Tag Archives: woodland

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“A portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2016.”

At Arthur’s forest school, the entrance to the woodland classroom is marked by Mr Magic Tree. He stands tall over the children as they learn and play, guardian and protector, and a symbol of the respect for the natural world that forest school nurtures and encourages.

We have decided recently that we should nominate a Mr Magic Tree in the woods by my parents’ house, and this one is a strong contender.

It might be a while before Arthur can climb up there on his own though…

Linking up with Jodi at Practising Simplicity for The 52 Project. 

Meeting Merlin

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Last weekend we took Arthur to meet my parents’ new dog.

It was the first time Leigh and I had met him too, but Arthur was seriously excited. He loves the idea of dogs, but he hasn’t actually got up close to very many. So as soon as we started to talk about Grampa and Mimi’s new dog his interest was piqued.

The thing is that to all intents and purposes Merlin is a toddler too. When we arrived he pretty much knocked Arthur off his feet, whilst simultaneously giving him kisses all over. Arthur thought this was hilarious, and whilst I’m very glad he wasn’t scared I was more than a little nervous…

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Despite (or maybe because of) the somewhat boisterous introduction, Arthur was pining for Merlin the minute we separated them. Merlin soon came back to play too, and as we grown-ups busied ourselves with lunch they were busy chatting and bonding through the glass door.

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Once lunch was out of the way, we took the two toddlers out to play. We started out with Arthur in the sling and Merlin on the lead, but gradually gave them a bit more freedom. There was a particularly lovely moment up in the woods. Both boy and puppy needed constant reminding not to be too over-enthusiastic in their investigation of each other, but still they clearly relished each others’ company.

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I have a be a feeling that Arthur and Merlin are going to be very good friends. I can’t quite get my head around owning a dog for various reasons, but with this beautiful creature not far away for woodland walks and beach fun we should have the best of both worlds.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Searching for sticks

We’ve had one of those gorgeous December days today – cold and crisp and bright and way too lovely to stay indoors for. So putting the to-do list to one side we wrapped out warm and headed out to see what we could see.

Specifically, we were hunting for sticks. I thought it might be nice to have a mission, and one that we might be able to turn into something crafty when we got home. And Arthur has a bit of a thing for sticks at the moment. Mainly, I think, because of Room on the Broom – he keeps trying them out just in case one might actually fly.

He was delighted to be out of the house, and once we’d got past the little bit of road we had to navigate he was off ahead, taking the steps up to the woodland in his stride.

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He was quick to find some good sticks, too – pausing of course for a bit of drumming before we continued on our way.

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He wasn’t terribly keen on sticking to the path, almost getting stuck in some brambles at one point but making it through to assess whether he could manage to scavenge the sticks attached to this (still living) tree. We decided against it.

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His attention got waylaid after a while though, pretty much at the point when he realised the ground beneath his feet was covered in leaves! He announced first that he wanted to lie down for a little sleep…

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And then giggled as he smooshed his fingers into the muddy leaves before picking up handfuls of them and watching them fly.

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He did fortunately decide it wasn’t actually the best place to have a nap, and after a little persuasion was happy to follow me back towards home. There was a moment when I thought he might try to drag this fallen tree home to add to our stash, but it turned out to be a bit too big.

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And even without it we ended up with a pretty good selection of sticks. Now we just need to decide what to do with them! I’m thinking maybe combining them with some trimmings from our Christmas tree to make some sort of wreath. We shall see…

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

A different path

One of the great things about living so close to Berry Head is that we can explore different parts of it every time we wander up. Yesterday, instead of heading straight for the path that offers the most spectacular views over the bay, we followed Arthur’s lead as he meandered deeper into the woods.

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He loved feeling the different textures of mud, sticks and stones under his feet, and managed the more challenging terrain surprisingly well. It did take us a little longer than usual as he had to stop every time he came across something which might do as a little seat and test it out. It’s become a familiar routine whenever we pass a step or a ledge or a rock he might be able to sit on – the pointing, the calling out ‘chair’, and then carefully manoeuvring himself backwards until he’s sat down with a look of satisfaction on his face.

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When we finally made it up to the headland, Arthur led us into the visitor’s centre where they have a box of artefacts from the surrounding countryside conveniently placed at toddler height for little hands to investigate.

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I’ve shown him this box several times over the past year. At first he wasn’t interested, then he only really wanted to find out what everything tasted like, but now he’s beginning to be more curious about all the different shapes and textures of the objects he finds. He giggled as I tickled him with a pheasant’s feather, and turned shells and stones over in his hands.

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He began to try to label what he found, calling the starfish a ‘star’ quite aptly, and then deciding the scallop shell was a ‘moon’. It’s fascinating the connections he’s starting to make between colours and shapes – I really need to start to note them down to help me come up with more interesting metaphors in my writing!

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When he decided he’d done enough investigating for one day he was off again, toddling across the open space outside the visitor centre, waving at strangers and barking at dogs. He made a beeline for a bench, clearly deciding that another little sit down was just what he needed. Not surprising really after all his hard work!

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall