 7AW, just off Salterton Rd. Park on the road and take the pathway down to join the old railway line and turn left. This will take you towards Exmouth.

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Section 1

The majority of the ride in on tarmac so it’s a lovely smooth surface for cruisy cycling.

The track does have a very slight incline as you head out of Exmouth/Littleham. It’s hardly noticeable if you’re walking but if you’re biking, your children might need to stop a few times along the way. It might sap their energy a little more than expected.

The good news is that when you head for home, you’ve got a slight slope downhill to help the tired rider!

At the end of this section is a small bridge to rumble over. Kids love the noise that it makes. This section is about 1.1km in distance one way.

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Section 2

This short section of only about 400 meters is lightly graveled. Riding over this sort of surface takes a little more energy but it’s only a small distance before you reach the second rumble bridge to ride over and then hit the half way point to turn around.

Once over the bridge, you enter a corridor of gorgeous trees that enclose the path. The picnic table is just on the right hand side beyond this bridge.

Hop off the bikes, have some snacks and enjoy the woodland experience before heading back for home.

Slightly downhill too – a big added bonus to help keep those wheels rolling to the end of the ride!

Green Whizz

Ride Stats

Exmouth to Budleigh Cycle Way Ride
  • Total Distance: 3km round trip
  • Section 1 Distance: 1.1km one way
  • Section 2 Distance: 400 meters one way
  • Turn Around Point: Picnic bench under the trees
  • Surface: Smooth tarmac the whole way now. (Used to be part gravel)

Red Whizz


There aren’t any public toilets or cafes nearby so make sure you plan ahead.

Extension Ride

This cycle way runs all the way from Littleham in Exmouth to Bear Lane in Knowle, Budleigh Salterton EX9 7AQ. As your rider gets stronger and fitter, you may like to do the whole route. It’s nearly 4km (2 1/2 miles) one way.

Littleham to Budleigh Cycle Way

Happy riding! I’d love to hear how you went.

Drop us a line in the comments box below or via any of our social media contacts.


Easter Egg Hunt Activity Cards

Easter egg hunts are such a tradition at this time of year and you can’t beat watching the anticipation and joy on the kid’s faces as they race around the garden or house searching out the elusive Easter eggs.

This year, why don’t you try a variation on that theme?

I’ve created 8 Easter themed movement cards for you to download. Print out the two pages and cut them into the 8 cards. 

Place them around the garden or within the home. Start at one card and get your little ones to do that movement until they find the next card. Then do the movement on the 2nd card until they find the 3rd one and so on. Hide some eggs close to each card for them to discover when they get there.

That way, they’re building their motor skills and burning off some energy before they scoff their Easter treats.

I’d love to hear how the activity went with your kids. Drop me a line, video or picture.

Happy Easter to all those Whizz Kids out there!


TRex Exmouth Dinosaur Trail

Have your young adventurers braved the all new Exmouth Dinosaur Trail which opened in May 2019?

Sure to get the heart racing, Exmouth has come alive with pre-historic dinosaurs ready and waiting for you!

The Exmouth Dinosaur Trail has been really popular over the Summer and is a fantastic way to combine heading outdoors on a family adventure with a top of up dinotastic knowledge! The perfect motivation to encourage even the most reluctant walker!

It’s also a creative way for Exmouth visitors to discover some of the stunning locations of the town.

There are basically three different trails you can go on:

Dinosaur Trail

15 dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes to track down within a 1 mile area of the town centre. Many have fact finder plaques for the curious.

Brass Rubbing Town Trail

15 dinosaur brass rubbings to collect using your paper and crayons within a 1 mile area of the town centre.

Brass Rubbing Explorer Trail

15 dinosaur brass rubbings to collect using your paper and crayons within a wider 3 mile area of the town centre.

Dinosaur Trail
Brass Rubbing Dinosaur Trail
Brass Rubbing Dinosaur Trail

Here’s what you need to know

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  • Get your Dinosaur Trail Map

    Collect yours from any of the following local venues:


    Use an electronic version by clicking on title.

  • For the Brass Rubbing Trails - Take blank paper and crayons along

    You can bring your own blank paper and crayons


    Pay £1 to collect a pack of crayons and paper booklet from any of the locations above.

