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little explorersLittle explorers in my living room!

You know you can explore the North Pole from the comfort of your living room right, all you need is a small den and a big imagination.

(This magical, starry den above was kindly gifted to us by The Little Toy Boutique).

As part of my 5 year old son Oliver’s class project, we set about creating a den so we could spot polar bears, as part of his homework.

Bringing his younger brother Xander, 2, along for the expedition (every explorer needs a sidekick), the boys chose to set up camp by the fire for warmth, gathering food supplies and toys to stop potential boredom and hunger.

Oliver announced with conviction, ‘I really NEED crisps and chocolate eggs for energy, Mummy’…Hmmmm, do you now?!

Seriously, it was wonderful to witness how much my twosome enjoyed their pretend-polar bear spotting, tucking into cereal under their den, sitting on my Topshop pastel coat (eek) and hiding from any excitable bears that got too close.

No TV, no computer stimulus, just 2 creative kids having fun in the comfort of their own home.

…And how cute are these ‘Dame Edna style’ telescopes? Think they came ‘free’ with one of those overpriced kids magazines! Brilliant daaarling!

little explorer

‘We need telescopes to see the polar bears clearly and in case they try and chase us. This is a torch for when it goes dark’ warned Oliver. ‘I’m not scared of the dark though’.

torch

‘Look at the polar bears, Mama. Be careful’ said Xander sweetly, getting in on the act.

Such fun. I even had a bowl of cereal at 3pm myself!

I do love this age, their thirst for knowledge on every outing, journey, or experience, at home or abroad. It all feeds the kids’ imaginations, stimulating them, offering greater insight into this ever-changing world of ours.

I do hope to be able keep giving my kids the gift of travel, to see and explore new countries and cultures where possible. Soon we will return to San Pedro in Spain for a holiday, then together, we will be discovering gorgeous Jamaica for the first time.

If means allow, travel at any age is incredible, it’s utterly eye-opening and life-enhancing- to taste new, exciting food, to become immersed in a foreign environment and culture, to dip toes in the sea and meet people you would otherwise would not.

I feel privileged to have seen a lot of the world but there is so, SO much more I want to visit.

And it’s never too late…

I love this touching film by Hive, of a lady, a Grandma, going abroad to volunteer at a time when many narrow-mindedly assume embarking on this kind of journey, at that age, might be off limits. It’s really liberating.

Watch it here:

I never had a gap year so feel I want one now! I’ll have to make do with family holidays until I’m a bit older I think.

…I know parents often worry about travelling with young children, but we’ve found our own kids to be mostly perfect little travel companions, taking them on holiday as early as 6 months old, travelling to meet my family in Cyprus as well as other parts of Europe over the years.

Here we are in Greece last year-

holiday

My kids even sleep better in hotels than our own home! We haven’t gone too far, flights were 5 hours max but soon we’ll see how they fare with a long haul flight in May.

We’ve found being prepared is key (DVD player, books, toys, ear plugs) and finding a new rhythm and routine once away is the best way, relaxing more, simply adapting to holiday mode.

The kids go to bed later and we all just chill more. Oh and eat ice cream. A fair bit of ice cream.

ice cream

However, as this post has proved, you don’t need to leave your house to have fun and expand your mind.

Carpet picnics and polar bear expeditions from the lounge (along with staycations may I add) are just as soon as jetting around the world.

Now I’m just going to retreive my Topshop coat and have another bowl of cereal! Cheers!

I would love to read about your own explorations both home and abroad in the comments.

Oh and excitingly, Hive are also giving you a chance to win a special ‘Coming Home’ experience worth £1,500!!

Simply comment on Hive’s competition post on Facebook and tell them why someone you know deserves to win a memorable coming home moment.

The competition runs until the 6th April 2015.

You can read up on the terms and conditions right here.

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9 Responses

  1. Sharmin

    Love this. This is great for their imagination and travel really broadens the mind, even if you don’t leave the house 😉 xx

    Reply
  2. Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy

    Ah this is so cute. I really want to start playing these type of make believe games with Archie to try and help him develop. With his Autism we’re not quite at the stage where he would understand this as he’s non verbal but I think the den itself could be a good sensory activity for us to try 🙂
    Toni @ Gym Bunny Mummy recently posted…Wicked Wednesdays | The One With The FaceMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Really glad you like it, bet he would love setting up the den and playing. I remember us using blankets when A was a younger and not speaking and he really enjoyed it x

      Reply
  3. Ebabee

    I couldn’t agree more – travel is such an important part of life. Having grown up in places as varied as India, Hong-Kong and NYC I think I was so lucky to have this experience. And having A hasn’t stopped this desire to explore – she’s already been to Argentina, Uruguay, San Francisco and India to name a few places. But also agree that you can imagine and pretend and have an amazing adventure without leaving your home. Love how kids pretend play. x
    Ebabee recently posted…A mini photo book + a giveaway (win 5 of these books)My Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Amazing Nomita, I totally agree, kids thrive in other countries and on holiday, mine have loved discovering new countries and travelling. I really want to visit India, Hong Kong and NY. I’ve been lucky to travel and see a lot of the world but those places are on my hit list. Thanks for your lovely comment x

      Reply
  4. Franki ~ Little Luca & Me

    Ooh where are you going to in Jamaica. Our first holiday as a couple was to Jamaica. It’s beautiful. Love imaginative play, my favourite ever time playing with Luca was when we had loads of boxes and we both has a boat each and we had made a treasure island and treasure box. My Dad even got in on the act making cardboard oars for Luca and pretending to be the shark. Imaginative play at it’s best. Your boys both look adorable as always! Xx
    Franki ~ Little Luca & Me recently posted…Fairburn IngsMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      Oh wow love that idea Franki will have to try it. Did you blog about Jamaica, would love to read. We are reviewing a Beaches Resort and cannot wait, it looks like paradise xx

      Reply
  5. Mirka @kahanka

    I can only agree with you! Travelling is an amazing way hoe to explore, and both my girls have been flying since they were 3 months old as we have family in the Czech Republic. On the other hand agree, sometimes exploring does not have to mean to leave your house! Off to check the competition now!
    Mirka @kahanka recently posted…Win £40 LamaLoLi Clothing VoucherMy Profile

    Reply
    • honestmum

      OOh thanks darling, you and I need our sun don’t we. I love travelling with kids, find it easier the younger they are. The competition is fab, good luck x

      Reply

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