10 articles Tag outdoors

10 fun outdoor activities to do along the Surf Coast

After a long winter, Victorians are busting to get outdoors to enjoy the sunshine. Thankfully, the Surf Coast offers a plethora of experiences that allows you to enjoy the best of the outdoors in this picturesque part of the world.

From family friendly activities in Geelong to adventures for adrenal junkies, we’ve got 10 fun outdoor experiences that will allow you to make the most of your time exploring the Surf Coast.

  1. Take a dive

Geelong’s waterfront is a thrive of activity on a sunny day especially the Eastern Beach Swimming Enclosure. Paddle with the young ones in the kiddy pool or make a splash from the top of the historic tower.

  1. Ride a wave

From beginner to pros, the Surf Coast is the ideal spot to explore if you want to catch a wave or two. After all, its plays host of one the world’s best surfing competitions, Rip Curl Pro! If you are yet to stand up, try a lesson at Ocean Grove or Anglesea with the crew from Go Ride a Wave. Serious surfers are best off heading to Bells Beach, Fairhaven or Thirteenth Beach for some big swells and epic breaks.

  1. Round of golf

Breath in the fresh salty air and take in the coastal views as you navigate the 18-hole championship golf course, The Sands in Torquay. Boasting of high-class facilities, it’s one of the best places you can play a round of golf in Australia.

  1. Picturesque trek

Take the picturesque trek along the Great Ocean Road to experience dramatic cliff views, local flora and fauna and the region’s rich heritage. Stretching more than 100Kms, the walk is a one-way long-distance trek that runs between Apollo Bay and the famous twelve Apostles.

  1. Make a splash

For a family friendly day out, head to Adventure Park to make a splash. With Victoria’s longest water slide, it’s guaranteed there will be some spills and thrills and plenty of laughs along the way.

  1. Reel in a fish

Set up and enjoy some quiet time while you wait for a fish to bite on one of the many piers of the Surf Coast. At Portarlington you’ll find snapper, flathead and whiting or some squid at Point Lonsdale. Alternatively, you could take a charter boat out of Queenscliff to tour Port Phillip Bay.

  1. Tear it up

Strap on your helmet and dust off the mountain bike for an adventure in the You Yangs Regional Park. With its purpose-built downhill and XC trails, there’s plenty of diverse and challenging terrain to tear up.

  1. Take a leap of faith

Adrenaline junkies rejoice, the Surf Coast is one of the best places to test your bravery threshold and experience an unbeatable rush with a skydive. During your tandem dive, you’ll get the best view of the famous Bells Beach and the region’s rugged coastal bushland.

  1. Sail the open waters

Take to the open waters on a voyage aboard Melbourne’s Tall Ship Enterprize. Enjoy a leisurely one hour sail from Geelong’s Steampacket Quay during the day or a romantic 1.5 hour evening tour.

  1. Pitch a tent

The Surf Coast is bustling with great places to pitch a tent and camp out. Along the Great Ocean Road there are plenty of free and paid campsites for tents or caravans. For those who prefer a little more luxury, there are some great camping grounds that offer comfortable cabins too.

Sudocrem – Getting Kids to Play Outdoors

Hands up who’s relieved to have seen a little bit of nice weather this week? In a week full of terrible news and nasty political tactics, sometimes something as simple as feeling the sun on your face is enough to bolster your mood a little. It’s really nice that a little less rain means that we’re able to spend more time outside, taking advantage of our lovely surroundings and blowing away some of the cobwebs of what felt like the longest winter in living memory.

Now that Chuck isn’t as able to go on long walks, we limit his walking time by allowing him to take us on shorter walks and let him dictate the length and pace, and this newly relaxed attitude from him makes it a lot easier for me to take both girls along with me while I walk him. Spending time walking with all three of them (and even better when Husband is with us, too) is one of my simplest, happiest pleasures in life.

