FREE PLAY

Anyone who has read my blog previously knows that our family enjoys boating and have a few friends that share our passion for time spent on the water.

The thing I love the most is seeing the kids interact – moving away from screen time and structured play.

The other morning some of our kids and their friends took the dinghy into the beach and spent hours creating their own fun. Years ago they discovered if you rubbed different coloured rocks with water you could make ‘face paint’. The kids were all painted – fairies for girls, snakes for boys.

After that was done they found flotsam and jetsam on the beach and painted them, before creating a ‘shop’ where they could use collected gems (rocks) to pay for the items they made. This imaginative and creative play borrowed some inspiration from minecraft but instead of the kids creating cyber worlds to interact with one another they used nature.

They were only about 100 metres away from us but they were really a world away. They only escaped that world briefly to come back to our boat for snacks and drinks to keep up their energy levels.

I’m sure our kids will look back on their childhood and reflect on days like that rather than the time they made a fort in minecraft!
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OBLIVIOUS

We are lucky to live in an amazing part if the world with beautiful waterways to explore.

Yesterday we were cruising on our boat and our youngest chose to watch a movie instead of take in the gorgeous scenery.

We came across the biggest pod of dolphins I have ever seen. About 50 of these beautiful creatures raced towards our boat to frolic in our wake and ride off the bow. It was one of those once in a lifetime moments when you are humbled by the experience of being so close to so many of these wild animals.

We called out to our son to come see this incredible spectacle, to which he replied, ‘It’s ok I’ve seen dolphins before. I don’t want to pause the movie.’ I couldn’t believe he was oblivious to the rarity of the situation and that he would choose a movie over such natural beauty. Of course we stopped his movie and made him join us, which in hindsight he was grateful for, although not initially.

Sometimes kids take things in their stride not realising the beauty and the privilege of the situation until it is over.

It’s not until you are an adult that you really marvel in nature’s beauty and appreciate how amazing the world around us is.

So until our kids have the maturity to recognise moments of natural glory, we will try to impress on them how lucky we are and take photos to share with them later in life.

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BUSH WALK

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I’ve been absent for the last week as we have been boating in some of the most incredible waterways, nestled within pristine bush national parks that are a sight to behold – unless you’re a child! Then it is just that area that isn’t water.

One day we decided to go on a bushwalk to a stunning lookout and asked if the kids would like to join us. To our dismay, they said that it was boring and they weren’t interested. So we then came up with a new idea – we were going on a ‘scavenger hunt’. We came up with a list of items they needed to collect on the walk: a yellow flower; a heart shaped rock; a stick shaped like a slingshot; spot a wallaby (like a little kangaroo for those non-Australians) and a gumnut. 

Suddenly their interest levels peaked and they had a glorious time wandering through the bush looking out for the items on the list. We spotted a wallaby within a few minutes of walking and the rest of the items were easily found, with a bit of leniency given to how ‘heart shaped’ the heart shaped rock was. The reward when we got to the top was a fun-sized chocolate for the kids and the stunning vista of the lookout for the adults.

Sometimes the simplest things are achieved by thinking outside the square. By creating such a simple competition, the kids ended up enjoying themselves (as did the adults) and it gave us all some time to appreciate the natural beauty surrounding us, whilst giving us a bit of exercise.