Our Wild Challenge

So our Wildlife Trust 30 days wild challenge has come to end, but what a 30 days we’ve had! We’ve had wild times in the garden, pond dipping, bug hunting, feeding the birds, playing in the fort and planting plants.

garden

We’ve tried wild cooking and foraging, making elderflower cordial, and gooseberry jam. We’re growing our own foods with potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, loganberries, beans, squash, radishes, onions and herbs all doing well.

food

There have been all sorts of wild animals from frogs and birds in the garden, to reptiles and birds of prey at Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile centre. There have even monkeys, hippos, sea lions and tarantulas on a trip to Longleat. And of course our very own Ant World farm.

birds

Longleat

We have finished our challenge today with a walk to a local forest where we looked for bugs, played with sticks and stones, and appreciated wild flowers. We found an impressive beetle with bright purple stripes down its body and bright blue stripes on its head. There was an active bee hive in a tree too which was interesting to watch.

forest walk

We have loved being wild and hope to continue with the #stillwild hashtag on Instagram from time to time, so please keep following. Have you been doing the 30 days wild challenge? Let us know what you’ve been up to in the comments.

A really wild adventure

We finished our third week of 30 days wild with a really wild adventure, but before I talk about that let me tell you what else we did last week. Tuesday was home ed group, we made pasties with different veggies, cheese, ham and spices. The children enjoyed all the messy fun and tasting them afterwards. At the end of club we enjoyed playing together and some time at the park.

Baking

After group we headed home for a quick rest before the older girls had their tennis lessons. R is really enjoying the lessons and is getting quite good, learning her backhand this week. S is slowly relaxing and having fun, she too, hand a go at backhand this week.

Fort

Little S and I spent lots of time in the garden on Wednesday, playing in the fort, pond dipping and hunting for bugs. Thursday R had her piano lesson and learnt a new song, after lunch I went food shopping and left the children with Daddy.

Tegu

Friday a friend had organised a trip to Longleat Safari Park with some other home ed families too. The children were all super excited, all with their favourite activities planned. Our first stop when we arrived was the train, we were all pleased to see the hippo’s swimming in the lake. After the train we went to look around some of the animals, seeing a skunk, ferrets and butterflies. S asked to hold her favourite guinea pig, Elsa, who she’d held the last time we were there. We also had the opportunity to meet a Tegu Lizard and hold a Chilean Rose tarantula.

tarantula

The children had lots of time to play both inside and out. I love seeing them laugh together, enjoying their childhoods.

playtime

We fed the Parakeets, walked amongst the penguins, fed the sea lions and got up close to the Fruit bats. We took a walk around Longleat House, enjoying the history and the grandeur. We even bumped into the Marquess of Bath himself and petted his two dogs. (Still with his iconic dress sense!) We came home exhausted after a wonderfully busy day.

penguinsWe’re wondering what our last week of our 30 days challenge will bring.

parakeets

 

Ant World

We love all things creepy, crawly and wild. Bug hunting is often a big part of how we learn about the world. To be given the opportunity to learn about ants, see how they build their underground house and live their lives, when normally it is unseen, is amazing.
The Ant World arrived in the post for the children to unpack and assemble. The set included everything we needed, I particularly liked that it came with a little magnifier so we could a good look at the ants. Putting the world together was nice and simple, adding the sand, though, was very messy! We ended up with sand all over the kitchen. Releasing the ants into their new home was even more tricky, no matter which way we tried.ant world messAnts, it would seem, are great escape artists. No matter how many we put into the world more seemed to appear, scurrying about the table. We had them running up our arms, down the outside of the ant world, in every direction possible.
After many attempts and lots of giggling we managed to get all, or at least, most of the ants into their new home. (I have a feeling that one or two may still be roaming around my house!)
We are feeding them a small piece of fruit once a week, as per the instructions, we have found that even the smallest bit of fruit goes mouldy very quickly and can look unsightly. Watching the ants slowly build their little tunnels is really interesting, we expected the tunnels to appear quickly, but after 2 weeks there are still only a couple of small ones.

ant world tunnelWe are enjoying watching the ants working, they are never still, always scampering about, busy. If ever your children (or you) want a few new pets that are low maintenance, then Ant World could be the way to go.

