Outdoor Blog Roundup – December

Outdoor Play Roundup

Merry Christmas everyone. We hope you are all suitably stuffed from all that Christmas food and that you have all had a magical time. What a wonderful time of the year it is! If you are ready for the Christmas wind down we have some lovely December posts to share that will have you back outdoors and playing in no time.

The first is from the fabulous Wild Family Fun. If your kids are ready to step up the risk factor in 2015 but the weather is holding you back then try an indoor climbing wall. These girls made it look easy and show us why climbing is a great sport to get involved in.

For all you fabulous teachers out there, the wonderful Kierna from Learning for Life shared a great guest post about how the children in Iceland learn to manage risk. Can you believe it? They don’t have to fill in risk assessments!

Red Peffer has the perfect way to blow away all those Christmassy cobwebs with a lovely welly walk. They have been visiting a local National Trust property but we reckon any muddy spot in your locale will do nicely.

Welly Walk Packwood House

Last but never least is Planet Pals Blog’s amazing ways to play in the snow. If you haven’t already got snow yet (we haven’t!) then be sure to pin this one because there are some great ideas in here. We can’t wait to try some snow painting!

Are your kids already fed up with all their toys? Over on facebook the fabulous Woodland Trust – nature detectives shared their 20 things to do with sticks download. Ahh, there is no better toy than a stick!

What was your stick?

Don’t forget to let us know if any of the posts have inspired you to play outdoors or to share your own ideas with us. You can contact us on our facebook page Adventure Togs or catch up with us on twitter @Adventure Togs

Learning on a Simple Winter Walk

This month’s regular guest post from outdoors mummy blogger, Leila Balin is all about how her little man is learning all the time….

Learning on a simple winter walk

I love how a simple winter walk with any toddler will always be an adventure. They just find pleasure in every little detail. This weekend we headed down a lovely leaf littered path we hadn’t explored before and although it was pretty it didn’t look like it had much in the way of toddler entertainment. Looks were, however, deceiving and the amount of time exploring meant that we never even found out where the path led. We stopped, we played and we headed back the way we came before Little Man decided his legs could carry him no more.

Firstly it was the leaves that caught his attention. They were good for kicking and jumping in, he explored a few in great detail discussing their colour and their shape. Colours and shapes are important to him at the moment. He is learning about them at nursery and at every opportunity he will show off the shapes he knows and the colours he can pick out. It’s amazing how little ones learn with such relish, oblivious to the fact that learning should be anything but fun and exciting. Whatever he learns at nursery always transfers through to his play and I expect that has a lot to do with being taught through play too. I watch this miracle of knowledge gained and I wonder why learning ever needs to change. Why can’t it always be fun?

He soon moved on from the leaves to discovering stones. Stones are always good for throwing. Forget checking out their intricate colours or exploring their smooth shapes, how far can they be thrown? One of the ditches beside the path was full with water and besides asking if he could get in it (it was far too deep and cold!) every stone and twig he found from there on in was hurled as hard as he could. Giggles erupted every time the water exploded with a plop and a look of determination came over him whenever a throw failed. He soon discovered that the twigs didn’t make great tools for creating a splash and they were quickly discarded in favour of the stones.

Little Man trawled the same patch of path for what seemed an age, picking up stones he thought would be good for splashing and discarding anything that didn’t look promising. Each time he threw one in he waited to see what happened, getting more excited the bigger the splash. As he searched you could see his brain assessing the stones, comparing the stone in his hand to the ones he had thrown previously. Which ones would work and which ones wouldn’t. He was practising science. Experimenting as naturally as any true scientist does. For me this is simply more proof that our kids are all born ‘little scientists’ and that we don’t always have to try very hard at all to encourage them to explore their own natural curiosity. Get them outdoors and let them discover for themselves and before you know it they will have learnt more than we can ever teach them.

How do your little ones show off their inner scientist?

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.

My featured post for this week has to be Creative Star’s Outdoor Snacks and Drinks. We love Creative Star and we especially love this post. Eating outdoors is such a treat and this post shows just how much learning can take place simply by moving food outdoors. We really enjoyed the idea of a flask experiment. It sounds like great fun.

Outdoor snack 4

Outdoor Blog Roundup – November

Outdoor Play Roundup

Well a wet winter has well and truly set in but going by what you have all been up to it hasn’t put anyone off their outdoor play time. Here are some of our favourite outdoor play posts from the last month.

