As parents, we are “trying our best” to make a conscious effort to encourage our little Monkeys to play outside whenever they/we can. When it’s cold- put another layer on & a hat, when it’s raining- put a coat and wellies on., when its sunny- put suncream on, hat and sun glasses on!
Me & my wife always encourage our kids to have some outdoor playtime every day, even if it’s something simple like watering the garden plants.
We really want our kids to be addicted to Mother Nature rather than Cbeebies. As a Scout Leader, I have plenty of ideas on how to play/learn outside and it’s a great excuse to use my kids as guinea pigs and test out my new scout activites with them.
So, as you can imagine my daughter sometimes groans and moans at me when I need to her to come outside and have a go at my new scout activity idea…. OH DAD!! I’m watching a very important part of Topsy & Tim. After some persuasion she comes out and either has a great time playing and making something or the other side of the coin, she gets quickly bored and goes back inside to carry on watching the amazing Mr Tumble.
Living in London can be quite tricky to go out for those ideal family walks in the amazing British Countryside or play in the Blue Bell Fields. Yes, we have a few local parks, but it isn’t quite the same. So recently I’ve been doing some work in our back garden here in London. I’m not sure if your aware, but London back gardens aren’t the biggest of gardens. Think of a 1st class postage stamp and then half it, that’s the size of the average London garden.
My son who has recently turned 1 years old is fascinated by the birds that visit our bird table, his face lights up with joy when he sees the birds feeding on the seeds or digging in the plant borders for wiggly worms. This gave me an idea to set up a “Bird Cam” using my GoPro. Recording footage of these birds and being able to see them close up and really appreciate their colours and patterns of their feathers is awesome. Me & Grace send ages looking out of her bedroom window trying to identify the array of birds that visit us.
Pigeons, Wood Pigeons, Magpies, Jay’s, Sparrows, Coal Tits, Blue Tits, Robins, Parakeets are regular visitors to our garden & once a Wood Pecker popped by for some peanuts .
Before the new neighbours arrived and tidied up their garden, the previous owners let the garden over grow. It was a mess, but a haven for wildlife, particularly Mr Fox. Mr fox & his family spent many sunny afternoons soaking up the rays on our lawn. They household moved away and the new neighbours moved in and tided up the garden. Sadly, this meant that Mr Fox and his family got evicted and moved on. I know some foxes are still around as you see them diving into the bins on Bin Day trying to dig out some scraps. So, it got me thinking “Do they still visit our garden during the night ?”. I did a bit of research online and found an infa red Wildlife camera for around £50. I’ve had it up and running for a few weeks now and Grace loves to watch it back with excitement to see who has been visiting our garden at night time. We’ve seen the local cats,bats, foxes but sadly no Hedgehogs.
We’ve also installed a mini wildlife pond, which I made from an old washing up bowl, let’s see what wildlife moves in there!
How to make a mini wildlife pond
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Also, we’ve been planting Sunflower seeds, Cress, Mr Monkey Grass head. The reason being to try and teach our little Monkeys about Mother Nature and how to have to look after something if you want it to grow.
However small your garden, balcony is. You can encourage wildlife into it. Sit back and watch the faces of your little monkeys smile when they watch the birds eat their treats that the kids have left out for them or the butterflies eating the nectar from the plants they have grown from seeds.