In typically British fashion, let’s mention this crazy weather we have been having. Wild winds and lashing rains have caused mayhem here in the UK over the last week or so with flights, ferries, and trains being cancelled or delayed. Mrs N’s brother was a victim of both the baggage chaos at Gatwick and of the weather Gods delaying his onward flight to the Paternal family home, which having flown in from LA with a pregnant wife and toddler in tow earlier in the day wasn’t exactly ideal! Serious flooding has left roads impassable and some towns and villages under several inches of water: the Environment Agency still have 157 flood warnings in place as of this morning. Electrical supplies have been patchy in places with some areas being left without power for substantial periods of time.
So Mother Nature is causing mayhem and continues to do so this morning with high winds and more rain forecast for later, however, here at Nicholas & White, we’ve taken our usual approach to grotty weather: no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear. Yesterday Mr N got the three junior Ns geared up for the elements and took them all for a 10k bike ride to check out the localised flooding and see if the farmers had moved their livestock from their usual, now sodden patches. Meanwhile, Mrs N (being super rock n roll) set ‘The Staff’ *read electrical appliances* to work and blitzed the house: cue clean sheets, vacuumed floors, fresh smelling bathrooms and a sense of order restored. Ruddy cheeked, slightly mucky, happy children returned and emptied Lego everywhere: order was pretty nice whilst it lasted! Over at the Whites, a similar ‘gear them up and turf them out’ situation was going down.
In an effort to get everyone away from the selection boxes and biscuits and outside, we thought we’d put some (cost free!) suggestions out there for all to peruse and hopefully get you moving for the wellies and anoraks rather than another slice of Christmas cake! We find *whispers* bribery works a treat on sluggish family members – promise of a steaming hot chocolate or a bracing walk to the pub gets most out of the chair – do try to leave the ‘oh but we’ll all get mucky and add yet more to the laundry pile’ thoughts from your head, after all, what parent doesn’t own shares in laundry liquid and the sheer abandon with which the kids will play when they know they can go puddle jumping without reprimand is lovely!
- Get out for a walk – the dog (if you have one) will thank you too!
- Go for a bike ride or a run
- Take the kids to the park – pack a flask (and bin bags to sit on in the car on the way back)
- Play footy/ tag rugby/ rounders/ tag/ basketball/ any games they’ve learnt in PE
- Check out any local wildlife walks/ parks/ footpaths near you (your council webpage should have this info on it)
- Play nature detectives, the Woodland Trust have a great printouts in the kids section of their website
- Get together with friends – we’re sure their kids could do with blowing off steam outside too!
- Build an outdoor den together
- Do a scavenger hunt, looking for specific twigs/ leaves/ shaped pebbles/ animals
- Visit your local woods and get the kids collecting sticks, building dens, kicking through leaves
- Get the kids to help on your allotment if you are lucky enough to have one or in your garden clearing up whatever the wind has blown in.
- Check out Project Wild Thing for inspiration and the Wild Network, both backed by Play England, and whose aim is to get kids back outside and connected with nature
To quote Chris Packham, naturalist and wildlife TV presenter:
Children have a natural fascination to touch and to feel things – it’s part of existing in the world. It’s not the kids that have said they don’t want to put their hands in the mud or jump in the pond, it’s the adults that have said no.
So, gear up, get out there and have fun together!