Several months ago I read an activity post from Multiple Mummy that involved a nature trail in her back garden (her son had chickenpox so they were quarantined). Ever since, I've wanted to do this with The Boy but it's taken time to get prepared. First of all, I had to find some self-adhesive pads which having scoured local shops for, I ended up finding them in a cheap shop on holiday in Dorset! Now things are more comfortable with potty-training, I felt happy to have a go.
With the increasing bite in the air and the occasional, but gentle, rainbursts, it was time to pop on our wellies and waterproofs and go nature-treasure hunting in a local park. Ideally to do this activity you need horse chestnut and sycamore trees, pine trees and possibly an oak. There is a park on the way down to the beach that is perfect for this with the abundance of trees lining the periphery of the park.
The Boy already knew what a conker was because I'd shown him a few days beforehand, trying to get him to find other treasures proved interestins; he's only two, he's never seen these things before. We wondered around the more woodland area of the beautiful Victoria park, straying off paths, climbing up banks and sliding down muddy paths and found a whole heap of nature's wonders. The Boy kept stopping and listening during the still moments between the roars from the cars on the road alongside the park. In those snapshots of serenity he heard the raindrops falling through the layers of the canopies, blackbirds calling, squirrels scampering up the treetrunks, and his absolute favourite was the chorus of the crickets in the long grass. He stood and listened for over ten minutes.
In this emeral and khaki wonderland, under our rubber-encased feet and amongst the fallen detritus, we found pine cones, acorns, beech tree seeds, red leaves, orange leaves, multi-coloured leaves and conkers in their cases and out. Is their any greater joy than opening up a conker case and being the first person in the entire world to see that feat of nature?
Children can only learn what they experience!
(Come back tomorrow to find out what we found in our nature trail)