Following on from my previous post, I wanted to witter some more about getting outside and the benefits. One thing that has always bugged me is the way that we have become so squeamish as a nation. Everything is anti-bacteria this, anti-bacteria that, I know some people whose children will never be allowed to play in dirt because it’s “unhygienic” and “gross”… but is it?
Ok, let me clarify, mud is gross. It’s full of worms, it gets crusty when it dries and it gets EVERYWHERE, but people, get liberated and get muddy!! It’s FUN. Yeah, fun. Especially when you’re small and you live for those textures, those messy moments that make your mum pull the “oh shit my laundry pile” faces. It’s not just mud either, it’s being out in the garden on your hands and knees in the dewy grass, it’s rubbing your fingers over bark and it’s getting those sensory moments that you really can’t grab in the virtual realm of our pal, Le iPad.
I’ve teamed up with Persil to have a look at their new Wilderness Explorers app, challenging us to get OUT of the house and explore the world around us. To indulge our inner mud monsters and splash in puddles to a degree that would make Peppa proud. The app has tonnes of suggestions of how we can really get back in touch with nature, but not in that pretentious “take your offspring to a mountain spring in the middle of nowhere to embrace their wild side” kind of way, HELL no, that just doesn’t work outside of Instagram. No the Persil app just gives you what I like to call the “mum mate suggestion” – she know how impossible it is to go hiking through mountain territory with a baby and a toddler when you have hardly got the energy to hike to the coffee machine. She knows that the school run gives you time constraints, but weekends really need to be full days or you will simply go insane and start drinking wine from the bottle at 3pm with your “loungewear” – which we all know is code for pjs – on. In the same way that the mum mate would know this, so does Persil. Which is why the app is neatly broken down into categories to help you pick the wilderness activity that says “I don’t have the car and my baby slept for 4.2mins” or “Please get me out of this house before the dirty dishes threaten to envelope us”. Want option one? Pick “on my doorstep” and there will be a whole host of ideas for things the kids can crack on with, without you having to go more than a stroll, and on the flip, for a full day out change the timescale to the appropriate amount of time and select by a river or woodland.
I suppose really you can think of this app as a pro-dirt Pinterest with fewer clicks and a better understanding of what children (and slightly less craft-able parents) really want from a bit of exploration. On top of making the grubby life easily accessible for everyone, Persil have then gone one step further and listed activities under age too. Let’s face it, none of us want to explain how to do 12 year old’s stuff to a 2 year old, geez I barely get half of what 12 year olds are doing so how would Edith?!
Going back to my original point (anyone noticed I’m a bit of a rambler?) getting out is good for you, physically and mentally, it’s also good for your kids, but this will give you that extra edge that you need to feel you aren’t just frolicking around the woods like something out of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but with toddlers instead of lovers chasing after you.
I’ve said it once this week, and I’ll say it again: get out, explore, let your kids learn in the great outdoors. Build mud pies in the garden, collect leaves for leaf impressions… just get out, and take your pocket sized mum chum with you.
*In collaboration with Persil