One of the things I like to plan are things-to-do over the weekend. Experience has taught us that if we are not organised with a rough plan for the weekend, we most often than not, succumb to staying at home, being lazy and unmotivated and ending the weekend feeling like we didn’t make the most of it. We have learnt that in our family, we do well when we have weekends planned. So once Lockdown One was over, I started to make a rough inventory of things to do by researching on the internet and getting recommendations from friends. I thought I had a pretty adventurous list and I even went so far as to book some of these places well in advance.
Then Lockdown Two came and most, if not all of those places, unfortunately, had to shut down. Thankfully though, in this lockdown, parks and playgrounds remained open and exercise was encouraged, so we decided that this was what we were going to do over the lockdown weekends. One place we particularly enjoyed going to was a lovely park called Alice Holt park in Hampshire. In fact, we went there twice this November and we are just back home from a trip there today. The place was a lot busier than the last time we went (maybe other families with kids have the same ideas as us?) but we still had a wonderful time.
From our home in Chessington, the park is only about a 45-minute car drive, and there is ample car parking just outside of the park entrance. Their toilet facilities are good, and they have a lovely café (offering only take-away at present). My kids love their lunch boxes (the same as what they had the last time they visited) which comes with a cheese sandwich in brown bread, potato chips, fromage frais and a small juice. My husband and I had a beef burger and a hog roast sandwich. There is plenty of seating outside to sit down and eat and, it is lovely eating in the midst of all that forest green (or brown and orange as in our case today).
What I like about the park are their numerous wooden play spaces, trails and amazing forest areas to explore. There is a ‘gruffalo trail’ that you can take and at certain points of the trail, you will encounter a wooden Gruffalo, a child Gruffalo and other characters from the book. My kids loved following the map to find these characters. The nature areas are spectacular with tall, coniferous trees and Autumn leaves carpeting the forest floor. I walked around with a cardboard box in my hand and used that as a container to collect beautiful Autumn leaves, holly with its red berries, leaves, twigs with buds and other beautiful items that I could use for Nature Arts and Crafts with the kids at home this Winter.
I also used our time in the forest to do last week’s Nature Study, which was on ‘Moss’. I plan to write a post on how we are doing the ‘Exploring Nature with Children’ – our Nature Study curriculum soon. We spent some time looking for moss, and when we found it, we felt it, smelled it, slept on it and took pictures so that we could journal about it later.
It was a blessed day!