I’m sitting in the office with the windows open and the curtains closed sweltering and wondering if this is a good time to be writing a blog about getting outdoors over the coming months. But it’s something I struggle with every year, so I’m sure it must be a problem for you too.
The first thing I’ve done in preparation is wash my cosy winter coat. I always use a tech wash https://amzn.to/3h7L9lm to make sure it stays waterproof. It seems expensive compared to ordinary washing powder, but it’s cheaper than buying a new coat! I know I’m more likely to go out if I know I’ll stay dry!
The next thing I’ve done is stocked up on all the basics that our toddler Mud Lark will need to keep him occupied. The first thing we always turn to is chalk https://amzn.to/3jPLCKK (he’s almost over eating it now!). It’s a quick easy activity that leaves no trace after it’s rained and we can ring the changes by using the slabs or the garage wall as our canvas. Another must have is bubbles – they seem to get forgotten when it’s not summer but on a windy day letting Mother Nature blow them out is so cool! I love these small ones because he can’t tip out too much at once! (Though I intend to try refilling with washing up solution because they are not ever so environmentally friendly) We’ve harvested our sweet pea seeds https://amzn.to/3zSsp0M to plant again – we planted these as a spring activity as part of Mud Larks Members – and we are going to try planting some in the autumn outdoors this year to see if they come up as well as the indoor grown ones in the spring. Another couple of things we’ve found really great value that we are keeping for the autumn are – a paintbrush https://amzn.to/3yQPSxS (ours was stolen from the decorating box in the garage) which, combined with a bucket of water, has occupied our little Mud Lark for hours – he loves having something to make his mark with and his fine motor skills are improving with all the practice (plus he can’t soak himself completely with just his little seaside bucket so it’s great for cooler weather). We’ve also given him a spray bottle recently – he did have an old kitchen spray bottle with a trigger but that was easy for him (and very wet) so we’ve swapped him for one with a press top and a much finer spray https://amzn.to/3yLkctS which will be infinitely preferable when he’s chasing us round the garden with it in the Autumn.
Toddler Mud Lark loves using his magnifying glass https://amzn.to/38N7S1S to look at things close up and these are a great addition to any Mud Lark’s outdoor kit. If your Mud Lark is slightly older, you could also add in a tape measure https://amzn.to/3kYn3uJ to pack in some maths skills, bean bags https://amzn.to/3htpCEf or balls https://amzn.to/3l4m0t0 to keep moving on colder days, trowels or spades https://amzn.to/3l1yEsP for digging are also fantastic incentives for getting outdoors.
We’ve combined all of these items into 2 outdoor kits which will be available to order as Christmas presents for your Mud Larks very soon and can include personalised Mud Larks treasure bags to keep all their finds out of your pockets as an additional extra. We’ve also added in Spotters guides, Rainbow colour activities and Mud Kitchen recipes to keep your little ones entertained all winter.
The links in blue will take you to Amazon which will illustrate what I mean. If you go on to buy any of these items Mud Larks might get a small commission.