We've all heard the buzz lately of this cotton wool wrapped generation of children missing out on good old fashioned risk taking adventures. Puddle jumping, tree climbing, bush cubby building, mud pie consuming and basic grubby Aussie outdoor fun are just a stroll down the park for many of us - if we can find the time, the weather is okay, the planets are aligned, yada, yada, yada!
I have often found myself of a morning, bedraggled and dazed, coffee in one hand, baby bottle in the other, Weetbix in another (yes, indeed) contemplating rugging my kids up on the couch for a bit of down time. Perhaps with the ipod, back up ipad, laptop, portable DVD player, remote to the TV and mobile phone until I realise its actually 10:30 in the morning, the sun is shining, they're both full of energy and I have obviously consumed the wrong beverage .
Once I finally knock back some caffeine, I recall the fun I had as a kid scooping for tadpoles at Carine Open space. It's fun, cheap, entertaining and a great learning experience no matter what age.
My little boy learnt the skill of balance, the art of patience and the thrill of anticipation on a recent visit to Wungong Dam. The look on his face when we presented him with a $5 net and an old plastic bucket was priceless.
Thankfully he is still innocent enough not to realise that the majority of his catch was mainly bark, slime and twigs and was conveniently convinced by my husband that the tadpoles would miss their family if he didn't put them back in the water. Tadpole snatching aside, it was a simple idea of fun filled soggy goodness he has wanted to revisit several times since.
Fortunately there really are so many cool opportunities for kids to get active and explore the outdoors and a heap of great resources to tap into for ideas.I highly recommend this website - it's a pretty awesome idea and wonderfully informative.