Valentine’s Day Ideas for Nature Lovers

Valentines

Valentine’s is nearly here and we often struggle to find the time to spend with each other in-between working and running around after the kids. This year, however, we have decided to make the effort and in my search for ideas I found some of these lovely ideas just for nature lovers. So if you have a nature lover you want to impress this Valentine’s Day then check out the ideas below.

Show your love by planting a tree together. We think this one is so sweet, especially if you have the kind of love that is forever love. Year after year you can visit your tree and watch it grow up as you grow together. Such a lovely metaphor.

Brave the cold and enjoy a romantic outdoor picnic. It is a bit chilly so blankets and a fire might be in order for this one but what is more romantic than snuggling around the campfire with a glass of wine.

Go out on a romantic hike. We love to walk, so this is perfect for us. If you walk a lot then choose a spot that is special for you, alternatively try somewhere completely new and discover it together. Take a smartphone and be sure to get lots of lovely selfies for the photo album too.

Look for hearts in nature and create a romantic collage. You can do this by either taking photos or collecting and sticking the items onto a piece of card and then framing it. The fact that you went out on the mission to find all these lovely hearts is sure to impress and the collage will be a lovely keepsake to display at home. We think this is a lovely one for the kids to do to, they will love going on the hunt for hearts as well as creating their special artwork either for Mummy or Daddy or for that secret crush at school.

Find a heart shaped rock or sea shell and paint it with some special words or your loved ones favourite colours. This is perfect as a little trinket of your affection, if the item is small enough your loved one can keep it with them always as a reminder of how you feel about them.

Create a heart shaped seed bomb and present it to them. Plant it in the spring and by summer there will have lots of lovely flowers to appreciate. Choose native flower and grass seeds for the best results. Mould a mixture of clay, soil your chosen seeds and some water into a heart shape using a heart cookie cutter. Once dry, wrap up in pretty paper and a ribbon and add a little tag and when your partner plants their seed bomb in the spring they will have a lovely splash of colour all summer to enjoy.

Set up a scavenger hunt of natural hearts leading to something special at the end. We love this idea! To make the hearts you could use twigs, leaves, mud and anything else you can find. At each heart you could leave a clue to find the following heart then the very last clue will lead to your final heart and your special Valentine’s gift. Aww, how romantic

With the freezing temperatures we have had, make them some ice hearts using red food colouring. These won’t last forever but will be a nice addition to anything else you have planned for your special day. We also think this is another great idea for the kids to try and would make pretty outdoor decorations.

We hope you manage to find some time to escape the kids and enjoy some time together. We certainly will! What other nature loving ideas do you have for celebrating Valentine’s Day? Send them over to us on our facebook page Adventure Togs or catch up with us on twitter @Adventure Togs. We would love to hear how you are going to make the day special.

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!

I don’t think I’m adventurous enough

This is a guest post written by Emily, a work at home mum with three children under five. She writes a blog called babyrambles

I’ve been having a read of the Adventure Togs blog and website. And I have to say it makes feel very enthusiastic about getting out and about. My problem is I’m a bit of a fair-weather adventurer. If it’s pouring with rain I tend to stay put.

Even though my children love rain and playing in the puddles. They’ve all got waterproofs too so there’s no reason why we shouldn’t go out and enjoy ourselves in the rain as well as in the sun. It’s just a bit… wet.

This wasn’t how I was brought up. My parents were big believers that nothing should be cancelled because of rain. We had two week long rainy holidays in places such as the Lake District and Scotland. And we were always out every day, rain or shine (mainly rain).

I think it’s an admirable quality to refuse to let weather stop you from doing something. Unless it’s extreme weather I suppose. It’s all too easy to cancel your plans, stay indoors and have your children climbing the walls with boundless energy.

So I need to take a lesson from my childhood. I need to make sure we get out whatever the weather. The children always thank you for it and I don’t want them to grow up being wimpish about the rain. Maybe we should get a dog? You have to get out and walk a dog whatever the weather. On second thoughts, three young children and two cats is enough for now.

You read it here first: from now on I’m going out in the rain. Luckily we’ve had quite a nice summer so far. But on a rainy day you can just end up in soft play and that really is hellish.

Walking for Health

Whilogocolournov07200 I came across the Walking the way to Health website today. I don’t know why I had never come across this site before. It is a joint initiative between Natural England and the British Heart Foundation.

I was particularly impressed at the number of walking groups around the country and how easy it was to find one in your area. For those who want some walking companions, I thought it seemed an excellent starting point.

But I feel the best way to walking your way to fitness into is to simply walk instead of using the car! It still amazes me how many people would rather jump in the car to go to the local shops, to school, to work when the price of petrol is sky high. I feel guilty about using the car these days and would much rather to walk for the sake of our health, the environment and my purse!