Catch A Falling Leaf

The end of the summer is coming, and pretending it’s not so doesn’t do anything to stop the impending doom winter. I think we may have some exciting plans up our sleeves for this winter, but I’ll have to see how it all pans out before I start sharing. In the meantime, we’re carrying on with our #50things and well on target to get through a lot, if not all of it, this year.

Earlier this year we went to the Whipsnade Zoo for a family day out. It was an early spring day, and the air was thick with cherry blossom scent. Yes, cherry blossoms aren’t leaves, I know, but hey ho, the skills are the same. Catch A Falling Leaf

There’s something about standing waiting in anticipation, spotting a leaf – blossom – jumping into action, grabbing, missing, catching that can’t but make you feel 5 years old. There’s nothing you can do but laugh, and giggle, and shout as you wait and act. The feeling of success as you finally clutch that foliage in your hand.

It’s a great way to burn energy, and to laugh together, play together.

It also costs nothing!

And while catching spring blossoms is imbued with the hope of warmer days, catching autumn leaves are indicative of chestnut roasting, mushroom foraging, and berry picking – there’s nothing not to love.

And while you’re having fun, the kids are learning hand-eye coordination, action and reaction and that mama can run and laugh and play too.

Get out there this autumn, and chase the leaves.


We’re completing  the National Trust’s #50Things campaign because, well, it’s great. This was number 33: Catch a Falling Leaf on their list. You can see the full list here.

Five Reasons Kids Must Roll Down Hills

When I was studying to be a Rhythm Kids and Baby Massage instructor, I was surprised by a fact that has always stuck with me: in our age of health and safety and what ever else, kids no longer roll down hills like they used to and this is a very big problem.

Roll Down Hill

Rolling does a few different things for a child’s development. It aids in:

  • Vestibular Development which they need to improve their balance
  • Midline Crossover helps us become physically better coordinated and mentally with the act of thinking, and later reading.
  • Sensory Development, which helps in creating understanding of the world – like up and down, and danger or hazards and risk taking.
  • Gross Motor Development as we build strength
  • and proprioception, the tactile understanding of space.

Big words, and I’m sure you’ll agree all valuable skills that we never really think about, but just take for granted.

Of course, you can learn most of these thing in other ways too, but rolling down hills is just so much fun.

My friend Yasmin and I  threw caution to the wind and joined them in rolling down the hills one day. I can’t remember the last time I laughed as much as we did then, and I think the suited men in their meeting in the fancy building behind us were secretly wishing they could do the same! (Or really glad their wives would never do anything like that!)

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Tell me that didn’t bring a smile to your face!

No, there is definitely value to rolling down hills. It’s good for kids, and it’s fun.

I heartily recommend it!

Roll Down Hill

We’re completing  the National Trust’s #50Things campaign because, well, it’s great. This was number 2: Roll down a hill on their list. You can see the full list here.

Whipsnade Zoo, Luton, Bedfordshire

Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire is really part zoo, part wildlife reserve. If you say ‘zoo’ you tend to think of a bunch of animals in cages. While this is partly true, there’s also part wildlife reserve like the ones you’ll find in Africa – where you get to drive or walk around with nothing between you and the animals. In a sentence, the Whipsnade Zoo is fantastic. We spent a bank holiday Monday there and we loved every minute of it. 
Whipsnade Zoo


The rest of this review has moved. Please click here to read it. 


Learning: Frogs Are “Amphibianins”

I had an absolutely lovely morning with a friend of mine at Birdworld in Farnham. It’s a bit of a drive for us, but it was worth it. I’ve been before and had been underwhelmed, but today it was so much more fun. Aviya just loved it. It’s the first time I’d been to a city-farm style place with her, and she was so sweet.

We were walking around the animal farm section and she started singing ‘he-hi-he-hi-o’ and grunting like a piggy. I almost melted. So sweet. She can barely say any words, but she can sing. That’s my girl. Also, she has a thing about cups. That’s an empty coffee cup in the picture, but she carried it around for most of the morning. Watching her cross that bridge, she looks so grown up.

Birdworld and coffee

Back home I carried on with the Summer Camp at Home theme, and we made frogs. We chatted about the comparison between reptiles and amphibians – or amphibianins as Ameli calls them.

It made me realise I’m going to have to read up some of these topics before I lead discussions on them! We had so much fun though. I often DO things with  my girls, but I rarely PLAY with them. While we were waiting for the glue to dry on our frogs, we read a few books that happen to feature frogs – Quack! Quack! and Five Speckled Frogs* (the latter is great. It has a ‘croak’ button which Ameli likes pushing, and it leads nicely into the song, which we hopped around the living room to.)

Once the glue had dried we had frog races across the playmats, which was good for a giggle too. Who ever knew frogs could be so much fun?

Learning Points:

*though these are old books, not currently for sale, the links are still affiliate links. Should you purchase through these links, you will not pay any more, but Amazon will pay me a percentage of the sale price.