When you have young kids you are busy all the time... which sucks, because you have less time to do more of what you love, but you have even more of a reason to do it. I hear it all the time - "I love camping; I want my kids to love camping. But, we just can't get away." I get it - life is busy. And packing up and heading off camping every weekend... amazing as it would be is just not practical for most people, even me! And, because #iwishiwascamping every day that I'm not, I am always looking for things I can do to get that 'camping feeling' when I just can't escape the City, and here are my top 7 easy things you can do to in the city to connect to the Camping Mum within you.
1. Explore new parks and nature reserves!
This is an easy one - camping is you exploring nature, and so is this! Plus, giving your children the gift of new experiences of all kinds lights them up. One of my kids' favourite things to do is "Going on Adventures!" and their enthusiasm is contagious. Find a park or nature reserve near you that you've only heard about pack hats, snacks and water bottles (maybe even a full picnic!) and get going - #adventureawaits!
2. Go 'hunting'
When we are camping, we love doing scavenger hunts. Sometimes we have a list (rocks, leaves, shells etc) and other times we hunt for something we love - butterflies, grasshoppers and hermit crabs (if we are by the water) are favourites! If you want to go next level, take a little container and show your kids that mumma's got skills - catch whatever you're observing and give your kids a closer look, you'll be their hero!
3. Climb trees
No matter where you are with the kids, if there's a climbing tree, get climbing! Do you remember when you were a child and that feeling of freedom you got from swinging on the branches or climbing so high that you didn't know how you'd get down? Well, giving your kids this feeling is a gift for your soul (and them, of course). And, if you're feeling adventurous, get up the tree with them... being childlike with your kids will strengthen the bond between you.
4. Take a family walk Camping is awesome for so many reasons, not least of which is uninterrupted time with your family. At the end of of a busy day taking a walk as a family is a great way to unwind, reconnect with the most important people in your world and be in nature... just like camping. We find that the best conversations happen while we are walking together. And, if you have a dog, take him along - he'll enjoy this too!
5. Just 'be' in the backyard
Get yourself a G&T, get hubby a beer, and go outside with your kids. You don't have to do anything - just sit in your camp chairs and watch them play and explore, just like if you were camping. Kids have a natural ability to make fun anywhere and anytime. And with a refreshing beverage in hand and the sound of your kids exploring / creating / laughing, you can take a deep breathe and enjoy just being alive.
6. Watch (or feel) the storms roll in
My family is lucky - we live on a hill and can watch storms roll in across the suburbs. And, when the rain is bucketing down, we can peer out our windows and enjoy the show. But, sometimes, we feel the storms roll in instead... it truly is an incredible way to connect to nature and really feel the world. So, if you notice the weather changing, grab the kids (optional) and go and lie outside with them (preferably on the grass). Watch the sky shifting, smell the rain coming, feel the the air pressure changing, listen to how the sounds around you change and, if you can, taste those first few rain drops - this is a full sensory experience that can give even the busiest mumma a moment of total joy.
7. Have a backyard campfire & toast marshmallows
To me, this is the ultimate way to get the whole family feeling the camping vibe without leaving home. Sure it's never going to be as good as when you're camping, but it's pretty great when you dream of spending more time around the campfire! Get yourself a brazier of some sort, pop up to your local servo and buy a bag of wood, grab firelighters and marshmallows at the grocery store, and you're set to give you and the kids the quintessential camping experience without even leaving home. And, maybe invite some friends around for some social networking the old fashioned way, because #campingmumshavemorefun!
Adventure Always! ~Shell
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