Friday, March 27, 2015

Outdoor adventures: Fire!

We did a day trip into the hills for a bushwalk and lunch over a fire. We walked along a dry riverbed and collected bundles of sticks. I'll admit it: I nearly had kittens the entire time Dear Boy was near the fire. Part of the idea of these outdoor adventures is to build his sense of curiosity, his confidence and introduce more risky play into his thoroughly (sub)urban life.

He thought it was great; I had visions of him faceplanting into the flames.

It was very hard not to hold his hand, put out a barring arm, or pull him back. But how else does he learn his own limits and his own ways of being safe other than getting close enough to feel his eyeballs dry out or his skin feel uncomfortably warm? How else will he learn a stick will catch alight and he'll need to let it go? I can tell him, but the experience of it is much more powerful. It's certainly a powerful lesson for me in trusting him and letting him learn in his own way.

If anyone has any advice on providing risky play that's not going to end up in third degree burns, I'd love to hear it.


  1. I'm all for this kind of play - we have the old-school fire pit in our back yard (think bonfire, not hipster fire) and the kids have a ball. Other good options are climbing big rocks (we have those in the front yard), or going for a small bushwalk on their own (we use the cooo-eeee call to make sure they are not going too far). x

    1. Hipster fire. Haha. We've done some creek rock playing and jumping and are trying to get out into the bush more often. I'm thinking maybe knives next - a good solid folding knife for the bush. I've been reading about particularly fierce and independent Norweigan kids who start with the knives early.


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