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It is the start of a new season, and time for us to reveal our Spring Bucket List. We have enjoyed doing the activities on our autumn and winter ones, but we are looking forward to feeling a little warmth from the sun, feeling the temperature creep above freezing, and embracing the riot of colour that comes with spring. Although as I write this, just a few days away from March, we are still firmly in the below zero temperatures and with snow both on the ground and falling from the sky. It is hard to believe anything will grow in the near future! So let’s see what’s on our list for the season of spring.
Our Spring Bucket List
- Catch some falling blossom
- Feed some young farm animals
- Make a bird feeder
- Make seed bombs
- Bird watch
- Blow dandelion bubbles
- Make an Easter bonnet
- Do some spring craft
- Make some Easter chocolates
- Make dandelion cookies
- Make Easter nests
- Climb a tree
- Make Easter biscuits
- Visit a pond and do some pond dipping
- Blow bubbles and try to catch them
- Blow the heads off dandelions and make a wish
- Fly a kite
- Make a bird house
- Make a fairy garden
- Do flower pounding
- Go on a nature hunt
- Make a flower press
- Press flowers and make something with them
- Celebrate the arrival of spring ( Valborg)
- Go on an Easter egg hunt
- Make a bug house or mini beast hotel
- Make a den
- Paint egg shells for Easter
- Dance in the rain
We can add one more rather fun one for the country we live in (Sweden), and that is watching the cows being let out of their barn for the first time after the winter. It is a big event here 🙂
I hope we have given you some fun spring inspiration with our spring bucket list (just click on the links if you need further help or information about them) and let me know if you try any of them and how you get on.
Do you want a nice easy campfire breakfast? These chocolate breakfast oats will not only warm you up, they will fill you up. and they are tasty too!
Ingredients For Chocolate Breakfast Oats:
2 cups of rolled oats
2 cups of milk (we used oat milk as one of us is vegan)
1 tablespoon agave syrup (this can be honey or maple syrup too)
1 tablespoon cocoa
tsp vanilla essence
This makes it for 2, so adjust as appropriate
Method To Make Chocolate Breakfast Oats:
- Mix all the ingredients together and place in the fridge overnight 🙂
- Next day reheat over your campfire for a tasty breakfast
- We did it this way as we were off hiking for a sunrise breakfast. However, if you are camping and can’t pop them in the fridge overnight, just make them and warm them up straight away. They still taste good!! And you don’t have to limit them to breakfast either 🙂
Just before Christmas I did a post on children’s outdoor presents. These can be ideas for any occasion, and they are practical. That was for children though, and although I love being able to buy my three outdoor gifts, I have an outdoor wish list too. So I thought I would put together a list of outdoor gear that is fun for grown ups to have and then it could be used as a resource for outdoor gifts. It is by no means a definitive list of everything that is essential, just a wish list of some non essential outdoor gifts 🙂
Outdoor Gifts For The Grown Up Outdoor Adventurer In Your Life (Or Yourself!!):
Now my waffle iron is a very old hand me down from my Norwegian mormor (Grandmother) so goodness knows how old is it (she lived to be almost 92 and died over a decade ago just to give it a bit of context!). It is cast iron, totally impractical to carry (it is heavy and when out hiking we are already carrying quite a lot of weight), but boy oh boy is it yummy and cosy to make waffles on the campfire and eat them!! The good news is there are newer versions of these available now in outdoor shops. They also make toasting irons too (which I have my eye on) so you can make lovely toasties too out in the wild.
Bear with me on this one….I have gloves, and lots of them. However, I have not found a glove (yet) that can keep me warm and that I can still do fiddly tasks things in. My fingers get very cold (painfully so), very fast, so the only gloves I have found so far are the chunkier Gore-Tex outer, fleecy lined ones. Now when you are trying to take lots of photos with a camera, deal with children and what they throw at you, prepare food, make hot drinks, and deal with campfires, I have to remove them to achieve anything, and then my fingers are goners. You can not underestimate how lovely it would be to have amazingly warm and waterproof gloves that you can still do things in! If you know of some make sure you drop their name in the comments below 🙂
You can still look great as well as wearing practical clothing in the great outdoors. I adore my fritids byxor by Revolution Race (you can read my review about them here) and they look really good too. Best of all I get to wear my favourite colour purple, feel good about myself, and be dressed to meet the demands of the great outdoors.
A Tinder Pouch:
I used to carry any tinder I collected in a plastic carrier bag, which served to do the job, but after the children getting a leather pouch each for Christmas, I also invested in one for myself. It is a little bigger than theirs (let’s face it, I do most of the tinder collecting!!) and is made from Swedish Sami reindeer leather.
There are many ways to light a fire, but I find this way one of the most enjoyable! I love using our fire steel and it makes lighting a fire such fun.
As outdoor gifts go, this is such a useful piece of kit, even though you can get by without one. This is something I am currently dreaming of. A nice sharp tool in a handy belt pouch to help peel tinder so it is easier to light, or to assist with the food preparation. Any recommendations would be gratefully received in the comments below!
