Category Archives: Outdoor Adventure Ideas

The Very Basics of Birdwatching!

childrens birdspotting padOur 5 year old decided she was going on a birdwatching expedition last weekend. She got her binoculars (a good old fashioned pair given me by my beautiful, late Grampy), her camera in its bag (a very modern,”can’t break it” chilren’s pink thing) and a little self stated bird spotting notepad and pencil. On went her coat, scarf, hat and boots and she was ready.

She disappeared into the garden on a birdwatching expedition. I firmly closed the door behind her to keep the horrid ice cold weather outside feeling very lucky she had specifically stated to her Daddy that “Sorry Daddy, it’s definitely an expedition just for me. No-one else can come!”. Phew!

birdspotters padIt was lovely to keep peeking out the window to see her staring at the trees and bushes and talking away to herself.

15 minutes and some rosy cheeks later she came to let us know she’d captured on camera her first find – a “red tumeed pidjin” according to her notepad.

Having impressed us with her photography skills – and we were actually very impressed – off she trotted for some more twitching.

Her final list is rather impressive for our little garden. I think she was writing the latin version of the names so I have added English translations in brackets for the less birdwatching savvy amongst you:

  • Red tumeed pidjin (red tummied pidgeon)
  • Blak fethd krow (black feathered crow)
  • 2 feths from a wit tumeed pidjin(2 feathers from what we believe was a “white tummied” wood pidgeon)
  • A brawn and wit bird (brown and white bird which incidentally is a new species as she checked our guide of British birds and it absolutely defintely wasn’t in there)
  • A brawn tit (again, possibly a new species!)
  • A chikin (a chicken – we have no chickens!!)
  • A krow (possibly a normal crow as opposed to the aforementioned black feathered variety)

And the shots to prove it (look closely!)…

All in all, a very nature filled afternoon. It kept her (and us) amused. She even took her little brother out yesterday for take 2. Not sure our noisy 2 year old is conducive to birdwatching however!

Watch this space for a little bird treat you can easily create yourself to attract a few more birds to be spotted! And visit our nature gift section from some children’s nature gift ideas.

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Autumn Toadstools

toadstools autumnWe had a visit to a local adventure playground today and, excitement of excitements, stumbled over some toadstools in the wicker maze. We then spent a good 20 minutes hunting around for more. We found a lot!

Keep an eye out while you’re out and about to see whether you can spot any. Remember to be quiet though – we weren’t and scared the fairies away before we got a chance to see them!

We are almost sure however we saw the green hat of a leprechaun out the corner of our eye running round the corner of the maze – we’re keeping an eye out for the treasure that’s now rightfully ours!

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Christmas Inspiration Afternoon Out

We were at a loose end today so went on a little trip to a couple of local garden centres to have a look at their Christmas decorations and gifts. We’re really starting to feel that Christmas spirit creeping in so looking around the Christmas gifts, lights, decorations, and displays is a lot of fun and gets the Christmas craft ideas flowing.

We had a look around the displays first to get us well into the Christmas mood. We discussed what it would be like to live in the model Christmas village, we all agreed it would be pretty special.

christmas model fairgroundchristmas model villagechristmas village decorationschristmas model village

Then we looked at decorations and decided which we might like to have one day (I emphasise the “one day” as Continue reading

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Fish, Insect and Farmyard Fun for Free

Most children love a trip to see animals. The normal reaction is to take them to the zoo or a farm park. However, we had just as much fun this weekend with a trip to a local (ish – 10miles/20 minutes) garden centre. They have so much to see that it’s almost as much fun as a trip to the zoo – and no where near the cost.

Here’s just some of the exciting things we saw:

Outside with the farm animals…

garden centre goatsgarden centre pigturkey at the garden centregarden centre chick

So here we have a newly hatched chick, very cute! A turkey, lots of gobble noises were made! A very pretty Continue reading

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Splendid – Fireworks Musiculaire

Firework Night Local DisplayIf you have very excited children, desperate to make the most of firework night, and you’re wondering what to do to make it fun. Have a look in your local paper or have a quick look online to see what’s going on near you.

