5 Great Spots for this weekends outside adventures!
Kindergarten

Living in Brisbane, we are blessed with some of the best weather the nation has to offer. And with such a variety of places we can go with the family, we could create a never ending list of trails, waterfalls, beaches and parks to explore!  There are so many benefits for both us and the kids getting outdoors in nature like, improved motor skills, better moods and reduced mental fatigue.  We really see outdoor time get the best out of our little ones. The world is our playground!  There's a huge list I can add to my favourites and so many spots are still on my bucket list, but I thought I would write about a few of them to share my favourite spots close to home.


 Image Source: Mustdobrisbane.com.

Image Source: Mustdobrisbane.com.

Enoggera Reservoir

Located on Mt Nebo Rd at The Gap, this spot is perfect for both summer and winter activities! There's shady trails for walking or bike riding around the dam as well as an allocated swimming area.  People are often seen stand up paddle boarding, canoeing or kayaking further out as well.  As an added bonus there is a great Wildlife Centre at the dam too where you can learn a few new things about the local flora and fauna and even see a platypus!  Take a picnic lunch and enjoy the day in the fresh air!


 I mage Source: Brisbanekids.com.au

Image Source: Brisbanekids.com.au

Mt Cootha

I could probably go to Mt Cootha once a week and still never run out of new trails to explore here!  The best thing about Mt Cootha is that its so close to home.  There are some great trails that can get quite busy, but for good reason.  You can walk as far or as short as you want, you might even find a sneaky waterfall along the way as well as lots of cute animals!  To choose the best place to start and finish, and how far you want to go, check the Mount Cootha Track Map.  There's also a great grassy area and play ground at JC Slaughter Falls where you can bring your lunch or even organise a BBQ for the family and some friends.


Hide n Seek CHILDREN'S Walk - Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens

Again this one is nice and close to home, and there's lots to do and see here!  This one is especially designed for the kids, with great educational benefits along the trail!  Pick up a map at the start of the trail and get the kids to spot as many things as they can along the way.


  Image Source: hinterlandtourism.com.au

Image Source: hinterlandtourism.com.au

Kondalilla Falls

Great for the walking tracks, waterfalls and wildlife! Located near Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, there are a number of short walks here, and a great little waterfall and rock pool you cool off in!  If you aren't quite confident with the kids jumping in the creek for a swim just yet, its a great spot to have a picnic lunch after a walk on the gorgeous forest trails.

 


Red Hill Kindergarten

O'RIelly's - Lamington National Park

Some of my favourite memories are at O'Riellys!  The treetop walk and feeding the birds are an absolute must! O'Rielly's is a great spot to learn a lot about the history of the local aboriginal community. It's a place that has great eco-initiatives, a diverse range of wildlife and plantlife and is a great spot to start many wonderful bushwalks in the Lamington National Park.  O'Riellys also do a glow worm tour, birds of prey show, wildlife encounter tour and have a giant flying fox!  Just be aware, the road is narrow heading up, so just be careful and make sure you leave before it gets too dark.

5 Tips To Simplify The Morning Rush
 
 You wouldn't be the only parent who would agree when we say we feel like we have run a marathon by the time we have dropped the kids off at school or kindy! Mornings, and especially mornings with kids are a special kind of crazy, and some days are just that bit more hectic than usual. We've put together a quick list to hopefully help navigate that chaotic morning rush.

You wouldn't be the only parent who would agree when we say we feel like we have run a marathon by the time we have dropped the kids off at school or kindy! Mornings, and especially mornings with kids are a special kind of crazy, and some days are just that bit more hectic than usual. We've put together a quick list to hopefully help navigate that chaotic morning rush.

The Night Before

When I was a kid, my mum got me to get into the routine of packing my school bag the night before.  Things like homework and my sports uniform were always packed before bed.  This is something I have carried on with me into my adult life, and to my mums credit, I always feel like if I'm not at least one step ahead, I'm just that bit more prepared for the start-line that awaits me tomorrow morning.  By getting into this habit, I've already ticked off a pretty big job for the next day and I'm ready to hit the ground running.  I'm 100% not a morning person, so even preparing and packing the bags for the next day after the kids have gone to bed is a whole lot faster and simpler than doing it in the morning with the cyclone of kids to get ready at the same time.

