A day at the Woods….

Having been woken at 2.50am by a wide awake 4-year-old, then being joined by her 1-year-old sister at 4am, I was a little tired and disorganised at 9am this morning.

Little Miss helped by refusing to get dressed, running around in one very, very wet nappy and wearing the t-shirt I had managed to whip over her head as whizzed past me.

Miss L was fully dressed and now in her usual position; watching television, sitting less than a metre away from the screen, on Little Miss’s rocking horse, shouting for everyone to “Be quiet, cos I love this programme!!”

Miss A was trying to convince me that she was dressed. But, unless she had turned into the Teddy Bear that was now wearing the exact clothes I had laid out for her, she was most certainly not dressed!

Miss M then stomped downstairs, threatening to brush her hair, if I did not sort out the mass volume she had created, having gone to bed in no less than 15 plaits!

So, when my Mum arrived at 10am, with a full picnic for today’s outing, I was somewhat relieved, to say the least!!

Thankfully I had got our ‘Woodland Adventure Sack’ prepared the night before. This consisted of:

  • 4 x binoculars
  • 4x buckets
  • 2 x magnifying glasses (with the possibility of sharing)
  • spotting sheets
  • a small pot of loom bands
  • a small pot of bubble mixture (the, old faithful, never to fail, emergency activity)


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Eventually, everyone had been to the toilet, and we were off.

Mum drove herself, in her car, with my Sister and Nephew. The girls and I followed in my car.

On the way, we discussed other road users and their terrible attempts at indicating, the lack of speed signs and whether we were in a 40mph or 50mph zone and why it was safer to be doing 40mph if we weren’t sure, as well as singing our hearts out to track 7 on Take That’s III album.

The journey didn’t take as long as we had imagined and we arrived at Fineshade Woods around lunchtime, paid our £3 for the days parking and were ready for our picnic.

Lunch was lovely. We had one of those picnic spreads that people like to stare at. You know, the one’s where you say to yourself  “Just look at that spread. They even brought salad cream!”

After lunch, a quick play in the park and a very nice takeaway coffee from the café, we began our adventure.

We had decided to do ‘The Superworm Trail’ and collected our £3.50 Activity Pack from the shop. The pack consisted of a colouring envelope, Superworm the book and an activity leaflet.

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There were arrows to point our way and points at which to stop. One or two activities were shown at each of the meeting points or you could refer to the leaflet for further activities and items to spot. The girls and my Nephew really enjoyed spotting and following the arrows, as well as taking part in the activities; stretching as tall as a tree, using our bodies to make a park for a slug (arms as slides, feet as swings), hugging trees and finding something manmade, something beautiful, something smooth, something shiny, something wet and something yucky, to name but a few.

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Just before the end of the trail, we turned right, down to the Tree House play park. The Tree House is rather large and a great climbing activity for older children, but perhaps not for younger children or the faint hearted Parent! However, this is also a fantastic place to make a den from large branches, explore your surroundings or to make an adventure/findings stick!

We sat on the woodland floor, turned over logs to see bugs underneath, looked at flowers, shapes, colours and textures…

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then, put our findings (minus the bugs) onto large sticks we had found, fastening them with loom bands. (Yay! Another use for all theses looms bands we all have, I hear you cry!)

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The children loved making these, seeing what they could find, exploring together and getting excited when they found something new. It was lovely to see them really become aware of the forest and what surrounded them. These sticks can also be used as ‘Story Sticks,’ in order to recount the story of your day or to make up a completely new adventure! We learnt about these at Preschool and have been using them all Summer! 🙂

After a good hour of exploring, we made our way to the end of the Superworm Trail and to the café for ice creams…. 1 Chocolate Heaven, 1 Strawberries and Clotted Cream, 1 Simply Vanilla and 3 Froyo 99’s were licked, dribbled, partially dropped and mopped up with baby wipes.

The next hour was spent having fun in the park. Little Miss particularly loved the little wooden tepee and the small tree maze, finding her beloved Rabbit snuggle in the various places I could find to hide it. Miss A enjoyed the play hammock and tree trunk balancing beams. Miss M and Miss L spent most of their time in the treehouse, calling everyone in for breakfast!!

Before we knew it, it was time to go home.

We’d all had a fantastic day. Fineshade Woods is very well catered for. The facilities were all very clean and tidy and the Staff were all really helpful and friendly. We shall definitely be back to explore the woods in another season.

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