On Saturday we went to Nyman Gardens, a lovely National Trust property, with some other fellow bloggers. The special event was organised around a topic close to my heart encouraging kids to get out more and to find out about some of the things the trust is doing to promote this.
It was a fantastic day that brought memories of the adventures from my own childhood and the ones we had with Dadonthebrink before kids, the hikes, the camping, it all came flooding back. And it also made me question why we, as a family, have become so much more reluctant to go on these adventure now with the children?!
Growing up my parents were never really the outdoorsy type, but we did go to the beach as often as we could and on excursions to see culture and heritage. My real outdoor adventures were condensed into a week or two each year that we’d spend at my grandmother’s house with my cousins each summer- making mud baths, building dens in the wheat fields by the house, climbing trees and the list goes on.
When I was in my teens and my parents loosened the reins a bit I took every opportunity to camp, hike, paddle down rivers and from then on I’d have at least one holiday each year which involved camping. I relish the outdoors with many fond memories of freezing my bottom off in a tent. Some of the funniest, craziest stories we have are actually linked to camping.
It really makes me wonder when I became such a couch potato! I guess my SPD and gaining weight with the pregnancies hasn’t helped in getting out; as the challenge of getting out with young children and all the extra clothes and food one needs to pack also puts a damper on the enthusiasm for the great outdoors.
So far some of the happiest times we’ve had as a family were in Spartan condition, like when we lived in a caravan in our garden with no TV, toilet in the house smashed to bits, eating outdoors as long as a coat was enough to keep you warm.
Last summer the kids had an amazing time- they loved the beach and woods at Bonne Anse Plage, they keep asking to go back to the caravan, they adored our trips to the Lake Balaton (asking to go sailing on Lake Balaton like we did the year before) and had a ball in Playmobil Fun Park. … These are the things they are repeatedly asking us to do again…and they are all outdoor family activities.
Nowadays our Sunday walks at the local country park always help set up for a much more relaxed week ahead. Over the past weekend I’ve actually found out that there is scientifically proven evidence to support that outdoor play helps mental development. That’s a win win in my book!
Seeing Angelina having so much fun building a den with other children and our fantastic outdoor guide Rob at Nymans and then her enthusiasm at sharing it with her little brother when we got home and at school on Monday- it was really uplifting!
Am I right in saying these are what childhood memories are made of?
So this year we are going to get out more!
The first thing that we are starting with is making a pledge to equal our screen time with outdoor time.
Will you join me?
Take the pledge yourself at- http://www.projectwildthing.com/
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Image Credit: © National Trust / Simon Burgess.