Family Fun Day – Finding The Wild! 

On Sunday, we went to a family fun day at a local college. Whilst that was in itself far from wild, we did find a couple of nature related things going on!

The main thing was finding our local beekeepers. This also led me to read more about beekeepers afterwards, especially from an ethical point of view. I found an interesting blog by a beekeeper about how approaches can vary and some are less ethical so I would like to know more about the practices of the ones we saw now. It was educational for Squiggle to see them though anyway!

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We also spotted some woodcarving, which is such an awesome skill! Squiggle loved the rabbit…

Wood carving, family fun day, #LivingLifeWild, #30DaysWild, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts

There are a few less ‘wild’ photos too! Building a wall…

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Building a wall, bricklayer, manual skills, family fun day, #LivingLifeWild, #30DaysWild, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts

Inflatable assault course…

inflatable assault course, family fun day, #LivingLifeWild, #30DaysWild, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts

Fun games…

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There were also sheep, birds of prey, funfair rides and dancing demonstration, plus lots of other things that we didn’t get round to as well!

DIY Seed Bombs – #30DaysWild

Squiggle and I made seed bombs, as a more unique way of planting the wild flower seeds we were sent from The Wildlife Trusts in our 30 Days Wild pack. It is a really simple, fun activity… and all you need is clay, soil and seeds! 

Firstly, get a small lump of clay and flatten it out.

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Next, put some soil on top…

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Then add some seeds on top…

Living Life Our Way, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts, seed bombs, grow your own, nature, wildlife, environment, green living, #30DaysWild, #LivingLifeWild, campaign, childhood unplugged, outdoors, freedom to learn, home education, get outside

Mix it all together…

Living Life Our Way, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts, seed bombs, grow your own, nature, wildlife, environment, green living, #30DaysWild, #LivingLifeWild, campaign, childhood unplugged, outdoors, freedom to learn, home education, get outside

Roll it into a ball…

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Now you have your own DIY seed bomb!

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Throw the seed bomb into your designated area to plant it! 

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If you don’t have any clay, alternatively you can also use flour instead. I tried this method by myself just out of interest. Begin by mixing the seeds into the soil. Then mix 1/3 flour with 2/3 soil/ seeds, using a small amount of water to make it ‘stick’, and roll into balls. 

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Have you ever made a seed bomb? If not, why not give it a try! 

#30DaysWild #LivingLifeWild

World Environment Day 2017 – Connecting People To Nature 

Today, 5th June 2017, is World Environment Day. The aim of this campaign is to connect people to nature. Of course, for those of us who are taking part in 30 Days Wild, this is something that we are already doing throughout this month anyway!

However, I would like to set everyone a challenge to do today. As suggested on the World Environment Day website, share a photograph of your favourite nature spot using hastags #WorldEnvironmentDay and #WithNature to celebrate this event. Let’s create the world’s biggest nature photo gallery!  

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There is also an excellent app – inaturalist– that is using photos to carry out citizen science research. So do consider sharing your photos with the online community there too; you can learn something new whilst also taking part in this important research.

Do you have your own event planned for World Environment Day today? I would love to hear about it, please share in comments!

#WorldEnvironmentDay #WithNature #30DaysWild #LivingLifeWild 

Visit To A Local Conservation Area – #30DaysWild

Yesterday, we visited a small local conservation area. We have driven past this spot many times but had never actually stopped to explore it before now. It is lovely discovering new places! 

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London Colney, Hertfordshire

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Living Life Our Way, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts, London Colney, Hertfordshire, conservation area, nature, wildlife, environment, green living, #30DaysWild, #LivingLifeWild, campaign, childhood unplugged, outdoors

Living Life Our Way, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts, London Colney, Hertfordshire, conservation area, nature, wildlife, environment, green living, #30DaysWild, #LivingLifeWild, campaign, childhood unplugged, outdoors

Living Life Our Way, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts, London Colney, Hertfordshire, conservation area, nature, wildlife, environment, green living, #30DaysWild, #LivingLifeWild, campaign, childhood unplugged, outdoors

It is only a small patch of natural environment in the middle of an urban area, but it was filled with wildlife and nature. There were so many ducks everywhere!

