Outdoor Blog Roundup – June

Outdoor Play Roundup

It’s time for the monthly outdoor play roundup and this time we have lots of lovely summery fun.

Bubba Blue and Me shared her adventures strawberry picking. We love fruit picking and think it should be on everyone’s bucket list this summer!

Over at Mommy Loves Trees they have been doing some tree identification and she shares a fabulous ID resource perfect for preschoolers.

If you are looking for some sensory excitement this summer then The Chaos and the Clutter has shared a whopping 50 activities for outdoor sensory fun. This lot will keep your little ones busy for weeks!

50-Activities-for-Outdoor-Sensory-Fun

Multicrafting Mummy created her very own mini-beach at home. A fabulous idea if you can’t get out to the real thing. They even made their own sand!

Over on facebook this month Outdoor People shared a really thought provoking article about The Overprotected Kid. It is a long piece but well worth taking the time to read with lots of really important points about the way we let our children play today compared with how we were allowed to play.

So what are you waiting for? Go on, get out and enjoy the sunshine, the strawberries and the sand. We would love to hear how you get on or what you thought about The Overprotected Kid. Join the conversation by posting on our facebook page Adventure Togs or tweeting us @Adventure Togs using the #adventurebugs.

A Trip to the Beach by Train

This month’s regular guest post from outdoors mummy blogger, Leila Balin is all about their adventures at the beach and a trip by train….

A trip to the beach by train

 

This morning was Little Man’s second time ever on a proper train. He absolutely loved it. He has been a bit under the weather this week so at first he was very subdued, surveying everything from the safety of his pushchair, holding on tight to his special bunny. We were taking a trip to the beach to see a friend of mine who is working out of the country. She was back this weekend and had some time to spare before she had to fly back so the beach was the ideal spot to meet for a mornings catch up.

The train ride was only a short one but Little Man seemed overawed with the sounds of the doors, the whizzing of the countryside and toing and froing movement. He sat very quiet leaving me to guess how he felt about the whole thing. We hopped off at the required station and I was faced with a monster staircase. How on earth was I going to get a heavy two year old who was absolutely refusing to walk and a buggy packed with everything you could possibly need for a trip to the beach up those stairs. Who knew public transport could be so unfamily friendly! Luckily a large nursery group were headed to the staircase just as I was trying to decide how to tackle it. They had plenty of spare hands and a couple of them helped me wrangle the toddler, the buggy and all the bags to the top as well as all their own toddlers, buggies and bags. Phew! So this is why I don’t use trains or buses very often.

After our little adventure, of which Little Man was most upset about having to leave the safety of this pushchair, we headed down the ramp to the beach and met up with my lovely friend H. As we sat and chatted Little Man refused to be coaxed from his comfortable, cosy seat until H handed him a stone. This was received and then thrown with a big grin on his face as far as he could get it. After a few stone throwing minutes he soon plucked up the courage to leave his throne and hit the beach. Then he was off, in usual Little Man style. I’m not actually sure me and H got to catch up very much. We spent most of the time throwing sand around, running up and down and making sure Little Man threw his stones into the water and not accidently through one of the other tiny tots taking up the beach.

Time flies when you are having fun and it wasn’t long before H needed to catch her train back. Little Man was by this time hungry so after one of his ‘I’m not having my nappy changed’ episodes we were headed back to the platform. After some strawberries and grapes Little Man had warmed up and was very excited to see the trains. H’s train was just before ours so we said goodbye. Little Man looked quite lost when she had gone. We had a good 10 minutes before ours arrived so we spent the time exploring the platform. He was asking me what everything was, naming it as he went. He was interested in the yellow line so we talked about what it meant and then he was off jumping on the benches telling me they were bouncy castles. Everything was viewed in wonder and no space was wasted. I just love how toddlers take up the whole space around them as if it is their own.

Our train finally arrived and this time Little Man was not quiet and subdued.  He pointed out everything he could see out of the window, talked about how fast we were going and he even asked why H wasn’t there. Surely she must be, he had seen her get on back at the platform afterall. When we got off at our stop we then had to wait a few minutes before we left just in case we might spot anther train pulling in. I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before he starts asking to go on another train ride. I keep telling him we have to try the bus next. Have you taken your little ones on a train journey lately? Was it a novelty or something you do more often?

Leila writes a personal, nature inspired blog at Mud Marvellous Mud. She is passionate about connecting children to nature and writes about her son’s experiences as they explore together. She is trained to Forest Schools and Beach Schools level 3 and is currently studying for an Open University Open Degree.

Why the best toys are free

Why the best toys are freeToys, toys toys. Our houses seem to be full of them when our children are little, many of which never get played with. Our kids might have one or two favourites but more often than not, much of the plasticness we find has taken over our lives can disappear under a bed or down the back of the sofa never to be missed.

Toys often also have a clear function or they are designed in such a way as to lead children into a certain type of play. For example, a toy car is often simply a toy car, a doll is a doll and the play kitchen we bought for Christmas is used as a kitchen. Children do of course use their imagination with these toys but we don’t always see the genius of their creativity when they play with these things.

How many times, though, have you muttered the words ‘I should have just bought them the box’ after spending a small fortune on Christmas or Birthday pressies only to find your kiddies far more enthralled with the box that is a boat, a space rocket or even a bird hide. We recently came across this brilliant list of The 5 Best Toys of all Time on Wired and although the article is a few years old we think it will ring true for quite some time and well, we just loved No. 5. The best think about this list is that all of the items on it are FREE! Think about it, whenever have you seen your children’s imagination blossom more than when they are playing with stuff that was never really designed for play?

Sometimes, in today’s society we feel pressured to fill up our children’s lives with things, showering our love on them with gifts of colourful toys full of educational benefits, flashing lights and cartoon characters. Of course not all toys are bad, they have their place, but in order to really help develop our children’s ability to think creatively then keep that carboard box for them, give them free reign with the recycling, let them play with water or get outdoors and let them find their own toys. Sticks and stones won’t break their bones they will provide endless opportunities and hours of fun!

What are your kids favourite free items to play with? We would love to hear about them. Share your pictures on our facebook page or tweet us@adventuretogs with the hashtag #adventurebugs

Image used and modified under Creative Commons License. Original image can be found on flickr. Credit Jody Roberts