The weather this last couple of weeks has been nothing short of glorious up here in our little corner of East Lancashire. I can’t quite believe it’s only April. This has meant I’ve been finishing off my lions in the evening rather than during the afternoon, as it’s been too nice to not get out and do some gardening.
I am now pleased to say that I have finished the first toys from my work-in-progress bag. Let me introduce to you Lenny the Lion. He’s the second yellow lion I have made to the Steffi Hochfellner pattern and he’s a real cutey.
Unlike his best mate Rockstar!
This one has always wanted to be a rockstar and is loving the fact he can’t have a haircut during lockdown. I think he really rocks the long mane look though and he’s not at all mean or moody.
With the weather being so lovely and not having done much exercise, we headed out to the garden for a mini adventure. The lions quite enjoyed roving through the long grass (chives).
And then the scaled the magnolia tree for a better look at their kingdom. They were joined by little blue lion, who isn’t quite finished yet.
After the magnolia tree, Lenny scaled the cherry, carefully avoiding knocking the blossom off. He was desperate to get to the top and enjoy the sunny views with his friend.
Little blue was left at the bottom for a while as he struggles to climb without any back legs! But the others helped him up for a tree top chat.
Lenny ended his adventure photoshoot with a relax by the waterhole (my wildlife pond). I don’t think he spotted the frog or he might have gotten a bit wet!
It’s been lovely seeing the bright colours out in the garden and the lions just added a bit of fun to the day. I shall get on with giving poor little blue some much needed back legs and an extra bit of mane as he’s still a little bald at the back (don’t tell him though).
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.
I 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.
If 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!