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Living Life Our Way, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts, London Colney, Hertfordshire, conservation area, nature, wildlife, environment, green living, #30DaysWild, #LivingLifeWild, campaign, childhood unplugged, outdoors

However, the highlight was meeting this gorgeous little gosling…

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We were careful not to get too close but s/he seemed very confident and friendly, and kept wandering closer to us. The wildlife here are obviously very used to humans, which is not at all surprising given their location! 

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What have you done for #30DaysWild so far? Leave me a comment below or, if you have written a blog post, link it up!

Nature Walk – #30DaysWild 

Squiggle and I regularly go on nature walks. Being situated in an urban location doesn’t mean we have to deprive ourselves of nature. Despite living on the outskirts of a city, we are lucky enough to have parkland and green spaces on our doorstep. Natural environment is essential to our wellbeing. I feel it is therefore important to take the time to appreciate the natural world around us – perhaps even more so because sometimes we have to actively seek it out. 

So we slow down, we pause to observe, we talk about what is around us, and use all our senses to explore. We emerse ourselves. That sense of wonder and curiosity that young children have, that excitement of a new discovery – find that within yourself again!

I love looking at things close up or from different perspectives. I also really enjoy taking photos, and I feel it helps me to do this. Some people say taking pictures distracts them from being in the moment, but I feel the opposite; photography helps me to connect further – deeper – and keeps me focused, in the moment for longer.

On that note, I’ll leave you with some photos from our latest nature walk the other day…

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Living Life Our Way, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts, nature, wildlife, environment, green living, #30DaysWild, #LivingLifeWild, campaign, childhood unplugged, outdoors

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Living Life Our Way, 30 Days Wild, The Wildlife Trusts, nature, wildlife, environment, green living, #30DaysWild, #LivingLifeWild, campaign, childhood unplugged, outdoors

And one from Squiggle too…

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Remember, you can link up your 30 Days Wild posts here, I love reading them!

And if you are stuck for inspiration, as well as looking at 30 Days Wild website or app, check out Grow Eat Gift‘s post with 30 brilliant wild ideas!

#30DaysWild #LivingLifeWild

How Well Do You Know Your Flowers? Take This Fun Quiz To Find Out!

With only a few days left until The Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge begins, this is a great time to brush up on your knowledge of all things nature! Rattan Direct have created a fun (and educational!) quiz to find out how well you know different types of flowers. You can find it here:  Can You Guess The Flowers?

#livinglifewild, 30 Days Wild, Rattan Direct, flowers, nature, flower identification, garden, nature activities, educational activities, freedom to learn, Home Education, Living Life Wild, outdoors, stay wild

I took the quiz by myself and to be perfectly honest, I was quite embarassed by my lack of flower knowledge! I know full well that identification is not my strong point, even though I love nature and spend alot of time outdoors I definitely still have much more to learn, but even so I had thought I might do abit better than I did! Oops!!! I did get a few right, although I admit they were mostly only educated guesses too really 😉

The quiz is very simple to complete and it only takes a short amount of time. The aim is to try to identify the flower by matching the name given in the question to the correct flower photo from four multiple choice answers. At the end of the quiz you then receive your results so you can see how well you did!

If you wanted to turn the quiz into even more of an educational activity, you could find out the names of the other flowers using an ID app or google to learn more information about the flowers. You could then extend this even further by going out for a nature walk to see how many of the flowers you can spot! This quiz would be great to do as one of the challenges for 30 Days Wild, or generally fun any other time too!

*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Rattan Direct.

#LivingLifeWild – The Missing Link(y)!

So, as you may have noticed, I missed this month’s linky. May 1st came and went, and it just didn’t happen. I then kept meaning to write the post but everytime I thought about doing it, other stuff just seemed to get in the way. I think on reflection maybe somewhere in my subconscious I kept putting it off, or at least not prioritising it, because I felt a little frustrated that we actually hadn’t been outside in nature as much as usual, or as much as I would have liked. We had been pretty busy doing other stuff and I guess life had just got in the way.

