Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors

September 06, 2014

Our summer holiday to-do list!

A few weeks ago, I posted all about our Summer Holiday to-do list.

I was worried because, this summer, we weren’t going abroad for a holiday, but I still wanted my daughter to have weeks of fun-filled activities, especially during our 2 weeks off work. This was the reason for creating the list, so that we would have a plan of activities, and adventures that we wanted to do. After a very busy two weeks, we were able to tick most of the activities off the list and, when I think back, we only took one of those days to stay at home and recover from all our outdoor adventures.

 Celebrating National Play Day

Wednesday 6th August was National Play Day, which is a wonderful day for families and children to celebrate, and be a part of, lots of different play events running throughout the country. We spend the day celebrating with  Friends of Pentre Gardens.

We had an amazing day, providing a huge range of play activities and opportunities for children and young people within the community. There were a variety of arts and craft activities, sporting games, bug hotels, jewellery making, homemade swings and hammocks from trees, team games (with the most popular activity being the homemade car made from a recycled wheely bin) and the graffiti artist Lloyd made the most amazing creations for the children to take home.

It was a huge success, with the staff being able to take a step back and observe the children playing together, making their own play experiences happen and also seeing so many parents staying to play with their children. This was a truly wonderful play experience for everyone who took part in the day, and we were so happy to be included in it.


Go foraging for wild food

One warm evening, we made our way up to the apple trees that grow near to our house. For weeks, we’ve been checking the apples to see if they are ready, and finally the time was right. My daughter made her way safely up the tree (with some help from her Dad) and, with trusty stick in hand, was able to reach up to the apples high at the top. We quickly filled a tray full of delicious, juicy apples ready for cooking. Apple crumbles, tart Normande and Tarte Tatin for tea!

Walking up Pen Y Fan

Attempting the walk to the top of Pen Y Fan was a huge challenge, and something we’ve wanted to do for such a long time. Pen Y Fan is the largest mountain in South Wales. My Dad kept checking the weather reports for a week, and we decided that the last Saturday before I returned to work was the day for us! We donned our walking boots and wind-proof coats, packed a picnic and set off. I was so glad that we were prepared with jumpers, hats and coats, because the top of the mountain was pretty windy, and we had to shout to each other to be heard. Steaming cups of hot chicken noodle soup was passed around by my Dad, and we really had a magnificent day. I was so proud of my daughter, who didn’t moan at all going up-hill, and I had such a lovely experience being out with my Dad. It was a brilliant day, giving us a wonderful family memory.


Unfortunately, we didn’t make a specific coasteering trip but there are still two weekends left to squeeze in a trip to the Gower.

However, my daughter did achieve a huge leap in improving her kayaking abilities over the Summer. She took part in her first moving-river and open-water journey with her paddling group GlamBoaters. She’s had about two months of indoor pool sessions, and so going onto the open water is a big step. I must admit that my heart was in my mouth as I watched her paddle out on her own. The first was a paddle on the River Taff and, when she jumped into her kayak, I had a moment of nerves but, after some calming words from my Mum and Dad, we were off! I paddled a Canadian canoe and stayed very close to her. Paddling on a river can suddenly present many different problems, such as the sudden change in water current, changes in wind strength and so on. I think I was more nervous than she was, as she dug the paddle in and got further away from the land. But she loved it and I couldn’t believe how far out she went, growing in confidence with every stroke. For the journey back, she jumped into my canoe and had a rest as we paddled back to her Dad, Nanny and Bampy, who were proudly watching from the bank, (drenched right through, as it was pouring down with rain, bless them).

Her next adventure was paddling at Cardiff White Water Centre. This is a brilliant place, where paddlers of all ages and abilities have the opportunity of paddling different types of waters; flat water for novices and fast-moving water for the more exprienced paddler. My daughter had some time on the flat water improving her technique, paddling on the flow from the smallest of waves. When she toppled over, she popped up quickly, giggled and then quickly gave me the “thumbs-up” just to calm my nerves. Of course, she wanted to go on the fast-moving water. She went with one of the instructors in an inflatable, two-man raft and they bounced their way down the course. It was a great evening and, being out of the pool into moving water, was so good for her confidence and kayaking experience.



