Quite often, time spent outside happens for a reason or a purpose, like a walk in the National Park or a swim at the beach. It‘s usually planned, scheduled and executed for a purpose. In the last year, we have spent more time outside than at any other time of our lives, and as such have enjoyed having less structure and more freedom in the great outdoors. Living on the beautiful Sunshine Coast with its weather definitely encourages year round outside time!
Reflecting on this shift, we thought we would ask our six and eight year old daughters about their five favourite things to do outside on our property, and add our own top five.
Top five from our kids
1. Nature Ninja Warrior - balancing across fallen logs, jumping creeks, climbing trees, swinging off vines, scrambling up mountains. It gets competitive!
2. Exploring the water courses - water courses make awesome natural playgrounds. The girls look for frogs and lizards, jump from rock to rock, splash in puddles, and sift for ‘gemstones and gold’.
3. The Magic Faraway Tree - we have a giant old Camphor Laurel that survived our weed removal program. It’s one of their favourite places to play and they have come up with endless imaginary games related to this tree. And, obviously, it’s where the fairies live!
4. Creating Rock Art - being next to a mountain we have a LOT of rocks, and the kids love collecting them (ask me how much I love putting ‘special’ rocks that cannot be left behind in my pocket). They use them to make rock piles, and mark out the rooms in their ‘houses’ that they have created amongst the trees.
5. Picnics. Eating on the grass or a log, no cutlery or washing up...what’s not to love?
Top five from us
1. Spotting wildlife. It never gets old seeing a kookaburra kill and swallow a snake. I love the kingfishers diving for their food, the goannas scaling trees, water dragons dashing into the dams. Our mission is to spot a koala!
2. Bonfires - not so much the stacking of them, but the ‘after’, when you get to sit and watch the flickering flames, have a bbq and a drink, late into the evening. The odd marshmallow might even get roasted.
3. Stargazing - you can’t help but be awestruck at the number of stars you can see. On a clear night, it is breathtaking!
4. Using the natural resources to create things. It is good to know we can now build, create, repair without always heading straight to Bunnings! Less waste, more sustainable living!
5. The inner child in us means we also enjoy everything on the kids list...although we are yet to see a fairy!