Exploring & having fun – learning is a by product

“Exploring” – as we call it, or in other words going for a walk on the beach and looking for crabs, is my sons favourite things. And we all love it…

It is also a wonderful opportunity to teach the children and to pass on important values. Today, for example, after finding a mother crab with eggs -and carefully letting it go- we talked about the life cycle. Respect for the nature and for everything living. Learning to name and recognise one type of crab from another. Spotting the birds that would love to eat the little crabs…
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I say “learning by accident” – as that how it feels. It is not drumming information into the child’s mind, but rather doing something enjoyable together, sharing special moments and absorbing information and values in.

Go explore! Have fun.

Berries, WONDERFUL berries!

I have been talking quite a bit about kids needing to experience the outdoors, and projects like this one on Indiegogo immediately get my attention (http://www.indiegogo.com/childobesity).

As a child in Finland, at the end of each summer, my family would travel to visit grandmother and pick berries, walk the forests, swim in lakes, explore the fields, sleep in barns, bathe in sauna, cook sausages over a camp fire… I really wanted to share something similar with my children – but berry picking in Australia did not seem possible – until we discovered the pick your own Berry Farm.

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I am sure that other berry farms would offer something similar, but being the only one within reasonable distance for a day trip, Clyde River Berry Farm has become our favourite. (their website is www.clyderiverberryfarm.com.au)

It was raining that morning and the weather forecast did not seem promising. Despite the fact, we were determined to visit the farm. Geared with rain jackets and gumboots we headed south passed Ulladulla and Termeil.

Picking your own berries is a lovely experience. You get to be outdoors, spend time with your family, talk and reflect and pick these sweet and wonderful berries. The berries at Clyde River Farm are top quality, the owners super friendly and the ice cream not half bad either…

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I felt almost proud being able to show my children the correct way to pick berries to avoid them dropping down between your fingers. At the end of our picking, on our way back to the cars, my 4 year old was pointing at all the wasted berries that had been dropped to the ground and stated: “People just don’t know how to pick berries!”. You said it, son!

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That day we had my famous Berries and Roasted Oatmeal Desert with some whipped cream for first, second and third course. I know this sounds a little cliche, but it was ‘berrylicious’!

If you haven’t been to a berry farm with your family yet, do go! Take it easy, go with the flow, smell every smell and absorb every detail, answer every question and be there, JUST BE PRESENT. The reward cannot only be measured in the amount of berries, but in the number of smiles on your children’s faces…

Oh, and we never needed the rain jackets nor the gumboots :)

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I love simple solutions – even with school uniforms

Coming to Australia from Finland where kids don’t wear school uniforms, I found the whole thing rather intimidating when my daughter first started school. In the orientation day I was given a paper describing what the children were expected to wear. Some of the items, I was told, could be obtained through school, others needed to be purchased elsewhere. But where?

The same dilemma continues every year. Now I know which local shops should have the stock. My problem has been though that there never seems to be the right size. If not for the “life-saving” hand-me-downs, the whole school uniform thing would have driven me nuts.

A few times I have started conversation on Twitter with some other mothers and realised that this is a rather common problem.

Made For School WebsiteRecently I came across a fantastic website that is definitely worth a share. It is called madeforschool.com.au and in it’s simplicity a brilliant thing. One place, ONLINE, where you can shop for all uniform needs.

I mean, really, who has time to go from shop to shop only to find that the size they need is never in stock. ARGH!

This is the link to the website http://madeforschool.com.au – check it out for yourself.