30 Days Wild – Day 15: Tree Trail

Today we visited Highfield park in St Albans to do the tree trail. A map of the trail, including information about each of the trees, can be downloaded here Highfield Park Tree Trail

image

Each month, Highfield Park Trust picks a ‘Tree of the Month’. Last month was the Common Lime (number 6 on the trail)…

image

This month the chosen tree is the Deodar Cedar (number 16)…

image

Here are some of the other trees we found out about on the trail…

image

Monkey Puzzle. This tree is named because monkeys would find it confusing to climb due to its shape. It grows very slowly to begin with but can eventually reach up to 25 metres…

image

Red horse Chestnut…

image

Squiggle loves finding the numbers and studying the trees. This one is a Dawn Redwood…

image

Holly. A well-known native evergreen with spiky leaves…

image

Common Larch. This was originally introduced to Britain as an ornamental conifer but is now planted as a timber tree…

image

London Plane. This tree is about 100 years old. It gets its name because it is often planted in London and copes well with city pollution…

image

Purple Sycamore…

image

Swamp Cypress. This tree originates from southern US and is one of the first species to have been introduced from America to Britain…

image

Squiggle enjoying our adventures around Highfield park…

image

Easter Activities

Here are the Easter events and activities we did this year…

image
Easter hunt at home
image
Easter hunt at Highfield park
image
Arts and crafts activities at home- Squiggle has improved alot on reading and following instructions!
image
Mead Open Farm
image
Willows activity farm

May 2015

Memories from May…

image
Seaside fun
image
Physical development
image
Creative movement/ interpretive dance- a plant growing
image
Planting more fruit and veg in our growing area
image
Sensory fun and physical games in the garden
image
General fun in the garden
image
Playing various sylvanian games, including measuring the height in hula hoops.
image
Maths- 'going shopping' for bunny food
image
Music class
image
Local playgrounds for sensory input and physical exercise
image
Designing her own playground for her toys in the garden
image
Reading- letters from penpals, my list of things that I found in the garden (a reading and writing observation game she made up herself) and 'shop' price list
image
Writing- letters to penpals, birthday cards and letters to mummy from her toys
image
Drawings (we also went to art group but no pictures of that)
image
Making a playmat for her toys based on a map she drew
image
Squiggle invented this rainbow game
image
Designed own mini skittles game
image
Van Hague- peacock spreading its feathers
image
Living Crafts at Hatfield House
image
Butterfly World
image
Park walks- spotting nature and exploring
image
Who lives in a house like this? Discussion about habitats
image
More park walks- Squiggle decided her toy cat Rain was interested in flowers so we took her on a flower walk
image
Mini topic on flowers- Venn diagram, parts of a plant, following written instructions, making own book and designing own activity
image
Willows Farm
image
Fun at the fair

image
Cassiobury park

image
Squiggle's party

image
Happy 7th birthday to my wonderful little girl. Mini tea party at home with buffet, cake, pass the parcel, musical chairs, pressies and playing! Plus a bike ride too.

image
A friend's birthday party

April 2015

Ok, since I have gotten lazy about blogging lately here is April all rolled into one…

image
Spring walks
image
Highfield Park, including some of the tree trail with friends
image
Growing our own food
image
Science experiment- celery in food colouring
image
Sand and water play
image
Problem solving- how to patch up a leak with resources available
image
Art group- foam marbling
image
General garden fun
image
Squiggle designed a carrier bag kite and parachute
image
Quality time with our cats
image
Observing and discussing the sky above- including clouds, rainbows, sunrise and sunset
image
Playdate at home
image
Writing
image
Princess Diana Playground, Kensington
image
Aldenham SEN playground
image
Designing own games and activities
image
Art and crafts
image
Fun at a park
image
Physical games- cone activities
image
More playground fun- with grandad
image
Butterfly World
image
New 'Music Meadow' at Butterfly World
image
Seaside- yes, she did steal daddys cardigan for a short while!
image
Art group
image
Art group- butterfly symmetry painting
image
Art and Science! Put a few drops of food colouring into milk. Then put some washing liquid on a cotton bud, dip it in and let the colours disperse. Makes an interesting 'painting'
image
Exploring instruments- lots of singing and dancing too!
image
Park with a friend

We also did lots of Easter activities, which I blogged about separately, and have been to music class but haven’t got any photos of that! Last but not least, we did various circus themed activities, but that needs it’s own post!

