Outdoor Summer Activities

Since I was invited to write my blog for Provident, I’ve been spotting all sorts of other things to do that don’t cost a lot.  Of course, many of the activities are local to me in Bury, but there are plenty of national activities to get involved with too.

IMGP1267I was struck last week by an article I read in the latest Plantlife magazine. The new edition of the Oxford Children’s Dictionary has had several nature based words removed and replaced with modern technology speak. This doesn’t necessarily sound a travesty at first, but these are words like catkin, beech, fern, acorn, bluebell, buttercup and dandelion! Surely these are words that every child grows up with?! It really was a shock that they have been replaced by broadband, chatroom and blog. Isn’t it possible to have space for all of these words in a child’s dictionary? Plantlife are encouraging parents to spend more time outdoors with their children and this links perfectly (I think anyway) with the Woodland Trust’s campaign to get children to play outside. They have launched their ‘Tree Party’ campaign and you can send off for a free party pack to take on a picnic with your friends.


My pack arrived the other day and it’s great. Alice can’t wait to get outside and use it. The pack comes in a box made to look like a picnic hamper and is filled with games to play, face masks, straws, stickers, party invitations and even a bag to put all your rubbish in! The idea is that you invite a tree to your party and celebrate how important they are in our lives. I’m hoping we have some sunny days over the holidays and we can go for a picnic in one of local parks.

bury_d_treasure_2_sanvito_curved_displayIf we do get out and about, regardless of the temperature I will be encouraging Alice to have a go at a local initiative ‘Bury’d Treasure’. This is another activity to encourage children to spend time outdoors, only this time’s it’s about following clues to solve a puzzle. There are several set up around the local parks in Bury and some local primary schools have signed up to encourage their pupils to take part. I hope it’s a success and we don’t find they become targets for vandals.


All of these outdoor activities will help with the annual summer keep active campaign run by the NHS and Change4life, the ’10 minute shake-up’. This year they have teamed up with Disney again and the free pack includes a Finding Dory poster and stickers. So we shall be aiming to do at least ten minutes of physical activity every day.

I am also hoping that Alice will be a bit more independent and I will get some crafting done while she runs, climbs, discovers and solves clues!

Happy holidays


Wood craft

Over Christmas I have visited my in-laws and discovered how my Father-in-law has been preparing for the Christmas period.  He is a fellow crafter (having taken early retirement a number of years ago) and his current craft of choice is wood turning.

This year he made a little Christmas tree for my daughter, which I loved too, so I ordered another from him for our Christmas dinner table.  These little trees are so quirky and gorgeous.

Wooden Christmas trees

The larger tree is made of lime wood (I think) which is very appropriate for us as we live in a lime tree prevalent area.  It looks lovely as a focal point on the table too and has prompted a number of comments from visitors.  I love it so much that I haven’t been able to put it away with the rest of the decorations and it is taking pride of place on my kitchen window ledge for use on my table throughout the year.

I was also surprised with a lovely gift for our Christmas tree.  This beautiful bauble.  It has been polished but this is the natural colour of the wood.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

Wooden Christmas tree bauble

He’s made some beautiful pieces for us over the years and has just recently set up an on-line store. So if you’re in the market for some beautiful wooden gifts or home accessories, give his stall a visit – Paul Brooks you won’t be disappointed.

Let me know what you think.

Happy Crafting