Yesterday we went on a massive adventure, 6 adults, 6 children and 3 dogs and 1 great big yellow sun!. It was like something out of one of those books of my childhood, we walked and explored the riverbank, paddling in the cool pools and climbing the rocks to see if you could make it across the rushing waters. The dogs ran, explored and swam, rounding us up when required.
We picnicked in real style by the rocky beach. By picnic I mean, imagine you are living in a Famous Five novel but multiply it by 3 - the picnic blanket was the carpet base from a 6 man tent, and if it was a table the legs would have been creaking, as it was laden with, quiche, leek and potato pie, Parmesan chicken, chorizo spanish tortilla, sausage rolls, sausages, olives, dips, potato and Greek salad AND a moist spiced carrot cake , tart lime drizzle loaves beautifully baked in individual loaf cases and a sponge cake topped in a decadent coconut topping, all home made with love.
After we ate, the children went off to the park to play and have a go at the stalls on the visiting fete and to climb the rocks to see if they could reach the sea whilest we grown ups sat with mugs of tea made from a KellyKettle, catching up on life. If you have never had the pleasure of a hot drink from a Kelly Kettle try it. We collected little sticks, well the children did from the riverbank and these made a little fire inside the kettle to heat up the water. AMAZING.
After a rest we decided to walk off our lunch by climbing a really really big hill. We had to work up an appetite for the fish and chips we had said we would eat on the beach later..........
When we were in Lynmouth a few weeks back we picked up the National Trusts 50 things to do before you are 11 3/4s https://www.50things.org.uk/ and one of them is to climb a huge hill. Yes it was tough (although the children managed to pretty much run up it, some of us grown ups had to take it slow and steady stopping to catch our breath) the views and the pride in making it to the top were worth every minute. I am quite proud to say that we have completed 42 of the 50 activities over the last few years with our children and probably will now try to accomplish the remaining 8, even if our older children are over 11.
There are loads of studies about the importance of allowing children to play outside and these type of days out give them so much freedom but with us adults still around if needed. Hopefully our children will grow up healthy, mentally and physically, they will enjoy learning how to do new things and not worry if it doesn't work the first time, learning perseverance, they will be able to experiment and build, learning about cause and effect, in exploring with others they learn the importance of team work and most of all they will have a love of the world that surrounds us and the friends and family they explore with.
Four of our group were teenagers and they had an amazing time too, in fact a picture I will keep in my heart is one of the 6 children sitting in a circle on a picnic blanket on the beach sharing fish n chips as the day began to close.