Highfield, St Albans

We had a lovely time in Highfield, St Albans for a few hours this afternoon. We know this part of St Albans very well as we used to live there so we enjoy just generally wandering around the area. Highfield Park itself has lots of open space and a tree trail, details of which can be downloaded here A60148_Highfield_Park_Leaflet_P5. There are several small toddler play areas dotted around, mostly tucked away in quiet corners of the residential streets. The Trestle Arts Base and Charters Health Club are also situated in Highfield, both of these venues have various classes and activities for children and adults alike. We have many happy memories from community events that have been held in various locations within Highfield over the years, such as Larks in the Parks and an Olympic Themed Fun day to celebrate 2012, as well as various other fundraisers and of course the annual Highfield fete. There are also regular Health Walks that happen here too. More information about Highfield Park, including information on various events and activities that occur throughout the year, can be found on their website www.highfieldparktrust.co.uk

 

Balancing
This play area is on Russet Drive, opposite the main entrance to Highfield Park itself.
Squiggle enjoyed collected pine cones in this play area.
Squiggle enjoyed collected pine cones and playing in the ‘maze’ (as she calls it) in this play area.
SAMSUNG
Quick stop off on the way past during our walk.
This play area is across the road from Highfield Park.
wpid-wp-1406839289346.jpeg
Squiggle enjoyed ‘exploring’ to find this one furthest away, down one of the residential streets at the other end of Highfield.

 

Summer Fun: Parks and Paddling

Editors Note: Update 09/05/16 See here for latest information on splash park and paddling pool opening times for summer season 2016 and links to official websites

 

 

 

We have enjoyed visiting a range of places over summer and we especially loved finding fun places to cool down on the wonderful hot days we had! Here are some of the places we have been over July and August…

 

This is Stockwood Park Discovery Centre in Luton. It has an interesting museum and lovely playground, free entry. (The bus is not always there and was not open during our visit unfortunately, she still loved running around it though!) http://www.lutonculture.com/stockwood-discovery-centre/stockwood-discovery-centre/

Discovery centre 28.07

 

Highfield park in St Albans has lots of green space and hidden pockets containing little play areas dotted around, plus there is also a tree trail. The leaflet for the tree trail is available at Charters Health Club. “The Trail is 3km (2miles) long and follows a circular route. The trail identifies 25 different trees, each with a numbered way marker, the leaflet provides you with interesting facts about the various trees.” The Highfield Park summer fete this year included an agility show, much to Squiggle’s delight! There are a few other events held at the park throughout the year. http://www.highfieldparktrust.co.uk/index.php/visiting-the-park-mainmenu-33

highfield park fete 13.07 (21)

 

 

This is Leighton Buzzard park. As well as a lovely playground suitable for a range of ages it also has an excellent splash park to. Squiggle loved it but it was far too busy to get any pictures!

Leighton buzzard park 08.07 (9)

 

This is Morris Playing Field in London Colney. It has a small paddling pool and play area, as well as a football pitch and tennis courts.

london colney 19.06 (6)

 

We enjoyed a day trip to Southend to paddle in the sea and play in the sand. There is a small children’s climbing frame on the beach next to a large fun fair. This picture makes it look rather less crowded that it really was though!

southend 06.07 (6)

We also enjoyed looking for crabs, Squiggle was fascinated watching them…

southend 06.07 (14)

 

We love Verulamium park. Lots to do in this massive beautiful parkland including feed the ducks (duck food can be puchased from Inn On The Park cafe), let off steam in the play area and cool down in the splash park (again too many other people in the background of our pictures to publish them!) There are also tennis courts, football pitches, an outdoor gym and Roman remains. http://www.stalbans.gov.uk/leisure-and-culture/parks-and-green-space/parks/Verulamium-Park/

verulamium 07.06 (2)

 

Wick nature reserve in St Albans is a hidden gem for us. Popular with dog walkers and families alike but this place never seems to get very busy as many locals don’t even know about it! There is a little play area, small woods and green space. Great place to go exploring!

wick woodland walk 22.07 (4)

 

Having lived in St Albans for most of my life, this local recreation ground on Sherwood Avenue had remained secret from us until this summer.

sherwood park 31.07 (5)

 

Fleetville park in St Albans has recently been refurbished in the section aimed at older children and also now has an outdoor gym.

20130903_102152

 

 

Cassiobury park in Watford has a lot to offer. A paddling pool area with three large paddling pools (one heated), a lovely playground, miniature train (£1) and river walks (also good for paddling and watching canal boats).

 

 

 

And of course plenty of opportunities to splash around in the paddling pool at home…

grandad birthday 29.07 (3)

 

 

Last but not least, this does not technically belong on this post as it is not a park (nor a place to paddle) but the indoor beach at Centre: MK (throughout August only) was definitely worth a visit to.

indoor beach mk 04.08 (4)