I really liked this list published by the National Trust, except for the addition of the health and safety bits which annoyed me and contradicted the entire article. However, the article made me rather nostalgic, thinking back to when I was growing up in Canada in the great outdoors. We were chucked out the door first thing in the morning and wouldn’t return until dinnertime. The majority of time was spent roaming the neighbourhood and playing in the woods with very little parental interference or direction.
However, I was saddened to read that fewer than one in ten children play in wild places regularly, a third have not climbed trees, and one tenth cannot ride a bicycle. I have to admit that as a family we don’t spend as much time ‘doing’ nature as we should.
I had a long discussion on the phone with a researcher from the Globe and Mail, discussing why this might be the case and honestly, I can’t pinpoint one exact reason. Is it over protective parenting? Is this the fault of the media for putting the fear of god in us about stranger danger and cyber stalking? Is it overcrowding/busy streets? Unrealistic expectations on parents? Could it be lack of time due to work commitments? Or knowing what to do with our kids when we do have time? Can we blame the weather? Seriously, what is it?
I’m taking this as a ‘gentle’ reminder to get my daughter out more as there are so many benefits from ‘green’ play; I think a lot of us should really. I can’t wait to have a go at geo-caching now that I’ve worked out what it is. However, I’m not too keen on my daughter catching crabs!?!?!
I think we haven’t made too bad of a start so far. The plan is to keep updating it as time goes on.
1. Climb a tree
2. Roll down a really big hill
3. Camp out in the wild
4. Build a den
5. Skim a stone
6. Run around in the rain
7. Fly a kite
8. Catch a fish with a net
9. Eat an apple straight from a tree
10. Play conkers
11. Throw some snow
12. Hunt for treasure on the beach
13. Make a mud pie
14. Dam a stream
15. Go sledging
16. Bury someone in the sand
17. Set up a snail race
18. Balance on a fallen tree
19. Swing on a rope swing
20. Make a mud slide
21. Eat blackberries growing in the wild
22. Take a look inside a tree
23. Visit an island
24. Feel like you’re flying in the wind
25. Make a grass trumpet
26. Hunt for fossils and bones
27. Watch the sun wake up
28. Climb a huge hill
29. Get behind a waterfall
30. Feed a bird from your hand
31. Hunt for bugs
32. Find some frogspawn
33. Catch a butterfly in a net
34. Track wild animals
35. Discover what’s in a pond
36. Call an owl
37. Check out the crazy creatures in a rock pool
38. Bring up a butterfly
39. Catch a crab
40. Go on a nature walk at night
41. Plant it, grow it, eat it
42. Go wild swimming
43. Go rafting
44. Light a fire without matches
45. Find your way with a map and compass
46. Try bouldering
47. Cook on a campfire
48. Try abseiling
49. Find a geocache
50. Canoe down a river
I’d love to hear your thoughts on why kids aren’t spending enough time outside. Please do leave a comment below.
I know that the English are weird with their pickled eggs, eggy bread and squash but who in their right mind would design an ice skating rink that resembles a giant plastic cutting board and then strap a couple of butter knives on their feet! We all know that plastic cutting boards can dull knives.
The thing is I can skate, not brilliantly, but I can. I started when I was 3 and at one point my mother was the President of the Ice Skating Club. That is me on the left.
However, when I took my daughter skating this morning I could barely stand up let alone do a few strokes and heaven forbid a Camel Spin or a Double Salchow, which at my age would’ve been a bad idea anyhow. The skates were dull and I looked like a duck walking on a frozen pond. Luckily, I could feign the doting parent and propped myself (safely) up against the edge to take this video.
We were invited to Build-A-Bear Workshop in Covent Garden for a tour on Friday. We’d heard good things about it. The night before Madame and I spent some time on YouTube checking it out and to say the least we were both very excited!
We were warmly greeted by Jimmy at the store. He was brilliant with Madame, speaking to her the whole time at her level. He was very knowledgeable about all the bears and the process, even though he’s only been at the store for a couple of months. He guided her through the entire process from choosing a bear, to filling it, to inserting a beating heart, choosing clothes, dressing the bear and creating the Birth Certificate.
Madame normally has the attention span of a goldfish, like most other 3 year olds, but she was absolutely captivated the whole time. See for yourself!
Thanks to everyone, especially Jimmy, at Build A Bear for a brilliant experience.
Yes, this is a sponsored post but it’s a genuine question. A group of our friends are going on a Ski Holiday in Austria in Feb and have invited us along. This particular group of friends are a great laugh but the majority of them don’t have kids. However, they’ve always been brilliant with our daughter. In fact, she thinks one of them is her second dad but that’s a whole different story. There is one couple going who have a daughter but they’ve managed to find care for her for the week, lucky so and so’s! However, this isn’t an option for us.
The idea would be that our friends would stay in the main hotel partying till silly o’clock and we would get something self-catering nearby and possibly take turns joining them at night. Originally, I discounted it straight away but after seeing how much Madame enjoyed her ski lesson a couple of weeks ago I’m now toying with the idea again.
I’ve never been skiing in Europe nor have I ever been skiing for more than a day at a time. When I was growing up in Canada we’d just drive up to the ski hill in the morning which was only 45 minutes away and would return in the evening. The thought of skiing for a whole week sounds like it could be hard work.
I’ve also spoken to another friend who has taken her 3 year old skiing and she raves about it. She said ‘if you’re inclined, the crèches/ski schools are so good that you don’t even have to see your kids all day if you don’t want to!’ Not sure if I’d be up for that but the option is tempting.
The last thing we need to consider it the cost. I haven’t quite worked it out yet but a week for the 3 of us isn’t going to be cheap (hotel, flights, food, drink, lift passes, equipment). Would I be better off killing two birds with one stone and investigating Ski holidays in Canada so I could combine it with wwvisiting family?
So, my question to you is ‘have you ever been skiing with a 3 year old and if so, would you recommend it?’