    Dinosaur Trail Brass Rubbing Pack

  • Collect your Dinosaur Hunter Trail Badge

    Once you’ve completed 15 brass rubbings, or ticked off all the dinosaurs on your map, head back to any of the businesses listed above to claim your FREE  Exmouth Dinosaur Hunter Trail Badge.

    Dinosaur Trail Trail Badge

If you want more information, head over to the official Exmouth Dinosaur Trail website below.

If you like these sorts of activities, with a focus on an outdoor walking adventure, have you tried Geocaching? Head over to our Geocaching blog post to find out all about it.

Keep safe Dinosaur Hunters and enjoy the trails.

Kes Reid
Toddler Sports Games

We’re rolling on into the summer months and there are loads of large scale sports events to inspire you and your kids to get active. We’ve got the Cricket World Cup and FIFA Women’s Football World Cup happening at the moment and Wimbledon tennis just around the corner. We’ve put together a collection of toddler sports themed games for you to try at home.

You’ll probably have most of this equipment lurking around at home so they’ll be no need to buy anything more.

You can play these toddler games indoors or outdoors although don’t pick a windy day for the outdoors choice or you’ll loose your balloon props!

Equipment you will need:

  • Round balloons.
  • Empty cardboard tube from wrapping paper or kitchen towel to use as a cricket bat.
  • Plastic kitchen spatulas or fly swatters for tennis raquets.

Football Keepy-Uppy

Balloon Football Keepy Uppy

This is a good team game where everyone stands in a circle and tries to keep a balloon in the air using football skills.

  • All stand in a circle and try to keep the balloon in the air.
  • Each player is only allowed two touches at a time.
  • Players can use their foot, head, knee or shoulder. Any part of the body really, but try and avoid using the arms and hands.
  • Can you keep it in the air for 5, 10, 20 touches?
  • This is great for numeracy awareness and counting too!

Balloon Batting

Toddler Cricket

Your toddler can use the cardboard tube like a cricket bat with it touching the ground. Or in a baseball bat position (like in the image above).

  • Show them which position to hold it in, either as a cricket bat or baseball bat.
  • Inflate the balloon until it’s relatively hard.
  • Throw the balloon toward their bat.
  • Encourage them to try and hit the balloon in any direction to start with.
  • If they are more confident, try and get them to hit the balloon back to you, the bowler.

This type of hitting across the midline is a great activity for boosting brain connections between the left and right side of the brain. This helps get the two sides of your toddler’s body ‘talking’ to each other to make more co-ordinated movements.

See my post about Motor Skills and the importance of activities like this if you want to find out more behind the science of this.

Have you heard about All Stars Cricket? If your toddler loves this game, you might like to think about signing up at your local cricket club when they’re a bit older. This is for boys and girls aged 5 to 8 years old. It’s a great program to learn the basics of batting and catching and it’s loads of fun.

Cricket All Stars

Balloon Tennis

Toddler Balloon Tennis

Grab your plastic kitchen spatulas or fly swatters to use as tennis racquets.

  • Blow up a balloon with medium to lower pressure to allow it to float a little more. This gives your toddlers more time to make the shot.
  • Using your racquets, hit the balloon back and forth to each other.
  • If you want to make it harder, attach some string across the room between 2 chairs. This makes a net to try and hit the balloon each time to each other.
  • If someone allows the balloon to touch the floor on their side, the person on the other side of the net scores a point.
  • First to 5 wins that game.

See how you go with these 3 activities, my 10 year old still loves playing these games so you don’t have to just restrict them to your toddlers!


Joe and Don at Parkrun

Parkrun is about to launch in my home town of Exmouth which my family are super excited about! We discovered parkrun in Australia and loved it as it was an activity that we could all do as a family. As a worldwide initiative, it’s mind blowing how many parkruns take place every weekend in different corners of the globe.

The idea behind parkrun is simple. The organisation supports a free, weekly, timed walk or run over a 5km course. It encourages all abilities to take part from those just starting out on their exercise journey to the super fit.

The great thing from my perspective is that your kids can join you too, a perfect activity for some family fun. You become the role model for your child in developing great active habits that will go on to have positive life long implications when they are older. Children from the age of 4 and up can register for their own barcode and get their own times although if they are under 11, they do need to run or walk with a responsible adult at all times. Babies and toddlers in buggies are welcome too as well as the furry friends on leads.

