Exploring Outdoors PostLast Saturday I introduced our goal of visiting the library every week well this week I wanted to mention about another of the goals for this year. Our exploring the outdoors – primarily this will be our garden but I’m also aiming to have one visit/activity per week to somewhere else – maybe a local park, forest or zoo, somewhere we can connect with nature and experience the outdoors which have been such an important part of my life.



Baby exploring the garden
T's first ever time outside in the garden as a crawler

Exploring outdoors doesn’t have to fill anyone with dread (yes I was one of those when J was crawling and not walking and to some extent I still am a little with T – hence why I’ve set myself the goal this year). It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and can happen what ever the weather. One of my favourite blogs Learning for Life has the motto

“Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, and snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.” John Ruskin 1819-1900

which I agree with but it has appeared to me that children’s clothing companies don’t have the same thoughts as wet weather gear only comes in 12months+ from the main high street stores (anything else is out of our budget) so T who is 10 months old was dressed in J’s first suit (12 – 18 months) and J in the (18 – 24month) one from last winter and we headed out to do some gardening.

Toddler Gardening
J helping garden

We’ve not really gardened properly with J aware of what is going on (some flowers in tubs last summer) but we have a large garden and over 2/3rds of it are starting to resemble waste land so we need to get on with it and start to create what we want our gardens to be this means J and T need to be involved as well so that we can both work on it together.

Dad and son working together in the garden
J and RDD gardening together collecting leaves

With clothes on to deal with the weather and any puddle that we found we headed into the garden. T immediately removed her wellies and started to eat stones, mud and leaves from around the garden but loved the crawling around and J jumped in his sand pit – now a mix of sand, mud and water, zoomed up and down the slide and then spotted RDD gardening and headed over to help.

Baby in the winter garden
T after she removed her wellies enjoying the texture of grass

I think what I’m learning with J and T is that something it’s the simplest things that give them the most enjoyment – experiencing the garden when it’s not hot sunny and the paddling pool is out filled J with such joy and he connected with nature so much more.

Toddler jumping in puddles
J finding the only puddle in the garden and jumping in it

Is anyone else joining me with explore outdoors this year and if so what plans have you got to connect your children and the natural world?

Robin the garden
J's first contact with garden wildlife in 2012 our friendly garden robin

Mess Monsters in the Garden, where the mess monsters have been kicked out of the bedroom after making too much mess and into the garden where they proceed to make a LOT of mess in the mud and digging up everything in sight. But luckily – the mess created in the garden leads to such wonderful things…

Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.


  1. We’re trying to get out every day too. The other day it was cold and the only motivation to get out was that I needed to cover our vegetable garden to protect it from frost. I find having to take care of produce encourages me to get out since veggies are high maintenance plants. πŸ˜‰ T is a doll and looks just adorable in her wet weather gear.

  2. Oh, I remember what a pain it was to not be able to play outdoors in the winter with the older child when you’ve got a non-walker with you too. Logistical nightmare every time. I sympathise!
    Thanks for linking up to the Outdoor Play Party! Hope to see you back again sharing more of your outdoor adventures in 2012!

  3. That is lovely – I really need to wrap my three up more and head out to play in the garden! With this mild weather at the moment it is perfect.

    Thanks for linking up to Family Frolics – Hope you come back and look forward to reading more posts.

    Kerry πŸ™‚

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