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Earlier this month at Cassiobury Park, Hertfordshire

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It probably sounds silly, but I have been feeling really bad about the missing linky! I hate saying I will do something and then not see it through; I usually carry out whatever I commit to and like to be reliable. So if anyone was wondering why the linky didn’t happen this month, I am sorry!

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Anyway, as there are now only a few days left of May, I feel it is time to move on from the lack of linky this month and look forward to next month instead! Throughout June, The Wildlife Trusts hold their 30 Days Wild campaign to encourage people to get outside and closer to nature. We loved taking part in this last year and I am really looking forward to doing so again this year!

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If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late to take part! You can still sign up to join the challenge here:

Get started!

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I’ll be posting about our challenges as often as possible – ideally daily, but I also do need to be realistic about it! I am also going to run a weekly #LivingLifeWild linky every Thursday throughout June – starting on 1st June – so that we can all help to inspire and motivate each other by sharing our posts.

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Even if you are not actually taking part in 30 days wild, I would still love to read your posts about outdoors, nature, wildlife and green living so please do stop by and add any related posts. You can also link up any posts from the last couple of months in the first linky too! I hope as many people as possible will take part in this, so please remember to tell everyone else about it as well! Thank you!

#livinglifewild, 30 Days Wild, childhood unplugged, freedom to learn, Home Education, Living Life Wild, nature, outdoors, stay wild

#LivingLifeWild

National Pet Show: A Fantastic Day Out For Pet/ Animal Lovers!

This past weekend saw the return of the National Pet Show to Excel, London. For those who have never heard of it, this event hosts tonnes of pet-related stands with information, advice and products, as well as lots of talks, activities, shows and demonstrations. Of course, there are lots of animals too! 

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We went to this event once previously, when Squiggle was much younger, back when it was held at Earls Court. (Blog post here). We had a lovely time and Squiggle remembered it well so we were excited to return!

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We have only been to Excel once with Squiggle before, to watch the Paralympics in 2012, and I don’t think she recognised it. I personally really like this venue because it is spacious and has good facilities. Events can be very crowded and overstimulating for a child with autism, so it is good that the venue is big enough that it is possible to find a space in a quiet corner if needed. Plus, as it is located by the docklands, there is also somewhere calm outdoors to go for some fresh air if it does get too much. 

National Pet Show, Excel, London, days out, events, pets, family fun, animal lovers, freedom to learn

The pet show itself has a huge range of animals to see. I didn’t get a photo because s/he was attracting quite a crowd but Squiggle adored seeing the hairless cat, as well as many other rare breeds. I loved this funky dreadlock looking dog, a bergamasco, which is certainly not a breed I had come across before. So gorgeous though!

Perhaps a slightly unusual highlight but, for me personally, one of my favourite parts was getting inspiration for our new bunny housing. We have already got the actual enclosure itself, but we spotted some great ideas of what else we could include for enrichment!

National Pet Show, Excel, London, days out, events, pets, family fun, animal lovers, freedom to learn

Squiggle also loved the opportunity to meet some more exotic pets in the reptile section, such as Terry the tegu, a python (I think?!) and a very giant tortoise. It was lovely to experience these magnificent creatures close up and hands on! 

National Pet Show, Excel, London, days out, events, pets, family fun, animal lovers, freedom to learn

Over at the More Than stand, there was a little display going on by this cute little poodle pair. I gather there were other appearances spotted here too! I also liked the park theme with children’s games, such as Connect 4 and Jenga. A nice little chilled out spot in the midst of the hustle and bustle!

National Pet Show, More Than, Excel, London, days out, events, pets, family fun, animal lovers, freedom to learn

As I already mentioned, there were lots of demonstrations and shows. For example, we saw this golden retriever display and got to meet them afterwards too.

