As regular readers will know I strongly believe that children should spend lots of time playing outdoors. I fondly remember exploring the fields behind my childhood home. The adventures my friends and I had building dens, finding treasures and exploring. On one occasion I got my wellington boots stuck in some very squelchy mud, the more I struggled the further it sank until I had to admit defeat and walk home bootless. This is the stuff of childhood.
It’s not so easy for children to have adventures outdoors anymore. They’re more restricted by rules imposed for safety. They’re distracted by all day kid’s TV channels and computer games. I try to overcome this by taking my children to places they can explore freely and allowing them to take risks and have adventures. So I was thrilled to receive a Bear Grylls dangerous den kit from Battlebox for my children to review.
We didn’t need to go far for our first adventure. Five minutes from our house is a large field known as the rec ground. We headed there with the contents of the Battlebox adventure kit packed into its own army style bag. Inside the box we found:-
- Tough tarpaulin.
- Steel pegs.
- Para cord.
- Wooden mallet.
- Camouflage net.
- “Danger mines” sign.
- Union jack flag.
- Hessian sand bags.
- Pack of playing cards.
- Marching chocolate (given out to troupes in the great war).
- Bear Grylls ‘Living Wild’ book.
We were accompanied by Robo Boy’s closest friends and the children carefully chose a couple of sturdy looking trees from which to hang our tarpaulin and create our base camp.
Then the boys had brilliant fun collecting leaves and grass to fill the hessian sandbags, our base-camp needed maximum protection. Meanwhile Wonder Girl took up residence in the camp to ward of any intruders.
All set up Robo Boy, Super Kid and their friends had a brilliant time running around the field, rolling down a nearby slope and collecting sticks. Wonder Girl and Purpledad took life a little more sedately and surveyed the lay of the land from within base camp.
Worn out and hungry everyone returned to base-camp for some lunch and a square of ‘soldiers’ chocolate. Followed by a game of top trumps.
We had a brilliant adventure with the contents of our Battlebox, some outdoor space and our imaginations. My children are still relatively young at two, four and six so it was a family adventure. Older children would have a brilliant time without grown ups having some real free-range fun with a Battlebox.
Our kit cost £98 and is the top end of the range with kits starting at £14 and everything in between. This would make a great birthday gift or perhaps would be something to present the children with at the start of the summer holidays to inspire adventure.
Keep an eye out next week when I’ll be running a competition to win a Battlebox. Perfect timing with the school holidays approaching.
*Disclosure: I received a Bear Grylls dangerous den kit for the purposes of this review.