Recently we visited Hatchlands Park, which is a beautiful National Trust site in Guildford, Surrey. Being a huge fan of Sylvanian families, Squiggle was keen to do the Sylvanian Families nature trail, open until the end of this year.
There is a small charge to enter the park, including the Sylvanian Families Trail, of £6 per adult and £3 per child, or £15 for a family ticket (these prices are for park only, cost to enter whole site including house is extra. Prices are on the website here). National Trust members get in free.
The trail has a series of signs as you walk through the wood, each with nature questions and clues from members of woodland Sylvanian families. There is a more difficult question at each stop, making it fun and informative for all ages.
We did get abit confused when we reached the end because there was no obvious finishing point. We probably should have realised from the number of clues but even so, a clear indication, such as a finish sign or message from one of the Sylvanian families, would have been a nice additional touch.
Regardless, we really enjoyed the trail and the wooden sculptures were lovely. Squiggle got so excited each time she spotted one and loved cuddling them!
Whilst we were there, we also went to Hatchlands Park playground. It has lovely natural play features, including a wonderful treehouse. Squiggle really enjoyed playing here and it fitted in beautifully with the surrounding natural environment.
Today we had a lovely time playing tennis (for free!) as part of the Great British Tennis Weekend. I found out about this event through social media and was pleased to discover that there were various opportunities to take part locally. Booking was easy via the online system and our family time session could also be easily amended if/ when needed. Equipment was also available to borrow during these sessions free of charge. This was also brilliant timing, as Squiggle was so excited to be able to include it in her #SportsChallenge
During our session at Verulamium park, the atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and the instructor was very understanding of Squiggle’s needs. We had a great time! For more information, check out the Lawn Tennis Association website here.
Twinkl has many great resources, including plenty on the theme of sports. So today Squiggle decided to take a different approach to the Sports Challenge; she did some activities at home, including a sports themed wordsearch, some dot to dot pictures and we played finger tennis. Great fun!
Finger tennis- resources from Twinkl
Squiggle has also really enjoyed acting out different sports with her Sylvanian families, which also involved some very creative ideas to make the resources she needed…
Squiggle has played various sports with her Sylvanian families.
On day 5, Squiggle invented her own game called ‘Round and Round Tennis’. This is a combination of rounders and tennis. Player 1 hits the ball over the net with their racket then runs around the net as many times as they can. Player 2 retrieves the ball and gets back into their section as quickly as possibly with the ball, they then shout ‘ball’. The first player has to finish the lap they have started and stop in their section. The second player hits the ball back to player 1, who then hits it back to player 2. This signifies the switch of roles- player 2 hits it as far as they can, which then begins their turn of running, while player 1 returns to their section with the ball as quickly as possible. The person with the most points (one lap around net = one point) after an even amount of turns is the winner.
I thought this was a very inventive game, but I do admit, I was unsure how well it would work in reality! However, over the past few days, Squiggle has played the newly invented ‘Round and Round Tennis’ in the garden and it works much better than I imagined!
She has also played multi-sports/ practised her skills in the garden tennis, badminton, football, hockey and netball over the past few days and on day 6 we did some basketball, football and badminton at a local park.
For the first few days of her Sports Challenge, Squiggle practised her skills for a different sport each day. Day one was football skills, second day tennis skills, day three she developed her hockey skills in the garden and today (day 4) she decided to shoot some hoops to practise her basketball skills…
Day two: Tennis skills at Aldenham SEN playground.
Day four: Basketball skills at Highfield Park.
Don’t forget to use hashtag #SportsChallenge to share your photos and updates!
Inspired by 30 Days Wild, Squiggle decided to use the concept of themed activities to set herself a Sports Challenge; 100 days of sports. Throughout the summer and into autumn, she intends to something related to sports daily; practise sports skills, learn the rules of sports, play matches/ games, draw or write about sports, watch sports or even invent her own game.
If anyone else would like to join in with our challenge we would love to hear about it! Use hashtag #SportsChallenge (and tag me if you wish) to share your news and sports activities with us.
Squiggle practising football skills on day one of the challenge.
We have been to various fetes, fun days and dog shows this year. We really enjoy going to these events, not only as a fun family day out, but because they are educational and excellent social opportunities too.
For example, dog shows might seem like an odd place to hang out if (like us) you are not a dog owner but we find they are a brilliant way for Squiggle to initiate social interactions in a relaxed, spontaneous situation. She loves dogs but she knows not to stroke them without first checking with the owner, so she has been learning to judge the situation to decide if it seems a sensible time, then asks the owner’s permission before petting the dog. She sometimes then chats to the owner further, asking questions such as the name of the dog, breed, age etc… Great for building her confidence!
Oaklands Summer Fete in July had a huge range of activities and events going on. This one was a big hit!
St Albans Country Show relocated at the last minute from Aldenham to Highfield Park. This was another lovely event with plenty to do.
These events also inspire her, capture her imagination, bring out her creativeness and motivate her to write. Her are some of the activities she has chosen to do at home after our days out…
Squiggle designed her own dog activity worksheets.