After the event, you receive a personalized email with your time and whether it’s a personal best (PB) for you. It’s a great motivator to try and improve your time each week as your fitness improves and kids just love getting this feedback.  For the competitive of you, you can also measure your results against other age group runners or walkers.

parkrun truly is a community event and builds a great community spirit. It relies on local volunteers each week to carry out a few simple roles so it’s a bonus if these are shared around those that regularly take part.

If your child might feel a little intimidated walking or running with lots of adults, there are also Junior parkrun events around the country too. These follow the same concept as the parkrun but the only difference is this event is only for children ages 4 – 14 and the course is 2km not 5km.

Once you join parkrun.org.uk, you can use your barcode for either the 5km or 2km events.


     parkrun logo

Here’s what you do to join:

Step 1: Register online via the Registration Form found on the Parkrun UK website and receive your barcode via email. Print it out and keep it in a safe place.
Step 2: Click to find the parkrun event near you and take a look at the course and where to meet up.
Step 3: Pick any weekend and head down to enjoy the 5km soaking up the views and fun with one of your printed barcodes. Don’t forget to get your bar code scanned at the finish.
Step 4: Your personal time will be emailed to you automatically after the event.

Once you are registered on Parkrun UK, you can join a parkrun anywhere in the world!

Hope to see some of you at the Exmouth parkrun soon,

Kes Reid


Bowen Junior Triathlon

I’ve just spent the last couple of months working on a local community Kids Triathlon in my small town of Bowen, North Queensland.   I volunteer to run it each year and it’s quite inspiring to see our youngsters challenging themselves both physically and mentally to complete a mini triathlon. We have kids as young as 4 years old doing their first ever event and the joy on their faces when they complete the course is just priceless.

Junior Triathlete

For the younger athletes ( 7 & Under), they do a wade in the sea of about 25m, then transition out to collect their bikes and ride 500m.  After that, they head back to transition to deposit their bikes and run 200m to the finish line.

What I love about many of these kids events is that they are totally participation based. They are all winners! Most events like these reward your child’s efforts with a coveted medal and often some merchandise and a few goodies from sponsors to put a big smile on their face.

It is definitely a daunting prospect for some children. Whether it’s a mini triathlon (swim, bike & ride) or duathlon (bike & ride). Aquathon (swim and run) or fun run, it is challenging to be around lots of other children, push yourself harder than you’ve ever done before and try something totally new.  But, the benefits are immeasurable.

Often these events can be done in a team too, so they can try just one part of the event as their first taste of the activity with their mates.  It’s also great at building friendship bonds.

Here’s a few events that are coming up in Queensland for kids:

Bike Park




Every Saturday Parkrun

Location:  Various locations around Australia

Start time: Various

Parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in.

These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and  people of every ability are encouraged to take part; from walkers or those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; all are welcomed.  This is a perfect outdoor activity for Mums & Dads with buggies too!

Sunday 6th  Great Barrier Reef 2.3km Star FM Junior Challenge

Location:  Port Douglas, N. Queensland

Start Time:  9am

This is a free event and you can register on the day. This race encourages all shapes, sizes and ages, visitors and locals to join in the fun and dress up or down in the name of the raising money for research for the Great Barrier Reef. Prizes on the day will be on offer for the most outstanding entrants. Winners of each age group for girls and boys will win trophies and every junior will take home a ribbon and certificate.

Sunday 13th Xrace Gold Coast 

Location:  Gold Coast

Start Time: Nippers at 9.40am  Main Start at 10am

XRACE is a mystery adventure race where parent and child aged 6-14 race together, locate and complete 10 mystery challenges; racing the clock and all the other family teams with the fastest and luckiest crowned XRACE champion. The challenges are where the magic is delivered – all designed to strengthen family bonds and deliver bucket-loads of self-esteem to the kids.  Distance covered is about 4km.

Cost for the nippers is $15, Main event: $95 for 2 person(parent and child) or $125 for 2 teams of 2 from one family.

Sunday 13th Hamilton Island Fujifilm Junior Triathlon & Splash and Dash

Location:  Hamilton Island, Whitsundays

Start Time: 7am

This event is for kids aged 4 – 14 years on the beautiful Hamilton Island.  There is a Triathlon of different distances depending on ability or a Splash and Dash (no bike required).  They swim in the resort pool. Cost is $30 and you get a race pack, race singlet and medal for all the competitors.