It is no secret that I adore this piece of kit, (read our user guide here) and it comes with us on all our adventures. It is extremely fun to use, and provides us with hot drinks to keep us warm.
Kelly Kettle Whistle:
This is an accessory for the Kelly Kettle that whistles when your water is boiled and ready to use. A fun, totally unnecessary accessory for your camp kettle 🙂
This little gadget is a stove that sits on the base of your Kelly Kettle, instantly transforming it from a kettle to a hob to cook on. It fits inside the Kelly Kettle when it is packed away so takes up no extra room, and is very light. It is really fun to use and makes cooking safer than on the ground.
I would love a mini axe to help with firewood. Don’t panic I am not about to start felling trees, but this is more for the wood found on the ground, or even at the fire pits when we are walking (some lovely people leave firewood near the pits here in Sweden). It would be easier to use if I could split them, and then I could start carrying less of my own wood from home too. Again I will take any recommendations as to what you think is a good tool in the comments below 🙂
Before I got my lovely billy can, I was carrying saucepans! Not very practical to pack in a rucksack and carry. In this I can carry the meal so that doesn’t take up extra space and it works so well on the campfire too.
Outdoor Fire Gloves:
I am currently carting around our fire gloves from our indoor log burner. These are not especially weather proof and have taken a battering from being used out in nature. They are also very large. Any recommendations, drop them in the comments below!
I love having an enamel mug for our hot drinks when we are outside. I realise Moomins might not be everyone’s cup of tea (Ha!) but we have gone with a set of 5 different ones and it just adds a little bit of fun and glamour (?) to being in the great outdoors.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about what I think would make great (non vital) outdoor gifts. Any other recommendations or ideas would be gratefully received in the comments below, and my wish list may grow even longer!!
Good morning!! A little cheeky Friday morning post to just let you know there will be no new blog posts published next week…….it is half term in the UK, and although our trio have their week off the following week (sportlov) we have solid holiday bookings from Sunday to Sunday with friends and family from the UK next week (it’s going to be a very tight change over day on Thursday!!) We will be back with the next blog post on Tuesday 20th February, and although my three will be enjoying a week off school, normal blogging will be resumed amongst our adventuring. In the meantime I will leave you with a few snapshots of the fun we have been having the past few weeks with the snow (and very cold temperatures hovering around -10 for a few days), and some gorgeous Swedish scenery 🙂 We will still be around on Instagram (I post a daily photo of our fun or of Sweden) so you can follow what we get up to on there, and don’t forget if you want to follow us on Facebook (here you can catch up on old posts), Twitter, or Pinterest, just click the links and go ahead and follow (or click the icons on the sidebar of the blog). Have a lovely week whatever you may be doing!!
What is nature based learning? Nature based learning is a form of learning and development via the immersion in nature, which also has underlying conservation values as well. It develops a life long connection to the natural world for the children, and puts nature at the centre of their learning. I will go into the benefits of nature based learning another time, and you can find ideas for nature based learning here, but today I just want to give an overview of what nature based learning entails.
Many authors have helped increase the awareness of the fact that children should be in the outdoors as much as possible. One of my favourite reads about this topic is Richard Louv’s “Last Child In The Woods”, you can check out my other favourite outdoor reads here. In addition to this, the popularity and provision of things such as Forest Schools and Nature Preschools have also increased.
As a previously home schooling mum of three, we chose to base our learning around nature as much as possible, and I saw the benefits with their enthusiasm which then naturally lead to better and more fun learning experiences. Nature draws most children and excites them to learn. We would either learn about specific nature based topics, or we used nature as an accessory to another learning topic. However, you will find that nature topics use a range of educational skills that are needed for their learning development.
What is Nature Based Learning & Tips To Get Started:
- Get outdoors!! Take all subjects into the great outdoors. Think of the outdoors as your classroom. Be committed to getting outdoors in every season (however brief depending on your climate extremes!!), and invest in good outdoor gear to achieve this 🙂
- Nature props: If you can’t be outdoors, bring nature indoors with you, and use it as props to aid your learning, still basing your subject around the presence of nature.
- Immersive experiences: Provide experiences which can be immersive and very hands on. One of the main principles about nature based learning, and why it is so effective, is because of the interaction children are having with nature.
- Environmental activities: Taylor your learning activities with your local environment in mind, and change the types of environments you are visiting too, to broaden the experience.
- Pace setting: Let your child set the pace….don’t hurry or rush them. Allow them time to explore and ask questions, and the direction the learning takes may even change! It’s absolutely fine to have a plan, but allow for it to change and be encouraged by the learning that happens due to having the flexibility to do this.
Good Resources For Nature Based Learning:
- A Nature Curriculum: The nature curriculum we have used is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/ It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extension activity ideas too. We used the topic as the theme for our week, and followed the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book.
- The Almanac: This is a yearly guide (so we are now using “The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide to 2018” by Lia Leendertz) that connects you to the months and seasons of the year through activities such as exploring the night sky, foraging, feast days and seasonal eating, and a few other subjects too.
