Tag: outdoor (Page 1 of 2)

Raspberry And Coconut Porridge – A Fruity Breakfast

This fruity breakfast porridge makes a good start to any day, whether hiking, camping, or even in the kitchen at home ūüôā It is fruity, tasty, and healthy, and it certainly warmed me up the day I cooked it!¬†

Ingredients for Raspberry And Coconut Porridge

This will make one serving, so just multiply the ingredients by how many people you have….it makes a decent portion size too.

1 cup of oats.

1 cup of coconut milk – add more if it becomes too stiff, but one was fine for me.

Handful of raspberries – mine were frozen, but to be honest if I’d taken fresh out that day they would have frozen anyway!!

1 teaspoon vanilla essence.

Non essential:  cocoa powder (sprinkle) and desiccated coconut (spoonful).

Method For Making Raspberry And Coconut Porridge

  1. Pour in coconut milk and add oats.
  2. Stir until warm.
  3. Add raspberries and stir until mushy, then add in the vanilla essence.¬† At this point you can add desiccated coconut if desired. One of our trio doesn’t like strongly flavoured coconut food so we didn’t.
  4. Serve into a bowl and sprinkle cocoa over the top, but make sure it isn’t windy or else you might just end up wearing it!!!

Raspberry and Coconut Porridge, porridge, oats, breakfast oats, camping food, hiking food, campfire food, outdoor cooking, bushcraft, www.mammasschool.co.uk



Bastasjö Friluftsområde РAn Outdoor Family Haven

Bastasjö is a lake that is the centre piece of the Bastasjö friluftsområde, outdoor area.  It is very convenient being only about a 15 minute drive from the centre of the city of Karlskrona in the south of Sweden.  It is a huge area of hiking trails around the surrounding woods.  What makes this place so good for families are several things.  There are a lot of marked trails in a variety of distances, so you can pick what you think you can manage.  There are also good fire pits, surrounding the lake on all sides, allowing for you to build a campfire safely and cook in the great outdoors.  At the side of the lake where the main car park is, there is also a building, which houses toilets.  You can rent this out as well if you are running an activity in this location.  

We arrived at Bastasj√∂ in the depths of winter during the Swedish sportlov holiday, and although we were doing our own thing, it was interesting to see they had a “drop in” campfire with sausages cooking, everyday this holiday week from 10am until 1pm.¬† They also had other activities, for example a night run and orienteering.¬† There are illuminated trails, as well as ones you can use for cross country skiing when there is enough snow on the ground.¬† We chose our trail, the blue one that skirted round the lake, spotting a fire pit that looked good at the half way point, and we set off.

We had travelled inland for about 20 minutes to reach Bastasj√∂, so there was still a fair amount of snow on the ground compared to what we had at home on the coast, so it made for a scenic walk.¬† The lake was truly frozen over, and there were even some intrepid people having a mini ice hockey game on it…..but keeping very close to the edge still.¬† They obviously did not trust the ice thickness that much.¬† My trio were keen to use their binoculars to watch them (see my other tips for¬†hiking with children).¬† They have never known sea or lake ice so thick you can run, walk, or play on it.¬† They were memorised.¬† It all helped to take their minds off the fact they were hiking with backpacks, and were surprisingly perky!¬† They were even surprised to find themselves at our chosen fire pit thinking the first part of the walk had gone fast, and I was quite surprised to find us there without any whinges of “I’m hungry”!

The children dropped their backpacks, and although the little lady announced she was doing the Kelly Kettle, all three raced off and suddenly starting constructing a den in the woods behind the fire pit.¬† I was happy at my work in the peace and quiet sorting out a lunch of hot dogs and campfire toffee apples.¬† Whilst I was busy, a lady who had seen us light the fire from the other side of the lake where the building is, had walked round and started taking photos….apparently she needed photos of people out enjoying the area with their children during sportlov!¬† Once cooked, three hungry little den builders appeared and gobbled their food up.¬† There was a lovely wooden shelter at this fire pit, and although it was not windy today and not such a painful experience to eat outdoors, it was lovely to be a little sheltered while we ate.¬† I had not planned to stay at the fire pit for the whole 2 hours that we did, but the children were so happy¬†climbing trees and den building, that I left them to it until they were ready to leave.¬† Instead, I amused myself by trying to keep the fire going by using twigs from the ground, and although they were covered in snow I somehow managed, so was feeling quite pleased with myself!¬†¬†

Eventually the trio felt it was time to pack up and move off, and we set off to complete the trail and the loop around Bastasj√∂.¬† They tested the limits of the ice on the lake intermittently and tried to break it with large rocks……no luck in breaking it though, it was really solid ice.¬†¬†

I would definitely recommend visiting this lovely outdoor area beside Bastasjö if you are in the area, and for us it will be fun to return in the summer and see a totally different looking place to the one we had experienced today.  There are also geocaches in the area, but due to the cold, my phone battery dies very fast, so we never got to look for them today, so we will save those for the warmer months as well.  Something to look forward to coming back for, as well as maybe different organised activities we could try next time.

Bastasjö Friluftsområde, Bastasjö, Outdoors, Sweden, Hiking, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Country Kids

Snow Ice Cream

Snow ice cream is the perfect way to use some of that cold white stuff up, and turn it into a tasty snack while you are out enjoying playing in the snow. With only four ingredients (although you can add more/different making various other flavours), snow ice cream is very simple and your little ones will love it!!

Ingredients For Snow Ice Cream

(This will serve 2)

Four cups of snow

One cup of preferred milk (we have made it both with cows milk and plant based milk for the vegan in our lives)

Quarter of a cup of sugar

Vanilla essence as preferred to taste

Method To Make Snow Ice Cream

  1. Get milk, vanilla, and sugar ingredients into the bowl.
  2. Put snow in and gently fold it into the mixture.
  3. Serve as preferred….we added sprinkles and sauce ūüôā

You can see how easy this was to make as our little lady was in her element making it for everyone, not to mention the four portions she then consumed afterwards!!! Snow Ice cream, outdoor cooking, winter outdoor food, snow food, winter food, camping food, hiking food, ice cream, outdoor food, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Get Your Vitamin N – March Outdoor Activity List

Last month, I started uploading a monthly outdoor activity list which you can access under the freebies tab (with the password you get sent after subscribing to the blog).¬† It is now time to think about the March outdoor activity list, which can now be accessed under the¬†freebies tab ūüôā¬† ¬† If you don’t have the password, don’t worry,¬†subscribe to the blog and you will be sent it in your confirmation email.¬†

Any form of getting children into the outdoors is a good one.  Whether it is a gentle potter around the back garden, a good old hike for older ones across the countryside, if it is for 5 minutes or 5 hours, the benefits can still be reaped.  As the author Richard Louv famously suggests, we should be using vitamin N (N for nature) as treatment for nature deficit disorder. 

That is why each month, at the start of the month, I will add onto the freebies page, a monthly list of 10 activities to help inspire you to head out there for your dose of vitamin N with your little, or not so little, people.  These are some of the things I do with my three to give me some direction and an aim for getting them out there, which often helps everyone’s frame of mind.  So head over now to the freebies tab and check out the March outdoor activity list.

The aim behind the ideas for the March outdoor activity list for getting vitamin N is that they are all very simple, so shouldn‚Äôt put you off. And if you need a little more convincing about the ideas where mud is involved, head over and have a read as to why¬†mud and dirt¬†are worth all the extra effort¬†🙂¬† Vitamin N can be achieved without sitting in the middle of a forest, wild camping, and hunting for your supper!!¬† It can be achieved by just stepping outside your front door (or back door), into whatever awaits you out there.

I am hoping through these activities that you make a lot of happy memories, have fun together, and enjoy being outside.  If you need more information about an activity, I have blogged about doing most of them, so if you type in a few keywords in the search box, you should then be able to get some more information, or see what we have done in the past.

