Today I am delighted to be sharing with you how to make the perfect Den. This post is in celebration of A Year of Nature Craft and Play (Harper Collins). A brand new book by gardening expert Catherine Hughes and well-being author Becky Goddard-Hill (who I am delighted to call a friend). In it, they share a host of nature craft and play ideas following the seasons. They also include nature-based science experiments and gardening projects as well as exploration and mindfulness activities.
For the last month or so the boys have been getting active on a couple of Elektra Skateboards (£12.99) and an Elektra Pogo Stick (£19.99). I am a great believer in encouraging kids to be active and get outside when they can and they both scoot or bike to school, so I have known that it wouldn’t be long before they wanted to try out skateboards. So when the opportunity arose to review them I said yes, knowing that it would make me the cool mum! We do have rules and I was pleased to review the matching helmets(£14.99).
I am as guilty as others at looking out of the window and thinking of things that we can do inside to escape the weather rather than embracing the weather and getting some fresh air. So I am dedicating this week’s something for the weekend to getting us outside and encouraging our children outside too. In many parts of the UK it has been the wettest winter on record and often March and April can be pretty wet too, but I am determined to get us out and about. Ways to encourage kid’s outdoors
With a ‘Team Challenge’ obstacle course, orienteering, raft-building, bushcraft – even circus skills – kids have the opportunity to take Moss’s advice to heart by learning “how to safely take risks for themselves in a safe and secure environment.” The Kingswood website says kids “learn to work as a team, demonstrating support, tolerance and encouragement for others; time away from home encourages confidence and independence; key life skills development includes decision making, leadership, initiative and problem solving.”
Or you could look into Forest Schools, based on a Scandinavian concept that puts an emphasis on “child-led learning, based on small, achievable tasks.” The Green Learning Forest School in Cornwall states that its positive outdoor experiences “raise levels of self-esteem…develop skills in co-operation and listening, empathy and enthusiasm for learning.”
It’s difficult to see your child struggling with low self-esteem. If they’re not ready to clamber up the branches, maybe just finding a nice tree swing is a start.