Hunting for crabs in St Davids Harbour.
My daughter only picks up the small ones!
Recently, my daughter had the opportunity to make her own ‘Bug Hotel’. This is a great activity, that encourages animals and wildlife to live in your garden. A Bug Hotel can attract a variety of insects and other creatures, and help to develop the bio-diversity of your garden.
All the materials needed were very basic. They included a piece of pipe, some dried out leaves, twigs and sticks etc, (all of which can be found in any garden or hedge), and some old newspaper. Beetles, centipedes, spiders and woodlice all love to live in the decaying wood and bark.
My daughter filled the pipe with the natural materials and newspaper, then bound it all together. It was such a quick and simple activity, and was suitable for all ages. The younger children were getting encouragement from parents, and the older children were really focusing on the design of their hotel.
Once completed, the hotel needed to be placed into a dark and cool area of our garden. We decided to place it by the corner of the shed near to the trampoline, as it would offer much-needed shade, and is away from the ‘traffic’ of the garden.
We have to leave the hotel for a few weeks, and then we can investigate and look to see if any tiny animals or insects have “checked-in” to stay.
This was a wonderfully engaging activity, and something we can return to and monitor throughout the summer holidays. My daughter intends to make keep a scrapbook about her hotel, to share with her class when she returns to school.
We’ll keep you posted, so watch this space !!
This rather scary picture was taken at a new mountain bike route, which I completed in work the other day. After struggling up-hill for over an hour, I was met by this warning sign for the down-hill section of the route.
And this was the easiest route of the day!
A friend of mine is involved with an amazing community-based project called ‘Friends of Pentre Gardens’.
It’s a brilliant project that was set up to promote local green park space for the community of Grangetown, in Cardiff. Its’ aim is to keep the area safe, clean and user-friendly, and to deliver a fantastic outdoor playscheme which promotes free-play for the children who live in the community. The initiative also works together, (with the help of the Parks Department), to improve and maintain the park, by planting flowers and maintaining the trees and bushes, as well as to generally promote the area for the enjoyment of the local community.
It’s a wonderful project, as it gets children to play outside safely in spite of living in an urban area.
Recently, I took part in one of these play sessions.
Set in the park, we provided an afternoon offering a range of play opportunities for children to take part in. There were many different types of play activities on offer and all were freely available to the children for them to choose.
My favourite element of these events is arts and craft activities. The materials are fantastic, and fit nicely into the idea of using objects that aren’t necessarily ‘shop bought craft’. The materials come from a local scrapstore, which provides a huge variety of recycled objects collected from firms around South Wales. Paper and card, off cuts of material, plastic discs and tops of bottles, and all shapes and sizes of cloth. Items that most people would think of throwing away, the organisation called “Recreate” collects them and sells them in job-lots to the public.
It’s a really clever way of introducing children tothe concept of recycle and re-use.
The children are able to rummage through bags of treasures, seeking out inspiration to create their own personal craft creations.
Because the scheme is set in a green space, the children have the opportunity to play cricket, ball games and sack races, or whatever their imagination lets them discover. The staff are there to encourage and facilitate play experiences.
My daughters’ favourite part of the day was the make-shift swing and hammock. Both were made from recycled materials….. an old net and some strong elasticy-type material. Tied around the trees in the park, the children spend ages swinging back and forth on the swing and taking it in turns to relax, (and be bounced very high), in the homemade hammock. Two very simple but very effective ideas that the children adored and it was the last thing that was taken down at the end of the session!
We had a wonderful afternoon, and my daughter loves going to the playschemes. She enjoys having the freedom to play and explore. It’s a fantastic project that’s a huge benefit to the community and the dedication of the volunteers and staff is amazing.
It’s a great project that allows children to be free and, most important of all, gets everyone to play together!
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For my Dad’s 60th birthday, recently, we went to Chepstow Diving Centre and had a very adventure-packed weekend. The whole family turned out en masse, and we all took part in lots of wonderful activities to celebrate my Dad’s birthday. I loved the Segway and, if I could get away with it, I’d have it as my new mode of everyday transport.
My daughter really does amaze me with her love of the outdoors.
I feel so blessed to be able to develop her interest and love of outdoor adventures, starting at such a young age. It’s been fantastic for myself and my husband to watch her grow, gain confidence and find her own unique personality, all because of the experiences she’s had by taking part in her outdoor activities.
A good example of this is our adventure at Cardiff White Water Centre, recently.
I had to do some weekend work at Cardiff White Water Centre, and decided to make the very most of the day. When I finished my work, my husband and daughter met me at the Centre. We all changed into wetsuits and safety gear, ready for an afternoon of padding on the flat pool. It was my daughter’s first time in a kayak, and I was so nervous. I’d had a few bad experiences in a kayak while on a river (albeit in fast water) and it put me off for a bit, but I was very keen for my daughter to experience kayaking.
My husband stood in the water alongside us for those first wobbly moments. We handed my daughter a paddle, sat her in a boat and launched into the water,
She had a few nervous wobbles to start with, but after a few gentle hints, pointers and some light coaching, she got better by each stroke.
The biggest challenge was to see if she would be comfortable tipping out of her kayak and into the water. It’s a good exercise as it helps to build confidence and takes away the fear, by creating an understanding that you’ll just pop out of the boat if it should tip.
I don’t know I was worrying about, as my little water-baby threw herself into the water and emerged giggling, asking if she could do it again, again, again!
We had a gorgeous afternoon, improving her paddling techniques, playing games and tipping our boats, so that we could cool off in the water.
I was one proud Mum watching my daughter on the water, and she enjoyed herself so much that she has joined a local paddling club.
She’s started her journey; from tadpole to water-baby to an outdoor-active adventurer!!