Tag Archives: outdoor fun

Beale Park – Half Term Family Fun

As today promised to be a sunny Autumn day so we had a little web search of the local area to get inspired for a day out. We chose Beale Park – or Child Beale Trust as it was when I was little. It’s a wildlife park just outside Pangbourne in Berkshire and offers lots of animals, outdoor space, play areas and picnicking (though the good old weather forecast was slightly wrong and our picnic was actually eaten cheekily inside the toy display room!!).

Here’s a quick photo story of our day…

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Our Top 5 for Autumn Fun

The nights are getting darker and at Dylan and Grace we’re considering putting the heating on so Autumn must be well and truly here.  But there’s still fun to be had and below we’ve listed our top 5 things to do in Autumn.

1)   Blackberrying – Who knew crawling around in prickly bushes could be so much fun, plus there’s the added bonus of a blackberry crumble at the end of your hard work.

2)   Conker Fights – crack open those horse-chestnuts and get your conkers ready for the annual autumn cocker fights.  There’s also an old wives tale that if you put them in the corner of your house it keeps the spiders away! Continue reading

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Family Festival Fun – Take Home Ideas

pond dipping for childrenThe sun was shining last weekend and we were lucky enough to have a Family Festival being hosted just a few miles from us at Hill End, Oxford. There was a lot of open space for children to stretch their legs and lots of exciting things to do to stretch their imaginations.

We had a lot of fun so I thought I’d share some of things we did that you can do at home and when out and about:

  • Create a mud kitchen – a lot of fun (and mess) was had in the mud kitchen. To recreate at home (well, we recommend in the garden!!) simply get a bowl or bucket, fill it with some mud (we suggest supervised mud collecting if you’ve just planted your spring bulbs!) add a little water, then simply let the fun begin. If you can add some spoons and smaller bowls or plates to the mix, all the better. Just don’t expect a clean child to walk back through the back door when they’re done!
  • Junk modelling – Weave Recycle had a stand at the event with lots of discarded materials from business and industry. Children were able to use their imaginations to create all sorts of models, structures and games. It’s easy to recreate this at home, simply go through your recycling box and pull out different Continue reading
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Hooray for Some Sunshine!!

Hooray, finally the rain stopped and some sunshine put in an appearance.  We took the opportunity to get back into the garden and get planting.  We’re on a vegetable growing mission this year, we’ve got leeks, potatoes, carrots, parsnips, tomatoes and onions amongst others, already out in their planters or growing in the greenhouse, our 7-year-old concentrated very hard whilst wrapping the runner beans around the canes and planting lots of lettuce, she had a bit of help with our mini gardeners kit which includes gloves, spade and a fork all suitable for little hands.  We all finished up very muddy and a bit proud of ourselves, we can’t wait for them all to grow so we can enjoy some fresh vegetables through the summer.

We also decided to plant something a bit different, popcorn seeds which grow into popcorn we can actually eat.    The children had great fun planting them and we’re all very excited to watch them grow, we’ll keep you updated as to how we get on but why not buy your own and let us know how you do!

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New Product Excitement

At Dylan and Grace we love finding new and exciting products for our customers and the first of our new Spring range arrived at the office last week.

There was much excitement as we opened the boxes to the first 3 new lines for Spring.  They’re already on our website but here’s a brief description of each of them! Continue reading

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Easter Egg Hunting in the Garden

The Easter Bunny arrived early this week and we spent a while in the garden hunting out the treats that he left behind!

Armed with our homemade easter gift baskets we searched high and low for the goodies, the boys not doing quite so well as the girls in the finding stakes.  It took a while as the easter bunny had hidden some of them very well but once we had found everything we shared out the treats.

And this year it wasn’t all about the chocolate (although we did get a fair bit of that!), we also had some Funky Seeds so we can grow our own popcorn plants and a magnifying glass for insect hunting in the garden – so there’s still fun to be had once the chocolate’s gone!


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Oooh, spring is in the air…let’s get in the garden

What a beautiful weekend we had here in Oxfordshire. We’re feeling so much better for a bit of sunshine and a lot of time in the great outdoors.

Much of Saturday was spent in the local park learning to ride a bike without stabilisers – there’ll be a post coming on that rest assured – but Sunday was spent enjoying our wintered out garden.

How did we have fun in the garden?

Well, us adults unfortunately had to spend a bit of time clearing out the sheds – goodbye lovely paddling pool, lost to mischievous mice (surely shredded Continue reading

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Snow Fun – Animal Track Hunting

We had a fun walk to school this morning looking for animal tracks in the snow. “We would have have missed all this if we’d gone in the car” – 5 year old thumbs up despite the “please can we go in the car” protests before leaving home.

What did we find? Unfortunately, despite walking through the usually squirrel filled cemetery, the squirrels were safely tucked up warm in their holes, we were all slightly disappointed. However we did find some cool bird tracks and a variety of different sixed dogs prints – I’m not very good at identifying dogs by looking at them let alone from their paw prints. However we did see big dog prings and small dog prints!!!

We will have another look on the way home later to see if we can find any other animals that have ventured out. Let us know what you find.

bird now animal tracks

Don’t forget, if you ever want to keep an animal track print forever, take a look at our animal print casting kit in our children’s nature gifts collection. Not sure how it would work in snow mind!?


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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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