PLAY | Boy v Wild. Mixing the old with new

By accident, we came upon this idea of mixing the new technology we love with the old-fashioned play we miss.  By combining something a child is passionate about {in Ethan’s case bugs/animals/wild/dirt etc} with a little YouTube inspiration, taking cues from suitable role models and fashioning them into outside play in your own yard is easy!

We {read: ME} are big fans of Bear Grylls.  We love his wild ways, we have taken careful note of scree-running techniques and applied them to our day to day lives haha!  But really, we have run down one scree mountain slope on the Tongariro Crossing and it was AWESOME because Bear taught us how to do it in our living room!

So, naturally when the Man v Wild episode filmed in NZ aired on discovery last week Dave and I were stoked.  He ate a Weta people!

The next day Dave was showing Ethan the episode on YouTube, the effect was instantaneous.  MOVE OVER ROBSON GREEN, there’s a new hero in town.  I just knew what was about to happen so I waited, with camera in hand of course.

Playing Bear Grylls kept E amused for hours, he fashioned a knife out of wood and sharpened it into a lovely vicious shape on a rock.  He explored various habitats {sandpit, garden, woodpile, rocks} and catalogued his finds.  He whispered commentary the whole darn time {I learnt so much in my eavesdropping!}.  He got dirty-filthy, ATE SLATERS!!! {I was not aware of this until he insisted I smell his breath}, achieved his ultimate back-yard catch and release – a skink – and slept like a log.  My work here is done.

PLAY | Get on your bike and go somewhere!

Some of my bestest childhood memories are of hazy summer nights cruising around on the street in front of my house perfecting elaborate ballets on wheels that my neighbour and I called “Bike Routines”.  We would practice each routine endlessly and when our synchronised cycling was ready for the public critique we would send out invitations {to our parents!} and put on a show.

Obviously choreographed bike-riding is not for everyone – or anyone else in the whole world perhaps? – but there is so much intrinsic kid-ness associated with getting on your bike, it is a shame that some neighbourhoods are just not suitable for kids to ride safely or easily.

Ethan and I loaded our bikes in the truck and set off for greener cycling pastures than our somewhat limited little neighbourhood.  The Auckland City Council website has some great walking/cycle tracks listed if there are none in your area.  We decided on a short drive to Te Atatu where we would ride for some of the way around the gorgeous coastline and the rest of the way through the sleepy Sunday suburbs, down to the Sailing Club, a quick visit at Nan & Pops and turn through Te Atatu for lunch and then …….. back to the truck.Sounds ambitious with a 7yo I know.  Ethan amazed me.  We rode 10km and he only hopped off to push twice {I had picked a mostly flat ride to eliminate the risk of complaints!}.  Te Atatu is a great choice for kids who love exploring the beach, tide and rock pools as at low tide there is so much room to wander about and so many things to peer under.

Our next ride will be around the Orewa Estuary which has established trails and is flat and fun for little riders.

Just in case we hadn’t fit enough into our day we walked down to the river, sat on the jetty and Ethan wiled away another hour feeding fish while we rested our tired legs {and bums!}.
Please comment below if you have any secret spots for family rides, I would love to have a few more up my sleeve!

2012 | It’s time to PLAY!

Though it may seem that 2012 has it’s campaign of the year all tied up with this Kony thing {yes I’ve watched the video, yes I’ve shared it on FB, yes I’m now a political activist just like you}, there is actually another movement  worthy of your  attention that launched today.

Over the next 10 months I will be joining forces with the fab team behind the Milo Play Movement and three additional Mummy Bloggers based in Australia to elevate both the status and the dialogue around that simple little word; play.

To be honest, until I was invited to participate in the Play Movement, I hadn’t conscientiously given much thought to the qualitative characteristics of Ethan’s playtime.  Active play and activity {both structured and unstructured} is the most prevalent form of play in our household for ALL three of us.  It was news to me that this is not the norm anymore and that some children  – nearly HALF – do not play every day!  Dang is right, WTF may also be highly appropriate!

The short {2.18 min} video below outlines the State of Play Report commissioned by Milo and why this issue deserves our attention;

I have added a permanent Milo Play page which will be home to any resources I come across, this page also has links to the many varied and FUN ways you can get involved in helping kiwi kids play.

This is going to be a great campaign, so I hope you silent visitors will speak up and get involved as there will be some great lessons, tips and ideas that are generated from all of our mummy/daddy/caregiver brains joining forces!

  • Watch the State of Play video above (or here on YouTube)
  • Get tweeting to the team @MILOausnz on Twitter
  • Like the Facebook page and get chatting with other Mums/Dads & caregivers here
  • Check out pics of the Play Movement here on Flickr
  • Read the New Zealand Herald article here
  • Visit the other bloggers involved with this awesomeness;
  • Kelly at Be A Fun Mum
  • Cath at Squiggle Mum
  • Karen at Miscellaneous Mum


  • I am participating in the Milo Play Movement as a Blogger Ambassador and any compensation received is for advice provided directly to the MILO Play Movement team on the social media engagement plan.
  • All communications I share regarding the MILO Play Movement are my honest opinion.