The Outdoor Adventurer’s Handbook: Cuckooland’s Definitive Guide to Summer Fun

Due to negligence over the winter months, you might quip that your garden is “a bit of a jungle”. Well, to your kids, it really is a jungle; full of hidden treasure, booby traps and probably dinosaurs or aliens from a far off land. As it gets warmer, there’s likely to be a playtime exodus from bedrooms and living rooms (and whatever rooms they please, for that matter – even the bathroom) into the garden.

child playing

CC courtesy of Lotus Carroll

The outdoors is great for kids – fresh air, vitamin D, and no walls in sight to contain their imaginations. Don’t just take our word for it either, the NCB (National Child Bureau) has gone to great lengths to highlight the importance of playtime. Benefits of Outdoor Playtime include;

  • Engaging in outdoor play provides our little ones with the time for social interaction with peers, helping to foster valuable problem solving skills.
  • Children need the opportunity for free play to create, develop, explore, and make sense of the world in their own terms.  Encouraging play educates the social skills necessary for life.
  • Outdoor play helps children learn about nature first-hand, seeing animals in their natural habitats and learning about the world around them through experience. Scientists agree that children find it rather difficult to grasp just how soft a bunny is from television and the Internet.

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Zebarella’s Playtime Ideas

Summer provides the perfect opportunity to bond with your children through playtime, with the sun affording playful parents an abundance of creative opportunities to make the children laugh and smile. With the World Cup just around the corner you may find that the kiddies want nothing more than to drag Dad outside for a quick kick-about (be sure to pack enough spare clothing to use as goal posts), but if you’re stuck for ideas, here are our favourite playtime activities for the summer garden.

  • Dig out the sand pit. Practicality commonly dictates our ability to take our children to the beach, but this doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy building sand castles in the comfort of our back yard. Just don’t forget family crested flags (which can be made whilst it inevitably rains), and extra water for the LEGO crocodile filled moat.
  • Picnic time. Getting the kids to stop playing for five minutes to eat lunch can be a challenge, particularly if they are in the middle of storming the sand castle you built earlier, so why not make lunch time fun by throwing down a blanket and welcoming the little ones to continue their adventure over high tea.
  • Build a Fort! Whether its a castle waiting to be stormed, a treehouse surrounded by monkeys, or a fairy princesses tower, there is nothing kids love more than creating their own fairytale adventure. Forts can be built from many home items – stacked up sofa cushions, sheets draped over the washing line, an interconnected maze of those cardboard boxes you never got around to throwing out – the only limit is your imagination. Of course, should you wish to keep your sofa cushions tidy, and bed linen clean, you may opt instead to invest in a proper outdoor playtent.


Besides throwing a perfectly good sheet over the washing line to give your little one their first experience with nature; our wide range of vibrant and quirky children’s tents and garden playhouses will ensure that every kid in the neighbourhood wants to come camping!

But of course, being Cuckooland, you expect more from us than just the run-of-the-mill. Even if they’re just in the back garden, your children’s camping experience can take them from the deepest oceans to the further reaches of space with our cool and quirky collection of very unique tents! Get the kids downstairs and have a look through our online catalogue together – it’s an adventure in itself!

Blast Off Kids Tent

“Calling Major Tom, it’s time to take one small step man, one giant leap for fun-kind”. Send your kids to the moon and back with this quirky kids tent. Just don’t forget, the cheese they bring back from their adventure is probably lumps of clay they found in the soil. Consume at your peril.

space marine playtent


Wigwam Play tent

It’s time for sheriff Dad to don his Cowboy hat – the one he recently bought as he was convinced he could pull off the ‘Pharrell look’ – the Indians are running amok, and need waring out in time for bedtime. Add a feather to little Johnny’s cap and send him back to the Wild West with this gorgeous Wigwam play tent. Cowboys and Indians has never been such fun.

cowboy playtent

Indoor options

Now, we know that with summer on the way, the last thing you want to hear is the word “indoors” -especially after a long winter of having the kids in your hair! But let’s not kid ourselves, Britain, our summers can’t be trusted! But our range of innovative indoor playhouses is sure to keep their imaginations engaged long enough on a rainy day for you to finish your bookkeeping and prepare dinner! For a nautical voyage out to sea in their bedrooms, check out this cool boat house – no doubt ripe for the plundering when the little buccaneers arrive from this pirate shack! Or, for something a little more homely and inland, let your little farmers tend to their animals (i.e. dressing the dog up) in this barn house. And don’t forget that most of our playhouses come with matching accessories, to help make their imaginary world just that little bit more real!

Pirate shack playtent

We hope that we’ve given you a few ideas on how to keep your kids busy both in the garden and in their bedrooms over the summer! But remember, this is just a little sneak-peak of what we have to offer! Be sure to check out our full range for endless ways to make your kids’ worlds a little more magical!

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