Outdoor Blog Roundup – April

Outdoor Play Roundup MarchIt’s time for our second monthly outdoor play roundup and we have some lovely outdoor inspiration for you all.

Do you live near or are planning on visiting Yorkshire? Then Yorkshire Wildlife Park looks amazing and well worth a visit. Little Luca & Me certainly recommends it and shares some great shots of her little one getting up close and personal with a wallaby and a monkey.

Loving Life with Little Ones shows us just how much fun washing your car can be.

Over on facebook this month we discovered the lovely Twig Stories by Jo Marshall. These books are accompanied by wonderful illustrations and bring important environmental issues to children in a series of exciting adventures. They look like a must buy for any keen young reader.

So what are you waiting for? We would love to see pictures of your very own toddler car wash or find out if you have read any of the Twig Stories, or maybe you just have some great ideas to share. Either way let us know by posting on our facebook page Adventure Togs or tweeting us @Adventure Togs

Easter Egg Hunt Ideas

Easter

The traditional way to play outdoors this Easter is to have an Easter egg hunt. There are several ways to go about this. You can go the easy route and buy some chocolate eggs all ready and wrapped up or you can go all out and create your own.

If you have little people who are all excited about helping you decorate your eggs check out these 7 Tips for Dyeing Easter Eggs from babble. For older kids why not try a glow in the dark Easter hunt with plastic eggs and glow in the dark bracelets, a brilliant way to get those ‘too old’ for egg hunt tweenagers involved. Or why not take it one step further and make your own natural dyes and leaf imprint your eggs with the kids. The perfect opportunity to bring nature into your Easter celebrations.

Once you have your eggs ready, whether bought or created, you then need to think about prizes. If you have more than one child you can either give a special prize to the child who has collected the most eggs or give each child a different colour egg to look for and then they all get the same prizes. These can be chocolate eggs or you can try something a bit different.

As an alternative to the traditional chocolate prize why not try a nature detectives membership. A gift that will keep on giving all year round and get the whole family outdoors. How about a day trip to your local farm to meet all the little lambs and Easter chicks. A pack of wildflower or vegetable seeds.

Whatever you do this Easter, we would love to hear about it. Or maybe you have some some twists on the traditional to share? Either way you can get in touch by posting on our facebook page or tweeting us @Adventure Togs.

Have a lovely Easter!

10 Ways to Play in the Rain

10 ways to play in the rain

Did you know April is the second rainiest month of the year (according to Wikipedia, anyway!) Here at Adventure Togs we love the rain so we thought we should share our 10 favourite ways to play in the rain.

 

Put up your tent and camp in the rain. We love the sound of rain on the tent roof. Take in some of your favourite books, a nice cosy sleeping bag and some pillows and it turns into the perfect storytime.

Record the rain hitting lots of different surfaces with your smartphone and then see if you can edit it to make a rain song. This can be loads of fun and is a great way to combine technology with nature. Perfect for the older kids in your life.

Taste the rain, watch the rain, feel the rain on your skin. Simply stand out in it and enjoy it with all of your five senses. Describing it can be a great way to build language skills with little ones.

Write a story about a raindrop. In fact you don’t even have to write it, you could simply tell it. This is a lovely family game that really gets the creativity flowing. It’s great to hear the imagination of the young and old with this one.

Puddle jumping. OK, so this one is obvious but it never gets old. Even now I can barely pass a puddle without having a little splash.

Mud paint yourself! Now the weather is getting warmer get your arms and legs out and have a go at body painting with some mud then let the rain wash it all off.

Get scientific. Watch how the water flows and see if you can divert its course. Test what will sink or float, how fast they get carried along or how quickly a container or natural dip will fill up.

Go on a worm hunt. Worms are programmed to come to the surface when it is raining so its the perfect time to get looking for wiggly worms. Pick them up, feel them wriggle on your skin, watch the way they curl about just don’t chop them in half! When you get back indoors discover how amazing they are by looking up some facts about them.

Take a washing up bowl outside, let the rain fill it up and add some bath foam. Watch it as it foams up and then get the bath toys out. Wear silly foam beards as you play outside with your rubber ducks.

Hunt for rainbows. If it is lovely and sunny, like it has been lately, there should be loads of rainbows to chase. I never have found that pot of gold though!

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What are your favourite ways to play in the rain? We would love to hear what you get up to. Share your pictures on our facebook page or tweet us @adventuretogs with the hashtag #adventurebugs

 

 

Outdoor Blog Roundup – March

Outdoor Play Roundup March

We’ve read so many great outdoor play posts this month we thought we would share some of our favourites in a monthly roundup. So if you are looking for some outdoor inspiration then look no further.

Peakle Pie has been sharing how they have been learning about the importance of bees with the The Bee Pizza Game. We think this is a great way to start discovering the links between nature and our food. Something that is so often overlooked in the age of fast food and supermarkets.

Can you believe it is Mother’s Day already? If you are looking for a last minute gift idea for Mother’s Day then these Egg Box Flowers from One Blue One Pink are so cute. Perfect for any flower loving Mummy or Grandma.

Fairy season is well and truly on its way and we have been spotting fairy inspired ideas all over the web this month. Get in on the trend and make a lovely flower fairy. Not sure where to start? Naturally Educational has a step by step how to guide.

We also loved these Icy Experiments from Mama Frog blogs. Great sensory play that spans across all ages. A real opportunity to watch your children play and see where it takes them.