Our Summer Holiday scrapbook is coming along nicely, with tickets, photos and drawings being added to the book. It’s a lovely way of remembering our trips, and will be a great “show-and-tell” experience for when my daughter returns to school.


 This post is linked in with

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Learning for Life

20 thoughts on “Our summer holiday to-do list!

  1. Kim Carberry says:

    It sounds and looks like you had a fantastic summer! Fab photos x

    1. kim says:

      Hi, such a wonderful summer. Lots of outdoor adventures and so glad we made the effort to get outside. Really didn’t want to go back to work!

  2. Wow, the kayaking looks amazing. You have had a truly fabulous outdoor summer!

    1. kim says:

      Thank you, I was such a proud Mum watching her in her kayak! Such a busy but fun summer.

  3. It made me tired reading it today. You packed so much in and for me it was better than a holiday abroad as you managed so many interactive things. I should never be surprised how daring your daughter is but sometimes I’m amazed what she gets up to…..ten I remember whose daughter she is.
    I know I’ve said it before Kim but you’re a great family and reading your blogs I almost feel a part of it.
    Well done !!
    xxx Massive Hugs to you all xxx

    1. kim says:

      Hi David,
      I was a bit concerned about not going abroad but looking back I can see we made such a big effort and ended up having a wonderful time. I was a bit scared with her and her kayaking, I didn’t show it but my stomach was in knots on the fast parts!
      Thank you David for such a wonderful comment, I love looking out for your comments after I have posted. Always make me smile.
      Take care,

  4. Sounds like you had a great holiday!

    1. kim says:

      Very busy but very happy. Lots of adventures and making the most of what Wales has to offer.

  5. Coombemill says:

    Who needs to go abroad on holiday when you can have so much fun here in England. It looks like you have really made the most of your time with some great outdoor activities. Kayaking was one of the highlights of our summer fun too. Thank you for sharing with me on Country Kids.

    1. kim says:

      We made the effort to pack our summer with lots of adventures and fun and it was wonderful. Lovely memories and such brilliant outdoor fun. My daughter is hooked on kayaking, her favourite thing to do now. I see lots of river trips coming up.

  6. Emma T says:

    Looks like you’ve had a great summer. Very jealous of your daughter doing the kayaking. I’ve only had a couple of goes as a child, but loved it

    1. kim says:

      We had a wonderful summer. My daughter is hooked on kayaking, she wasn’t scared about going out on the open water. Maybe you could look into some local clubs and have a go!

  7. Joanna Chittenden says:

    Fantastic! So glad you got to do so much that was on your list, happy times & memories:)

    1. kim says:

      Hi Jo,
      It was a busy summer but brilliant adventures and memories.
      Play Day was so much fun, I loved every minute.

  8. Karen Bell says:

    It does look like you’ve had a wonderful summer of fun and a fab kayaking experience. Making a scrap book of everything is a great way to help keep the memories too.
    Thanks for linking #LetKidsBeKids

    1. kim says:

      Hi, yes we had such a wonderful summer and I was so proud watching my daughter kayaking down the fast moving water {and a little nervous!}
      Looking at all our photos really showed us how much fun we had, such a great action packed summer.

  9. I’m so impressed at the walking – we have friends who do a lot of hill walking and I’m amazed at their kids’ tolerance. I think I should at least give it a try with my two girls, who would be physically capable (perhaps I need to learn some cajoling skills!). And I’m impressed at your ability to keep quiet when the parent inside is screaming ‘don’t do that it’s dangerous’! Encouraging confidence to try new things is so important (but yes, jumping in canoes etc would set off my alarm bells too!).

    1. kim says:

      Hi, thank you so much, a lovely comment. I adore walking so was so glad when my daughter felt ready to give a big hill a go. I was so impressed, no moaning and she loved getting ot the top!
      I have learnt the skill of keeping the scared Mum voice inside, but I will admit I was so scared when she went down the fast flowing part of the course.
      Just start with low level walking with your girls, I’m sure they would love it. Its a great adventure for the family.

  10. What an amazing summer. Thanks so much for sharing at the Outdoor Play Party 🙂

    1. kim says:

      Thank you, a wonderful Summer with lots of adventures and family time.

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