Getting Outside with Sudocrem

Last year, I teamed up with Sudocrem to tell you all about the Play More campaign they’d launched which was intended to get our kids outside more, by donating funds to schools and nurseries for updating their outdoor play areas. The project was such a huge success that they’re doing it all again this year and they’ve asked me to tell my readers about it.

“With stories of childhood obesity never far from the headlines, it’s easy to believe that each generation of children is lazier than the last. But a new survey of 6 – 11 year olds suggests that British children believe they’re wrapped in cotton wool by their parents and would like more freedom to play outside.

The research by family skincare brand Sudocrem found that almost 3 in 5 children (57%) said their parents worried too much about their safety and almost two-thirds of those aged 8 – 11 (64%) thought they should be able to go to the park with their friends, unaccompanied by an adult.Sudocrem Play More for schools and nurseries

 Encouragingly, the study also revealed a generation of children who recognise they don’t play out in the fresh air often enough, with 52% of those questioned admitting they spend too much time on games consoles and a further 60% saying there should be more games to encourage kids to play outside, like Pokemon Go.”

Sudocrem’s Brand Manager, Georgina Fotopoulou said, “Children love outdoor play but they’re bound to scrape their knees. This is all part of the learning process. A cuddle and a tub of Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream can make a lot of things better. We’ve been healing skin for generations and we’re proud to promote the spirit of adventure with Play More.”

If you think your child’s nursery* could do with improving their outdoor facilities, go to www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub and nominate.

Getting Our Kids Outdoors

One of the main reasons that we moved to the countryside back in September of last year was that we wanted the kids to be able to spend more time outdoors, surrounded by nature. Our house, as well as having big front and back gardens, is completely surrounded by farmland and footpaths which are perfect for exploring or going on an evening ramble after tea. Here’s a shot taken by Husband just this evening whilst taking Chuck out for his evening constitutional (isn’t it absolutely stunning?!):

outdoors

The thing is, Husband and I were raised during a time when it was completely normal for kids to play outside; we both remember leaving the house in the morning and only ever popping back for lunch and dinner, and we often comment about how sad it makes us that our girls will never experience the same sort of freedom. That’s why when I heard about the new campaign being spearheaded by Sudocrem and PlayMore, I knew I had to write about it.

Their research has shown that, on average, the modern child spends less than five hours a week playing outside, compared to over 11 hours for their parents’ generation.

Child psychologist Dr. Lindsay Ip explains, “Children today are more used to immediate gratification from technology and digital games than active, creative play in the outdoors and connection to humans and nature. That’s why we have a responsibility as a society to encourage our children to get outside and play. It’s important for their health and educational development.”

Based on this research, Sudocrem has teamed up with PlayMore to offer 10 nurseries across the country the chance to win £500 towards improving their outdoor play facilities, in an effort to get pre-school aged kids outside more.

Sudocrem’s Brand Manager, Nick Lang said, “Children love outdoor play but they’re bound to get stung by stinging nettles and scrape their knees. This is all part of the learning process for parents as well as children. A cuddle and a tub of Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream can make a lot of things better. We’ve been healing skin for generations and we’re proud to promote the spirit of adventure with Play More.”

The reception classes at Sausage’s school have recently upgraded their outdoor facilities, including an astro-turfed area to allow year-round ball sports, mud kitchens to let kids enjoy messy play and a canopy-covered area so that they can still get fresh air during wet weather. It’s really refreshing to see the outdoor space being incorporated into the classroom in this way and I can’t wait to see how BB enjoys it when she starts school in a couple of years.

If you think your child’s nursery could do with improving their outdoor facilities, go to www.sudocrem.co.uk/social-hub and nominate.

