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Old 14th November 2013, 06:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

No one wants to put a draconian ban on their little ones watching the telly.

But if you drag them off into enough forests and caves and along enough rivers it seems you get the same result.

Tim and Kerry Meek know, because that’s exactly what they did to their two daughters after becoming concerned they might lose their childhood to CBeebies.

Rather than allow the girls time to settle in front of the box, the couple set Amy, ten, and Ella, eight, 100 outdoor challenges to complete.

A year on, they have just ticked off the last of them – sleeping in a ‘tentsile’, a sort of cross between a hammock and a tent which is suspended between two trees.

The youngsters so enjoyed themselves they are now helping to draw up a fresh list of challenges for the next 12 months.

Interestingly, they now only watch about three hours of television a week.

Over the past year the two sisters have been involved in activities as wide ranging as making a rope swing, preparing and drinking nettle soup and watching a meteor shower from a beach-side bivvy.

Others involved caving, kayaking and hiking – all come rain, shine or snow. Some of the challenges – which the Meeks estimate cost only £500 to complete – were undertaken on days out from the family’s home in Arnold, Nottinghamshire, at weekends; others during trips to Northumberland, Scotland, Pembrokeshire, and the South West of England.


Canoeing down a river was just one of the 100 outdoor activities undertaken by the girls and their parents who are both school teachers


The family taking part in a kayak safari. Mr and Mrs Meek didn't want their daughters to spend all their free time watching TV and playing video games
Snorkelling was one of many water activities the family undertook in coastal parts of the country such as Cornwall

Snorkelling was one of many water activities the family undertook in coastal parts of the country such as Cornwall

Ella, whose favourite task was ‘coasteering’, where rocky coastlines are traversed on foot and by swimming, in Cornwall, said: ‘Our friends spend a lot of their free time watching telly or playing on computer games in their bedrooms, luckily we’ve had the chance to do something different.’

Mr Meek, 44, a teacher at a special needs school, said: ‘We’re just normal, everyday people and not adventurous ourselves, but as we saw our kids growing up, we became more reflective as parents and wanted them to grow up with balance in their lives.

‘I think kids these days spend more time indoors than we did. They may do a lot of activities, but they don’t necessarily have freedom to express themselves or explore freely.

‘They are protected from risks which makes them very safe, but it makes them unable to take or to manage risks themselves.


So as to avoid wrapping their daughters up in cotton wool the parents encouraged them to take part in a variety of activities they wouldn't normally do


Ella and Amy pictured while damming a river. The family only left the UK once as part of their adventures when they visisted the Eiffel Tower while on a holiday to France

'Of course, we always want Ella and Amy to do things safely, but in most of the challenges there’s an element of something could happen, they could graze themselves or trap a finger, say.

'Now, if they fall over they tend to shrug it off. Our girls have taken on a role as ambassadors for adventure.’

The girls’ social skills were also tested as one of the challenges was to stand up in front of their school to give a talk, and support a charity.

Both sisters were in the Brownies when they were younger, but found it ‘a bit arts and crafty and wanted something more rough and tumble’.


The family have been invited to speak at a number of outdoor festivals and activities to encourage other families to do similar activities, such as a wild river swim


All of the 100 adventures cost the family less than £500 put together, including walking to tidal islands (pictured) and kayak safaris


Foraging for food and cooking for Kerry Meek on mother's day using just one pot were other challenges


The family is now planning a list of activities to take on next year, with the hope that other families will be inspired to do the same

Ella is now in the Cubs and Amy in the Scouts. Mrs Taylor, 39, a primary school teacher, said: ‘It’s just about giving things a go and trying things out.’

‘My favourite activity was bivvy bagging [where a waterproof cover is put over a sleeping bag so you can sleep outdoors without a tent] as we got to sleep under the stars and saw a meteor shower on a beach on the Norfolk coast.

‘I didn’t like the idea at all at first but it was incredible. You wouldn’t have witnessed that in a tent and we saw it together as a family.’

