Making mud pies, letting them bake in the sun, then icing them with flowers, petals and cobwebs collected so gently with a stick.
Jumping from gum tree to above ground pool, no fences back then!!!
Making homes out of ice cream containers for snails and slater bugs. We’d use empty matchboxes for beds and would decorate the homes with flowers and stickers. Great memories.
Building a bonfire with my dad was awesome. We got to help pile up the old tomato plants and fallen branches. But the great bit was that when a spark went down my gumboot and dad put his hose in there straight away (no harm done), I learned that it was ok to take a risk and try something big, as long as there was a plan for if something went wrong. And that you could trust others to be there for you!
Where we lived it was all bushland at the back of the house. We would just take off for hours, coming home when we got hungry. We were never injured and I don’t think my Mother worried too much. Absolute freedom. I remember coming home with bush lemons and macadaemia nuts. They just grew wild.
This is a review post.
Despite the fact that is was freezing outside today, the sun was shining and the preschooler interprets that as t-shirt weather! We had been sent some very cute kids gardening kits which he had been busting to try out, so for our 21 Challenge activity today, it was perfect weather to plant our seeds.
I do often think about the difference between my childhood and our kids. There are certainly some difference because I grew up in the country, but there other differences that I think are more generational. Our kids play outside quite a bit, but they would definitely play outside less than I did.
Our kids have more structured activities outdoors; weekday training sessions and weekend games, but I have been making an effort to encourage the kids to get outdoors more often in an unstructured way. Prompts like gardening work well – thankfully Mr I likes to spend time in the garden, so this draws the kids out to him on the weekends.
Allowing them space to create and be adventurous, without my prying eyes has had great success too. We don’t really have any climbing trees at our home. A shame really, as I remember fondly climbing trees as a kid – we even had a special game for one big tree, called hide the stone, that I used to particularly love.
Last school holidays the weather was great and the younger three kids were spending time outside, but it was a bit sedentary; they were reading or listening to an audio book. So I brought out a box with recycled materials and encouraged them to create something in the garden.
While having suffered some damage from the puppy in this photo, they actually created rings, a swing and climbing tracks up the tree. It was one of the best things I have done with the kids in terms of getting them outside more. At times they took sheets out to make shade and picnic blankets to eat their lunch.
But it is something I have to think about and work on, when it comes to the upcoming winter school holidays. I will need to find ways to encourage them outside.
A recent survey of 1000 Australian parents with children aged seven to 12 has found fear of strangers and worries about injuries mean they are ‘over supervising’ their kids and not giving them the independence they had as children. The infographic below has some pretty interesting stats:
STIHL, has launched a national program to encourage kids to get outside and connect with nature. There are two parts to the program:
- My Green Wall – Selected schools will receive their very own vertical garden – a complete kit which includes a steel frame structure carrying up to thirty pots. This is supported by curriculum-compliant educational and teaching materials for Grade 3 students, as well as inclusive take-home materials for each child to share with their family. You can head here to register.
- My Working Bee – Primary schools across the country are invited to register for STIHL support for their working bees. If successful, STIHL will coordinate the use of a selection of STIHL equipment to support your scheduled clean-up day. I know our school working bees are BYO tools so this would be incredibly helpful. You can head here to register your working bee.
Kids’ Gardening Sets Giveaway
- Planting pot
- Kids trowel
- Kids apron
- Kids gardening gloves
- Re-usable shopping bag
For your chance to win:
- Leave a comment telling me your favourite outdoor memory as a kid.
- You must have a valid email address to enter. If no response is received with 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.
- This give away is available to Australian residents only.
- The give away will close 9pm AEST Saturday 29th June 2013.
- Good luck!
If you enjoyed this post, I would love it if you made a small donation to my 21 Challenge. Donations can be made directly here. All funds raised go to Open Family Australia who provide a range of Outreach services to young people experiencing high complex needs. Their focus is on homeless and at risk youth. Thank you!