Eeek! It isn’t long until Christmas now! Have you done all your pressie shopping yet? Project Wild Thing has the best list of wild explorer books that will be perfect for your little nature lover. Do you have any good Christmas pressie ideas for the outdoors kid?

What with all the wet weather there is no excuse not to have been out enjoying the muddy puddles. Red peffer and family have certainly been making the best of them having lots of muddy fun. Just what we like to see.

Let kids be kids has been sharing a fabulous fizzy science experiement. This is an oldie but such a goodie, your kids will loving watching the exploding fizz.

And last but never least is A family day out’s deep mine adventure at Blaenavon’s ironworks and museum. If you are looking for a fun family day out this place is well worth a look, definitely one to add to the diary for the spring when it reopens.

Ready to go down the mine, Big Pit

Over on facebook Bushcraft UK shared this fabulous article on How to keep hill walking over winter. We love hill walking here at Adventure Togs and there are some great tips in this article. Do any of you enjoy hill walking? If so do the kiddies come with you?

Don’t forget to let us know if any of the posts have inspired you to play outdoors or to share your own ideas with us. You can contact us on our facebook page Adventure Togs or catch up with us on twitter @Adventure Togs

 

Outdoor Blog Roundup – August

Outdoor Play Roundup It’s time for the monthly roundup and this month we have some arty fun to share along with a fabulous sensory experience.

First off this month Adventures of Adam shares a fabulous water spray activity that not only creates beautiful art work but also supports those all important fine motor skills.

We absolutely loved this next activity from In the Playroom. They showed us how to make a beautiful garden leaf collage and we adored the results! This is a brilliant activity across all the seasons but we think it will produce fabulous results as the autumn starts to arrive, as it seems to be doing already near us!

leafcollagetext

Multicrafting Mummy shared a lovely way to celebrate the beauty of sunflowers with this gorgeous sunflower height chart. What a lovely way to chart your little ones height as they grow.

Finally we loved Kids in the Garden’s account of their journey around the Barefoot Walk at Kew Gardens. This looks like an amazing sensory experience and one we think doesn’t have to be confined to Kew Gardens. Go on, enjoy the last of the summer, kick those shoes off and feel the squelch of mud in between your toes. You know you want to.

Over on facebook Outdoor People shared this fantastic link from mountain-training.org with tips on how to enjoy the mountains with children. We love mountain walking here at Adventure Togs and would absolutely recommend it to anyone.

Do let us know if you decide to give mountain climbing a go or if you decide to have a go at barefoot walking. We would love to hear all about your adventures. Or if getting arty is more your thing then do send us over pics of your lovely art. We love to see how you all choose to play outdoors. You can share the fun with us over on our facebook page Adventure Togs or tweet us@AdventureTogs and share your fun. We can’t wait to hear what you have been up to.

A Nature Walk

This month’s regular post from outdoors mummy blogger, Leila Balin is all about nature explorations…..

A Nature Walk Guest Post AprilThis week has been filled with nature explorations. From chasing bees to watching butterflies, Little Man has been noticing it all. Spring is such a lovely time to go exploring in nature and although farmers fields aren’t exactly natural they are right on our doorstep and have lovely natural edges leaving plenty of space for us to discover birds, berries, flowers and flies.

The fields surrounding us are filled with rapeseed at the moment. Lots of people dislike this crop, especially hayfever sufferers (my brother being one of them) but I love the bright sunny colour and I don’t even mind the smell. Luckily Little Man seems to be fine with pollen so a waltz around the local fields is always a pleasure, especially as there are tons of butterflies around at the moment. They flit in and out of the yellow mass, dancing with each other and sunning themselves along the paths and whenever one parks itself along the path in front of us Little Man stops, goes quiet and whispers to me as he creeps up on it hoping to catch it.

Birds also capture Little Man’s attention and we have to stop and listen as a Blackcap shouts out his warning call. It sounds like two stones clinking together and Little Man is enthralled, desperately trying to see where the sound is coming from. We just catch a glimpse of it as it flies away and he shouts ‘birdie!’ as it goes. This time round we also spot Pigeon and Jackdaw and a female blackbird that lets us get quite close as she hops about her business before she finally takes flight.