THE 100 OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES THAT TORE THE MEEK GIRLS AWAY FROM TV

1. Slacklining (walking on a rope between two trees)

2. Scooter Safari

3. Caving

4. Spend the night in a hammock

5. Canoe down a river

6. Adventure led by the girls

7. Sleep in a wood

8. Watch rutting deer

9. Learn survival skills

10. Sleep on a beach

11. Forage for a meal

12. Support a cause (Comic Relief)

13. Snorkelling

14. Go for a reptile ramble

15. Find a private beach

16. Climb the Eiffel Tower

17. Kayak Safari

18. Camp in a city

19. Swim in a natural pool

20. Sleep in a cahutte

21. Coasteering

22. Orienteering race

23. Outdoor birthday party

24. Walk on high ropes

25. Make a rope swing

26. Sleep in a Bivvy-Bag

27. See a henge from sunset to sunrise

28. Sleep in a family-size sleeping bag

29. Kayaking

30. Community work

31. Climb and abseil

32. Sailing

33. Walk a peninsula

34. See a puffin

35. Watch wild seals

36. Play conkers

37. Go off-road hiking

38. Sleep in a shelter

39. Climb an epic summit

40. Camper-vanning

41. Cook and eat in the wild

42. Wake and run

43. Bivvy by a river

44. Tag team cycle trail

45. Learn a constellation

46. Whittle (carve) while you walk

47. Sub-zero camping

48. Snow walking

49. Floodlit swan feed

50. Discover local history

51. Find a summit

52. Go without electricity for 24 hours

53. Weaseling (climbing between gaps in rocks)

54. Night-time descent

55. Eat nettle soup

56. Enter a race

57. Explore rock pools

58. Cook on a beach

59. Dam a stream

60. Explore a cave

61. Explore a wreck

62. Find a waterfall

63. Take on the elements

64. Body-boarding

65. Wild river swim

66. Mountain biking

67. Going to the toilet outside

68. Go behind a waterfall

69. Coastal walk

70. Music festival

71. Visit a landmark

72. Walk to a tidal island

73. Sleep in an eco-tent

74. Spot red squirrels

75. Climb a ‘matterhorn’

76. Walk down a river
77. Geocaching (GPRS treasure hunting)

78. Clean a beach

79. Scramble

80. Walk around a city

81. Orienteering

82. Night-time wood walk

83. Snow hiking

84. Cook with snow

85. Visit a suspension bridge

86. Three peaks in three day

87. Climb a winter summit

88. Ghyll scrambling (walking through gorges)

89. Make meal for mum on Mother’s Day

90. Play in snowdrifts

91. Backpacking

92. Tracking and mapping

93. Visit London

94. Build a bridge

95. Crabbing

96. Night walk in a forest

97. Off-peak camping

98. Skiing

99. Climb indoors

100.Tentsile (hammock-like tent)



Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz2kc6ypx6R
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Old 14th November 2013, 06:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

staying close to nature is good. healthier lifestyle

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Old 14th November 2013, 08:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

How inspiring that is. Kids spend too much time in front of the television these days. I bet it made them closer with their parents as well since they were spending more time with each other.

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Old 14th November 2013, 11:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

indeed..... parenting at its best. definitely a lesson we can all learn.

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Old 16th November 2013, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

They learn alots instead of becoming a couch potatoes

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Old 19th November 2013, 11:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

The television, (desktop) computer, laptop, tablet (for adults), tablet (made for kids), phones. We are immersed in it all! There has to be an end to it. I remember playing outdoors as a child and I loved it. Now work is almost a constant battle for me and during the times I can break to get away on my bike I love every minute of it.

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Old 19th November 2013, 11:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

so fun. how i wish i could do this....

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Old 20th November 2013, 12:09 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

As much as I agree it's s very good activities, but dont the parent have to go t o work and children to school

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Old 20th November 2013, 03:22 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

Wow that's amazing. More people should and need to do this. I am just in shock right now.

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Old 20th November 2013, 06:15 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

Now this is parenting done right! parents keep complaining about how all children want to do now a days is play with their cellphones, game consoles or sit on the computer all day and watch TV. They rather just complain and bad mouth the media oppose to actually do something and get their kids willing to participate in other activities. These parents are amazing for taking matters into their own hand and for that I commend them! Hopefully this will spark more interest in other parents and kids to do the same.

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Old 24th November 2013, 03:00 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Parents lured their 2 daughters away from TV by setting them 100 outdoor challenges in a year

What a great idea, much better than just nagging their children to watch less TV, which a lot of parents do. Instead these parents have given their daughters a fun alternative, a sense of adventure and accomplishment and a great way to spend quality time together as a family.

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