Saturday 12th Kawana Aquathon

Location:  Kawana Waters, Sunshine Coast

Start Time:  from 9.30am

There are different distances for different age categories with the mini aquathon for 7 – 9 year olds consisting of a 100m swim and 5oom run. Cost is $20.

Sunday 13th  Kool Kids Tri Series

Location:  Kawana Waters, Sunshine Coast

Start Time:  from 6.45am

This event is part of the Gatorade Queensland Tri Series and is for kids aged 7 – 14 years. Cost is $39.50

Sunday 20th Hinterland Junior Bolt

Location: Tamborine Mountain Sports Centre

Start Time: 9am

This event is part of the the Hinterland Sports Festival on Tamborine Mountain, celebrating its 14th year, and welcoming participants from all areas.  In addition to the sports, there are several celebrations and educational activities throughout the mountain community – as well as FREE celebrations including outdoor movies on the mountain. Entry is $15 online, $20 on the day.

Bowen Triathlon




Sunday 11th Kool Kids Tri Series

Location: Raby Bay, Nr. Brisbane   Start Time: from 6.45am

This event is Round 4 of the Gatorade Queensland Tri Series and is for kids aged 7 – 14 years.  Cost is $39.50


Why don’t you see if your youngster would like to give one of these events a go this year?   I’d love to hear all about it if you do.

Kes Reid


“Using Million Dollar Satellites to Hunt for Boxes in the Woods” is how one child described Geocaching – I love that definition!

Geocaching is a totally real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices as opposed to Pokemon Go which crosses between real and virtual worlds.  Your mobile phones are perfect – you don’t need to get any more fancy equipment than that!   Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. It’s fabulous fun for a family outing and there are geocache sites all around Australia and many other countries in the world so it can be done at home or on holiday.

This brings back so many memories of letterbox hunting on Dartmoor in the UK when I was a child. Many a weekend we would search out a letterbox that was hidden amongst the ancient rocky outcrops called Tors. Sometimes we found it, to huge jubilation, and proudly marked our book with the stamp found inside the metal tin or box. And sometimes we didn’t, there are some life lessons in that.  Geocaching is simply a more high tech version of this.

Geocaching is a perfect motivator to get kids out for an adventure in their own environment with all the benefits that that brings. They’re building their stamina and strength as well as experiencing nature which helps create a positive mood and reduce stress. It can be incorporated easily into a family walk. Not to mention problem solving,  map reading and compass skills, all components of the first few years of the school curriculum.

Take a look at this video, created by Geocaching HQ, where kids explain geocaching…it’s completely adorable.

Keen to find out more? Check out www.geocaching.com for the full story or start your Geocaching adventure now by following the 3 steps below:

   Geocaching Logo

Step 1: Create a free Geocaching account

Download the Geocaching® App to your mobile device.

Get it on Google Play

Apple Store Download Button

Explore, find and log geocaches around the world by signing up to the Free Basic membership. This gives you access to all the easy graded caches around the world. You can also get access to more tools to make geocaching even better with a Geocaching Premium membership. This currently costs £24.99 a year and gives you access all cache types.

Step 2: Find a geocache.

Turn on your GPS Location setting on your mobile device and you will see all the Geocache sites around your location. You can view them by Map or by List. Personally I find the map view better. Pick a chosen location by tapping on the screen. There will be a description of the cache location which can be expanded by tapping on the summary. Some of the sites contain little trinket/toys which make the find even more fun. Don’t forget to take a pen and a little something to swap with the trinket that you take. Click Start and away you go,  use the map and compass to try and navigate to its location.

Step 3: Share your experience.

Once you findJoe Geocache Treasure it, sign and date the logbook, re-hide the geocache exactly how you found it, and share your experience online on the App.

This is my son Joe’s treasure that he found on the last school holidays. It’s one of the oldest Geocache sites in Queensland down on the Gold Coast and it’s a beautiful walk up around Burleigh Heads.

We’d love you to share your adventures with us too so tell us how it went if you gave it a try!

Happy high tech real world treasure hunting!

Kes Reid