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Once again my son has inspired me to get enthusiastic about things.

This time it was for Earth Hour which was held last Saturday. He had experienced it at school on Friday when they turned off all the lights and electrical items for 1 hour.

So on Saturday night, we had a romantic candlelit dinner, and attempted to extend the lights off to two hours. Despite his brother’s best attempt to ruin things by being inconveniently sick in the middle of it all!

Nevertheless we had some fun, and it turned into a bit of a camping at home “what was it like in the old days” experience. The novelty of having all the lights out and only candles was fantastic and cemented for my son the idea of what we use electricity for, and what it is like without it.

The challenge of going beyond the hour and hopefully into the days and weeks beyond, is one which we are hoping to take up.

Maybe a candlelit dinner could be become part of our weekly routine!

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There is nothing like growing something yourself, then picking and eating it.

I have delighted in our produce at this time of year, which although limited, has consisted of a continual trickle of cherry tomatoes, basil and the occasional zucchini, plus the unveiling of some potatoes, almost forgotten underneath everything else!

I am always looking for gardening and cooking inspiration and have been cheered by the news that Kid’s Pantry (formerly of Pialligo) after a fire, has found a new home in Garran. I am looking forward to another visit after our birthday party experience last year, where the kids got to make their own meal and then eat it.

Quite the experience and a great way of getting kids excited about cutting, cooking and experimenting with eating.

find the possum

My kids love being outside: exploring, playing, having fun and just hanging out. Even better, is when there are opportunities for them to learn in the process.

During our most recent visit to the south coast of NSW we discovered the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens where there is a fantastic children’s walk.

taking a bushwalk

We  followed the trail and discovered little animals (pretend ones!) hiding in the bush. Signs explained what the animals were, what they eat and where they are normally found.

We all had fun, learnt a bit, stayed busy, interested and active. Lots of fun and the day was topped off by this do-it-yourself water feature!

water feature

water pump 

Further Reading

Map of the Eurobodalla Regional Botanic Gardens

Mud Pies and Daisy Chains: connecting young children and nature

Last Child in the Woods: overview

 
 

 

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Amongst other things…. having children has helped me appreciate the joys of gardening.

It is something I can do, and they can join in, or stay occupied with their own outdoor activities.

It also means they are more active, discovering things in a safe environment and getting to create new things such as mud cakes, makeshift sheds, pretend roadworks, collecting snailshells and being a bit more creative and energetic than they would be if inside.

I am also beginning to appreciate all the things that can be learnt in a small suburban backyard. How plants grow, the different birds and insects and how they behave, the importance of weather, seasons and much more.

Apart from the benefits for my children, I also love that it is one of the places where I slow down and relax, but still have fun with my children at the same time. Much more constructive than attempting to put your feet up, while the kids run rings around you!

Helpful Links on Gardening with Kids

Creating a Child-Friendly Garden – National Childcare Accreditation Council

Gardening for Children – Better Health Channel

Growing Kids – Global Garden

Organic Gardening for Children