A Good Winter Coat

Sausage has had a real growth spurt recently, as I keep discovering when I give her clothes to put on and she comes back wearing what looks like a crop top and 3/4 length leggings! This means that we’ve had to replace a lot of things, not least of all her winter coat; I was hoping to get a few months out of her old one but it just wasn’t cutting it anymore! We opted for this one, from Regatta:

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The coat itself is super warm and waterproof. which means that even in the horrible weather we’ve been having lately, she’s been well protected from the elements. The hood is HUGE and has a fabric peak which pulls out to give extra shelter when it’s raining, as well as the lush fur lining around the hood. The front has a zip but also a button-down flap which gives total protection from wind and rain and means that I don’t have to worry about her being cold in the playground.

Husband and I have always tried to make sure that Sausage has the best quality clothes we can afford, especially with her outdoor gear as it’s so important to stay warm and dry. A hood is a must because of her reoccurring ear infections – it’s probably an old wives tale, but we like to make sure she doesn’t get the wind in her ears! Also, the coat seems pretty popular amongst the other kids – I’ve seen two other girls wearing at Sausage’s school this winter!

Now that we live in the county, it’s even more vital for us all to have excellent outdoor clothing. We often go for long walks with Chuck, our dog, and as we’re surrounded by farmland and river coastline, we have to make sure that we have things in which we can get wrapped up warmly. Sausage’s Regatta coat is the perfect thing for her to wear and it’s breathable too, which means that she doesn’t overheat or get too sweaty!

All in all, we’d definitely recommend this coat, and Regatta as a whole, for the high quality clothing they make.

Bringing the Outdoors In: Indoor Picnic Ideas

Post provided by Fisher Price

Spending hours outdoors is an activity that most children will love to do; heading to the park, riding their bikes, playing in the garden – whatever it is, they love being outside. When the summer approaches, the opportunity for fabulous picnics on the green become an instant possibility, giving you and your family a perfect chance to enjoy eachother’s company. But what do we do in the meantime?

With the weather like it is during the winter and early spring in the UK, the possibility of spending plenty of time outdoors dwindles and the chance for a picnic disappears completely because of the risk of rain or a strong gust of wind blowing your sandwiches away. Instead, why not bring the picnic idea to the living room?

Creating a picnic in the comfort of your own home is great fun, not just for the children but for you as well. Why shouldn’t you fetch the hamper from the attic and pack it with loads of yummy goodies? Just because you’re not going anywhere doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the experience. Kids enjoy their own little tea parties and picnics all the time; laying out place settings for their teddies and using their say please tea set to pour pretend cups of tea for their favourite doll. Why not turn it into a full on indoor picnic? Here are some ideas that you can incorporate.

  • Lay a picnic blanket on the living room floor and pile high with various plates and bowls ready for the food
  • Alternatively, make a den! Having a picnic inside a homemade den adds to the experience.
  • Use the picnic hamper for an authentic picnic experience. Cover the floor with scatter cushions and cosy throws so that you can really relax and have fun.
  • Make some traditional picnic sandwiches and stock the hamper with savoury and sweet treats.
  • Ask your children to help to prepare for the picnic so that they can feel involved
  • Let their imaginations run wild! Encourage them to dress up and let their creativity flow.
  • If they do decide to dress up, theme the picnic food to coincide.
  • Introduce a couple of games to play as part of the afternoon. Perhaps an indoor treasure hunt that you have been able to plan in advance, or some board games that can be enjoyed by all.
  • Invite some of their friends for a tea party to remember.

Picnics don’t just have to be outdoors – make a rainy day special using what you have at home, instead.

Trampolining for the Whole Family!

One of the things that we’ve been looking forward to about the warmer weather maybe/possibly/potentially arriving is getting Sausage back on her trampoline. She’s been a bouncy child ever since she could first take weight on her legs (which, and I’m not exaggerating here, was at about 6 weeks old. We nicknamed her Tigger and everything) and when we were trying to come up with something to get her for her last birthday, a trampoline was the obvious choice.

The trouble is, her birthday is in August and we didn’t have a particularly brilliant summer last year, so the amount of time she actually spent on it was limited. We were hopeful that she’d be springing into action as soon as spring arrived (did you see what I did there..?!) but that was not to be as, despite being a fan of extreme sports, ‘Dodge the Lightening Trampolining’ is not my idea of healthy recreation for a four year old.

