Micro adventures catch on
Keeping the kids occupied over the school holidays can be a challenge. Heather Knox knows all about those challenges. She has has two small pre-school children, but has come across a novel way of keeping them active and amused.
Earlier this year, Heather set up a local family adventure group with the aim of not only stimulating her own two and fouryear-olds, but to connect with other local families who like getting outdoors with little kids.
‘‘We’ve called it Manawatu Family Microadventurers (MFM). We started towards the end of last summer, but have been out and about all winter doing things with our children. The group is about sharing local information and getting out and getting muddy!
‘‘We’ve been out there in tor- rential rain... and it wasn’t the kids who were complaining.’’
The idea takes advantage of the free parks and play areas, and Heather has taken her children on a ‘‘slide crawl’’ through all the city parks.
‘‘In June I started an informal, outdoor, rain-or-shine play group on Fridays which has been meeting at different local parks and playgrounds.’’
Heather sees this as an alterna- tive to organised preschool activities that all seem to meet indoors all year round. So far they’ve been to Bledisloe Park, the Esplanade Rose Garden for ‘‘a bit of orienteering’’, and to Sledge Track.
‘‘There were three of us with six kids. We took our fishing nets to see what we could find.’’
She also recommends that families go camping in their own back yard. In winter. It’s an adventure.
‘‘People thing we’re crazy. We go camping in the winter.’’
Making use of the freely available great outdoors play area has several advantages over inside. There’s the novelty of it all for a start.
MFM has set up a Facebook page and is working with Friends of Waitoetoe Park to develop an outdoor play area for preschoolers and children at Riverdale Kindergarten.
Micro adventurers Heather Knox and Katherine Parlane and the ‘‘Eeyore house’’ they build out of sticks and fallen branches for their children in Bledisloe Park. The ‘‘construction project’’ was easy, free and provided a happy outdoor diversion for their children. Photo: MURRAY WILSON / FAIRFAX NZ