Posts tagged - outdoor play

Making the most of the warmer weather

Spring has well and truly sprung.

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We’ve been making the most of the warmer weather this week so I’ve decided to share our adventures with some photo montages…

Last Sunday we managed to get Mr B to come out on a nature walk with us, where we ran around and then stopped to play pooh sticks…

In the week, we went everywhere by scooter. He’s getting so fast that I’m getting a bit of a workout keeping up with him! Now that he’s no longer just riding to the park on the corner and back I really need to adjust his helmet and get him used to wearing it again…

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We did some running around the maze in Coronation Gardens…

And today, the pirate ship was finally open, yay!!!

I’m linking up with Coombe Mill‘s Country Kids blog linky with this post. To find out more and/or add your own, click on the image below:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Nature in the city 6: Autumn leaves

This week we thought we’d make the most of the autumn leaves before the snow descends (it’s coming soon, apparently!) and makes them all slimy. ‘Cause it’s all about the crunch, right?

Sadly, although we did go out and kick some leaves, a lot of them were already pretty slimy from the rain…

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So I’m cheating a little this week and using photos from when the leaves were crunchy a couple of weeks back! It’s still nature in the city right? And autumn is almost over so wanted to share this before it’s too late.

So, it was a cold but sunny afternoon and we were headed to the park but Mushroom couldn’t wait that long. He saw a nice tidy pile by a tree on the corner of our street. ‘Can I Mummy…?’ I said no at first (someone had obviously gone the the trouble of sweeping them up) but he insisted ‘Kick leaves! This, leaves!’ He didn’t understand why we should wait til we got the the park. So I told him to go ahead and kick!

The look on his face was worth the guilt of messing up someone’s nice tidy pile… I hope they weren’t too upset the next day!



I’m linking up with Coombe Mill‘s Country Kids blog linky with this series. To find out more and/or add your own, click on the image below:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Nature in the city 5: Pigeons and puddles

It’s been a couple of weeks since my last nature in the city post so these photos are from the past two – three weeks…. The pigeons we chased last Saturday, while waiting for a friend to pick us up from Sainsbury’s in Ilford! So right in the middle of the high street, opposite a massive shopping mall, we managed to find a little nature.

Mushroom asked why they were eating the ‘dirty bread’ and wanted to touch one. They weren’t so keen!

Chasing pigeons

Neither was he, really. When he got up a bit closer he squealed and ran back to me laughing. He couldn’t understand why some flew away and some didn’t. We had a bit of a conversation about city bird and country birds and why, although it’s a kind and generous offer, we shouldn’t give the pigeons any of his sweets…

The puddle pictures are from the week before after particularly heavy rainfall. We headed back to Coronation Gardens with our boots on for a bit of puddle jumping.

The puddles by the bandstand were so big that Mushroom asked if he could go swimming in one! I think we was making a joke (I hope so). A leaf dropped and he asked about the ‘circles’ it made in the water…

A leaf fell in

Then he was ready…. Splash!!


If enjoyed these photos you might also like something I wrote on my other blog (it’s more prose than poetry but see what you think), last month :  Pigeons and puddles.


I’m linking up with Coombe Mill‘s Country Kids blog linky with this series. To find out more and/or add your own, click on the image below:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


Nature in the city 3: A manmade ‘natural’ park

I’ve mentioned Leyton’s ‘Jubilee Park’ once or twice on this blog before. The first time was back in May, when Mushroom and I met the recycled kite maker (we’ve not seen him again since! Glad I took photos or I may have wondered whether he was real!). I mentioned him again more recently in an earlier Nature in the City post about picking blackberries.

This park used to simply be a large green space, with a tiny ‘typical’ children’s park in the corner. You know, swings, a slide etc… This year, along with several of the parks across the borough of Waltham Forest, it has been redesigned to encourage children to interact more with their natural surroundings. So, as well as a large area that remains as it was for the children to run around in, there are also ‘fallen’ trees to negotiate, wooden trampolines to jump on, ropes to help them swing across crocodile infested waters (well they are in our imagination!), rope snakes to ride on and hills of varying sizes to roll down (It’s possible that I like this even more than Mushroom does!)

Here are a few pictures of Mushroom making the most of this manmade ‘nature.’

