Sausage will be starting school this September, so it’s important to me that we really make the most of this summer and do as much as we can together. Of course, an average family budget doesn’t extend to an expensive day trip every day and although we’ve enjoyed the cinema and Marsh Farm so far, I’ve also been doing a lot of research and brainstorming about nice, fun things we can do together that cost little or no money.
We live in an area that’s fairly diverse, in terms of the landscape, so not only do we have a coast for lots of beach fun, we also have countryside and wooded areas, and all of these represent opportunities for learning, fresh air, fun and exercise. Husband has planted and nurtured a really keen interest in nature, animals, science and learning in Sausage and when she was at nursery, they did a regular thing called ‘Forest School’, sometimes at the local woods and sometimes simply in the garden of their classroom.
Last weekend, we decided to take Sausage on our very own family forest school at Belfairs Woods, a wooded area which also has stables and a playground area. The parking is free, which is always a bonus and it’s right on a bus route too, so it’s easy to get to for most people. To make it as stimulating as possible, we let Sausage take her own camera with her and set her various challenges, simple things like ‘How many different types of leaves can you see’ and ‘What animals can you spot’, which gave her a real sense of purpose and she thoroughly enjoyed herself.
Although the day was sunny, the previous day had been torrential rain, so we were ploughing through muddy puddles in our boots and dodging mini streams that had appeared, all of which Sausage loved. We also encountered lots of horses as the riding school was trekking at the same time as us, so she really enjoyed seeing the different sized horses and watching their swishy tails!
We had a great morning, didn’t spend a penny (other than the petrol it took to get us there) and Sausage was really engaged and stimulated by the whole day, especially when a very friendly and inquisitive squirrel decided to stalk us through the forest, all it took was a little imagination to turn a run-of-the-mill activity into something fun.
If you’ve had any adventures this summer, we’d love to read about them, just link up below.
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