Thursday, 23 August 2012

Local summer

We've had a week away but like many, we have spent most of the holidays in our neighbourhood.  Outside has been a major feature of this summer. I haven't planned many activities beyond taking the children to places where they can play. They have sorted out games, adventures and ideas.

So where have we been?
  • The park. At one point, about three weeks into these holidays, we had been to the local park every day except Sundays and one other missed day. Miss Belle has mastered cycling this holiday. Mr Exuberance has discovered dens and his climbing has gone from height to height. Thankfully, there are plenty of other parks around for when we (probably should read I) need a change. Other parks have provided streams for paddling, different climbing apparatus (very important) and a sandpit. We've had picnics with friends and a poetry picnic.

  • The garden. In our grandparents' generation, the holidays were not for pleasure but for harvest. In the country, summer holiday dates were determined by the farmers when they saw that the crops were almost ripe. Whilst my children don't have to work to bring in the harvest, I like them to see the origins of our food. They love helping dig up potatoes and the excitement of finding tubers and the pleasure of eating blackberries straight from the brambles. They can help with weeding and try a bit of digging. There is still time to plant garlic and broad beans for next year  and my autumn Swiss chard went in just yesterday.

  • Walks, even in London, there are woods to explore and again, make dens, Hmm-dens have been a bit of a theme.

  • The swimming pool-not outside, for us. For those of you in the UK, British Gas has printable vouchers for free swimming. I took the younger children individually due to rules about ages of children with an adult. They both loved this time.

  • Local events. I'm not sure that there have been so many this summer-I've found no sign of the local bat walk despite plenty of searching but we did go to a great, free falconry display. It wasn't well publicised-I was tipped off by friend so worth keeping ears to the ground.
  Hope you have all had a happy, outside holiday too.


  1. It's true that you can often find wonderful adventures in your own backyard. I once took a walk through my town and tried to imagine I was a tourist, who had never seen any of it before. What stood out to me? What questions did I have?

  2. What a great idea. I must try this. Perhaps the children could write a guide for forthcoming visitors.