Let me know how you get on in the comments below for each month, I will love hearing about your experiences.¬† You can also share your experiences on social media too, it will give others ideas and I can keep up with what you are all doing.¬† Use the #fridayoutdoorfun on your¬†instagram¬† photos, and don‚Äôt forget to join in with our Friday outdoor fun thread (every Friday). And if the children have got mucky, then join in with our Mucky Mondays thread (every Monday) over on¬†Facebook¬†.¬† Go and have fun in March ūüôāGet Your Vitamin N - March outdoor activity list, outdoors, outdoor fun, outdoor activities, spring fun, vitamin N, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Our Spring Bucket List – Enjoy The Colours Of Spring

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

  1. Catch some falling blossom
  2. Feed some young farm animals
  3. Make a bird feeder
  4. Make seed bombs
  5. Bird watch
  6. Blow dandelion bubbles
  7. Make an Easter bonnet
  8. Do some spring craft
  9. Make some Easter chocolates
  10. Make dandelion cookies
  11. Make Easter nests
  12. Climb a tree
  13. Make Easter biscuits
  14. Visit a pond and do some pond dipping
  15. Blow bubbles and try to catch them
  16. Blow the heads off dandelions and make a wish
  17. Fly a kite
  18. Make a bird house
  19. Make a fairy garden
  20. Do flower pounding
  21. Go on a nature hunt
  22. Make a flower press
  23. Press flowers and make something with them
  24. Celebrate the arrival of spring ( Valborg)
  25. Go on an Easter egg hunt
  26. Make a bug house or mini beast hotel
  27. Make a den
  28. Paint egg shells for Easter
  29. 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 ūüôā

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.Spring Bucket List - Enjoy The Colours Of Spring, Spring, Spring craft, Easter, Spring activities, Spring fun, Spring kids, www.mammasschool.co.uk



Renovation Bay-Bee

Chocolate Breakfast Oats – A Campfire Breakfast

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:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together and place in the fridge overnight ūüôā
  2. Next day reheat over your campfire for a tasty breakfast
  3. 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 ūüôā

Chocolate Breakfast oats, hiking food, camping food, campfire breakfast, breakfast, campfire food, www.mammasschool.co.uk


A Grown Up’s Outdoor Wish List – Outdoor Gifts

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 ūüôā

Outdoor Gifts For The Grown Up Outdoor Adventurer In Your Life (Or Yourself!!):

A Waffle Iron:

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 ūüôā

Funky Outdoor Clothing:

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.

A Fire Steel:

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!

Kelly Kettle:

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 ūüôā

Hobo Stove:

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.

Mini Axe:

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 ūüôā

A Good Billy Can:

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!

A Fun Mug:

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!!

A Grown Up's Outdoor wish list - Outdoor Gifts, outdoors, hiking gifts, bush craft gifts, campfire gifts, outdoor gifts, www.mammasschool.co.uk


What Is Nature Based Learning – Tips To Get Started

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:

  1. 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 ūüôā
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. A Nature Curriculum:¬†¬†The nature curriculum we have used is, ‚ÄúExploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum‚ÄĚ. 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.
  2. 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.¬†
  3. Spotter books are a good place to start when exploring an environment, and can help identify what you are looking at as well.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 ūüôā

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.

What is nature based learning - tips to get started, tips for nature based learning, nature, outdoor classroom, nature curriculum, forest school, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Valentine’s Day – A Family Alternative


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 ūüėČ !!¬† So what better way to celebrate Alla Hj√§rtans 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¬įC, there was no wind, and this sunset picnic was a perfect end to the day ūüôā

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 ūüôā

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 ūüôā¬† What better way to experience Valentine’s Day together?!

Valentine's Day - A Family Alternative, Family Valentine's Day, Sunset picnic, www.mammasschool.co.uk



Renovation Bay-Bee

Inspiration Wednesday – Children’s Health

Inspiration Wednesday - Children's Health, Children's Health, outdoors, nature, nature play, outdoor play, quotes, quote, inspirational quote, motivational quote, www.mammasschool.co.uk

This month I have done the first of 12 monthly simple lists to help you get your Vitamin N with your little people.¬† Have a read and get some¬†February outdoor inspiration .¬† Don’t forget to head back at the start of each month to check out the month’s new list ūüôā

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