Getting back to basics: Creative ideas for outdoor adventures
Stephanie Grant, mother to two gorgeous (but utterly exhausting) little boys and creator/founder of organic small batch made baby food, Little Pot of Gold, knows all too well the struggles and challenges we face in our busy modern lives. Steph's holistic approach to health and well being, is shared through her passion for nourishing thriving babes while supporting their tired mamas. Steph lovingly hand makes each batch of her organic baby food, sourcing only locally sourced meat and vegetables in the sunny Hawke's Bay. Here she shares her thoughts on getting back to basics, and connecting with nature, in our busy modern world. Enjoy! xx
It’s a busy old world which only seems to be getting busier. Often the opportunity and motivation for sporadic fun with our children are few and far between. When our eldest son was born, we made a conscious decision to parent without screen time. An easy decision to make before you have children, three years down the line with another child in tow and a business to run, it’s a very different story.
We’re doing our best to travel that hard road, and out of this journey has come the most beautiful and unintended consequence – we’ve evolved a creative parenting style of our own. When it gets tough, when our cups are empty (but also when they’re full), we get out of the house and turn to our backyard for adventures.
Here’s our list of creative ideas for outdoor adventures with children of all ages. These activities are all free and only require us to step outside with our children and take a moment to breathe in the beautiful world around us. All you need is a good jacket, a woolly hat and a sense of adventure.
Foraging was a real lockdown discovery for us. We’re lucky to live within walking distance of several reserves and you’d be surprised when you start looking the amount of wild produce to be found; walnuts, figs, apples, and plenty of feijoas in Autumn. Kids love to eat what they find and the beauty of foraging are the other activities you can do together later; walnuts, making jam and baking cakes and crumbles on rainy days.
As uncool as it may sound, bird watching can bring a great joy to young children. The library often stocks great books on identifying birds and little accessories like binoculars or a cheap camera really bring this activity to life.
Often children are uninterested in just “walking” but thrive when there is a purpose to the walk. Collecting pinecones is a great activity for young children and for older children who may be motivated by selling them for pocket money. Pinecones also make fantastic bird feeders and Christmas!
EMBRACE THE ELEMENTS
With the right gear and the right frame of mind, getting out an about in bad weather is both fun and invigorating. One of our favourite things to do is walk along the beach on a stormy day, picking up rocks and sea shells and gathering bunny tails along the way.
TAKE A DRIVE
If the weather is too much to go out in, jump in the car and drive somewhere new. There’s nothing more restorative than watching the rain on the windscreen, cosy and snug with the heater on. Pack some decent snacks and indulge the kids in a sing-a-long.
Not only do these adventures give us wonderful experiences with our children they also carry with them beautiful life lessons:
- Prioritising presence over presents
- Resilience– it’s good for them to see taking change, like sudden bad weather, in our stride
Give us time to talk to our children; notice what interests them and support their imagination without the distraction of our phones or mounting chores. Our children are only little for so little time. I hope these ideas help you make the most of that time.
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