Although it is lovely to spoil the children occasionally with a visit to a zoo or an adventure park, I have found that for child 4 in particular, choosing a place of natural beauty, the woods, a hill to climb, the beach or a river is a calmer, less stressful option.
We need this time, time to decompress, away from school,exams, work and the humdrum of life. Time to be together without the easy distractions of wifi and TV, time to walk together, talk together, just be together. The petty arguments decrease, the tantrums cease and we tolerate each other so much more. This is when I know our family is doing ok and I feel myself relax and just enjoy moments in the here and now, not worrying about what is yet to come. I am content!
So with this in mind I have started to hunt for more outdoor stuff to do. Pinterest helps with scavenger hunts and garden play. I have found a Forest School that we can join and learn from and we are going to take part in the Wildlife Trusts 30 Day Wild Campaign by completing 30 Random Acts of Wildness during June (maybe something for #taspic perhaps?)
Someone once told me that her mother had always told her when she wished to wish for contentment. What a wonderful gift, to be content and I believe that the natural beauty of the English countryside offers us that. Contentment.