Wild Family Fun

Tales of living, working and enjoying life in the outdoors


365 Project Week 9

Wow week 9, so glad I’m keeping up!

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46: A morning of homework, ready for the start of school after half term. Space is this terms theme.

47: I feel like I’m living in mud lately. This was the view of my poor boots just after 20 minutes of walking in work on Monday.

48: A lovely day of introducing orienteering to a new group on Tuesday. Cosmeston Lakes in Penarth is very close to Cardiff and a great place to introduce groups to the outdoors.

49: I helped out at my daughters school today. They have introduced a Co Op healthy eating project. It only costs £3 for a bag of delicious fruit/vegetables or salad. A brilliant project to promote.

50: Baking, baking , baking! Welsh cakes and shortbread biscuits ready for the St Davids Day competition in school.

51: The winner entry {hopefully}.  At least we get a nice treat if we don’t win,

52: The new addition to my daughters bedroom.  A glitter ball! Every night is a disco night.

TheBoyandMe's 365 Linky

Half-term Outdoor Fun

Half-term holidays are great for my work, as the children we deliver activities to have all day to be in the outdoors with us.

We can have longer outdoor activities and adventures, and so we decided to use a whole day of Forest Schools activities for our group on the Monday of the half-term. We use a local woodlands near to Cardiff so; along with my daughter, my sister joined us with her two boys, who were all so excited to take part.

We donned our wellies and waterproofs, (ready for the mud and the puddles), and carried our equipment to our little hide-away area at Cosmeston Lakes near Penarth. The first priority was to build a shelter as it was due to rain, and it’s always good to have a “dry” area for bags, equipment and lunch.

We had a variety of activities planned, and the children loved having the ability to choose what they wanted to play with. They loved having wild freedom and soon dumped their bags and were off playing in mixed groups.

We made tree monsters from clay, made dens from tarpaulins and string, hunted for a variety of bugs, (observing how and where they lived), made bows and arrows, waded up the nearby stream, (splashing each other along the way), made a make-shift swing with a rope and two trees, and toasted marshmallows with the fire from our Kelly Kettle. It was great to see how the generational gap was filled, as all the children and adults played together.

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New friends were made and hands got dirty and everyone had so much fun.

We were all disappointed when it was time to go. It was a fantastic start to the holidays, and my sister said she was amazed that (apart from her packed lunch) the day didn’t cost her a penny and her boys had the best day ever.

So much so that they wanted to join us on our next activity the following day!!

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I really do enjoy our Forest School days. Everyone involved has so much fun, and it’s a great excuse for me to eat lots of toasted marshmallows!

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A muddy, wet forest…… what’s not to love ??!!

{Sadly I am unable to post images of the children I work with, all images are of my daughter and my nephews from todays adventures.}

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Learning for Life



Simple Things! (Viva The Bare Necessities).

We seem to be living in an age where our lives are governed by technology and computers, instantaneous social networking and communiactions, the pressure upon children to perform well in school tests, parents / guardians having to work full-time, the need for continual budgeting and the constant spectre of financial constraints dictating our lifestyle. Being a parent, throughout all of this, can be difficult and tiring but, with a little effort and imagination, it can also feel like it’s the best job in the world.

A simple drive to our local nature reserve, meeting up with much-loved family, the mind-set of accepting that “its gonna be a muddy day”, forcing on waterproofs and wellies, and throwing together a small bag of bird feed is sometimes all it takes to have a great day.

Being outdoor’s lets us breath, relax and have conversations with people, and that’s just what the adults get out of it.

My daughter and her younger cousin had freedom, climbed trees, discovered and explored, stomped in muddy puddles, put bird seed on their heads, saw squirrels leaping from trees, kicked muddy water at the adults……. the list is endless of all the experiences they gained in just one day.

Looking over the pictures taken on the day, it just goes to illustrate the massive amount of family fun that can be gained from such a simple activity as a muddy welly walk. It cost next-to-nothing, gave us all a daily dose of exercise, and we bonded, talked and had loads of fun.

Playing in the outdoors is a “must” for all ages…… whatever the weather !!!!

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Country Kids: An Evening Adventure.

This time of the year can make getting outdoors a bit difficult. It’s cold, it feels like it’s continually and constantly raining, and the evenings get dark so quickly that it’s no wonder that most people simply want to stay at home and hibernate.

However, hibernation is not an option, especially when I believe in promoting the enjoyment of the outdoors in all weathers.

I decided to try a new experience with my daughter this week. After school we headed down to a local nature reserve, called Cosmeston Lakes, in Penarth. Cosmeston Lakes was opened in 1978, and was designated as a local Nature Reserve in 2013. Visitors can explore over 100 hectares of lakes, reed beds, woodlands and meadows. It really is a fantastic place for a family exploring adventure.

We parked the car as it was just getting dark. I know the environment there very well, so I wasn’t worried about walking and exploring in the dark, and I always carry hand torches and head-torches in our kit. Cosmestion is well-known for the swans that live on the lake, and I can remember my mum and dad taking me there, as a child, on Sunday afternoons to feed the swans. It’s a great place to introduce young children to wildlife and the wild environment.

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We trampled through the smaller parts of the forest that surround the lakes, looking for animal homes and tracks, but mainly just getting our wellies covered in mud by jumping in the puddles.

We then headed over to the bird watching hut. It’s located away from the normal public path, so that it the noise doesn’t disturb the experience of looking and listening for a huge variety of wildlife that you’re able to encounter.

Then, after a quick bite to eat we sat cuddled together on the benches and just listened. We could hear the geese flying around and making their calling noises, we heard splashes in the water from other nocturnal birds and animals swimming around. There were little tweets from the dozens of birds that live in the area, rustlings in the surrounding trees, and the best sounds were from distant owls, hooting messages to each other.

It was so relaxing just to sit and take time out to listen. Every time my daughter heard a new sound, her face would light up with excitement and she would point and twist her body around to try to get a better position to hear the noises. It was a great experience.

As it started to get colder, we headed back through the forest, squelching in the mud and making ghost noises to try to scare the whits out of each other.

PicMonkey Collage

It really was a fantastic experience for my daughter. It would have been so easy to say we couldn’t go out because of the weather and the darkness, but we made the effort and we had a fantastic time.

It really doesn’t matter when you try to venture outdoors, as long as you do it within safe guidelines and within your own capabilities and experience. I really would recommend trying to get outdoors at twighlight. It doesn’t even have to be at a nature reserve, because simply going out in your garden and exploring with torches would be just as exciting……. especially for little ones.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall