Crazy idea

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Crazy idea

Postby Jenbt85 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 9:38 pm

I'm plotting and the idea is in its infancy but I'm interested in a few ideas:

Who here has children that are predominantly screen free? I wouldn't say that our day is saturated with TV, but it is a fixture in our house (a welcome break)! I'm interested in how children go without it - ie are they more outdoors or do they play more (especially interested for ages 5 and 3)?

For very active parents and kids - especially Bush Walkers or cyclists, what are reasonable expectations of distances for children ages 5&3 to achieve in a day? An example is that I thought a 3y/o walking 2kms was ok but so many people told me I was crazy (in a tone that suggested it was cruelty) that I didn't try.

Are there any keen campers here / campers that have also camped abroad with kids? Do you bring toys with you when you go?
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby ~WildChild~ » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:39 am

Your idea sounds intriguing!
I dont think my kids could, at 3, walk 2kms without complaining. But, I certainly dont think its cruelty, & I cant see why you couldnt build up to it (kind of like adults training for a xkm event).
My children arent screen free & they are older than yours (10, 7 & 5). That said, I have removed screens in the past & the difference in behaviout is amazing. They are much better. They actually play & go outside or make cubbies etc. My house is a lot messier, but its worth it.
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby Mummy woo! » Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:48 pm

My kids are older and have one hour of screen time per day on Saturday and Sunday only - in our house. At school, Grandma's, after school care it is screens all the time.

At five and three I think similar - maybe a bit more on the weekends but they were in school/care at that age. I haven't been at home full time with them since Mrs Moops was one.
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby freerange » Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:06 pm

I'm staying away from the screen issue... but technically you should be able to do 1km per year, so 5 year old = 5km. They may not do it all in one go tho!
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby Jenbt85 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:09 am

Thanks everyone!

DS is near the cutoff for school age and we can send him either just as he turns five or the following year. We didn't consider this issue before starting Kindy so are faced with the possibility of him being home for a year if we wait.

My crazy idea (which is completely dependent on our finances closer to the time) is to have summer here then maybe go travelling for a few months through Europe during their summer with the kids and DH. We have friends scattered throughout, but I'm mainly thinking France, Finland and Germany where our closest friends are. We would also go to the UK to see Dad.

(Very) Preliminary research suggests that family working holidays are a possibility and that you can get accommodation in return for working on farms. We would maybe do a combination of that, camping and couch surfing (with friends) to stretch out finances.

I don't know if we will be able to afford this - we are flat broke at the moment - but I think beyond the air fares over, we might be able to do the rest cheaply. Depends on my health improving and what DHs employer will allow as time off etc.

I like the idea of us all exploring and seeing new things to fill up part of his gap year. I feel if we don't do a big trip in that year that it becomes harder once he's school etc. It would be a few months straight of outdoor play for all of us.

I'm trying to consider what our worst days could look like to prepare - ie we get sick and are camping, we want a quiet day because we are all tired - how would we manage that, how about books/Toys/occasional TV - etc. I'm also interested in what are reasonable activity expectations for small children.

By then neither would be breastfeeding, in nappies, potentially DD would be on one nap a day or transitioning so we may only need an umbrella stroller etc.

If nothing else, it's lots of fun thinking about it and how it would look if we could make it happen. Just need a lottery win!
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby Jenbt85 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:11 am

I should add this is over a year away :)
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby pseudo » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:32 pm

We have a TV but the kids rarely watch it. The only other technology we have is a laptop. DS1 age 9 uses it for homework occassionally but nothing else.

My kids play, play, play, mainly outdoors. At 3 my boys would easily walk 2 kilometres, often further. My boys are very outdoorsy though. During summer we walk to the beach most days which is 1 km each way.
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby Nedsmum » Sun Oct 02, 2016 3:22 pm

You would need to do your research very carefully... there is a lot of exploitation of farm workers here in Europe and each country will have different conditions, legal rules, and very often they also have an age limit on working visas.

Plus things like health insurance can become very complicated if you are working and travelling...
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby Jenbt85 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:58 pm

I'm a UK/Aus citizen so until Brexit happens, I have full working and residential rights across Europe - I'm lucky :) DH and the kids are Aussie though I can get British passports for the kids. I was wondering about visas - ie does the three months stay renew per country or is it "Europe" in general that you can only stay three months in (I suspect the former)?

The health insurance is an interesting point to raise - as is the exploitation. I'm knee deep in research at the moment. Just came across a blog post that discussed free camping and I'm going to see if that's generally safe / legal. I'm considering everything and anything at this stage - this whole idea is really out of character for me :) Who knows if we can make it happen, but I'm really enjoying the research :)
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby mummymanda » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:15 pm

Sounds exciting

Could it be something if you don't do in a few years you can sit on for a few more and do before the kids start high school instead? Perhaps save up a few spare dollars and make it somewhat more plush and secure. Kids could research a few activities they could do and places they would want to see as well. Could be a huge family goal to work towards. Take it from me primary school is not all its cracked up to be and missing a few moths or even a year to go to Europe is not going to do any harm what so ever. If you include the kids in the planning the benifit from that alone is huge. I think the enjoyment from having older kids with you will also be fantastic you will not regret it.
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby Nedsmum » Mon Oct 03, 2016 4:33 am

There is some 'logic' to doing the big international adventure when the kids are old enough to remember...and to look after themselves for the most part..
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby mummymanda » Mon Oct 03, 2016 8:40 am

Just doing some more thinking. The extra time could also allow you to connect with other families abroad with whom you could meet along the way and possibly stay with. Could not think of anything more exciting than the kids connecting with a handful of friends from different countries via email and Skype and even snail mail and then eventually meeting in the flesh. I know your kids are a bit young yet but perhaps linking to a local scout group and then linking though them to international ones and I think scouting families would be more than happy to host you through different groups. PM me if you want info on 2 local groups. I am a queens scout from a group very close to you and my 2 older ferals currently go to a very new group near us that is currently trying to change scouting to be alot more diverse and multi cultral.

All this talk of international travel is making me a bit jealous. I can't even fathom attending a family camp this weekend today.
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby AussieBritLu » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:50 pm

schengnan (I can't remember the spelling) visa is max 90 days total regardless of how many countries you travel and stay in if you don't have EU rights ;)

So if only on an Aus passport, then max of 90 days in Europe. HTH.
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby Jenbt85 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:03 am

AussieBritLu wrote:schengnan (I can't remember the spelling) visa is max 90 days total regardless of how many countries you travel and stay in if you don't have EU rights ;)

So if only on an Aus passport, then max of 90 days in Europe. HTH.


Thanks! :D

I wrote a big reply earlier to mummymanda but lost it - I'll come back at a more reasonable hour!
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Re: Crazy idea

Postby JennyD » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:31 am

A friend's family did similar when she was 4, her younger brother was 3 and the older two were 7 and 10. They took a year off and travelled around Australia in a 4WD and tent and boat and they all still remember it. They had an absolute ball.
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