A quick jaunt round the fields is a whole body experience for Little Man; he uses his listening and language skills as well as all his motor skills, hopping, skipping, climbing and crawling. We often hop in-between fields by climbing in and out of the dry ditches and Little Man loves to beat us across. It can sometimes be quite a mission keeping up with him because he can squeeze through gaps much smaller than us!  At one point I did lose him amongst the crop (don’t tell the farmer!). Despite my pleas for him to stick to the paths he decided climbing through a jungle of rapeseed was far more fun. By the time we get home I am always shattered, even if we keep it short, but Little Man, as is the way with most toddlers, seems to run on super energiser batteries. I love the way toddlers find wonder in everything they come across, it is absolutely infectious!

What are your favourite local adventures? Is it the local park, do you find adventure among the local houses or are you lucky enough to live right next to the beach?

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.

Climbing Trees

This month’s regular post from outdoors mummy blogger, Leila Balin is all about climbing trees ….

Climbing Trees Guest Post March

Sunday was a stunning day for a walk. We didn’t get out in the morning down to one thing or another but as soon as Little Man woke up from his nap we were racing out the door. Little Man was still quite tired so his sleepy bunny came along for the ride and he was carried most of the way round. Poor hubby didn’t realise it was going to be quite such a workout for him!

About half way round we stopped to check out a tractor working one of the fields and Little Man started to perk up. He was more than happy to stop and watch the tractor work away and then say ‘bye bye’ as it moved onto the next field. We also moved on and worked our way down to a little clearing with a bench so that Daddy could have a rest.

Before we got to the bench we came across a lovely fallen tree. We had a good look, checking out the lichens along the trunk and before we knew it Little Man was asking to get on it. He wanted to go up quite high so Daddy got up there with him and for a few minutes he was happy to stand there and enjoy the view. Then all of a sudden sleepy bunny got thrown at me and Little Man was off!

At first he was scrambling his way through the top branches until Daddy could go no further with him and we encouraged him to come back to the clearer part of the trunk. From then on it was a continuous up and down, holding onto Daddy for support. We were there for ages as Little Man practiced his balancing skills and started to get braver and braver. Soon enough he was jumping and hopping along the trunk in true toddler style with a mahusive grin on his face.

He stopped for a short rest from balancing whilst he played horsey and explored the trunk of the tree with his hands and then it was off for round two. Who needs playgrounds when nature provides trees! It was amazing to watch and fabulous to see his confidence grow. He surprised us as to how sure footed he was and how quickly he wanted to climb higher without our help. Maybe if we had been able to get underneath the tree to support him then we would have let him go a bit further but with all the branches there was no way we could.

Little Man came away happy and we had one last surprise before we made it home. Walking along one of the fields behind our house we came across a small herd of deer. As we stopped to stare they stared back only disappearing as we headed up the path towards them. Little Man was mesmerised and so excited he decided to dance most of the way home. Sometimes I wonder where all their energy comes from!

We are already looking forward to our next tree climbing experience. I am sure we will be back to visit this one but it would also be fun to find some new ones. Have your little ones been tree climbing recently? Do they have a favourite tree?

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.

 

A Dark Dark Walk

This month’s regular post from outdoors mummy blogger, Leila Balin  ….

This week we have been spotting the first signs of spring with Daffodils poking their little heads up to say hello, buds appearing on the trees and the birds singing earlier in the mornings. The nights are getting shorter, and that anticipation of warmer weather is rising. I’m getting butterflies just thinking about it. I cannot wait till springtime!

With spring on its way we are losing the nights which in a lot of ways is excellent. It means lots more time for outdoor play which is much needed in our house. However, before the nights completely disappear and Little Man stops being able to say goodnight to the moon and the stars we decided it would be an awesome adventure to go for a walk in the dark. So after dinner on Friday night we wrapped up warm and grabbed the big torch ready for our night adventure.

Night Walking with ChildrenWe live in the countryside so there is no luxury of street lights and once you step out the door the only light is from the surrounding houses and the stars above. Little Man was more than happy to toddle down the driveway and out onto the field opposite our house. He had been itching to get outdoors all day and being out in the dark made no difference at all to his eagerness to explore. Along the way he pointed out everything he could see from sticks on the ground to fallen trees practicing his words and making his own sentences. We scared quite a few wood pigeons that had settled in to roost for the night, and there was Little Man shouting birds at the sky and asking Daddy to pick him up for a better look.

We looked for the moon but couldn’t find it tonight so we had to make do with the stars, but it wasn’t long before a couple of planes passed by peaking Little Man’s excitement. He had brought along his little wooden helicopter for the walk and instantly it was being flown around Daddy’s head with sound effects to boot.

