Summertime and the livin' is easy

Monday, 29 December 2014

Hello and happy festive season! I hope this post finds you well - no doubt also feeling the after-effects of December's indulgences and hopefully enjoying some much-deserved down-time! The Australian summer holidays are in full swing and we are savouring a few weeks at home with no real plans beyond casual catch-ups and plenty of beach and outdoor play. We were treated to a weekend on the river to commence the school holidays, and whilst it meant turning down several subsequent social invitations, it was a great way to escape the pre-Christmas hustle and spend some quality time in nature with friends and the kids. Floating in the river, jetty jumping, stand-up paddle boarding, boat rides and basking in the sun certainly set a laid-back tone which we've fortunately carried through the latter part of December.

In the weeks proceeding the river, we've enjoyed regular family beach outings [one of which included close-range dolphin spotting!], foraged for mulberries, harvested backyard apricots and helped care for our friend's chickens. The kids have indulged in ample mud-play, watched our giant sunflowers grow, and become masters at collecting and applying worm juice from our recently acquired worm farm.

There's also been a marked shift in the household dynamics these holidays, with the kids now happily spending hours playing outdoors together rather than having to be directed to go outside or wanting an adult present with them. A swing set from Santa seems to be a major catalyst, no doubt coupled with Ari now nearing three years of age and no longer requiring the level of supervision that a younger toddler with a penchant for climbing and putting anything - and everything - in his mouth brings. His further developed communication skills and physical abilities,  combined with an attentive older sister, are seeing the two kids playing much more cooperatively and engaging in lots of physical, dramatic and constructive play together. We are all relishing the sense of freedom their evolution in play preferences is bringing; bountiful free play outdoors for them and pockets of highly valued quiet time for us!

As we move into January, Milla and her best friend will be commencing their first VACSWIM at the local Surf Life Saving Club which will see us spend a run of mornings by the local sand dunes. In considering how else to entertain the kids over January, we've printed off this fabulous list of "25 fun things to do in Summer!" recently complied by Nature Play SA with input from their Facebook community. The list features a great selection of seasonal play ideas for the home and beyond, ranging from exploring a dry creek bed to berry picking in an orchard or farm and snorkelling at the local beach. Milla  has requested we mark off what we've already done and consensus is we will be doing lots of kayaking, and trying backyard camping and reef exploring before summer's end. Oh summertime! The livin' is definitely easy.

What are your favourite outdoor activities this time of year (wherever you are!) and what do you have planned for the holidays?  

I hope you have a lovely end to 2014 and wish you all the best for the new year!


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