Free to be wild, week 1.

We signed up for the 30 days wild challenge. A nation wide initiative from the wildlife trusts to get people out side and doing something wild / in nature / enjoying nature every day through the month of June. We got our pack through including poster / wall chart, random acts of wildness cards, a badge and stickers etc and set to it.

So here we are, at the end of the first week. So far so good, its been great and so I want to update here.

Day 1: I had a bit of a wobble on the 1st day as I had work and got caught up in all the mundane things that I needed to do, but I shook myself and set the children the task of finding some bugs and insects to introduce small one too as he had never been on a bug hunt before. That got them going and they found several woodlouse/ lice  and a centipede.

Day 2: Had a fab day visiting friends. Introduced small to their pet rabbit and guinea pig and enjoyed the simple pleasure of running around the garden on the damp grass with no shoes on. Small also enjoyed playing with the stables and horses playset at our friends house.

Day 3: A group of us ventured to the local forestry commission woodland. We did the stickman trail and activity pack. We built a den, built stick towers, did some bark rubbing and tried out As camping cooker by making bacon rolls instead of having a pre packed picnic. During our visit we were also visited by a honey bee who took a rest on out blanket for a photograph.

Day 4: Saturday is a tricky day, I work in the morning and then have admin and food shopping to do. We had a lot of shopping to get this week and I felt totally worn out by the time I got home. It didnt stop us chilling out in front of wild life documentaries and having a look at various options to decide where to visit on Open Farm Sunday.

Day 5: Open Farm Sunday. When all over the place various farms open up their doors for free visits and demonstrations. We searched for one that involved animals, machinery demonstrations and tractor rides and had a butchery demonstration and meet a bee keeper thrown in. The children got free activity packs which include origami sheep and pigs, the story of milk booklets and information about bug hotels and some cress seeds to plant. It was a fantastic day, they were able to hold and stroke the guinea pigs, feed the sheep,meet the gun dogs and take in the many large machines found on the farm and discover their jobs. For the children however, the best bit seemed to be playing on top of a big mound of mud!

Day 6: Monday came and with it a trip into London. We had to go due to an appointment for small ones Great Ormond Street check up, but we followed it up with a trip to London Zoo, taking advantage of the school rate entry fee as we were able to book in advance. They have some great areas there, we especially loved the nightlife section spotting the bushbabies, the Okapi was also a favourite and the bug house which was really informative. I found it disturbing to spot a sign asking people not to hang children over the barriers in the African Hunting Dog enclosure and upon asking a member of staff we learnt that yes, someone had indeed given them reason to put the signs up!

Day 7: The last day of the first week. The children were meant to be having a kayaking lesson but were tired and achey after yesterday and so we spent the day at home. It allowed me the chance to catch up on some laundry and housework as well. They set to work on their projects, J covering early evolution and A looking at different species of bears and how they have adjusted to different climates and habitats. When it became obvious that small was tired but totally not going to nap I made the decision to venture out and about. He was able to fall asleep in the car and be transferred to his buggy for a short walk at a nature reserve. We spotted some bugs, were able to look at different insects through a microscope and watched nature prepare for the upcoming storm as we listened the the thunder. On our drive home we were able to watch the lightening, we drove through several floods and spotted what looked like a perfectly formed river, except it was on a route we take often and there has never been a river there before but it was flowing quickly and winding on the grass down the slope and across the road.

I am looking forward to our next week of wildness.


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