Waking in the Dark with KidsWe crossed the little bridge across the ditch stopping to look at the water glisten in the torchlight and then Daddy found a lovely big puddle for splashing in. By this time Little Man was yawning away and was quite happy to look down at Daddy’s feet splish sploshing around rather than have a go himself. We were now only a short walk from home and after a quick run around the garden in the dark Little Man was ready to come inside and get bundled up for bed. He had that lovely contented look he gets once he has had his outdoor fix and we were all pleased with our little nighttime adventure.

Have you been out and about with the kids after dark? If not I would highly recommend it, it gives you a whole new perspective on the places you know so well in the daytime. Maybe you will manage to get better pictures than I did too!

Car Parks – Guest Post by Leila Balin

Car Parks - Guest Post by Leila BalinMy plan this morning was to head out to a local park and explore the woodland there. Little Man was in a fine mood and I thought he would enjoy his usual games of hide and seek and some stick play. I was, however, wrong. As usual! Once we got there Little Man had no intention of heading into the woods, the park itself was far more interesting with lots of dogs to woof at and some lovely green grass to throw himself over. There was even a wheelie bin in the middle of the path that made for a fascinating study of wheels. Being a wheel man we inevitably ended up heading back towards the car park to explore the cars. Thankfully though he spotted a log of interest that he decided looked like a great horsey and with a little bit of help from me he was soon sat on it riding into the horizon and then eating his sandwiches on it.

Once lunch was finished he played some peek a boo whilst climbing a fence and then there was a spot of mountain climbing. Suddenly he spotted some children through a gap in the hedge and before I knew it we were running after them into a walled play area full of wooden play equipment. For the first few minutes Little Man seemed to be in awe and didn’t know where to go. In fact, I think it was all a bit too much for him. You could see him being pulled in all directions and in the end he settled for a bridge with some spinning toys on them. It’s funny how he always seems to revert to playing with things that spin.

Car Parks - Guest Post by Leila Balin

Once the playground had lost his attention it was back to the car park, his original destination, where we spent some time splashing in puddles and eyeing up a lorry that had parked up. When I say some time, I really mean a lot of time. So much time in fact that we were attracting some strange looks from many of the dog walkers who had been on their walks and come back again before we had even got half way across it. The children he had followed to the park had long gone and Little Man was well overdue for his nap. None of this seemed to bother him at all as he spent time investigating pipes, holes in the ground, wheels of cars, puddles, wooden posts and watching all those ‘woof woofs’ walk on by. To top it off, when we did finally make it back to our car he insisted on driving for a while whilst pressing every button and turning every dial he could possibly find. By the end of the morning I was exhausted but he seemed to be on super charged batteries. What had I given him for breakfast?! After a quick snack and a drink I managed to convince him it was time to climb into his car seat and we headed home where, surprise surprise, he was asleep within seconds of his head hitting his little pillow.

Car Parks - Guest Post by Leila Balin

It always fascinates me to let Little Man take the lead. I never quite know where we will end up or what will grab his interest. It is always a little adventure. Do you ever let your little ones take the lead when you are out and about? What happens when you do? Why not give it a go and see if you end up loitering in car parks or find out if your little one has another agenda.

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.

Adventure Togs at the Hay Walking Festival

Adventure Togs at the Hay Walking Festival

One of our lovely customers sent me these images of her daughter at the Hay Walking Festival last weekend. In fact, I had regular updates on the family’s adventures from their Twitter timeline!

The forage walk seemed a great success with a little map reading for beginners 🙂

The family thoroughly enjoyed their weekend of walking and I cannot thank them enough for these beautiful photos!

p.s. I want to go next year – definitely x

The Togz All-in-One Waterproof Suit can be found here http://www.adventuretogs.co.uk/brands/togz/togz-all-in-one-rain-suit

We Love Picking Blackberries

Yummy Blackberries
Yummy Blackberries

Yesterday, Adventure Bugs went blackberry picking! We didn’t plan for a blackberry picking afternoon, in fact we’d planned to spend more of our time doing leaf rubbings down by the stream.

I took some empty containers along ‘just in case’ and we decided we would pick blackberries on our way back. However, once the little Adventure Bugs noticed such juicy berries alongside the path, they were collecting before the parents could protest and the walk to the stream which would have normally taken about 15 minutes, turned into 40. The lovely thing was that the children took the lead, helped each other, learnt which were ripe enough to be picked and counted as they added their juicy berries one by one to their collecting pots.

Some of them had never picked blackberries before and were delighted to be able to take them home for tea!