So what are you waiting for? We would love to see your flower fairies or the result of your ice experiments, or maybe you have some great ideas you think should be shared on our next roundup. Either way let us know by posting on our facebook page Adventure Togs or tweeting us @Adventure Togs

10 Ways to Play Outdoors this Spring

10 ways to play outdoors

  1. Have a picnic! Whether you do this in the garden, at the local park or you head to the beach be sure to take advantage of the sunshine while you can. Nothing feels like summer is on its way more than eating outdoors with family and friends.
  2. Go dancing in the rain. It is inevitable that spring will bring us at least some rain, and I’m sure that with the winter just gone we haven’t seen the last of the wet stuff. So go out and enjoy it. Have a dance in your wellies or brave it, kick those wellies off and dance barefoot.
  3. Make your own spring video. With the advances in smart phones, just about anyone can make a video now, and it’s a great way to get your kids creativity flowing. We’d love to see the results!
  4. Go on a minibeast adventure. Dress in your best explorer clothes, get down in the dirt and search for all the little creatures you can find. Grab a magnifying glass and take a closer look. So far this spring we have been admiring worms, discovering ladybirds and watching spiders.
  5. Climb a tree. With the weather a bit drier it is the perfect opportunity to start exploring nature from a different perspective.
  6. Fly a kite. I don’t know about where you live but where we are the wind is still busy whooshing around bringing the last of the winter cold with it. Take advantage if it and see how high you can fly that kite that has been hidden under the stairs for the past 6 months.
  7. Get cart wheeling.  Now I’m not sure I could manage a cart wheel but I know the kids would love it, get them practicing their best roly polys in the grass and seeing who can stay in a hand stand the longest.
  8. Build a mud kitchen. If you haven’t got one already this is a must for the garden. Spring clean your kitchen cupboards and use all your old pots and pans to create a little outdoor kitchen for the kids. You can use anything from cardboard boxes to old milk crates to create a kiddie height work surface and then collect all sorts of garden ingredients and get play cooking. We’d love to hear about your best recipes.
  9. Make some music. Use blades of grass to create a whistling sound. Use twigs on trees for drums or get the watering can out and pour water on different surfaces to hear the changing sounds.
  10. Pick a quiet spot outdoors on a nice sunny day and enjoy a good book. Reading outdoors with kids can spark all sorts of great conversations and games.

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Whatever you choose to do to enjoy the warmer weather we would love to hear about it. Drop us an email at sales@adventuretogs.co.uk or share your pictures on our facebook page and help inspire others to play outdoors this spring.

Campfire Cooking in the Rain – Guest Post by Leila Balin

Campfire Cooking in the RainThe nights are now well and truly dark. They arrive early and leave our outdoor playtime struggling to survive. On days when we have been at work and nursery, days when we have left the house in the dark and returned home in the dark, family outdoor time doesn’t happen, leaving it limited to the weekends. This Friday though, we bucked the trend.

It was campfire time!! Despite the drizzle being stuck indoors had become too much so we escaped just as the light was starting to dim. Hubby was home early from work and to celebrate we got the fire pit out. With the help of an old window as a wind shield and some fire lighters we got our fire roaring ready for some outdoor treats.

Little Man loves a fire, we are lucky enough to have an open one in our front room, and he is well and truly acclimatised to keeping a fair distance. He talks about it being hot and will often come and sit on one of laps to watch it. So when we got the fire going in the garden he wasn’t the least bit bothered. He was more interested in riding around on his tractor, shouting for help as and when he got stuck in the long grass. At one point he suddenly stopped, looking at the sky, saying ‘Wow’ as a flock of Jackdaws flew over on their way to roost. He really does notice things we forget to look for.

Once the fire was nice and warm I popped in to prepare one of our favourite treats, Chocolate Bananas. They are so simple they just had to be done! You simply take your banana and leaving the skin on slice a knife down the middle so you create a pocket. You then get whatever chocolate you have on hand (we used some mini chocolate caramel bars) and stuff it in the pocket. Then wrap the bananas in foil and pop them on the fire. Safety tip here though! Make sure you have fire gloves to do this because as you can image it gets very hot. We use Hubby’s welding gloves and try to make a point of using them whenever we deal with the fire in front of Little Man.

After about 10 minutes, although it can take longer if the fire isn’t very hot yet, then you should be able to hear the banana and chocolate bubbling away. This is a sure sign the chocolate is nice and melted. Ours were lovely and gooey and as soon as Little Man realised what was being served he sat himself in the camp chair armed with a spoon and waited while the bananas cooled down enough to eat. Then we all tucked in. Yum Yum! As soon as we were done all we could hear from Little Man was ‘more, more’. He wasn’t impressed that I hadn’t thought to cook extra so that he could have second helpings!

Getting out in the dark turned out to be great fun and Little Man wasn’t the least bit bothered about the diminishing light or the drizzle. Do you and your kiddies get out much at this time of the year? If like me you find yourself pacing the walls like a caged animal then when not try out an evening campfire or bbq or if your littlies are a bit older then have a go at flashlight tag or a spot of stargazing.

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.

Horrible Halloween

Horrible Halloween

Five batty bats
Were hanging ‘neath the moon.

“Quiet!” said the first.
“The witch is coming soon.”

“She’s green,” said the second,
“With a purple pointy nose.”

“Black boots,” said the third,
“Cover up her ugly toes.”

“Her broom,” said the fourth,
“Can scratch you–that I know!”

“I’m scared,” said the fifth.
“I think we’d better go.”

Five batty bats
Escaped into the night.

“Dear me,” said the witch.
“That’s a scary sight!”

Taken from http://www.dennydavis.net/poemfiles/hallownp.htm