Day 21 and 22 #30DaysWild: Blue skies above

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_21My son was obviously in the #30DaysWild mood from the start of yesterday finding a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar for us to read when out and about early in the day.

It was all about the skies for me though as the white fluffy clouds on background of light blue were distinctly different to Monday’s views.

Buoyed by the changing weather and some helpful advice from a Facebook family camping group we set off in the late afternoon to buy a tent from Go Outdoors to replace our old sieve-like structure.

We’re not known for making decisions, let alone quick decisions, so something was bound to go wrong.  We made it to the till with what we thought was our choice to find out that it was a much more expensive one that had been stored in the display model that we had chosen and we didn’t notice the difference because they’d sold out of the one we wanted.

I think most parents know that they shouldn’t promise things to their children unless they’re 100% sure they’re going to happen.  We certainly had that impressed upon us as the possibility of leaving the store without a tent clearly wasn’t going to be accepted by my three year old.

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So we ended up buying the cheapest one they had in store to be able to camp out in the wilds of our back garden instead.  It’s much more appropriately sized for here than our previous canvas home but wasn’t quite what we were looking for, for this weekend.  Back to the drawing board on that one…

But clearly the home one is a success – within in minutes of it being up (if not slightly before), Willow made sure it had all the comforts of home by bringing out the Mr Tumble DVD to put in it and Luke had requested his pyjamas on.
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As anyone else who works from home knows, there are definite pros and cons to such an arrangement.

Being able to sit at your desk, laptop on, with your doors and windows open and your keyboard tapping being accompanied by bird song and light summer breezes definitely has to be one of the great advantages.

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Day 19 and 20 #30DaysWild: Happy Daddy Day!

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_19Mother Nature was obviously in the mood to celebrate fathers on Sunday as the sun was thankfully smiling on the day.

After Luke and Willow had listened to daddy read his new book The Dinosaur That Pooped Daddy, helped him try on his new socks and tasted his sweets, we headed to one of our favourite places, Whisby Natural World Centre.

A local nature reserve owned and managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, it has made a great effort to welcome families over the years and its current developments haven’t left out their little visitors either.

Otter’s Reach is their new indoor adventure play area and, having already visited with grandparents, the mini ones ignored the lovely sunshine and headed straight inside.

Fortunately there is a lovely view out on to the lakes and the birds enjoying the sun so you don’t forget where you are.

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Unsurprisingly there’s lots to do outside too though and, when they had their fill of Otter’s Reach, they then went straight to the Little Darters area with its tunnels and bridges out over the water, sand and water play and sculptures.

Visitors to the Nature Reserve can also enjoy walks around the lakes which we have on many previous occasions too.  “The park was created by quarrying for sand and gravel, but nature has reclaimed the pits and bare sand, creating habitats for many species.”  Find out more on the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website.

 

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Today, however, was wet.  Very wet.

It necessitated a change of clothes when I finally made it home from a play group.

My shoes proved exceedingly porous too so a significant amount of the weather came inside with us.

IMG_20160620_132017109I did stop briefly to snap these fungi intrigued by their formation but, as much as I am grateful to #30DaysWild for further fuelling my interest in nature and sharing it with my children and prompting me to look out for such sights, today it was probably 30 seconds I could have been closer to home!

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Day 17 #30DaysWild: Tiny discoveries

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_17Thanks to our Tiny Talk class teacher Lynne we now know how to sign thunder and lightning following Wednesday’s stormy excitement.

Typically, whilst today had better weather in store for us, we had indoor activities planned with a play group followed by the toddler signing session.

Not only did we learn signs to do with the weather but we also planted sunflower seeds in pots we decorated for daddy ahead of Fathers’ Day (shh don’t tell daddy until Sunday).

I hadn’t had anything else wild planned ahead so thanks Lynne for inadvertently taking the pressure off!  And I must say her bubble machine makes much nicer pretend rain than the real downpours we’ve been walking in recently.

But Luke is quite capable of finding his own natural entertainment anywhere we go too and my mini explorer took time to find a stick to drag and a leaf pile to kick through (what season are we in?!) even in the most urban of settings of the middle of a road crossing.

Just like these fungi we spotted, determinedly poking through the bark on the edge of the supermarket car park, nature fortunately always wants to reclaim our concrete jungles doesn’t it?

