Side Street Style: Let them Be Bored Challenge with Petit Filous

Side Street Style

A UK family travel and lifestyle blog

09/02/2018

Let them Be Bored Challenge with Petit Filous

positive parenting


If your a regular reader to my blog you may remember a couple of weeks ago I wrote about how important free play is for our children especially as screens are becoming more prevalent in daily life. If your not sure what Free Play is all about it's pretty simple, you turn off the screens and let your children enjoy some unstructured play without you being tempted to dive in to direct it (of course if it's becoming unsafe you do need to step in), allowing them to learn through play. All you need to do is simply provide them with a safe space that will allow their imaginations to run wild, whether this be inside or out.

We are pretty low screen in our household as it is with having little to none Monday to Friday and a movie or two on the weekends. Outdoor play is something I am very passionate about although lately even I have felt screens have been creeping into our lives more than usual mainly due to all the wet wintery weather. So taking on this challenge I really wanted to focus on keeping screen time to a minimum on the weekend too, no matter how cold and miserable it may be and focus on quality family time, creativity and natural learning.

So this past weekend we set ourselves the challenge and while Saturday was pretty wet and at times very temping to pop on a film instead we it was lovely to see the boys actually play with their toys, get creative, draw more and they actually got on a lot better when screens where not an option, the environment was also calmer. On the Sunday we decided despite it being bitingly cold we wrapped up and headed to Garwnant near the Brecon Beacons for a hike and to allow the kids to take control of how the outing would turn out.


rope climb

Animal trail


My eldest had actually initially been hesitant to go out but once we were there they enjoyed it so much we struggled to get them to leave. We simply provided them with a space that was safe but inspiring and had a variety of options for play. They first spent an hour or so in the nature inspired play park and turned the rope ladder and bridge into a pirate ship climbing to the nest to see across the sea. They then wanted to head off on the animal trail through the woodlands with sticks in hand the pirate adventure continued. 


Garwnant

garwnant


We generally find on our outdoor adventures we try to have it as unstructured as possible but even so especially when visiting somewhere new the urge to want to see and do everything can come into play and you end up rushing your kids, this time however we took it slow and at their pace and thoroughly enjoyed our walk. If you find free play a little bit too much indoors as it does mean embracing mess than heading outside is fantastic and good for the whole family. We ended the afternoon with some hot chocolates in the beautiful cafe overlooking the reservoir. 


Brecon Beacons


What have I learnt

During the Free Play challenge I had the chance to speak with Anita Cleare a parenting expert and co-founder of The Positive Parenting Project, I found our discussion really useful and insightful and she gave me some really good tips on structuring screen time better on weekends by still being very clear about rules when it comes to tablet use, making it something that was positive and moderated.  

I've also found that we often as parents complain our children don't play with all the toys they have, the ones we spent a fortune on but perhaps we are not providing them with enough distraction free time to do so. I found both of my boys have been far more creative, enjoying role playing and also being better companions with each other when a screen is no longer an option. 


free play


 The Petits Filous Play Free campaign is all about putting those screens down, getting creative, going with the flow and letting your children learn in a natural and unstructured way. We often underestimate how much children learn from doing thing themselves, from jumping in puddles we see cause and effect, from making dens they learn about spacial awareness and sometimes these vital skills are being lost when children are provided with too much screen time and now enough organic learning opportunities.

Petits Filous are also the perfect snack as they are a good source of  calcium and Vitamin D for healthy bones and teeth and also have no artificial colours, flavours or sweetness and no added preservatives. As part of a well balance diet these make for a tasty treat after a fun session of free play.



I’m working with Petits Filous and BritMums promoting the #PetitsFilousPlayFree campaign about the importance of free play.

23 comments:

  1. I encourage my kids to play freely as often as possible. They like it.

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  2. Free play sounds exactly like what I had growing up - I was on a farm so the whole place was my playground and I rarely played with the expensive toys that relatives got me for presents. Who needs a barbie when you can make a den?
    C x

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  3. Free play can really spark children's imagination. My son is super creative and I always encouraged him to play freely when he was young. He's due to graduate this year in visual effects so it must have done him good!

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  4. I think being outside is so important for children (and for adults!), and going on a hike is a great way to combine with a bonding experience! Thanks for sharing :) - Bryanna Skye

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  5. It is amazing what children get up to when they are given the opportunity to have free play!

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  6. I was surprised by how easy this went and they didn't miss their tech at all

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  7. Definately agree. Take the laptops and tablets away and let them explore .

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  8. I was never inside as a child, I was always at the park, which was next to my house, off on my bike or in the garden x

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  9. Looks like your boys have really enjoyed the experience.

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  10. It looks like your little ones had a great time. I think it is really important for children to learn to play and I sometimes leave my daughter to use her own imagination, even now at 22 months old.

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  11. I really love this campaign, it’s pormoting so much from getting active and imaginative to enjoying the surroundings! I have so many fond memories of playing outside and I will be making sure to limit my daughters screen time as she grows up

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  12. At times I do feel guilty when my children say they are bored.

    This campaign is really valuable not only to highlight the importance of play but to reassure us as parents too.

    It’s made me realise I don’t need to step in, suggest or direct like I do and moving forward I will be much more aware of this.

    I love all the outdoor play your children enjoyed 😍

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  13. The smiles on their faces as they wave their sticks about say everything about how much they loved this!

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  14. Such wonderful pictures, it looks like your whole family has really enjoyed this challenge.

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  15. Outdoor play is so important and even better when there is a hot chocolate to relax with at the end of it :) It sounded like a lovely day out! xx

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  16. Ah it looks as though you all really enjoyed it! We loved this campaign and I learned SO much!

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  17. Mine have been much better buddies since starting the challenge, too. I love your pictures of Garwnant. Beautiful!

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  18. It looks like they loved it! My eldest is often unsure about going out too but once we are out he loves it

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  19. This is so true! Gadgets must not really good for them. They should enjoy their life outside and let them play with other kid.

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  20. That looks like such a lovely day out! I agree that it's much harder to cut out screens in bad weather but it's so much nicer doing something together as a family instead.

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  21. I love how you took it slow when paying outdoors. I've found I've taken a more mindful approach to all types of free play too. Excellent post

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  22. I find it easy to resort to movies when the weather is rubbish, but once we actually get outside the children love it, even if it’s freezing! Lovely post x

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  23. Looks like you had a greta time outside. We have learnt so much by being part of this campaign!

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Lovely comments

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