Explore! – Embracing the Outdoors this autumn

 

Now that the weather has changed, the outdoors might well not look so appealing as a playground for children or adults alike.

However, there are still dry days (make the most of them), and rainy days can be filled with outdoor-inspired indoor activities. The great outdoors offers a plethora of adventures and education for us all, especially in autumn when our scenery changes so greatly. And, most importantly, it doesn’t have to be boring.

Nature Treasure Hunt

Nature Treasure Hunt

At Mountain Adventure Camps we’re always looking for exciting activities and for ways to get kids away from the digital life that we are all guilty of succumbing to.

This year, we set up a nature treasure hunt with a pirate theme where each of the kids had to search the resort  for a ‘swashbuckling sword’ or ‘pearls of the ocean’ which gets the kids to engage with nature and look at the environment that they’re in.

Miranda Krestonikoff talks about “going for adventures, not walks” in a recent National Trust Magazine article, now, doesn’t that make the day sound more appealing?

A simple stroll into the woods or local countryside, perhaps along the canal or riverside can provide a wealth of material for entertaining the kids. You can even turn it into a kind of scavenger hunt if you like:

-Collect conkers and have conker fights – old school, but never gets old.

-Find fir cones and decorate them for Christmas – some gold spray paint should do the trick, even add some faces and characters if you like.

-Go dancing in the Autumn leaves

My favourite activity from my childhood – it’s always fun to chase each other round trying to fill the hoods of jackets with leaves! :) In fact Adventure Tykes have a brilliant photo of a little man enjoying the leaves this week;

Autumn Leaves

-Spot wildlife

I was recently walking through Ashridge Estate and the deer and stags were out in full force – beautiful. Matt, on the other hand, likes to hunt for the lesser spotted grey squirrel… such a rarity.

Spot the deer

Can you spot the deer?

-Pick apples and blackberries

It doesn’t have to stop there, anything that you see or collect on your adventure can be taken home and the activities can continue:

-Try making fruit crumble or pie

-Make leaf design potato prints and try out your art skills

-Theme your food:

- Make some animal biscuits

- Say ‘thanks’ for the harvest and make a whole meal based on root                             vegetables. Canadian Thanksgiving has just happened across the pond so take a leaf out of   their book and try cooking up some yams!

And don’t forget that pumpkin time is just around the corner so you can try your artwork, or painting skills on them! And there’s so much fun to be had on the food front. Check out Kim Vallée for some party food ideas and Kaboose for some party activities and costumes (Kids, may I suggest you make something for your parents – see how silly you can make them look!)

Pumpkin Carving

Let The Telegraph help you plan your gardening activities with a little pumpkin carving thrown in for good measure.

There are lots of pumpkin carving events going on this autumn so get involved! Try Basingstoke Discovery Centre Sat October 27th, or Leighton Buzzard Garden Centre Sat 13th October.

Junior, an on-line parenting magazine also have a world of ideas and advice for how to entertain kids and get them to stretch both their legs and their imaginations – a great forum to refer to when you’re just out of ideas and tackles problems from Nits to Managing superhero play!

 Junior Magazine

Finally, The National Trust – our national treasure, have ‘The Great British Walk’ running until the 4th November so go and get involved and share your treasure finding skills and show off your beady wildlife spotting abilities.

Find great walks at www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

Check out our Autumn Pinterest page for more ideas.

We’re running our own walk this weekend in Epping Forest and have a follow up walk from Berkhamsted, a historic market town at the end of the month.

For details check our website at www.mtncamps.com.

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