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Days 14, 15 and 16 #30DaysWild: It’s still wet

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_14Clearly when planning for #30DaysWild instead of heading to my local library, bookshop and hitting Google for ideas what I should have been doing was popping along to my nearest outdoor apparel store and making sure we were all decked out head to toe in waterproofs.

Fortunately the children are quite well catered for, unfortunately – as Tuesday’s puddle that was higher than my shoe testifies to – I am not.  This probably won’t be rectified this month though so we’ll just have to keep trying to duck in between the raindrops on our way.

And an early evening trip to the park post downpour allowed for cooped up little legs to be stretched and footprints to be made in the mud and we went to sleep with Usborne’s Peep Inside The Garden as one of our bedtime reads.

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_15Thunder and lightning proved very unfrightening on Wednesday according to Luke’s nursery leaders who told my husband he’d been clapping and laughing excitedly at each large crash and flash.  Willow was unfazed too as she was sat in her trike at the time which appears to be one of her absolute favourite things at the moment.  Mummy’s legs, however, gained a bit more momentum as the ensuing rain threatened to drench us once again.

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_16Thursday was thankfully drier and I even had the chance for some fairly peaceful repose in the grounds of Lincoln Cathedral – until a tour guide group turned up!

I’ve often seen this statue of Lincolnshire’s poet laureate Alfred Lord Tennyson but I’m not sure I’d ever read the poem below it before – being in the middle of #30DaysWild certainly made it more thought provoking anyway.

“Flower in the crannied wall,
I pluck you out of the crannies,
I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,
Little flower—but if I could understand
What you are, root and all, and all in all,
I should know what God and man is.”

Is that what we’re all searching for in our wild adventures?

Whatever Luke might have thought had he been there, he was just as happy saying hello to the fish at the pet store later in the day.

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Day 13 #30DaysWild: The Stick Book

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_13When planning for #30DaysWild and worrying about rainy days I took a couple of trips to two libraries ahead of the start of the month.

On my second trip I was rewarded with finding a copy of The Stick Book: loads of things you can make or do with a stick by Jo Schofield and Fiona Danks.

TheStickBookI’ve spotted this once or twice on visits to National Trust property shops and have been very tempted so was glad to have a chance to borrow it.

Luke is very partial to collecting sticks and the pushchair has often found itself adorned with ones that absolutely must be brought home with us – a decorative use I could add to the book’s 70 projects.

He would certainly understand the feeling behind the book’s introduction:

“Let’s go on an adventure.  All you have to do is run outside and find a stick.  Choose it with care and it can be anything you want it to be: a sword with which to fight off fierce dragons in the forest, a tracking stick to help you creep after secretive creatures, a wand to cast magic spells or a broomstick to transport you to other worlds.

“The stick is perhaps the best-loved toy of all time, the starting point for endless adventures for generations of children all over the world.  Sticks are easy to find, natural and, best of all, totally free.  So, if you haven’t got your own special stick, what are you waiting for?”

Projects featured include building a den, making a stick sword, a wand, a wriggly snake and a picture frame, drawing in mud and sand and wild weaving.

There’s certainly enough ideas to keep everyone going through #30DaysWild!

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Day 11 and 12 #30DaysWild: A wet weekend

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_11We braved the rain at its lightest drizzle on Saturday evening to go for a trike ride to get the mini ones some fresh air after they had been inside most of the day.

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A fall just before leaving almost prevented us going altogether, and sadly Luke has quite the bump on his forehead to show for it, but when he’d calmed down he decided he did want to go after all.  As long as daddy was pushing him anyway, as he does the best wheelies.

Willow enjoyed running her hands along the hedges  and feeling the leaves when mummy’s dodging steering allowed her to get close to the edge of the paths.

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_12Sunday was a bit more successful for outside time as we were able to get out and about early and take advantage of a dry spell.

Much to Luke’s delight not one but two mini steam train rides were paid for and allowed for a sit down and chug alongside village fields.

In the afternoon, in between showers, Willow made friends with a horned resident of our local ice cream farm.

And in the early evening they tried out the new watering can and plant pot given to them by grandmum on the vegetables that grandma and pops have been growing for us, our original attempts either having been enjoyed by snails or subject to overly zealous watering from our littlest helper.

This only required the two outfit changes for Luke when he decided to water himself as well as the vegetables but he did also enjoy chomping into a squishy tomato or two straight from the vine again, one of which might even have been nearly ripe enough for picking.