What better way to spend a sunny, spring morning than gathering sticks and building a den.
We spent a couple of days at Nanny’s house last week, she lives out in Essex, surrounded by fields and little woods to explore. The boys love to get and about and go on adventures. Nanny had told us about a public walk way that runs along side a golf club, surrounded by trees. She often walks the dog down there and we had previously gone for walk along there but it was so overgrown that we couldn’t get far. The trees have now been cut down and the muddy pathway is now clear of any bramble and lovely to walk along (provided you walk around the muddy patches that is)
The boys found an area that was obviously a meeting area for the local children, they had built their own little house on a hill from branches, it even had a rule sheet attached to it. It gave the boys an idea of building their own den. There were lots of fallen down branches from the recent windy weather that we had.
The boys gathered together some branches and began to lean them up against a tree. They worked together as a team, negotiating where to place the branches, using their imagination and creativity to build a home outside. The tree was at the bottom of a little hill.
They experimented using branches of all sizes, small twigs, leaves, stones and mud.
The boys really enjoyed being one with nature and it was lovely to see them enjoying themselves and not arguing for once. They were kind to each other and listened to each others reasoning of what to do next.
They really enjoyed working together and was really pleased with what they had built.
Every Sunday at 9am a group of children and volunteers gather together in the park to participate in a free, timed 2k run. They are safe and easy to take part in, all you have to do is register online and then print out your bar code in order to receive a time. Winter or Summer, rain or shine, wind or snow this activity happens no matter what and it’s all thanks to the volunteers that give up their Sunday morning lay in. They are amazing!
It’s a struggle foe me to get the youngest up and out of the house during the week for school so when it comes to the weekend, he is not having none of it. On the odd occasion he IS up and moving around the house, we take the opportunity of having to be able to go the park and join in.
This morning was a good morning. We managed to be up, fed, dressed and out of the front door by 8.30. Good eh!
We arrived at the park a little early, which was convenient as I had noticed a few weeks back that their was a geocache located in the park. Using the Geocache app on my phone we navigated our way to the cache. We did cheat a little by reading the hint, which was to ‘take a pew on the left hand side and have feel about’ As we neared the cache we spotted a bench
The boys ran off ahead to search for it, after a little feel about under the bench we found it
Didn’t take us long so we had some time to try out the fabulous swing and rope frame to climb
We only had a short play and it was time to head on over to the start ready for warm up before the race began. The youngest one doesn’t like to participate, not because he doesn’t enjoy it but he lacks confidence and is not happy when people show him attention. So I wasn’t going to push him into running, although I did dress him ready for it just in case he had a change of heart. As we was walking over to the Junior Parkrun Flag, he said that he would take part. He must have been in a good mood. I promised him a hot chocolate in the den at home if he ran and offered him a tic tac, which we said was a speed sweet and it would help him find the energy to run. With sweet in the mouth he was ready for the warm up. It took a lot for him to walk over to a bunch of strangers and join in, I didn’t want to give him too much attention otherwise it may have caused him to not join in. He had a big smile on his face when the countdown began and off he went along with his older brothers following the orange cones that was set out so that the children ran on the correct course. There were volunteers on every corner, supporting the children and pointing them in the right direction as they went past. They had to run round the course twice. It wasn’t long before the eldest passed by, with the middle boy following shortly behind. I waited by the start for the youngest to pass, as he neared he asked if I would join him. He told me that he was cold and needed my hand to warm him up. We ran the rest of the course hand in hand.
As we neared the finish line i let go of his hand for him to finish by himself. His brothers came to join him, followed by other children that had already finished. They were running along side him, encouraging and cheering him on. The support that the children receive from the adults and other young children is immense, it really does help them along the way.
He finished the 2k run in 14:07. He done so well and was very proud of the token that he received at the end. You need to get your bar code scanned along with the token in order to get a time and place on the website.
Two years ago the Olympics hit London and what a Summer it was! Living so close to the Olympic park meant that we felt that we were among all of the action and even got to watch a couple of the events. As I walked through the Olympic park back then I felt the electric vibe, the atmosphere was amazing and everyone was smiling and in such a happy mood So when i heard that The Olympic was opening up a play area I couldn’t wait to go back to Stratford an explore it with the boys.
Living just over 9 miles away from it means that it is easily accessible for us, just only 34 minutes away in the car or a 25 minutes train journey it’s not long before we reach the park.
Although the Olympic park has been open to the public to walk through and enjoy the surroundings for the past year, last month they opened up a play area in the North Park near the Copper Box called Tumbling bay. The playground features rock pools, sand pits, wobbly bridges, slides, swings, tall tree houses all made from twisting logs and timber. The boys and I decided to pay it a visit yesterday and i must say that we will definitely be back again especially with our bikes and a picnic.
When we first arrived at the Olympic park we walked in through the entrance that was just in front of the stadium and we came across a small play area with sand, a slide, a swing and a rope bridge, the children quickly ran off to explore. Oliver loved balancing across the rope bridge and the children had lots of fun running up and down some moulds on the ground.
