Category Archives: Nature

Social gatherings during the Christmas break

Muddles/Muddy puddles
Splashing in muddy puddles!

Over the last couple of days, we have spent our time meeting up with family and friends. We had a relaxing walk in the local woods yesterday, the children and the dogs loved it! Watching my son and our friends’ daughter playing amongst the trees, picking up pine cones as well as helping to decide the route we were to take, was wonderful. My daughter had a fantastic time too. She particularly enjoyed jumping in the muddy puddles or, “Muddles,” as she calls them! She managed to fall over a few times but picked herself up quickly, searching for the next puddle to walk through in her wellies as she did so. We have not been to the woods many times so seeing the children explore and ask questions about their surroundings helped us to enjoy the experience even more. Our morning concluded with coffee and cake/last batch of the mince pies at home.

An afternoon visit from Grandma and Grandad in which they viewed all of the children’s Santa gifts, played with them and also drank coffee, meant that the children slept extremely well that night! I did not do as well though, I think I’d maybe had too much coffee.

This morning was spent catching up with a good friend whilst our children made the most of the new toys.  Not only was it great having a chat but the children had a fantastic time too.  Another resolution of mine now is to meet up with friends more often.

Our afternoon was spent visiting my boyfriend’s parents, which we all really enjoyed. They always make us feel very welcome so much so that the children were reluctant to leave today. We even took our dog, Floppy, round for a walk. She had a great time playing with their Jack Russells. Again, we seem to have a tired Floppy dog as well as two sleepy children. Mission accomplished! No coffee for me today though, so fingers crossed I’ll sleep well tonight too.

Tomorrow, we have more dog walking scheduled, the children are off to their Dad’s plus my boyfriend and I are going out for a meal with friends. Although we are having a relaxing time this holiday, we also have had quite a few social gatherings to attend.  We have all enjoyed seeing all of our family and friends a bit more than usual.

Walking the dog in the woods.
Walking Floppy in the woods.

Have you managed to meet up with family and friends over the  Christmas break?  Or have you preferred to have a quiet time at home?  It would be great to hear from you.

Savour every moment…

This morning, I took the children to the park.  This may seem mundane to some but I have not taken my children to play at the park for a couple of months now.  Our weekends have been full of family weddings, meeting up with family and friends as well as the children going off to see their father, amongst other things.  The time seems to have just slipped away lately.

Today was different.  We did not have to be anywhere for any particular time.  We did not need to get dressed up. We did not need to be on our best behaviour.  We had a morning free to do what we wanted and we could walk at normal speed, rather than the fast-forward motion that we are becoming accustomed to.  We savoured every moment.  It was heaven!

Dancing on stage
Dancing on stage
Playing on the climbing frame
Playing on the climbing frame
Taking in the beauty of the river
Taking in the beauty of the river

Ducks, leaves and row, row, row boats

Imagine a world where everything is fresh, where you are discovering different things each and every day… This is how my two year old views our world.  She gets extremely excited about experiencing everything around her.  When something catches her eye, we look into it to help her to learn even more.

Over the last few weeks, she has been particularly taken with ducks.  She has toy ducks in the bath, ducks in her toy box, books about ducks, you name it.  She’s duck mad!  We went to the river to look at the ducks and on the way, she spotted a road sign warning that there are ducks close by.  She points at this every time we see it now.  We made a duck picture using painted handprints.  At story time, she chooses books about ducks and we sing, “Five little ducks,” using the finger puppets I made her out of felt.

Ducks
Ducks
Painted leaf prints
Painted leaf prints

With this in mind, we used paint to make some leaf prints to study them more closely.  We also made a tree using the leaves and a twig to put up on the wall.

Leafy tree
Leafy tree
A very blue boat
A very blue boat
The finished boat, ready for sailing
The finished boat, ready for sailing

Special apple juice

Recently, we have been spending some time in the countryside picking pears and apples from my Grandparents’ trees.  I have fond memories of picking fruit from these trees in my own childhood so taking my children to gather fruit was wonderful!  The children had a great time picking through the apples that had fallen and occassionally letting out a, “Eugh! That’s mouldy!” There were a few giggles when my partner shook the apples from the tree, immediately followed by all of us quickly diving in to pick them up.  My son even had a go at shaking a few branches.  Once we had collected enough, somewhat heavy, bags full of apples and pears, we loaded them into the car ready for preparing to make into apple juice for the children and special apple juice for the grown ups.

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A few of the apples we gathered.  We didn’t gather as many pears this time.  The ones we did get were eaten by the children.

Our apples chopped into quarters
After washing them, we chopped them into quarters and had a quick coffee to keep our energy levels up.

 

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Juicing!
press
My partner made his own apple press and my daughter helped to turn the handle.
cider
The children enjoyed a nice glass of apple juice each but we are waiting for our special apple juice to be ready in a few months :-).

All in all, a fun and procuctive couple of days.  There are more apples and pears on the trees though.  Maybe we will do it all again soon.