All posts filed under: The Great Outdoors

A Rainy Day at Drusillas Park

My kids have a love/hate relationship with animals or, more accurately, love/fear – my daughter adores them whilst my son is rather more apprehensive around them. Prime example; during a visit to a local farm, we walked through a field of animals where Miss J tried to ride a goat whilst the boy was running away from a goose. Still, we find Drusillas to be quite a good compromise as there are enough animals to keep Miss J happy, and there is also plenty for the boy to do as well. Cuddling Meerkat statues, for example.    And logging stamps in the spotters book.    Of course, for the train enthusiast, Drusillas also boasts a Thomas train that will take you right the way round the park, as well as a few other characters to spot throughout the day.    As mentioned previously, there are enough animals to keep Miss J happy, with meerkats and flamingoes being highlights for her.    And what I quite like about the attraction is the opportunity to do something …

Summer Holiday Fun for an Active Childhood

I’m so confused as to how it’s almost July, and feeling a little sad as my babies prepare to leave their reception and year 2 classes respectively. However, I am quite excited about our summer holidays – spending six weeks with the children always sounds like such a lovely idea in June! At the beginning of August, we are flying to Mykonos and then heading to Paros for a few days with Nanny Bee, but other than that have no concrete plans. I have lots of things that I would like to do this summer, from camping trips and days out to science experiments and reading challenges – the overall theme being one of simple, outdoor fun and, hopefully, plenty of time spent with family and friends.    Forest school and beach education ideas always appeal to me and I would love to spend some days exploring these; building dens, making campfires, searching for bugs and sea creatures… One of our favourite things to do last summer was to visit art galleries with a sketchbook. Miss …

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Muddy Boots

We are a family that likes to get out and about, we really are. We don’t mind wind or drizzle, mud or seawater, puddles or trees. They all add to our fun. Puddle suits and wellies are essential to our plans, as are changes of clothes and towels, for those extra messy adventures. As long as they go home warm and snug eventually, my children are happy to get wet and muddy and cold.   Muddy boots are, to me, the sign of a day well spent. I would far rather my children play outside throughout winter than get too used to being occupied by screens indoors. As such, I look for wet weather gear that will last a season. With boots and waterproofs being used almost daily, they need to be strong and made well. I am happy to pay a little extra for products that tick my boxes as apposed to buying cheaply only to have to replace regularly. Our favourite boots at the moment are the PuddleStompers from Muddy Puddles.    Strong, …

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The Outdoors Project

I always feel that there is something so magical about being outdoors with children. Of course, I cannot speak for all children, but mine certainly come alive. Their movements are bigger and bolder, their language becomes richer, they are coworkers like never before, loyal, trusting and fearless, they dash up trees and build forts; above all, their smiles are broader.    You really do get a sense that they are fulfilled and enriched by such experiences, whether they be by the sea, in the woods, up a hill, or just at the local park. One of our favourite places to play is in a forest or woods. We took a trip to the Forest of Dean last summer and it remains one of our very favourite holidays. There is always something to do when surrounded by trees and wood and nature; and if you’re ever stuck for ideas, just ask a child! Their imaginative play is packed full of more creativity than ever before when captivated by nature. They explore new sensory and messy play …

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Arundel Castle

It’s fair to say we live in a rather beautiful part of the country, bordered by coastline and countryside, with historic gardens, stately homes and castles all on our doorstep. One such gem is Arundel Castle, a few miles north of Littlehampton, situated close to the banks of the River Arun.   We were invited to visit for a day during the Easter break and were blessed with mostly good weather. Warm, dry and sunny for several hours before turning grey and drizzly, we enjoyed our first picnic of the year upon arrival.   Once the children were full and a little bouncy, we snuck indoors and headed for the castle keep, which is the oldest part of the castle. Full of concrete steps, winding spiral staircases and narrow walkways, it is a charming piece of history though admittedly not the most accessible part of the castle. Thankfully, we no longer require a pushchair so were fully able to appreciate the keep in all its historic glory, with views and learning opportunities aplenty.   The …