We went exploring in Champernhayes Woods this morning. The kids kicked through drifts of crunchy orange Beech leaves and clambered amongst the trees on the old hedge bank. It all went wrong, though, when Izzy lost her welly in some particularly deep, sticky mud and got a wet sock. Cue a lot of crying for the remainder of the walk. We saw a distant Jay, but that wasn’t enough to cheer her up.
Total wild time – about 1 hour
I joined Izzy’s class on a welly walk. We went via the war memorial to Road Green park. There, the kids were allowed some unstructured play and they made the most of it by kicking and throwing leaves, making ‘nests’ and chasing each other around the trees.
Total wild time – 1 hour
After school, we went home to eat cake, then back out to the playground. There, our experience was rather marred by a grumpy old woman who held my children responsible when her grandson bumped his head on the roundabout. Despite this, the kids enjoyed playing on the slide and watching the tractors on the field – one with a trailer-full of bonfire material and one mowing the grass. As the sky turned orange, Izzy and I made patterns with fallen leaves and simultaneously tried to stop E from destroying them. The air was chilled by the time we left.
Total wild time – 1 hour 15 mins
Whilst B and E took the dog for a walk, Izzy and I took Cracker out for a hack. We enjoyed the peace and quiet of the lanes. There was still some Betony and Herb-Robert flowering in the hedgerows, but most of the colour came from the changing leaves, especially the Dogwood, Field Maple and Cherry.
Total wild time – 1 hour 10 mins
We started the morning by admiring the sunrise, but between cooking and DIY and everything else, we didn’t manage anything wild today. I did take the kids to the playground with their bikes, so at least they were outdoors for an hour. E was very impressed by the boy on a scooter riding the ramps and Izzy did well for her second time without stabilisers. We found some lovely leaves of different colours and shapes around the swings and slides.
Total wild time – 1 hour
Today’s nature craft did not go to plan. We attempted to make tea light holders by pressing colourful autumn leaves between 2 pieces of wax paper using an iron. The kids fought over who could use the iron (closely supervised, of course), but for some reason (possibly because this is the first time I have used the iron since I can’t remember when) only one section of the paper melted and stuck together, whilst the rest resolutely refused to do what it was supposed to do. Abandoning that idea, we instead tried to stick the leaves directly into the jam jars with a glue gun. This did not work as well as I would have liked at all. It was too difficult to get the leaves in the right place without covering my hand in hot glue. I think PVA would have worked much better, but by the time I had worked that out, it was too late. The end result was nowhere near as pretty as I had hoped, yet when we lit the tea lights, they actually didn’t look that bad and glowed quite nicely.
Total wild time – 50 mins
The kids had a lot of fun making mud pies and ‘mud custard’ using their play kitchen utensils in the garden. They added some herbs to make it smell nice and got thoroughly muddy.
Walking back from ‘holiday club’ we noticed that the leaves were starting to change colour on the Beech and Cherry trees in the car park and concluded that it was a sign that it was almost autumn. We found some Beech mast on the floor and Izzy crept up behind me to throw grass seeds on my back. In the garden, we listened to the Collared Doves cooing to each other on the neighbour’s chimney pots and practised cooing ourselves.
Total wild time – about 1 hour in total