I was having a little Google up, as you do, and I found AllTrampolines, a site which does exactly as its name suggests and sells all things trampoline related. I saw this little 5ft trampoline and it got me thinking; trampolining doesn’t have to stop when the rain and snow starts! There’s even a smaller one on the website called a ‘Jogger’ which is specifically for keeping fit indoors and I’m genuinely considering investing in one for myself. I’ll need some serious sports-bra-chest-binding action before I even get near it, but I reckon indoor mini-tramping could be an amazingly fun way to bounce back to fitness. Not that I’d get a chance to use it, once Sausage got her mitts on it.

Another thing that looks amazingly fun is this trampoline tent – on more than one occasion last year, Sausage asked if we could throw blankets over the net enclosure of her trampoline and make it into an enclosed den for her, but this tent would be an amazing accessory to have for days when she wants to do that and it would save my bed sheets too!

So, here’s hoping for the scorching July and August that I keep hearing about from the grapevine of British Weather folklore so that we can all get bouncing again!

Closer to Nature – Photo Linky

I’ve been totally slack with getting a Closer to Nature post up the past couple of weeks, so apologies to anyone who’s been patiently waiting to link up any nature photos! Here’s my photo for this week:

I took a photo of this moth, sitting on our living room wall, a couple of weeks ago and fiddled about with contrast and lighting in Picasa and I think it came out rather well! We’ve had something of a moth infestation this summer, but I read in the news that that’s happening because of their woodland habitats being levelled, so I didn’t begrudge them a place to sleep. I do have a couple of items of clothing with holes gnawed in them though, which takes the mickey a bit!

So, now it’s your turn, I want to see your nature snaps and you can use the widget below to link up. The rules and details are here if you need them.

 

Mum's the Word

Closer to Nature – A Photography Linky

After I put this up two Tuesdays ago, I had a really healthy response to the idea and had 14 or 15 people link up, which I was completely thrilled with, so as promised I thought I’d do it again. Welcome to Closer to Nature!

As with last time, there are no real hard and fast rules other than your photo must be something nature related, but that leaves a heck of a lot of scope for your imagination to go wild (pardon the pun…!). Also, don’t forget to visit the others and leave some comment love, we all like a bit of that 🙂

There’s a linky widget below and button code in the sidebar, I can’t wait to see your photos, here’s mine:

Wild flowers.

This was taken on the day that Husband and I decided to take our daughter to Hadleigh Country Park, home of Hadleigh Castle and now the site of the Olympic Mountain Biking track. While we were there, there were loads of fenced off areas and mysterious portacabins dotted around the place, so I’ll be curious to see what it’s been left like after the Olympics. It’s been a site for mountain bikers for many, many years, Husband and his friends have spent many a happy hour hurtling down those hills, but apparently once the Olympics has buggered off, people will have to pay to ride the trails, which I think is a bit of a cynical move by the council, to be honest. Hopefully the flowers will all still be there to enjoy for free…

Mum's the Word

Closer to Nature – A Photography Linky

On this week’s Silent Sunday entry, my friend commented and said “You guys are very Attenborough on a Sunday, love it!” and I realised that I really do love taking photos of nature, creatures weird and wonderful and generally anything that makes a good macro shot!

I decided that, in honour of the school holidays and the good weather we’re having, that I’d do a little linky where you can get ‘Closer to Nature’ and post your best nature photos. There are no rules other than that it must be a photo of something nature related, but it can be just a photo or have a story with it. I’ve made a little badge too, that you can add to your post, which is in the sidebar and will link back here to everyone’s posts.

Have fun, I can’t wait to see your photos! If enough people link up, I may do it again throughout the holidays.

Here’s mine – Husband took it using my Canon Ixus compact camera with the macro on:

Mum's the Word

Grab the code in the sidebar to link up

A Walk in the Woods.