Okay, so many of you will have kids..(or maybe a big kid at heart?) What to do these school holiday’s without losing your fruit basket..
The metaphorical fruit bowl may look like this; banana (mind) or pineapple ($50 note) or lime ($100 note)
Sure holidays can be expensive, activities to wield the crazed, teacher free children for more than 8 hours usually entail costly ventures.. The mere mention of holidays and rates skyrockets higher than your blood sugars with a Krispy Kreme glazed donuts!
Fear not, I have a simple solution that will entertain the kids and not cost the earth!
Raising my eldest daughter as a single mother, I often sought solace in nature to seek comfort and entertainment. I was lucky, and I say lucky as many children don’t benefit from nature enough, to have a childhood spent predominately outdoors.
My parents provided a nurturing environment for me to explore and connect, to build a lifelong relationship with nature. It was from this foundation that I too looked to Nature for my daughter and continue to with my step-daughters.
As a society, we have grown too ‘comfortable’ and these comforts and materialistic objects are in direct correlation with our anxiety, depression and stress. Need more evidence? Read the book Sapiens and truly understand how Humans have ‘evolved’.
To truly nurture our children, and ourselves for that matter, we need them to experience the messy, hard, uncomfortable, different, cold, wet, and difficult. This enables them to find their ways to challenge, overcome and build self-efficacy skills that translate into many any areas of their growing lives.
Below are a few great ways to engage the kids (or yourself) in some low cost activities that nurture mind, body & soul;
Get baking- What kid doesn’t love to eat something fresh out of the oven? Give my kids kale chips and they’re happy! Yes, I said KALE! Get the kids in the kitchen mixing, smashing and blending and no matter what ‘healthy’ ingredients are in it, they’re more likely to eat it if they’ve made it. More so if they've managed to make a mess on every square inch of the bench. Speaking from experience..
Kale chips - Tear kale off stalk (you don't want to eat this part), rinse and pat dry. Massage olive oil and salt into leaves and spread in single layer over baking tray. Pop in a 200 c preheated oven for 10 mins, turning half way through. * Oven temp will be different so watch they don't burn (not tasty)
Chocolate bark- Melt 1/2 cup coconut oil and mix 1/2 cup cocoa powder adding 1 tbsp of preferred sweetener. Pour into a small silicone tray or lined tin. Top with chopped nuts, goji berries and seeds of your choice. Try adding a few tablespoons of your favourite nut or seed butter at first step for a thicker, creamer consistency.
Chill in fridge and break into 'bark'.
Nature Play Exploring nature with our children is crucial to their well-being, as it is yours.Teaching our kids to get outdoors, disconnect from technology and the over stimulation that our society places on them instills a sense of self-care and creates a ' time out' that allows them to engage their sense of exploration, both in body and mind.
Nature Craft- limited only by their imagination. Think of using driftwood, shells, twine, coloured wool, feathers, rocks and paint. Paint a mandala stone or make a dream catcher. Gather materials from the beach or trails and add some crafty supplies. Use ribbon, buttons, etc.
Nature walk & Photography- So this one involves electronics but in this case we can use it for some happy snaps of our outdoor adventures. Take the kids for a walk along the beach or park and have them tale photos of things that inspire them. Maybe set the intention with a question such as, “look for heart shape objects”, or a little more pragmatic” take photos of all the rubbish you see” (and then collect it) talk to the kids about the good deeds they’ve done by picking up the rubbish and dispose of it wisely.
When given a focus, most children won't even realize the distance they have walked as they have been so immersed in their environment and receptive to the noises, scenery and how they are feeling.
Some great small hikes to explore these school holidays with the kids are as below;
Pt Nepean National Park - Do smaller sections or jump on your bike to explore
Devilsbend Reservoir - Little Hikers Workshop Sat 13th - Open to ages 7- 11
Pack their water bottle and a picnic with snacks and make an adventure of it!