Yesterday we went out for a family walk. This is not something we've done before, the suggestion of a walk usually being greeted with groans and moans. However, inspired by the book 'Nature's Playground', we thought we'd give it a try. We took a compass and butterfly books, as well as juice cartons for a half-way stop but none of these were needed. We took snacks and had two quick breaks. The highlight, however, was a spotting sheet, dreamt up over lunch, typed and laminated and ticked off with dry-wipe markers. We assigned a points system: 2 points for each dog spotted, 1 for a butterfly, 2 if we could name it and so on. We met 12 dogs in the last five minutes which boosted the scores! We also gave points for spotting way-markers, with the result that the children kept their eyes peeled for the signs and I didn't feel wholly responsible for finding the route. The two youngest carried sheets and scored around 130 points each, which seemed to satisfy them in itself. My daughter carried the camera and stopped to take two shots:
The whole thing took one and a quarter hours, which was about right for a first foray and to keep enthusiasm levels up. This is definitely something we'll be doing again.