School holidays are upon us, and with the current economic crisis at play, myself and many others are looking at how we are going to manage two weeks of kids' activities on a limited budget.
So when thinking of low-cost and high-enjoyment activities, I always revert back to what I loved doing during my childhood. I never had a game console or a Game Boy, only a shared family computer. Instead, we relied on lots of bike rides, outdoor activities, and nature play.
So when thinking of what these school holidays will entail for us in Tasmania, I naturally gravitate towards using the natural resources we are so fortunate to have around us: the beautiful mountains, bush reserves, and the beach.
Nature play is not only a very low-cost activity but has also been proven to have both mental and physical benefits through direct association with nature. It has been shown to improve mood, reduce depression, and alleviate mental fatigue. Children who engage in regular outdoor play benefit from increased flexibility and gross motor skills. Furthermore, I would argue that not only is your child receiving the benefits of nature, but when you share that nature playtime with them, you yourself are also reaping those benefits of being connected with your kids and nature.
When we used to live in Melbourne, Eva participated in Bush Kindy weekly, and the facilitator provided really simple activities for the kids each week to engage with nature and work together as a team. Spending time in nature is essential for cognitive development. Nature play stimulates creativity and problem-solving skills, which are integral to executive function development. Additionally, as they work as a team, they have to learn to negotiate and cooperate, improving their socialization skills and self-confidence.
So, I wanted to share with you some of the activities that we used to do at Bush Kindy, which you can either download straight from the worksheets or adapt to something that suits you. Ideally, these worksheets would be printed out so the kids can take ownership of the activity. However, if you do not have access to a printer, you can download them onto your phone or iPad and take them with you on your outdoor adventures.
I would love to see what activities you get up to, so feel free to tag us on social media @FillYourCup_ with the #BushAdventures.