Just near to the play area we saw some ladders that went down to the river, we went over to explore and found out that there was a climbing wall down there.
Although it is advised that no one under the age of 10 should be using the climbing wall, I think if your supervising your children and know there limits then it should be fine. Oliver really enjoyed climbing but i made sure that he didn’t go far up.
We decided to make a move on and explore more of the park, as we walked away from the stadium towards the copper box there was an outdoor gym to try and lots of little walkways to go off and explore, the pavements are very big and wide so perfect for a family bike ride.
We found the tumbling bay playground in the North park and at first we thought it was quite small, the boys played in the sand and walked over the wobbly bridge
As we was walking around behind the wobbly bridge we saw the water pumps and thought that it would be best to keep the children away from them as i didn’t have any spare clothes incase they got soaked, I saw some wobbly logs to balance on and we followed around the back and found the real Tumbling bay playground, the boys couldn’t believe their eyes!
It was timber galore! Swings, slides, rope bridges, treehouses and rope ladders, the boys ran off to explore and have fun.
I didn’t see Joseph, my middle boy at all once we got in there, but I did catch a glimpse of him high up in the tree house walking along the rope bridge
There is one thing that Oliver loves and that is a swing and there are plenty of them hanging from the bottom of the rope ladders
There is lots to do at the Olympic park, all set within pretty landscaped gardens amongst the winding riverways of the river lea. We can’t wait to get back with our bikes and to spend the day cycling around the park enjoying the surroundings and resting up within in the pretty gardens.
Family time is precious and it’s even better when we are visiting Nanny
For the past couple of days the boys and I have been staying at nanny’s house, nanny doesn’t live too close to us so when it’s half term we like to spend our time visiting her.
Our first day we went for a lovely walk in a local nature reserve
The boys loved running around and making the most of the space by having races against each other
After a long walk around the marshes we found an outdoor gym just next to the play area
We all had a go on all of the equipment making sure that we read all the instructions first. Oliver loved the cross trainer, his little legs just about reached and he found it easier to go backwards than forwards but it didn’t stop him from trying it
Even Nanny had a go on one
This machine was quite good and you could really feel it working around your hips.
Outdoor gyms are a fabulous way of all the family keeping fit together whilst out in the open air.
Today we went to another local park but didn’t manage to stay long as the eldest didn’t feel very well but I still managed to grab a couple of photos of the boys playing pirates on the wooden ship
Oliver like the spinning wheel, he has a thing for numbers and loves to point out ones that he recognises, he was spinning the wheel and telling me what number the triangle was landing on each time
Joseph is a bit of a climber and will try and climb anything, he loves to show me too
Once we returned back to Nanny’s house it was time for the boys to go out into the garden and search for the eggs that Nanny and I had hidden for them to find.
They had a lovely time searching high and low for the eggs and web managed to find some that we hidden within the trees and shrubbery.
I loved watching them running around laughing and shouting out to each other that they had found one, big brother even helped the little one with pointing out some for him to pick up.
We have had a lovely couple of days outside in the fresh air, I’m linking this post up with Coombemill Countrykids
Last weekend we packed up the car with the bikes and travelled into London, 7.5 miles away, towards Stratford so that we could spend the morning in Victoria Park.
I grew up visiting the park, my mum used to take me and my siblings there all the time, we used to go for walks around the lake and play in the park, but apart from the odd trip there to watch a couple of children football matches I haven’t really gone back to explore the area. Paul had recently been in a running race that was held in the park and came back telling us that it had changed and that there was now a really good play area for the children to explore and play in.
We only took my bike which has the child seat attached to it and Joseph’s bike as Paul and Jak was going to have run around the park whilst we cycled. We decided to go and explore the play area first, we had parked on Cadogan Terrace which was near to the play area. Victoria Park is split into two, with a road going through it, the larger part of the park is called East park this is where the Pools playground is and the smaller part, West park has a boating lake.
The first part of the park that we came to was an outdoor water play area (not on because of the time of the year) The boys were running around over the shaped mounds on the floor pretending to play pirates, Oliver found a tunnel made from sticks to run through
The boys were enjoying them self so much that we didn’t realise that there was more of the play area to explore, Daddy pointed over towards a mound of bolders, which looked like a mountain, he told the boys to go climb them and see what was on the over side. I could hear and see children on the top but had no idea what was beyond them.
They were climbing and running over the mountain, chasing after each other and then they realised what was on the other side
There was the longest, highest slides I have ever seen outdoors in a playground (apart from at funfairs), lots of sand to build castles in, different shaped rope climbing frames, wooden houses, roundabouts, balancing logs, rope swings, musical aparataus and much more. The first thing the boys did was try out the slides, these were Oliver’s favourite
He went up and down so many times I lost count, that was until a few children ruined it for him by sending sand down with themselves, when it was Oliver’s turn he ended up getting lots of sand in his eyes and wouldn’t go on it again 🙁
He didn’t cry for long though as he realised there was lots more to be doing, he quickly made his way over to the spinning top but he wasn’t interested in sitting ontop of the spinning top, all he wanted to do was play with the stones
Playing in the sand
Running on the magic carpet
All that sand and he wants to play with stones
Just hanging around
Joseph loves to climb so he spent his time climbing on the rope frames, trying to get the top so he could be King of the Park.
