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!
‘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’.
‘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-
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.
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.