One of the seven-year-olds happened to mention he was going camping after our session with his papa and his friend. “Oh yes?” I said. “We’re going to toast sausages!” he proclaimed. Then ensued a conversation as to what else he was going to do and what he was going to take with him. “My rucksack, wellies, binoculars.”, “My sister if she isn’t being stroppy”. Then as a panicked afterthought “and Bunny!” Oh yes, definitely Bunny.
Does the idea of going camping with little ones not fill you with joy? Here are (at least) three reasons to do it. And yes when the weather isn’t so great.
It wasn’t always easy to do creative writing with him as he wasn’t naturally creative. Well that’s not true, he was, but like the best of us, didn’t want to plan, just wanted to get on with it (much like myself writing this post).
We then spent the lesson making lists and planning how he would write about his trip. Children have more knowledge to call on if they have real experiences to relate to. They can then talk about how they felt, what happened, how did they react when something went wrong. The more experiences they have, the richer their creativity.
This is one reason.
Another is that Alexander was going with his papa only. No mum and only sister if she was good. In families it’s so hard to get time when everyone is together, but what about the special bonding moments between a child and a parent. Children generally spend more time and are closer to mum than dad. In this family mum was at home and dad was working in another country through the week so they only had the weekends.
Getting out of London and spending time with dad will have created and built memories that they will both remember. Boys need to bond just as much as girls, in fact, it could be more important for boys so that they grow up secure and happy in themselves, as girls naturally share and spend time together talking in close, intimate friendships.
The final reason is that without realising it, Alex was already organising and thinking about the trip and what he needed and didn’t want to forget. He was taking responsibility and looking forward to packing his bag. He is quite mature and analytical naturally and so taking ownership is something he enjoys. However, trips in general help your child become more confident from doing something new and different to the norm and the day/weekend will explore new challenges and experiences which will aid their self-awareness and personal development. Not to mention the fact that fresh air and the outdoors do wonders for the soul.
So bonding with dad, learning to plan and take responsibility, creating memories and writing about it when they get back. Not so bad. Especially the sausages….. ❤
Stargazing photo courtesy of Bobby Burch, Kansas City