*This post includes our Tiny Trolls of Norway review. All products featured we were kindly sent in return for this post but all words and opinions are as always, my own.
Getting children outdoors was always something that I knew was really important, long before I even had any of my own. I worked as a nursery nurse before I had Mabel and I saw time and time again how not only was the fresh air and exercise really good for all the children from babies to school age, and it improved both their sleep and their appetite, but also they often seemed so much more engaged when they were outside and huge amounts of learning and development seemed to happen completely naturally.
Children can learn so much from being outdoors and observing nature – the symmetry, the seasonal changes, the different textures, sounds and colours… it all calls out to children’s natural curiosity and they can’t help but investigate and explore. I’ve never seen a child who faced with the sea or a river or pond, hasn’t grabbed a stone or a stick to throw in. It’s such an instinctual thing to do, and just a bit of fun right? But have you ever considered how much learning is happening just through this simple activity? They are learning about forces like gravity and resistance, distance, weight and measure, by experiencing it first hand… all without a book or a screen in sight!
You might not immediately be able to see it without knowing what to look for, but internally they are noticing and questioning. Why did this stone fly faster than this stone? Why does the water splash up when the stone hits it? Why is this flat shell bigger but lighter than this round stone? And if they do it over and over and over again, they will start noticing patterns and drawing their own conclusions. That’s why it’s a brilliant thing when children want to do the same thing over and over and over again, and it’s important to give them the opportunity to repeat things as many times as they want to.
When they are running up and down the beach and throwing stones in the sea for the millionth time this year, they really are learning, making connections in their brain, reinforcing things they’ve learnt elsewhere… as well as just having a bloody good time.
You can encourage children to be inquisitive about nature by ‘wondering’ out loud about things…
“I wonder if this stone will make a bigger splash than this stone?”
Drawing their attention towards interesting things….
“Look at that tree leaning over towards the sunlight”
Or challenging them…
“I bet you can’t make a dam across this stream to stop the water!’
It’s my opinion that you can teach children about things as much as you want, you can watch videos and look in books, but there’s no substitute for actually getting outdoors and experiencing it for yourself. Being a home educating family and a firm believer in not pushing young children into formal education too soon, I strongly believe that you can’t teach children about these things until they have had ample time to be out in the world and experience all of it for themselves. My philosophy is to let them make their own discoveries about the world whilst out having fun, and I am there to help them take their research further when they have burning questions that they can’t answer.
It felt like an amazing epiphany when I realised that the more time the kids spend playing, investigating and discovering, the more they are encouraged to follow their natural curiosity, to try things out, test their theories, and find their own passions… the more they will learn! Children are wired for learning, all we really need to do is be a facilitator and a good role model.
So I’ve known about the importance of getting children outdoors for a long time, but like a lot of things that I ‘knew’ before I became a parent, although still absolutely true, it’s kind of a lot more difficult to put into practice once you actually have children of your own. When you’re the one who has to wash their clothes and strap their soggy, muddy bodies into car seats to go home, it makes it less of an attractive option, as much as you know it will do them good.
Up until now, we’ve still tried to get outdoors as much as possible but for some reason we’ve never invested in proper waterproof clothing for the kids. Instead we’ve been relying on thin and flimsy ‘puddle suits’ that were never quite as waterproof as promised and require a thick winter coat underneath to keep them warm enough, or rain coats that although pretty, don’t do much to help when you’re knee deep in a muddy puddle. So when we were contacted about doing a Tiny Trolls of Norway review, we were absolutely thrilled and jumped at the chance!
For our Tiny Trolls of Norway review, we opted to receive their coverall range and also sent us some accessories in the form of cotton hats and a ‘snuggly’ for each of them. The accessories are bright and colourful and have a cute pattern on them that the girls loved. The hats kept their heads nice and warm while we were out by the sea and they loved the snugglies that can be warn as a neck warmer or a headband/ear warmer.
I was really impressed with the quality of the items we received. The coveralls are fully lined and made from a material that you can tell will hold up to a lot of hard wear of the kind that only energetic young children can give! They are roomy inside so the girls could move freely and there was plenty of space for warm layers underneath to keep them nice and toasty during their adventures.
They even have the kind of features that you don’t realise you need but are so handy! Like zipped pockets to pop a pack of tissues in (or so they can carry their own stones that they want to take home for a change!), as well as a removable hood and foot straps so they can go wading in the water without a worry.
I love being able to say yes to my children. I try to avoid the word no as much as possible, and save it for things that are really important like safety and things that could negatively affect other people. Being able to say ‘yeah sure, jump over the waves on a freezing day in February, knock yourselves out kids!’ was I think, liberating for both them and me.
Now that we have our Tiny Trolls coveralls, there’s no reason why we can’t get outside in any and all weathers and take full advantage of the world’s greatest classroom.
If you are interested in other products from the range, here are some more blogs who have done a Tiny Trolls of Norway review.
Natalie from Plutonium Sox reviewed the winter suits for her girls
Louise from Little Hearts, Big Love reviewed the microfleece outfits for her daughters (I’ve got my eye on these to go under my girls’ coveralls when it’s really chilly)
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