 

*I was sent Ant World free to review, all thoughts are my own*

Wild and wet

Our 30 Days wild has been dampened a little this week by rather a lot of rain. Tuesday was home ed club, I’d prepared lots of indoor activities expecting rain. Thankfully it remained mostly dry and the children were able to spend most their time together outside playing at the park and climbing trees.rainy

After club the older 2 girls had their tennis lessons. As we arrived the heavens opened, the children and their coaches all gave the lesson a good try but after 15 minutes the courts were flooded and everyone was drenched. R decided that as she was already wet it wouldn’t make any difference if she were play and dance in the rain. I love that she managed to encourage so many of the other children to enjoy the rain too.

elderflower

Wednesday we started by making some Elderflower cordial with flowers we’d picked on Tuesday. I found a recipe on Pinterest for us to follow and the girls enjoyed slicing lemons and oranges to add to the mix. Unfortunately the finished cordial tasted awful! (If anyone has a tried and tested yummy recipe, please add it in the comments.) After lunch we went to a home ed friends house to play. The boys got on famously, spending the whole afternoon together. The girls played dolls, on the trampoline and in the paddling pool.

bounce

Unfortunately Thursday’s piano lesson was cancelled unexpectedly so we popped into Granma’s for a cuppa then headed home for lunch and an afternoon of baking. E made plain sponge cakes, S and Little S made chocolate sponge cakes and R made gingerbread men. Our baking session was accompanied by a large thunder storm and torrential rain. The poor guinea pigs had been enjoying roaming around the garden before the sudden onset of rain, they made a hasty retreat to their house! It was Poppy’s first thunderstorm and I’m pleased to say she seemed unfazed, happily sleeping at the top of the stairs in her favourite spot.

S and Little S were invited to have  sleepover at Granma and Granpa’s house on Friday. Both excitedly packed their little suitcases. They were treated to dinner out, a late night and fun activities on Saturday morning. The older 2 invited a friend over Friday evening for pizza and a movie. Saturday we collected the younger 2 and went to Nanny and Granddad’s house. The was a fete on the field near Nanny’s so the children went on the bouncy castle, had ice cream and played at the park. After dinner at Nanny’s it was home to bed.

tree

We’re looking forward to lots of wild adventures next week and hopefully a lot less rain.

 

 

 

Rhyming with Wine

Still Wild

We’re almost halfway through our 30 Days Wild challenge and we’re still going strong. Tuesday we were at home ed group, which was a little quieter than normal with only 4 families. This did mean that E coped much better, was calmer and more settled. The children all played beautifully together, making dens, using Hama beads and playing at the park. R and S also began a 6 week course of Tennis. R loved every minute, S took a little while to warm to the lesson but can’t wait to go back.

Tennis

Our garden is fast becoming a haven for creatures of all kinds. S excitedly came running in on Wednesday exclaiming that she’d seen a mouse, we able to catch said mouse and discovered it was in fact a shrew. All the children had a good look and then we released it back out into the garden (later finding it hiding in the veggie box!) We’ve also seen a Damselfly and we have a few frogs hiding in our pond.

Shrew

Thursday morning S and Little S made some gooseberry jam with gooseberries S picked from Nannies garden. S had picked them not realising that they weren’t quite ripe, they made perfect jam though. Afterwards I took R to her piano lesson and she learnt to play her first tune, she was thrilled.

Piano

Our most wild day of the week was on Friday. We spent time at Liberty’s Owl and Reptile Centre with some fellow home educators. We saw eagles, lizards, vultures, owls and more. We had great fun and after a cheeky ice lolly we went for a stroll in the New Forest with Poppy dog. We found fallen trees to climb, dead trees filled with all sorts of creepy crawlies, collected sticks and built dens.

