Recently I was reminiscing with a friend about all the games we used to make up as children when we would disappear outside for hours at a time; sadly those carefree days are over and the modern child has adapted to a more sophisticated, but indoor, world. With most kids nowadays having access to computer consoles and adventure games it is often very difficult to get them to play outside at all. Gone are the days when kids could be packed off to play ‘cowboys and indians’ or build a den for example. Rather than make games up for themselves, modern children like their adventures handed to them on a plate, ready packaged.

I decided to do a bit of research about activity days that are especially aimed at children and teens, in an effort to persuade them to leave their computer games behind and get a little real adventure into their lives.

Usually any sort of adventure day will start with you arriving early for your activity so that a safety briefing and equipment check can take place. You will then be assigned to a qualified instructor and off you’ll go to be put through your paces.

Here’s just a brief description of the different kids adventure experiences I discovered.

High Ropes – be Tarzan (or Cheetah) for the day and swing through the trees like the Lord of the Jungle. You will climb, jump or swing from platform to platform using ropes and zip wires. Definitely not for those who like to keep their feet on the floor!

Paintballing – get into teams and creep through the undergrowth to try and surprise your ‘enemies’ on the opposing team. Have a computer-game-inspired shoot-out with special guns that fire great dollops of paint. At the end of the day celebrate your victory or not, as the case may be!

Snowboarding – was invented in America in the 1960s and is essentially skateboarding down a snowy slope on a board with no wheels. The sport has now become so popular that it has featured in the Olympics, no need to wait for winter either as it can be done all year round in indoor winter-sports facilities.

Steam train trips – slow things down a little by taking a family trip on a steam-hauled train. Watch the countryside roll gently by as you relax to the regular rhythm and sounds of the restored locomotive.

Fly fishing – try your hand at an ancient sport, learn how use the special cast to place your fly where fish are likely to be feeding. The fly mimics small water creatures and fools the fish into thinking it’s a tasty meal. Once the fish is caught then you have to land it, feel the exhilaration of the fight between man and beast.

Bungee jumping – get into a harness with your feet tied firmly to what is in fact a huge elastic band that is tethered to a high platform or even a structure such as a bridge. Then you’re on your own as you hurtle head-first toward the ground bouncing back up as the elastic does its job. Not for the faint-hearted!

Zorbing – or sphering, you and a pal will be strapped inside a giant transparent ball and then rolled down a hill, tossing and turning as it makes its journey. Sometimes water and even bubble bath can be added for a different experience altogether – watch what you have for breakfast!

Skydiving – no need to jump from an aeroplane, this can now be done indoors. Car manufacturers use wind tunnels to test vehicle aerodynamics; skydivers turn the wind tunnel on its end so that the wind is forced upwards. To simulate free-fall you launch yourself onto the blast of air and fly, if you’re lucky your instructor will show you a few tricks.

There were many more experiences that had children, cooking, messing about in water and even driving performance cars; but maybe I’ll explore those some other time!

For a great range of interesting things to do at the weekend that can be purchased as a gift or for yourself from My Outdoor Store. Follow the link to discover our vast selection of days out ideas.

Author's Bio: 

Bruno Blackstone is a freelance writer interested in all things to do with the outdoors and helping others get the most from the outdoors. Starting with a psychology degree his early career was as a social worker and family therapist working with families to help them achieve more positive and stable relationships. In his more recent career he has coached many senior executives in both small and large organisations in areas such as strategy, human resources, organisational design and performance improvement. He now continues his work in the business world but he is also co-owner of My Outdoor Store a price comparison site for outdoor enthusiasts.