Be prepared, but also be prepared to expect the unexpected so you and the kids can enjoy surprise discoveries along the way. Dress to suit the weather and you can comfortably get outdoors every day in all seasons.
Young children love to carry their own little backpacks full of their drinks and snacks. It helps their independence and keeps your load lighter too.
Keep an adventure bag always packed and handy to grab full of necessities and even some tools to encourage exploring, like magnifying glasses and binoculars.
You don’t need to buy tools or equipment to help kids explore. Remember to be creative and get kids to use their imagination: a branch can be a brush to gently reveal a found creature, a stick can be a pencil and mud can be like paint.
Early morning can be better in summer to avoid excessive heat and babies and young children are often less tired in the morning. Check the weather, Sunsmart Ultraviolet Alerts and fire danger reports before you go to help you prepare for any environmental changes.
Here are a few things to remember:
- Clothes and shoes to suit the weather.
- Hats and sunscreen; the Cancer Council Australia has evidence based research and recommendations for being sunsmart, including guidelines about sun protection for babies 0 - 12 months old.
- Old clothes and spare clothes so kids –and adults - can get muddy, dirty and stay out even if the weather changes.
- A basic first aid kit.
- A plastic backed picnic mat: keep it lightweight and easy to carry.
- Easy healthy snacks to keep the energy levels going and the kids interested.
- Plenty of water, in smaller containers to distribute the load.
- Small rubbish bags to take home your rubbish.
- Bring a camera if you like or a journal for younger children to sketch their discoveries.
- For younger children, use a GPS or smartphone for geocaching to search for surprise discoveries .
- Maps and small books to identify flora and fauna.
Story and pictures contributed by Cindy Addison.