The last series of thoughts going through my head as I drift off to sleep each and every night is centred around what my toddlers and I will get up to the next day. Each morning is a blank slate on which we can sketch some pretty amazing memories. It excites me to prompt their imaginations, conjure up crafts or find other activities to explore the environment around us. Despite our thirst to seize the day, this mama needs time to drink her coffee and return emails before we take on much else. While I get my bearings about me, we watch Kids’ CBC. We used to be a PBS family, but made the switch when we moved from Vancouver to Ottawa (the shows we used to love on PBS’s KCTS9 are available on CBC and aren’t on PBS in this time zone). Daniel Tiger and Super Why remain longstanding favourites while Napkin Man and Scout & The Gumboot Kids are new ones. The latter just launched this week, and admittedly, caught my attention before it did my kids. The show is filmed in my home city of Vancouver, one the most verdant, beautiful places in the world (in my not-so-humble opinion). When the show went live this week, we tuned in and my daughter too recognised our home.
While the location was what peaked our interests, the content is what held it. Scout & The Gumboot Kids is a short TV segment that lasts under five minutes. Its theme is unprecedented. It encourages mindfulness in children and encourages them turn their focus from a screen to spend more time outside. Scout is a little animated mouse who starts the show by sharing a little riddle. For instance, in one episode, he talks about having just been at a farm and saw a four-legged kid. He then gives three clues to the audience about this animal. The gumboot kids explore the three clues to ultimately reveal the answer. In this case, a baby goat is the four-legged kid.
My favourite aspects of the show are:
- The ways it evokes critical thought by using riddles.
- It models getting outside no matter what the weather (we love hunting for rain puddles).
- The gait is slower than most shows I’ve seen which I believe requires more focus.
- It teaches children the value of pause, reflection, appreciation, and feeling connected to nature
- The show is endorsed by the David Suzuki Foundation that “Children today spend less time outdoors than any generation in human history!”
Having watched three episodes of the show, we now have seven outdoor activities inspired by Scout & The Gumboot Kids.
7 Outdoor Activities Inspired By Scout & The Gumboot Kids
- Create a nature scavenger hunt. For kids who can’t read, I like to draw out the items we are looking for on a list and given them a bag each to collect their items. I have also done impromptu scavenger hunts where I have listed off items.
- Jump in rain puddles. Even when my kids have colds, we try and get out in the rain. I just bundle them up and we look to make the biggest possible splashes. It’s a great way to get fresh air and also get the humidity to clear up a virus.
- Collect different natural paint brushes. Pine cones, pine needles, leaves, flower buds, and sticks all make really cool effects on paper with paint.
- Play Scout-like “I Spy”: Head out to a pumpkin patch (they seem to usually have petting zoos), a local farm, or go out on a nature walk, and have your children name animals or things that you give hints for. For instance, “I spy with my little eye something that is brown and has four legs and makes milk”.
- Be nature photographers: My kids love using my old digital camera (that no longer works) to take countless photos. Go on a nature walk with an old camera and have your toddlers pretend they’re taking pictures.
- Make binoculars and go bird watching: Two toilet paper rolls with a little bit of glue or tape, a whole punch on each side, and some string and you have binoculars! We like to paint or colour ours.
- Recreate your outdoor endeavours inside with hot chocolate play dough (it looks quite similar to dirt): Okay this isn’t an outdoor activity, but it is a recreation of the outdoors. We got this wonderful idea from Nerdy Mamma. I slightly adapted her recipe and used 2 cups flour, 1 cup water, 1 cup hot chocolate, 1 cup baking soda, 1/2 cup salt, and 3 tbs. olive oil. See her entire post and the how-to here.
It’s about time I got outside! Do you have any simple, fun outdoor activities? Please share below!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Scout and the Gumboot Kids all opinions expressed are my own.