And Find Your Families Perfect Outdoors Adventure
Get Tech Savvy
Written by Victoria Radford
Getting outside with the kids can often be a challenge. Finding time to do things is only part of the puzzle to getting about and about. Our new world full of technological advancements can often work against us too. On the flip side though, we now have a range of tech tools that we can use to make getting outside and getting fit with our family easier. It opens up a world to new ideas, tip and guidance that wasn’t there for our parents. Get technology on your side and enjoy the outdoors even if it’s just for 30 minutes in the backyard or for that amazing family trip around Australia. Get your smartphone, your internet data and start researching what your family can do outdoors.
Let’s Get Appy
Recently, my family did an amazing walk – Old Great North Road – World Heritage Walk, near Wisemans Ferry in Sydney’s North. Along the walk, we discovered the history of the convicts who built the road in the 1800s. We ventured out into nature, saw amazing scenery and ran, climbed and simply had fun as a family. We found out about the walk using the NSW National Parks App. (I’m sure that each Australian state has something similar).
What a great resource for finding trails suitable for kids, where to park the car and things to do close by. Having information about facilities, track length and parking help to take the stress off parents because you know what to expect. As a mum of 4 kids under 13, I really like to know what to expect and using apps for parks and walks offers me great information to help make our outdoor outings much more fun.
Another terrific app that is great for the whole family is Nature Passport. Co-designed by Nature Play Western Australia, this app is a collection of fun activities you can do with the family in any outdoor location. The kids will love not only the fun challenges and tasks, such as bug hunts, cubby building or mud pie baking but they can take photos, add video and collect badges. It’s a wonderful way to keep everyone excited and outside, even if it's just in the backyard at Gran’s place.
I’m All Ears.
The number of podcasts available has exploded in recent years. They are a great way to learn about any topic while you are in the car, on the train or giving the kids their bath. They are also great for inspiration and a great way to get the family out and about exploring the outside world.
If your kids love the show Dirt Girl on the ABC or they just love getting ‘hand on’ outdoors then try listing to the quick yet fun podcast: Nature Detective Academy. What I like about this podcast is each episode focuses on 1 idea like mud, seeds or butterflies. They incorporate fun songs and sound effects and offer simple ways to get outside and interact with nature. Each episode ends with a task in nature so kids feel inspired to explore and have fun outside. Make mud pies, jump in puddles and plant seeds…. A great way to simply get excited about getting messy and hands on, outside.
Podcasts are also great because they can introduce you to amazing people with inspiring stories. Take a look at A Big Peachy Adventure: The Family Travel Podcast. Not only do you follow the amazing travelling adventures of Adelaide couple Natalie & Michael and their 3 young kids as they go on the adventure of a lifetime, travelling around Australia but there are great episodes full of tips and interviews to get you and your family excited and enthusiastic about seeing new things. You may not be able to travel far but listening to these great podcast episodes might just inspire your family to go on a Sunday picnic to somewhere new.
Remember too that there are thousands of great podcasts to listen to while on a car trip. No longer will the kids be saying “are we there yet?” when you’re on a wonderful weekend drive or on your way to a fun bush walk.
Social media is like a window into other people’s lives. Getting onto Facebook or Instagram can be a really great way to get tips and hints for places to go and things to do. It’s also great because it allows you to ask questions and interact with people you may not know but have experiences that you want to find out about. (Get Tech Savvy)
Take a look at the inspiring Instagram posts by Melody Forsyth – Down With Adventure. She is an American mum who is traveling around the USA with her hubby and 3 kids. Her youngest has Downs Syndrome, which has driven her to inspire special needs families to get out and see the world. I love this Instagram page not only for its showcase of travelling with kids but because it shows a real family who love the outdoors. The photos are really cute too!
A terrific Facebook page for advice and ideas is Camping For Kids. You don’t need to be into camping to like this page. It’s a great place to find inspiration but often when you see posts from other families just like you, doing things that you never dreamed of, you may be excited to give something new a try.
Social media inspiration doesn’t just have to be from people you don’t know. Why not go through your friends social media feeds to see what they have done. You never know, you may see a local fishing spot or swimming pool that you didn’t know about until you see your neighbour’s post on Facebook.
I think as parents and carers, we are actually lucky to have the technology to help us come up with great ideas to keep our family excited about getting outdoors to get fresh air, exercise and create wonderful memories. Simply by using your mobile phone, you can connect yourself to an endless amount of ideas for great activities everyone will love.