While Australia’s Nature Play is all about encouraging outdoor fun, we also understand the importance of adding fun to seemingly mundane indoor activities that many children find undesirable or simply put, boring. Tasks like brushing teeth, combing hair, and tying shoe laces may appear difficult and menial to children, mainly because they’re not nearly as fun as running around in the woods or playing hide and seek.
So why not bring the outdoors indoors, and make brushing teeth and other boring tasks, as fun as the best outdoor game? Here are just a few tips on how to spruce up your kids’ daily mundane routine.
Add some fun to your kid’s teeth-brushing routine
Brushing teeth is an important daily routine that children should learn at an early age for several reasons; not only does it prevent teeth from going bad, but it also helps preserve the longevity of baby teeth (if your child still has them), which is beneficial for their permanent teeth.
When teaching the importance of brushing teeth to your children, to make the process more fun, intrigue them about the beauty of nature and how it contributes to our health. Take toothpaste for instance - most of them contain the aromatic mint or eucalyptus, which grows in the dazzling Australian outdoors. Encourage them to smell it, touch it, play with it, and watch how this daily routine becomes one of their favourite.
Tying shoelaces doesn’t have to be hard and boring
As you might already know, kids love to run around barefoot, and if you don’t want them barefoot, you’ll probably just help them slide on their strapped shoes. However, going from strapped to laced footwear can be a challenge to 4, 5, even 6 and 7 year-olds.
To make the learning experience pleasant and fun, try to compare tying laces with playing with ropes and tying knots. You can actually start the learning process outside and use big ropes placed on branches. This way, not only will your youngster master the intricacies of tying laces, but even become a rope expert, which may come in handy when going on a camping trip in the Australian wild.
Let’s go pyjama hunting
“It’s bed time!” - the response to that call is usually a whiny and disagreeing one, but believe it or not, bedtime doesn’t always have to be a struggle. Use your imagination and make a hunting game out of putting on PJ’s. Come up with an outdoor scenario, where you’re in the great wild, hunting down the best pyjamas that you need to take “home” i.e. to bed. This is guaranteed to put on smile on your kiddo’s face and ensure a goodnight’s sleep.ld.
Instill discipline and independence
Did you know that certain outdoor activities can help your young ones learn about discipline and independence? That’s right; taking kids outdoors and setting missions - like sorting leaves, nuts, and rocks into their groups - can aid with indoor chores, such as sorting toys away. Also, teach your kiddos how to plan and think ahead. Help them guess what the weather will be like, what adventures will be had, and what type of clothes, foods, and crafts they’ll need for their day of fun. Consequently, these practical, yet fun outdoor activities help build independence in children and aid in morning routines like packing their own lunch bags and dressing themselves.
We all hear grandparents say, “They grow up so fast.” and it’s true. The little toddlers and preschoolers will become teenagers in a blink of an eye, and before you know it, you’ll be getting them ready for university. So, enjoy these moments, and don’t forget to invest a bit of extra time and to enjoy completing mundane tasks together... outside if possible!