The Launch Pad

Your launch pad can be anything big enough to fit your kids items they need for school or kindy.  I personally use decorated baskets, one for each of the kids. When I'm packing the night before, I make sure I fill up the launch pads with everything they need for tomorrow, that way I'm not running around like a headless chicken in the morning trying to find their homework or bags.  Then, when it's time to go, everything is where it's supposed to be, and we're out the door!

Get the Kids to Pick Their Outfits

I hear gasps and horror come over a few of you as you read this heading!  Now, this one won't work every time, but when it does, my goodness you'll barely know yourself! Get the kids to pick their outfits, but do it the night before! Just like my mum did, get your kids into the routine of getting what they can ready the night before and have them lay it out so it's basically ready to jump into when the sun comes up.  We know that getting dressed is often the hardest task to tick off the list, especially with a stubborn threenager, so if you work with them before bed the night before to choose an outfit for the next day, and make it an activity you can both get excited about, some mornings, (if they haven't changed their mind about what they want to wear) you'll be able to relax a that little bit more.

Pick Your Battles

Before World War 3 erupts, ask yourself "Does this matter?" If the worst case scenario is that you'll be five minutes late, or something will have to be finished later - just remember it's probably not worth the pursuing battle with the kids.

Breathe

Have you noticed that as your anxiety goes up, it feels like the kids listen to you less and less?  Give yourself a minute to take a few deep breaths to calm yourself and be present.  Remember that you are in control.  Kids are intuitive, and will feed off your energy, so give yourself some time, and be forgiving.  We all have days where it feels like we're putting a square block into a round hole.

 
7 Must Have's For Travelling With The Kids
 
 Travelling is a tangled mix of excitement, organisation, anticipation and chaos - add a child (or children!) into the mix and everything is amplified exponentially.  Whether it be a big overseas trip, interstate to visit the relatives or to the coast for the long weekend we've learned a few things over the years to reduce the stress of travelling with kids.  Because we believe you shouldn't have to miss out on some great family time away, we've compiled a quick list of travel must have's to help you get your foot out the door a little easier.

Travelling is a tangled mix of excitement, organisation, anticipation and chaos - add a child (or children!) into the mix and everything is amplified exponentially.  Whether it be a big overseas trip, interstate to visit the relatives or to the coast for the long weekend we've learned a few things over the years to reduce the stress of travelling with kids.  Because we believe you shouldn't have to miss out on some great family time away, we've compiled a quick list of travel must have's to help you get your foot out the door a little easier.

 

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Ziplock Bags

This little multi-solution wonder is not only lightweight and small, but can also be used for a whole range of things such as storage for smaller toys, snack bags, toiletries bags, garbage bags to provide a solution for one kid-mergency after the other.

Biome do cute reusable zip-lock bags, so you can use them over and over again!


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Travel Nappy Bags

Even if your kids have out-grown nappies and are just as toilet trained as you are... stick with me here...  Scented nappy bags are great for storing dirty towels and clothes.  When we're travelling we can't always get to a washing machine right away, so these are a great little solution to store these items and stop the smell and damp seeping into the rest of our luggage.

Wotnot do a great recyclable nappy bag.  You can find them here.


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Hand Sanitizer

No matter our holiday destination, chances are we're going to be chasing the kids around a playground - whether it be purpose built or makeshift, which is an all too common place to pick up germs. Hand Sani is a great and fast solution for a quick spritz to rid of any germs us and the kids pick up on the way.


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Snacks

How many times have we heard it...?   "IIIIIIMMMM HUUUNGRRRYYYY."  Especially when the kids are getting restless in the back of the car.  Pack a few yummy and healthy treats to help curb the appetite and keep you on the move and to avoid too many unplanned snack stops.

Don't forget to also pack yourself something nice! Us parents get hungry too!


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Travel Towel

Kids and spills go together like ham and cheese.  Pack yourself a kitchen towel or something compact and absorbent like a camping towel.  These have the benefit of drying faster than a regular hand towel.  You can find great ones by kathmandu here.


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First Aid Kit

These can be an easy DIY project to put together at home.  Make it fun and pick the kids favourite colours and themed bandaids for all of those unexpected bumps and cuts while you're away.


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Games and Activities

The obvious no-brainer.  Keep the kids occupied and stimulated while you're away with their favourite games and activities.  Things like colouring in, reading, stickers, cards and board games are always great and keeps their brains active!

You could even improvise and join in with age old favourites like the egg and spoon race and duck duck goose!