This evening we had a fantastic time at a local village firework display. That may make it sound a small affair but it really wasn’t. A playing field, a few fairground stalls and rides, a BBQ, some mulled wine and hot chocolate and 20 minutes of spectacular fireworks to music. Our 2 year old and 5 year old absolutely loved it – well until 10 minutes in when the 2 year old changed their mind and fell asleep!!!

Last year we had fireworks in the garden and it was great. However it cost about 5 times as much as a trip to the local event, the main firework (a twenty-oner apparently) only managed a fizzle and we had to feed 10 people. It was a lot of fun but jumping in the car and spending an hour on a mild autumn evening was much simpler and had a great community feel.

I’m sure there’s an event near you so don’t be fooled that fireworks in the garden is the only or easy option. There’s lots of firework fantastic, community fun to be had out there.

P.S. If anyone’s anywhere near West Oxfordshire around November 5th next year, take a visit to Long Hanborough Fireworks to Music. They’re something special!

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Night time excitement

Half term is a great time for sharing fun adventures with your children without the worry of them being exhausted when it comes round to school again. I just love seeing a child so excited they can’t contain themselves too.

An old school friend of mine shared this story and I couldn’t resist sharing it with you too.

Mid afternoon she told her 2 boys that they were going to have a night time walk with torches which they found so very, very exciting. After looking forward to it all afternoon, they then spent half an hour out with their torches just before bedtime looking for exciting things like badgers and hedgehogs, looking for shooting stars and talking to the moon. When they got home, they made a wigwam in their bedroom and sat inside for their night night stories.

What a special way to spend the bedtime routine.

It can be so easy to add a touch of special to your child’s life!

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Christmas Comes Early

Christmas came early here at Dylan and Grace last weekend, we dug out the Christmas tree, dusted of the ornaments and did a Christmas gift photoshoot to show off some of our new product and get you all in the mood for the festive season.

Our 6 and 8 year olds had a fabulous day checking out the autumn range, helping to stage the shots and modelling for the photos.  Our new images will be up on the site soon but in the meantime here are the childrens top 3 lines from the day;

  1. Our New Spotty and Pirate Sailing YachtsChild's Pirate Sailing Yacht
    Hours of fun was spent racing these across the village pond and despite a small disaster when one got stuck in some weeds (a big stick and a big child rescued the situation). They were the favourite of the day.
  2. Earthworm Nursery
    Anything that involves mud and insects makes our little boy very happy!
  3. Fairy Princess Cupcake and Cookie Party Set
    Pretty, princesses, pink and involves cake – what’s not to like!

Take a look and let us know which your favourites are, we’d love to hear from you.

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Autumn Nature Treasure Fun

Every season has its fun and today we made the most of the outdoor Autumn loveliness. It may have been a little rainy but that didn’t put us off, in fact, it made it all the better.Autumn Park Treasure Walk

We decided to go on an outdoor half term nature treasure hunt. We took our treasure bag (well plastic bag actually but little minds have great imagination), our wellies, umbrellas and waterproofs and went for a walk in the park.

We decided to just see what we could find but another fun option is to make a list of things to try and find before you go.

We had a lot of fun rummaging through the autumn leaves Continue reading

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Adventuring Scavenger Loveliness

We are lucky enough to have had the most beautiful scavenger hunt we have seen shared with us.

If you have an afternoon free and are wondering what to do with it, go on a beautiful scavenger hunt. We did and all the children loved it. You’ll be amazed with the things you find to tick off your list.

Take a look and if you’ve seen anything better yourself, we would love to see it! Continue reading

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Conker season is here!

It’s that time of year again, the leaves are turning brown, the wind is getting cooler and the jumpers are coming out. Oh… and the conkers are getting ready to jump from the trees! Hurray!

our conker stashThis afternoon we’ve had a lot of autumn fun stamping on conkers and finding how many conkers are living inside. Rather excitingly, we have a fiver!! 5 littles conkers all in one (rather large) conker that very nearly knocked out a 23 month old as he was running under the trees. 5 conkers in one! Smashing!

Our tips on how to make sure you get a full hoard:

  • Take a football – throw it up at the conker heavy branches, both fun and exercise!
  • Take a rake – if there’s something to stand on it’s like an extra long arm!
  • Take a good climber – our 33 year old child was quite happy climbing trees and Continue reading
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