Spring is Springing

Spring is springing

March has arrived and with it we are seeing lots of lovely signs of spring, getting us all excited about the year ahead. There is just something about the new life in spring that gets us all motivated and looking forward to the sunshine. The warmer lighter mornings are a sign in themselves that spring is nearly here making those horrid early morning starts just that tiny bit easier. Of course it isn’t all sunshine in spring time, rain is often a common feature at this time of year but without the wet stuff all the lovely flowers, fresh grass and new buds that we love about spring wouldn’t happen. Celebrate the rain this spring with our 10 ways to play in the rain.

One of the first signs we have spotted this year is the pretty little snowdrop, peaking through the ground even in some of the worse weather we have had recently. I don’t know about you, but they remind us of fairy hats and conjure up all sorts of images of spring fairies frolicking about amongst the spring blossom.

We haven’t heard them yet but soon enough the air will be filled with the warm fuzzy buzz of bumble bees, taking full advantage of the early nectar. Queen bees will be out looking for new nests with the buff-tailed bumblebee being one of the first to emerge. I do love standing in the garden on a warm spring morning just listening as their hum is carried along the wind.

Another wonderful sound to hear in spring time is the new burst of birdsong that happens as male birds start to sing for their mates, searching out females to bring up new broods with in just a few weeks time.

Probably one of the most iconic signs of spring is the appearance of newborn lambs in fields across the country. These little cuties remind us all that this really is the time of year that brings about an abundance of new growth. Why not grab your family and head on out around the fields seeing how many you can spot. As the season moves on you will see more and more appear and watching their unsteady antics is sure to make you all go ‘Awwww’.

A lesser known sign of spring is the sight of oil beetles. These little creepy crawlies are becoming quite rare in the UK and have a fascinating lifecycle that relies on solitary bees to survive. Once the larvae hatch they head on up the stem of a nearby flower, lie in wait for an unsuspecting bee, hitch a ride back to their burrow and then feed on their eggs. Not too nice for the bees but necessary to keep the Oil Beetle alive. To find out more about these fascinating little beasties check out Buglife’s Oil Beetle campaign (https://www.buglife.org.uk/campaigns-and-our-work/oil-beetles) and get involved in the Oil Beetle Hunt (https://www.buglife.org.uk/oil-beetle-survey) . We think this is a great way to discover more about our micro wildlife this spring.

What signs of spring have you spotted so far? The brilliant Nature Detectives have some fabulous printable sheets to help you head out with the kiddies and get closer to nature at this time of year – http://www.naturedetectives.org.uk/download/hunt_spring_early.htm

If you are looking for more ideas to help you make the most of the warmer weather and longer days then check out our 10 Ways to Play Outdoors this Spring.

However you choose to enjoy this spring 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.

Outdoor Blog Roundup – May

Outdoor Play Roundup March

It’s time for the monthly outdoor play roundup and this time we have some lovely nature based outdoor play posts.

Planet Smarty Pants shares 10 great ways to get exploring science outdoors. From minibeast hunting to building with mud, Jump into Summer Science should keep you and your kiddies busy all half-term long.

This homemade sun dial from A Mom with a Lesson Plan is a brilliant idea! We love that you can spend all day playing outdoors stopping every 15 minutes to build your sun dial. What better excuse to spend the day outdoors.

Not sure there is going to be enough sun for your sun dial? Mum turned Mom shares some lovely ways to play in the rain in her post Dancing in the Sun and Singing in the Rain.

Singing in the Rain

Adventures in Home Schooling has been one of our favourites this month with some lovely nature play ideas. They have been been spotting wildliflowers, discovering dead magpies and playing In the Stream including getting stuck in there for a short while!

So what are you waiting for? We would love to see pictures of you out enjoying nature, creating your own sun dial, dancing in the rain or even getting stuck in streams! However you choose to play outdoors send us your photos by posting on our facebook page Adventure Togs or tweeting us @Adventure Togs

Nest spotting

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

Nest SpottingThis year we have been very lucky indeed. We discovered a family of blue tits and a family of great tits nesting in one of our apple trees. Little Man was the one to spot the great tit flitting backwards and forwards and once we explained to him what the ‘birdie’ was doing he was very excited. Every time one of the parents came to feed the chicks you could hear them screeching for food and Little Man would ask to go and listen to them. We chose to keep our distance as much as possible so as not to disturb the adults so with a close watch on the hole we would pop over and have a listen every time Mum or Dad would leave the nest.

We later spotted that a family of blue tits were using the same tree but a different hole further up. We weren’t able to hear their little ones but now Little Man knew what was going on he was still fascinated to watch. Every time we would go out in the garden or head down the driveway he would point to the tree and babble about the chicks that live there.

They successfully fledged a couple of days ago and now that they have gone we have been able to get up close and take a look at the nest. Being in a hole in the tree it is tricky to get a good look but it is obviously a great spot for avoiding predators. We managed to shine a torch in there to see the nest itself and it looks like they had used moss lined with some sort of white fluff, possibly hair or tumble drier fluff. It was a classic great tit nest and had we not seen the birds we would have been able to identify it by the materials used and the way it had been built.

Getting this close and personal with nesting birds has been such a lovely experience. We’ve been lucky enough to get close without interfering and Little Man has learnt how birds look after their babies. He has developed his language skills in the process and made connections, seeing birds with caterpillars, telling us about their chicks and later relating this back to his little book on garden birds. I’m hoping to make nests in the garden with him this weekend, giving him the opportunity to think about different materials, which ones might be nice and comfy or good and strong. I wonder what sort of nest he will end up making, or if, as is his way, he will be far more interested in exploring than creating. We have spotted some wrens nesting in our honeysuckle so he might just choose to sit and watch them in wonder. We will have to wait and see.

Have you had birds nesting in your garden this year? Have your kiddies been watching with anticipation?

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.

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.

Free Outdoor Play Guide

Sign up to the Adventure Togs Outdoor Play guide for some more outdoor play ideas and get 10% off your next order with us.

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.

Why we love spring…

We can’t believe it is March already! Spring is finally springing and we can’t help but get excited. The sun is shining, the skylarks are singing,  the layers of extra clothing are starting to thin down and there are blossoms on the trees. I don’t know about you but we feel like spring has taken an age to get here and we are so pleased it has finally arrived.  Here are some of the reasons we love the arrival of spring…..

The days get longer meaning we get more sunshine! We feel more energetic and there seems to suddenly become more time for play, whether that is just time to sit and relax in the garden or get out on a family walk.

We get to start spotting wildlife we haven’t seen for a whole winter. We have already spotted midges in the early evening which means the bats will soon be out gorging after a winter snoozing. Hedgehogs will be sniffling around the garden again and we get to coo over the ducklings at the duck pond.

Spring collage 1

The world suddenly seems colourful again! Winter has been a dreary mix of grey and brown and we haven’t even had a sniff of the white stuff this year. Spring is full of yellows and purples, greens and blues. Enough to put a spring in anyone’s step.

Easter is nearly here which means a nice long break with the kids, lots of outdoor play and of course lots of chocolate!

To show our excitement and to celebrate the arrival of spring we have just brought in a brand new set of waterproofs from the Danish rainwear specialists Mikk-line.

mikk-line collageThese Mikk-line suits are highly waterproof 2 piece sets that are an amazing 8 times more waterproof than the British Standard. They are made from ultra soft PU fabric making them lovely and comfy and extremely durable. They are also 100% waterproof, windproof and breathable. All that for just £35.99!

Perfect for a rainy spring day of play.

What do you love about spring? Are you excited about its arrival? Why not post your spring pictures over on the Adventure Togs facebook page and share the fun.