A Perfect Day Outdoors – Helped by a Trail with Sticks

What’s your idea of a perfect day outdoors?  Often it depends on your mood, invariably the weather plays an important part and it is usually very difficult to please everybody.

Well last weekend we came as close to perfect as possible.  Thank you weather for performing for once.    Thank you also to The National Trust for providing the venue, Kingston Lacy near Wimborne, Dorset.  This is a National Trust property we have visited several times and always had great fun.  This time however it excelled itself.

The day started well with a picnic, first one of the season.  It always fun to eat outside and a picnic is great for a group.  It’s probably the one time when children are not asked to sit for any length of time during a meal.  There is just a lovely feeling of space and sense of freedom.

You can’t eat a picnic without playing games afterwards.  We hadn’t brought any balls etc. with us.  However Kingston Lacy had thought of that and there is a large play box of outdoor toys on the lawn in front of the house we were able to use.

 

Kingston Lacy cricket

topiary faces

Our game of cricket was even watched over by some of the residents of the garden.  I just love the topiary on these hedges.

50 Things to do before you are 11 3/4

kids den

On entering the house we had seen a great den built to advertise the National Trust’s 50 Things to do before you are 11 ¾.  These are 50 outdoor challenges from rock climbing to making a daisy chain.  That day the House was hosting about 5 of the 50 activities.  Were we going to try them?  This was the tricky bit. ‘I’m not sure’, ‘What about and ice cream’ and ‘I rather go the play area’ were all views aired.

 

way marker

We managed to agree on at least having a go at the den building.  We were therefore duly given a map of the location of the activities.  My heart sank.  They were quite a walk away.  It was possible that enthusiasm would lag before we reached them.  Yet some canny person had thought about the route finding and we were not long into our journey when a way marker was spotted.  The children were then off to look for the next marker and then the next.  They even made one or two of their own along the way.  Those signs were a creation of inspiration, so simple, but effective.

Building a Den

 

den building

I have heard from play therapists that building dens with your children is great way to bond with them and build up relationships.  Certainly it’s a very constructive activity!  There is a real feeling of achievement when built and you can all cosy inside together.

The Trust had made it easy by providing all the den building material.  We picked our support tree carefully one with a fork so it was easy to prop up the material.  Then the fun began.  Large trunks, bushy pieces and small twigs all played their part.  There were 4/5 other dens being built at the same time and it was great to see that in every case all the family were involved.  The good news is that Kingston lacy always have this den building area operating so if you do visit its worth seeking it out.

Pansy on linen

Tree faces

Our creative juices were now really flowing and the wild art activity now appealed to the boys.  Through the bamboo and up a path to a little hut we found a hive of activity.  What was going on with all those hammers tapping?  We soon found out.  You place a flower, in this case a pansy, between two pieces of cloth.  You tap the area of the flower with a small hammer and its colour imprints onto the cloth.  Hey presto you have a piece of cloth with a flower print.  I learnt later that the technique is called hapa zome.

Some of the smaller children were also having a go at these clay tree faces.  They looked very easy to do and a great use of foliage.  We will certainly be having a go of both these forms of wild art in our garden.  Find out what we did.

We all ended the day happy smiling people.

I am linking up this post with Countrykids at Coombemill and the Outdoor Play Party.  Please stop by and take a look at the other blog posts.

 

 

 

 

 

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12 Responses to A Perfect Day Outdoors – Helped by a Trail with Sticks

  1. Kierna Corr (@CiarnaC) May 11, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    Oh I love this idea, it’s brilliant the way the NT have really begun to embrace getting families out & about enjoying their fab grounds. I love the trees & the little mud faces etc. Off to share this.

    • Lynda May 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm #

      The 2 wild art projects were my favourites as well. I suspect the tree trunks in our garden will never be the same again

  2. Coombemill - Fiona May 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm #

    Thanks for linking up such a great post to Country Kids. The NT properties are fantastic places to visit, the venues are superb and the activities they have planned and organised keep all the family entertained. What a great day out and I bet there wasn’t one moan about the amount of walking they had to do!

    • Lynda May 12, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      No moaning, just lots of fun and inspiration. Thanks for oragnising #Countrykids

  3. 3 Children and It May 11, 2013 at 5:00 pm #

    Sounds like you had a lovely day! I love going to NT properties, they’re always great for good old-fashioned family fun. Loving the faces on those bushes! I found your post via MBPW over at Britmums.

    • Lynda May 12, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

      Thanks for popping by and commenting. It was a very outdoorable day.

  4. Sara (@mumturnedmom) May 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

    What a fantastic day – the den building looks great fun and I love the artwork! #CountryKids

    • Lynda May 12, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

      Hoping day will be part the children’s memories. Thanks for your comments

  5. Hannah @ Making Boys Men May 21, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

    We are trying to work through the 50 things too, lots of den huilding so far, butno daisychains! Thanks for stopping by the outdoor play party

    • Lynda May 26, 2013 at 5:31 am #

      50 things is a great List isn’t it.

  6. Pinkoddy September 29, 2013 at 10:09 pm #

    We need to make a proper den like that. The hedges are great what beautiful surroundings.

    • Lynda September 30, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      We have been making dens all over the place this year thanks to the National Trust’s 50 Things. Thanks for popping by and commenting

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