I like this park and the others that are beginning to follow. It may be manmade, but Mushroom has always been quite cautious and before this was here, he needed a lot of encouragement to climb a tree, or roll down a big hill. The little trees and small hills here allowed him to build his confidence and he now does both without hesitation. His new found climbing confidence means I need to watch him a lot more closely these days!

What do you think? Is it a good idea to create more parks like this or should the council simply have left the space as it was before and let the children use their imaginations..? Please comment below, I’d love to hear your views, especially if you have similar parks in your area!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

I’m linking up with Coombe Mill‘s Country Kids blog linky with this series. To find out more and/or add your own, click on the image above.


The recycled kite

Last week, Mushroom and I were playing in our recently refurbished ‘Jubilee park,’ an outdoor play area cultivated to encourage children to make use of their natural surroundings.

Jubilee park 0-7 play area

While playing on the little trampolines and running/sliding/rolling down the little man-made hills, created for this very purpose, we saw a kite flying in the near distance.

Jubilee park wooden trampoline

The man flying the kite noticed Mushroom’s interest, and deliberately lowered it, allowing Mushroom to chase it a while before bringing it down so that we could take a closer look.

Kite chasingOnce up close, we realised that the kite was made entirely out of recycled material! A recycling bin bag, some bamboo and an old sheet cut into strips. ‘Even the glue is all natural,’ he told us proudly, ‘I make it with flour and glue. This is a Jamaican kite.’ Mushroom nodded wisely. Grandma and Grandad are Jamaican, therefore Daddy is Jamaican, therefore he is Jamaican (and Nigerian, and British, but that’s for another post). I think he gets it. He recognises ‘Jamaican’ anyway. The man smiled kindly at us. ‘I’ll make you a lickle one, ‘ he promised, ‘to put in your pocket.’

I asked if he sold them and he said yes but then it started to rain and Mushroom was fussing so we headed off. As we walked away I realised something. ‘I never asked your name…’ My shout was lost on the wind, or so I thought.

Recycled Kite‘I’ll see you again!’ He shouted his promise across the field and we both nodded. We’ll see him again. When we do, we’ll find out where he sells his kites and whether he’s interested in making one for you, too!

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Indoor vs Outdoor play

I have a confession to make… I’m not keen on indoor play. Messy or otherwise. There, I said it. I know it’s as important for development as getting outside and getting plenty of exercise and fresh air but to be honest at the moment I am finding it kind of boring… Maybe it’s Mushroom’s age (and short attention span), or maybe it’s the fact that we’ve been stuck indoors quite a lot lately when it’s supposed to be spring – we were even forced home from the park last week due to hailstones. Hailstones! Neither Mushroom or I were happy about that.

I do try – we use indoor play time to work on learning colours, letters and numbers (here’s a handy list of toys to help with the numbers). We also play pretend with whatever we have to hand – and I am actually rather fond of playdoh as we can have fun ‘baking’ without the calories… (We used to bake a lot more. Then my clothes started to get a little tight. I am not good at baking without sampling the spoils!). We do a little messy play with different textures (pasta, jelly), colouring, drawing and quite a lot of sticking… The thing is, after about 20 minutes of any of these activities, I’m as bored as Mushroom is! The only thing that hold both our attention for longer is building lego/duplo towers, playing with cars and trucks (yes, I do really enjoy this!) baking an actual cake and dancing. But we’re getting a bit fed up with these activities on rotation…

Colouring with different coloured chalks

I think the problem really is that we’d both just rather be outside. As long as it’s not raining (or hailstone-ing – if that’s a word?), then it puts him in a better mood, makes me feel more awake and tires him out enough that we can actually kind of enjoy a quieter indoor activity in the evening. Today, for instance, we are heading to a local city farm, which we are both very excited about. It’s sunny, we’ll be outside, we get to see lots of animals and play in the park. You just can’t beat all that with any indoor activity (feel free to challenge this! I’d be interested in your comments!).

I’m pretty sure I just need to think of some new indoor activities to freshen things up a bit but here at Mushroom Mansions (no, not really. I wish!), just saying ‘ Let’s go outside,’ can stop a tantrum in it’s tracks. So when it comes to indoor vs. outdoor play for us? No competition.

We love a good climbing frame

What about you? Are you the outdoorsy types or do you prefer to chill out indoors? If indoor play is your thing, what kind of activities are always guaranteed to entertain?

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