BirdsForest

We took the children out for a treat on Saturday, Daddy fancied pizza so we popped into Pizza hut for a late lunch. The children loved choosing their own side salads, filling their bowls with coleslaw, carrot, nachos and apple. We shared chips and ate pizza, and then children discovered the delight of the ice cream machine, though their eyes may have been bigger than their bellies!

Pizza hut

Sunday we spent the day at Nanny and Grandad’s house, playing monsters in the garden, hunting for snakes (Nanny had seen one earlier in the week but we couldn’t find it), we did a plant treasure hunt and made cakes.

Treasure hunt

We’ve still lots of wild and exciting things to do in the next couple of weeks. Do keep following us on Instagram.

30 Days Wild

I seem to be struggling to find time to blog recently, we’ve been so busy and with the lighter evenings the children are playing out longer and subsequently going to bed a little later. Leaving me even less time to sit and write. So what has our home educating family looked like this week?

Chase
We’ve start the Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild challenge. Each day throughout June we are committed to doing something wild, something in or about nature. We are tracking our challenge on Instagram. So far we have taken Poppy dog and her friend Max for a countryside walk on Wednesday, we also popped over to see Granma, went food shopping and met up with friends and a newly refurbished play park.
R made a Fairy Garden on Thursday, based on something we saw in an email from The Wildlife Trust. The garden has a pond, large stone and a stick as suggested, then R added 2 fairy homes, and stone path and some glow stones to light p the houses at night. She also added a few flowers she picked from around the garden.

Fishing
Friday the children spent the majority of the day playing with friends. R went to a home educated friend’s house to play and thoroughly enjoyed herself. Saturday R had Youth Archaeology club where she learnt about Egyptians. I took S and Little S out for a hot chocolate, a little shopping and fishing in the river for little plastic we had bought.

Pond dipping
Sunday we joined friends at Open Farm Sunday. We enjoyed helping build a cob house, watching sheep being sheared, pond dipping, a tractor ride and investigating some shepherds huts.

Ice cream
Today we met up with some other home educating families at Moors Valley. We took Poppy for a walk around the lake and the children had immense fun playing with their friends and enjoying a cheeky ice cream before heading home. To keep up with our 30 days wild challenge find us on Instagram.

A Volcano, gardening and camp outs.

On Monday we finished off our volcano model ready to set of at group on Tuesday. We also just did some other painting together and E baked some cakes. Tuesday we had home ed group, we had toys set in blocks of coloured ice to excavate, we also erupted our volcano. The children really enjoyed watching it and playing with dinosaurs in the “lava”. Afterwards we went to enjoy the sunshine and play in the park with our friends.

Volcano


Thursday we set off to meet some home educators at Avon Heath Country Park. It’s always nice to meet new people and we had a great day. E had a fantastic time playing Nerf with a couple of other boys. They disappeared off into the forest, popping back occasionally for a drink or a snack, I barely saw for over 2 hours. R made a friend too, they sat and did makeovers in the park and played together. S and Little S climbed, played, and explored.

Forest fun

On Saturday, the children spent the morning playing, colouring in the sun with friends, and enjoying games at the park. After lunch we invited to join some friends at Compton Abbas Airfield for an icecream and to watch the aeroplanes. On the way home we stopped at the park for a play, we then made the most of a very gorgeous sunny evening and had a BBQ.

Plane

Pond

On Sunday we spent time in the garden, I finished building the children’s fort, we discovered a little visitor in the pond and we filled the paddling pool up. Yesterday we went to Nanny and Granddad’s house, the girls had fun playing with playdoh, E played with his toy soldiers, we played basketball, tennis, golf/hockey and walked the dog. R decided to have a campout in the garden on the trampoline, she managed to stay out until 11 pm when it got quite windy so she came inside. She wants to try again in the summer with her siblings too.

Where my eldest plans to sleep tonight (I think she'll get cold/scared and come in) #camping #garden #trampoline #daughter #unschooling

 

 

 

 

Our adventures as a home educating family