This week’s blog feature is written by our ambassador, @together_wewillwonder. Kellie created this piece for Australian magazine, MamaMag, which was published in the Aug/Sept 2021 issue. Kellie and her family live in Australia, and aimed to promote Kids Who Explore through this piece, encouraging other families to go beyond their front door while still staying close to home. Here is Kellie’s piece she has allowed us to share:
"Spending time outdoors offers our children countless opportunities for discovery, experimenting, problem-solving and creativity.
With my children, I have also found outdoor play to have an immense calming power. For that reason, I believe spending time outside is great for a child’s physical and mental health and cognitive development. The added bonus for kids and adults alike is that outdoor play can be HEAPS OF FUN!
At times, the perceived lack of access to large green spaces may be seen as a barrier to raising kids who explore. I’ll admit I love nothing more than jumping in the car and driving to a National Park or our local beach. But if the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that we can replicate outdoor play we’d previously done further afield, very close to home or even in our backyard!
Here are ten ways we encourage our kids to explore the outdoors closer to home
1. Sweep fallen autumn leaves into a big pile and let the kids jump till their hearts are content (we put our pile at the bottom of our backyard slide!) What kid doesn’t like jumping in big piles of leaves?
2. Grab your picnic rug, pack some food and have lunch or dinner in your backyard or local park.
3. Get creative with chalk. Remember all the hours you spent drawing on the footpath as a kid? Go one step further and encourage your kids to add things they find in nature to their chalk drawing, e.g. acorn eyes or a pinecone nose.
4. Find and follow an ant trail. Place a small piece of food, or some crumbs close by and watch what happens.
5. Look at various flowers around your local area and carefully sketch them. Can the kids draw the veins and add the textures?
6. Run a scavenger hunt with a twist, e.g., find a rough leaf, a soft leaf and one that releases an aroma.
7. Let the kids have a spot in the yard to dig (we have a dedicated area in our backyard the kids have lovingly named ‘the construction site’. Here they are allowed to dig as deep as they want, make ponds and build small dams.
8. Camp in your backyard! There is no need to pack the car with this one, so it’s a win win for everyone!
9. Go searching for a street library – can you walk/ride to a local street library to swap a free book and explore parts of your local area you may not have previously (on the Street Library website, you can search by postcode for libraries close by).
10. Bring old sheets from inside, bits of timber from the garage and other treasures to draw the kids into a magical world of imagination. What games will they come up with?
If you feel like you need a little more encouragement or direction, there are many local groups you can get involved with to get outdoors. One of these is Kids Who Explore, a social enterprise established by mothers with young children whose goal is to inspire
other families worldwide to connect with nature, and with each other! Their website is full of great tips and tricks to help get your kids exploring nature. Kids Who Explore also plan worldwide virtual events that families can participate in regardless of where you
live. Initiatives such as rubbish clean-ups and hike challenges are a great way to connect with like-minded families. If we can encourage our kids to spend time outdoors, we can develop life-long habits, supporting physical and mental health well into the future! Whether it’s in our backyard, local park or somewhere further afield, nature stirs on kiddie creativity. Outdoor play can mean more with less, and less can often lead to more fun!
I’ll end on a ‘let’s get real’ tip. Of course, you will experience meltdowns while exploring outdoors (we all do), but a lolly snake can do wonders as a kiddie motivator for those little ones who may be a little reluctant at first! Written by Kellie Floyd, a self-proclaimed outdoorsy mama who works in marketing and communications and as a freelance writer. If you’d like further inspiration, you can follow Kellie’s family outdoor exploration at @together_wewillwander and connect with Kids Who Explore at kidswhoexplore.com or
We are so honored to have our name featured in this Australian magazine, expressing the topic we all feel so strongly about — the importance of the outdoors. Kellie’s voice is an influential part in spreading our message across Australia and we couldn’t thank her enough! You can click here to check out the blog post through MamaMag. Follow Kellie at @together_wewillwander on Instagram to continue to be inspired to explore the great outdoors. You can click here if you’d like to read the whole magazine Kellie’s piece was featured in! Thank-you for reading this week’s feature blog post.