Oliver loved running along the magic carpet, he said he was running away from the crocodiles and the carpet would take him to his house where Mummy would keep him safe.
The park is a fabulous place to visit to escape the hustle and bustle of shopping in the city.
Next to the play area is a hub where you can buy refreshments, We bought ourselves a coffee and sat and drank it whilst watching the boys playing on the spinning top
Jak found some square shaped rubber boxes that made a note when you jumped on them, he ran across them trying to make up a song
After exploring the park and trying out pretty much every play apparatus there was we got onto our bikes and went for a cycle around the perimeter of the park. The canal runs along the edge, so we did have the option on cycling along it but I am not a very confident cyclist and as I had Oliver in the child seat on my bicycle I thought it would be best to stick to the cycling path in the park
Joseph taking a break from cycling
We had a lovely morning in Victoria Park and will definitely be returning in the Summer when the water area will be open.
Yesterday we saw something in the sky that we hadn’t seen for a while!
It was big, it was bright, it was shining and it was lovely……The Sun!
The big yellow thing in the sky mad an appearance and we made the most of it by taking a trip to our local park to feed the ducks. The sky was blue and the winds had calmed right down, it really was a very pleasant day.
Jak, the eldest, was out in the morning with his Dad taking part in his first cross country 5 mile race, so our trip to the park was quite later in the day but the sun was still shining. We normally visit this park to play in the outdoor gym and parkour area but instead we took a walk around the lake to feed the ducks.
Oliver loves throwing in pieces of bread to the birds, he squeals with delight when a duck swims over to eat his bread.
After feeding the bread we walked around the park and found a huge tree trunk that had been pulled up out of the ground.
The boys quickly began exploring the trunk, climbing over it and walking along it.
And obviously I took the opportunity to take some shots with my phone at different angles (the boys love to pose)
Our trip to the park was a lovely day out, it was just nice to be out in the fresh air with no wind and rain about.
Early Saturday morning the boys and I wrapped up warm and travelled to one of our local parks, I say early as we left at 8:15am!
Jak normally takes part in a 5k Parkrun on a Saturday with his Dad, but Dad got called out to work early so I had to step in and take him. Jak loves running and is currently training to enter in the Mini Marathon borough trials, last week he managed to run 5k in 23:27 so this week he was hoping to beat his time. We arrived at the park 15 minutes prior to start time so Jak done some warm ups and talked me through the route that he would be running.
Parkrun is a Free local weekly 5km event for runners of all standards, which takes place every Saturday at 9:00am in our local Park. It is not a race against other runners, but a 5k timed run for fun or as part of a training plan. People of all ages ages, name or female from the local community come together on a regular basis, you can run, jog, walk or push a buggy, not only do you get free physical exercise but you get to enjoy the beauty of the park. Jak has registered himself online with them so he has a barcode that he has to take along with him so that he can get it scanned at the end of the run and he will receive his official time.
As the start time was approaching and Jak made his way along with the other participants, the boys and I made our way to the lake so we could cheer him on as he passed us by.
It was amazing to see him run along with adults, he was in 7th place and I could have burst with pride. That’s my boy running past me with such energy and passion for the sport.
Joseph showed me where to go next on the course to see him pass again (Joseph sometimes goes along too on his bike)
Everytime Joseph saw him he cheered him on, Jak said this gave him that extra burst of energy to him shout his name 🙂
We was at the finish line to watch him pass over the line, he managed to run it in 22:33 a new personal best for him!
He is really serious about his running and has now got a new goal, he wants to get his time down by a minute at least! I don’t want him to push himself too much as I want him to keep on enjoying running.
His trial is on the 26th of this month and he has to come in the top 8 in his age category to be in with a chance of competing for the borough in the London Mini Marathon. He is 11 years old (yr 6) he has so much drive and commitment to it I am hoping that he will do well.
After Jak had done his stretches and had a little rest we all went off to feed the ducks
Oliver loves to feed the ducks, but they were a bit on the hungry side and chased us for the bread so we made a quick get away and found a few puddles to jump into instead
I am glad we had a spare pair of socks and trousers as he got absolutely drenched! He had so much fun though and smiled and giggled the whole time.
Although it was chilly the Sun had started to make an appearance, the sky was a clear blue and it was turning into a pleasant winters sunny morning.
The boys had some fun playing in the park, Jak rested on the big rope swing
Oliver climbed on the sunken wooden ship and loved clambering up the rope ladder to the look out point
All in all Our early morning trip to the park was quite eventful, full of the new memories and lots of fresh air.