More and more, childhood experts are extolling the virtues of outdoor play. Motor, sensory, social and cognitive development – all the big words are involved when your kids ditch the screen and head outside. Besides, it’s just a whole lot of fun! And the cool thing is, getting kids outside doesn’t even mean you even have to leave home, there are so many fun things to do right in your backyard.
Outdoor play is great for Mum and Dad too. A change of pace, some sunshine on your face and fresh air can do us the world of good. Some days at home with kids the walls can seem to be closing in on you, the kids are antsy and you feel like you are going a little crazy. But on those days finding a spare braincell in that overwhelmed head of yours to come up with an idea can be a little challenging, so here are our top SIMPLE ideas for getting kids outdoors:
You don’t need a big backyard to give your kids the opportunity to get some good dirt on their hands. All you need are some pots, a sunny spot and a couple of easy-to-grow herbs and vegetables. Try basil, oregano and cherry tomatoes for some delicious options. The best part of it is sending the kids out on pizza night to gather their very own home-grown produce!
The oldies really are goodies. Dig out some old saucepans, a muffin tray and some mixing utensils (if you don’t have any old ones, try an op-shop) and let them have at it! Some recipes for them to try:
If it’s a hot day, you can bake the muffins in a sunny spot for a couple of hours. Otherwise, if you’re game, you can wack them in the oven for a bit, and let the fun continue with a mud muffin teddy bears picnic.
Ah, the mysterious power of a bucket of water and a few plastic scoops. It is not to be underestimated. Add a few drops of food colouring for a bit of extra fun. If you’re really organised, you can help the kids make some ice cube boats the night before. Simply thread triangles of paper onto toothpicks for sails, stick the picks in the trays, and freeze. They’ll be entertained for ages.
When you’re all out of inspiration, and the kids are bouncing off the walls, there’s always the trusty local park to turn to. To mix it up a bit, head a suburb or two over to explore a different park. After all, a change is as good as a holiday (almost!).
This is the stuff childhood memories are made of: escaping the drone of electronic life to chase waterfalls, spot wildlife, and find out for themselves how rich silence can be. The Australian Government’s National Parks page has links for each state to help you find a great bush walk near you.
The internet has never really lived up to it’s potential to bring people together.
In this unprecedented time of self-isolation, and social distancing, there has been a worldwide digital explosion of community. Museums, zoos, ballet companies, musicians, artists are all moving online to give the world free access to quality experiences and resources during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Below, we have curated some of the best of these opportunities. This list is designed to be used with our free downloadable schedule (tailored to two different age groups) to help you and your children love learning at home too!
Imagine coming out of self-isolation feeling not that you have wasted time, but that you have invested time. To turn self-isolation into something positive for you and your family, we highly recommend having a goal. Perhaps you’d like to come out of self-isolation with a toilet-trained toddler, an edible garden, or having taught a few key chores to your primary school-aged child.
Self-isolation. Hazmat suits. Empty grocery stores. Does anyone else feel like they've somehow fallen into an apocalyptic Hollywood movie?
But here's the thing. Sometimes, something good can come out of really tough stuff. Whatever is to come over the next season, we've got three practical tips to help you turn self-isolation into a positive experience for you and your kids.