The 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.