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Camping is a great way to encourage unstructured outdoor play

You might remember one of my new years resolutions was to encourage unstructured outdoor play for Little Eco. I want to make sure she doesn't miss out on all the wonderful benefits of unstructured play.

I identified four tools to help me keep this resolution: camping, a daily Green Hour, going screen free, and providing a backyard natural playground.

So far, I'm failing on all points, except the camping.


Little Eco and I went camping last weekend with Marita, a friend i've seen far too little of over the past decade, and her three kids. No dads. Just the mums and kids for four days.

Camping definitely encourages unstructured play.

Little Eco had more unstructured play in that four days than she's had in the previous month. I sat back, with a cup of tea in hand, caught up with Marita, and watched the play unfold.


Hours and hours were spent in the water. Swimming, exploring, and playing.


Christmas trees were decorated with seagrass.


Bugs were caught (in this shot it's a dragonfly nymph).


Back on dry land...innovative forms of transport were designed,



mud baths happened,


magic ant-repelling potions were mixed,


and campsite rubbish and bits of nature were turned into much-loved jewellery. 

I also managed a little playing myself...



...cooking up a feast of rice, cornbread and home made baked beans in my Sun Cook solar oven.

Life doesn't get much better.

Just in case you're wondering, we were camping at the wonderful kid-friendly Mungo Brush in Myall Lakes National Park.

For more play inspiration head on over to Childhood 101 for We play.

I'm interested..

Do you go camping? If not, what's stopping you?

If you do. What do you like most about camping? Do you wish you went more often?


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Be well and happy,