School holidays will be here soon with the demands for entertainment. Sometimes I think I might as well just throw money in the air for them to catch as it might be cheaper than endless excursions!  Here are some low cost, low carbon, low stress ideas for things to do with young children while staying here at Lower Marsh Farm.

  1. Mud kitchen recipes – choose  your menu (stone and shredded leaf soup, leaf sandwiches stuffed with mud and acorns, buttercup and daisy salad,  mud and berry cake decorated with stick candles), send them off to find the ingredients (the woods are a great location to start), make delicious meals and then serve to unsuspecting adults. For yourself, take a mug of tea, a book and grab a seat in the play area – close enough to the mud kitchen to see them but far enough away that you are not dragged into chef’s questions!
  2. Teddy bears picnic in the meadow fire circle – get the kids to grab a wheelbarrow from the mud kitchen and go to the log store to move 5 or 6 small logs and a few bits of kindling up to the meadow fire circle. You meanwhile can make some sandwiches and drinks). Then pack the teddy bears into the wheelbarrow along with some drinks and snacks (I aim for at least 5 trips up and down for the kids to let them have some exercise!). Then not forgetting the matches and some newspaper (or a fire lighter!), head up to start the fire while they set-up the picnic. Once the food is eaten, it is time for some marshmallow toasting (I never remember forks so the kids have to go an find some twigs)!
  3. Take a walk to the river beach, do a 2 minute beach clean (which when the kids get going can sometimes go on much longer while you rest watching the waves) – either take the bucket down next to the river along the path that goes past the cow barn or grab one of the recycling bags from the utility room. Once this is done, they can have a stone stack building competition (the higher the better and I am pretty sure using slate is cheating!). Or search for crabs under stones. Then send them searching for sea glass….for a later activity.
  4. Sea glass art – requires sea glass and some shells collected during an earlier river beach trip, card and some glue. A few twigs and pebbles are always useful. Then try making a turtle, a lighthouse, a heart, a family portrait  or whatever their heart desires! Perfect for while I am trying to make something vaguely nutritious that is considered edible on that particular day ????
  5. Ask us to print some activity sheets (we have a selection for example butterfly identification, wild animal footprint hunt, leaf rubbing, sensory hunt). Then head out on an adventure.
  6. Den building – there are several already built around the farm but these are always ready for improvements, extensions or just re-organising. Or head out into a new area and build from scratch – the only drawback with this activity is that it seems to require parent involvement in dragging back increasingly large fallen branches!
  7. Foraging for pudding – find, pick and very occasionally eat (!) blackberries, choose a couple of apples or plums, take back and make a crumble (granola or porridge oats make for an easy topping). Or save for putting on top of cereal at breakfast (never once happened in our house!).
  8. Pebble painting – collect a few pebbles, take back to paint, sign and date (might be worth a fortune in a few years ????) then hide around the farm. During this try to find others already hidden around the farm! A parents responsibility here is spreadsheet newspaper over the table ready for painting, coming and asking for some paint, reading a few pages from your book and then taking photos of their artwork and any found for posting on our Facebook page.
  9. A tennis match with variable rules. Running all the way around the court 3 times in each direct (crossing the lines is cheating), hoping along a line, a dance off on opposite sides of the net or may be even taking a couple of balls and rackets for some ‘normal’ tennis! We have some small rackets and soft balls for little ones; just ask. With the play area, mud kitchen and woodland play house in sight (and of course a couple of chairs for grown ups!),  the kids can burn energy until the ‘I’m hungry’ calls start!
  10. Take a walk over to the village playground or further afield (and needing a car) try the South West  Coastal path or Kit Hill.

For other options, a scenic train journey and check out children’s activities page here.