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LivingMOTHERHOOD: OUT IN THE OPEN

With Allysha of
Island of Sea

 

Running riot across fields of green, basking in the freshness of the outside air and laughing so hard our tummies couldn’t take it, are just a few of the childhood memories recounted by the Alex and Alexa family… and one of the best things about being a parent is that we get to recreate our own early memories especially for a new little generation!

Allysha le Page is a young mother to four mini explorers – Chase, Crew, Cody Blue and baby Coa. She’s a Northern Rivers dweller and worshipper of all things simple in life, particularly being out in the open…

 

Playtime in this day and age means an entirely different thing to what it used to. Tell us a little bit about what it was like for you growing up?

I was actually raised on a large property outside of a coastal town. So I spent most of my time outdoors riding horses, motorbikes, tractors and swimming with my sister in the creek. All of my favourite memories as a child are of when I was outdoors, barefoot and climbing trees. Of course this led to my fair share of scars and a few hospital trips but I wouldn’t change anything about it!

 

Why do you think it’s so important that your little ones get outside?

Children learn so well with experiences. They learn about our world from being out in it. Watching caterpillars turn into butterflies, running barefoot across every terrain. Finding rivers, koalas, birds and meeting new people along the way. It’s so hard to appreciate how amazing our world is from inside four walls.

Technology although extremely useful and eye opening, can pose some problems for some (us included!) Do you allow your children any such gadgets? (iPad’s, phones, computer games etc)? If so, are they free to use them as they please?

My kids do have technology, because my older two sons have autism and speech delays; technology has been invaluable in helping them learn. I thankfully don’t have to do much in the way of restricting its use. All of my children are outdoors every day, it’s not something I have to make them do. If I ask them if they want to go for a walk they all instantly jump up. My oldest plays football and trains during the week as well.
They are constantly moving between activities and playing with each other. I do think some children develop addictions to technology and for some families it can be hard to find a balance. Having set days or times during the day to be on these things would probably really help in these circumstances but I know of a lot of families who have had to remove them completely. All children are very different so my advice is, do what works best for your family.

Whereabouts are you based at the moment and are there many cool places your little ones can freely explore?

I live on the northern rivers NSW in Australia. Most of you won’t know where this is but I live about 40 minutes away from Byron Bay, one of the most iconic, well known beach towns in Australia. There are so many amazing things to do around here. There are beaches and bush walks absolutely everywhere, farms, beautiful walking tracks, rivers, tea tree lakes, parks and more. There are also lots of outdoor markets, festivals, celebrations and carnivals that pop up.

 

What is your favourite childhood memory? Anything that makes you smile?

One of my favourite childhood memories was always swimming in this beautiful creek that ran through our property where we grew up. My sister and I would climb to the top of this big fallen tree and jump off, nothing stopped me from jumping into that water. Not even after I was bitten by a turtle haha.

 

What is your kids’ favourite thing to do on the weekends?

I can’t really pick one thing. Chase absolutely loves his weekend football games, playing ball in the yard, swimming. Crew absolutely loves the Park. Cody’s favourite place is one particular local beach where people can walk their dogs, she loves jumping into the water with the puppies. Coa is happy to be outside, it doesn’t matter where we are or what we are doing.

 

 

 

How important to the children’s mental wellbeing is it that they spend time playing outdoors?

I think it’s huge. I know myself that something as simple as walking to the clothesline and staring at the stars can help me if I’m stressed. If that five minutes can help me then imagine what an hour outside can do for a child. I know if my kids are stuck inside for a few days when we have awful weather, they go a tad crazy haha. My kids like to move so re-directing them outside when they start to go a bit too fast for indoors is a necessity here!

 

What drinks and snacks to you keep them fuelled with when out on long adventures?

My favourite go to snack is always bananas. They are just so easy to grab, take no preparation or thought and are a great thing to eat wherever you are. If we are going to be out for the day then a cooler bag with sandwiches is always an option the kids won’t complain about.

 

What do you like to dress them in on active days exploring with their friends and siblings?

I’m all about practicality. Clothes they can move in. They need to be able to jump, roll, bend, stretch and run in complete comfort. It also has to suit the weather of course.

 

 

And finally, what advice would you give to parents facing the struggle of trying to swap technology-focused activities for a greener and more active option?

Try looking into community run programs to see if there’s any regular activities for children in your area. If not then maybe reach out and try to make some friends with a similar goal. Children love company, if they even have one friend they are more likely to want to get outdoors and play with them. I know my kids have so much more fun when they can play together and not all families have so many children with small age gaps. Invite some other mums with children your child’s age to the park or start an outdoor sport but I think having a friend is the best motivation for a child!

 

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