The great outdoors
Our snowy days last week feel as though it was all a dream, with the amount of rain we have had these last few days! I for one, found it much more enticing to be out, wrapped up warm, sledging down a hill rather than walking across a rain swept beach, my glasses steaming up and covered with raindrops, to the point that I might as well take my glasses off so I can see! I keep on thinking spring and summer are just around the corner, even though the weather certainly doesn’t feel like it’s going to warm up any time soon.
What I love about young children, is that it doesn’t matter what the weather is, they have so much enthusiasm for an adventure come rain, sun or snow. They think nothing of jumping in a muddy puddle, splashing in the freezing cold sea with their wellies or going down a soaking wet slide. Yes, they may tire of it once they are feeling cold and wet, but that doesn’t stop them feeling excited and happy for every moment before they get to that point. It does mean that adults need to be prepared. Having a spare set of clothes in the boot of the car, a flask of hot chocolate to warm up cold children always works a dream too.
I remember one October half term when my children were a lot younger, we met with some friends at Cardinham Woods. My ‘adult’ friend who had no children at that time thought it would be great to go walking in the river. Of course, the children joined her and one thing led to another with my youngest getting lots of water in her welly boots. It really was freezing! I had come unprepared not for one minute thinking they’d be paddling this time of year, so wet clothes it was. We were about halfway through our walk, and so started to make our way back to the car as although my daughter was cold, she still at this point was still focusing on the fun of it all. I did have a blanket in the car, so as soon as we were back in the car, wet clothes came off and she was wrapped in the blanket to go home! Over the years, there have been other wet clothes incidents, finding a swing over a stream that has to be tried out, waves at the beach that once again flow over the top of welly boots! Yes, perhaps a few visits have been cut short due to these circumstances, and at times a few upset girlies, but looking back they are all great memories etched into our mind.
With the snow last week, I hope for most families they were able to get outside and make some fantastic lasting memories. It was the first year my husband had been around on a ‘snow’ day as before he was able to still get to work when many others couldn’t. We took my youngest daughter sledging and what fun we had using a piece of plastic sheeting, shooting down a hill! I know snow hinders our whole county and can be frustrating for adults in everyday life, but for children it can almost seem magical. I think we all remember the times when we were children and school closed for a snow day. It was always so exciting! To throw snowballs, make a snowman or a snow angel was a first for many children last week. What an experience for them and a time they will never forget.
But life is getting back to normal, the shelves in the supermarket are at last getting refilled and the rain is back. Spring weather may be further away than we want, but don’t let the rain stop you getting out and about outdoors with your child. Be prepared, but be adventurous. Turn it into ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ if your child loves that story. There also seems to be a new idea of hunting painted rocks around and about, with a variety of groups forming on Facebook to give you hints and clues of where to find them. I have seen on the ‘Friends of Par Beach’ page a few rocks found around this area. What a fantastic incentive for children to get outside on a type of treasure trail. I wish it had been around when my children were little. Remember, children will follow the examples that are given to them and if you're outside having fun, even in the rain, so will they!