National Pet Show, Excel, London, days out, events, pets, family fun, animal lovers, freedom to learn

There were lots of stalls with useful information too, such as various animal charities. We enjoyed meeting the therapy pets, including this beauty. I think a therapy dog would be amazing. But I also feel that any pets are great for autism, anxiety etc… They are so therapeutic! 

National Pet Show, Excel, London, days out, events, pets, family fun, animal lovers, freedom to learn

There were loads of children’s activities too. Stories, colouring, meeting animals, talks, games and even an exciting future vet activity with Noel Fitzpatrick. There was also a weaving activity; Squiggle was most excited about the huge rabbit that had been created!

National Pet Show, Excel, London, days out, events, pets, family fun, animal lovers, freedom to learn

Tickets cost from £13.91 for a child ticket. However, Littlebird often have deals available, so it is well worth checking if there are any discounted tickets. Also, carers get free entry to assist those with disabilities so if this applies to you then do get in touch with them.

As well as the London dates, the show is also held at NEC in Birmingham each November too (next dates are 4th and 5th November 2017). It is open all day from 9.30am to 5pm, with a schedule of different shows, talks, demonstrations and appearances throughout the weekend.

It is a really fun day out. A fantastic event for those with their own furbabies, wannabe pet owners or general animal enthusiasts! 

*Thank you to More Than for the complimentary pair of tickets we received. All thoughts are opinions are my own.

100 Days of Home Ed #LoveHomeEd – Day 56 (Amanda)

Introduction

Hi, I’m Amanda (36) I have a passion for photography, nature, nutrition and history. I’m currently doing an online course in Nutrition and Health. I’m married to David (37) who is a self-employed painter and decorator, fantastic at DIY and woodwork and an avid gamer ! We have 4 boys aged 12, 11, 10 and 6.

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How long have you home educated for and why did you decide to do it?

Our boys have never been to school. I started looking into Home education when our eldest son was about 2 years old. I loved everything I read about home educating and thought it would really suit our family and way of life. Initially I was only planning to home educate our children until the age of 7 but we all loved it so much that we have just continued.

Briefly describe your home ed style. Do you have a ‘typical’ week and what does it include if so?

I like to be quite organised and plan things so we have always had a semi-structured but flexible timetable. We mostly learn by doing projects together, I say ‘we’ as I have learnt so much myself alongside my boys.

What was your highlight of home ed last week?

Last week went away to Cornwall. We did a lot of exploring and visiting hidden gems ! We went to the beautiful Golitha falls, walked through the most enchanting woodland to Lansallos beach and visted Bodmin jail.

What is your favourite thing about home edding your children?

I have so many favourite things about home educating ! I get to spend so much time with my children. We can spend as much time as we like learning about a particular topic, sometimes we spend hours just discussing things, which I feel is the most important part of truly learning and taking in information. I myself have learnt so much and discovered what I am really interested in. We are free to do what we want when we want in our own time and as a bonus places are always so much quieter in term time!

What do you find most difficult and why?

The thing I find most difficult about home educating is making sure that I give each of my boys enough time and attention. I worry sometimes if I am doing the right thing by them but I guess this is something that just comes with parenting!

What advice would you give to other home educators?

My advice to new Home educators would be this: Enjoy the freedom you have and time you get to spend with your children. Don’t rush to book up every activity or workshop going, and don’t worry about your child learning to read and write by a certain age; it will happen when they are ready!

100 Days of Home Ed – Day 55 (As I Think I Say)

The following is an excerpt written by As I think I Say for the 100 days of home ed challenge. The rest of the post can be found on their blog here, along with more of their home ed adventures.

“A week for us involves work books on maths, English, science, French and for our eldest biology and food technology.  Our youngest goes to forest school, board games group and multi sports. Both are learning an instrument through weekly guitar and keyboard lessons . They attend a weekly workshop where they are working towards Art Award Explore run by Trinity College. Our eldest has skiing lessons and is starting an online photography diploma course. Our youngest does ballet. STEM Science course, book club and  study group just about fill us to capacity. And somehow on top of that our youngest is begging for horse riding lessons as well.”