- Spotter books are a good place to start when exploring an environment, and can help identify what you are looking at as well.
- Forest Schools are springing up all over the place. If your child is school aged or not home schooled (so you can’t attend this on a weekly basis), they very often have weekend/holiday activity days as well.
- There are lots of books out there as well for background reading about what is nature based learning. I have already mentioned that I have written about my favourites in another blog post 🙂
What is nature based learning in terms of how much or how little? The great thing about nature based learning is that you can do it as much or as little as you want. You can either take on a few learning activities or craft ideas, or you can immersive yourselves and your little ones into it completely and base their whole learning experience on this method. You can pick and mix to find the balance that works for you, your children, and your family as a whole.
In the future I will write about the benefits of nature based learning, and nature based learning ideas, but in the meantime you can check out our Nature Based Learning Category for inspiration.
Over the summer holidays, I took the trio over into Skåne county for a camping adventure. While we were there we visited a fantastic outdoor viking museum, called Fotevikens Museum. The viking museum is an open air museum, which is depicting how life could have been in a viking village. It is so good for the children and their imagination because apart from usual exhibits, they have reconstructed a whole viking town, showing various different buildings. As is common here in Sweden, a great importance is placed on being able to interact with the museum and exhibits, therefore climbing up stairs, exploring inside the buildings, and picking up exhibits to examine, is encouraged. A perfect way for children to learn and remember their experience.
We arrived for when it opened, although as we have found over the past year of living here, nothing really seems to get too busy! However, I wanted the children to be able to bimble around at their own pace, and not feel rushed. I paid 110 sek for me (just over £10), and 40 sek (around £3.60) for the little lady, and my 5 year old twins were free. I get quite excited about reasonable entrance fees to places, as to take a family of 5 anywhere usually costs a small fortune! The children excitedly headed into the viking museum village under the town wall and through the gates, the village’s protection.
We saw and explored a lot of differing types of buildings. There was a blacksmith’s, a poultry house, tanner’s home, the guard tower (which we climbed to the top of several times to enjoy a stunning view), fishery cottage, a smokehouse, lawman’s home, town hall, weaver’s house, and a baker’s home and bakery. Not only could we explore these buildings in the viking museum, but there were people dressed authentically, working away in their respective trades. So, for example, at the bakery they were baking various goods and you could taste them too. If people didn’t have a trade, they were going about their village life…chopping fire wood, making clothes, or maintaining homes. There was even a “punishment area” complete with stocks, and a post with neck weight and chain.
The trio had such an amazing time, full of questions, and letting their imaginations run riot! I would really recommend this viking museum as a place to visit if you are ever over this way in the world 🙂 Even after living here for nearly a year, I am still amazed by the Swedish attitude that children should be allowed to touch, feel, and climb over everything. Of course this is by far the best way for them to get the most out of an experience and create memories, but it is such a refreshing change of attitude to be able to live with on a daily basis!
Last year, for the first time, I tried an alternative Valentine’s Day idea….I made it more about family (well Dadda was still at work, but it included the children!), and we headed out to an island with an amazing view for a sunset picnic. With sunset still occurring early enough during the winter, there is no danger of missing bedtimes 😉 !! So what better way to celebrate Alla Hjärtans Dag (Valentine’s Day) than with a sunset picnic. We lit a fire in the fire pit to keep us warm, we watched the sky change through a rainbow of colours, we listened to the bird song as they started to roost at dusk, we got to see a few murmurations, and we got to see the stars come out and spot a few constellations. It was only -2°C, there was no wind, and this sunset picnic was a perfect end to the day 🙂
Some Simple Food Ideas For A Valentine’s Day Picnic:
The last thing you want to be doing for your Valentine’s Day picnic is going all out with the food so you can’t enjoy the experience and magic of the moment as well. You need to keep it themed but simple.
- For our sunset picnic I had made heart shaped sandwiches (using a biscuit/cookie cutter).
- I served these with a side order of jam croissants.
- They were accompanied by heart shaped Swedish biscuits (pepparkakor).
- For drinks we had a flask of hot chocolate and a flask of hot squash.
I had also taken a table runner and a nice candle (that would stay lit outdoors!) to make it a really special cosy sunset picnic. I wouldn’t normally be quite so extravagant with extras outdoors, especially as I usually have to lug it up some hill! I completely forgot their fruit (bad mummy moment!!) but I did totally remember the marshmallows 🙂
With the fire lit (we didn’t need it to cook for once, but it added warmth and awesomeness to the experience), we needed to put it to good use toasting some yummy marshmallows. Always a favourite. The stars were starting to come out by now and Venus was shining brightly. The children were trying to get snowballs to reach the sea, and we were treated to huge murmurations of birds. Eventually it was time to dampen the embers and head off, but everyone was very chilled and happy having had their sunset picnic outdoors, listening to and watching a natural spectacle or two 🙂 What better way to experience Valentine’s Day together?!