BEAR’s Paws Outdoors – Summer Holiday Garden Games

How was your summer? The holidays here just seemed to whizz by in a happy blur this year! A lot of the summer break was grey and rainy, but luckily the August bank holiday was just perfect gorgeous weather – much needed before the return to school (and the start of proper school for Joe!) As always, we have been getting outdoors as much as possible and making the most of the full range of all the summer weather.

We were recently sent some fun wildlife adventure kits by BEAR, who are teaming up with Wildlife Trusts again this year to work together with the aim of getting more ‘Paws Outdoors’, or little ones outside in the wild! With one activity for every letter of the alphabet there was plenty to keep my little bear cubs busy!

The clear first choice for both of them was the apple game! We carefully threaded string through an apple and attached it to our washing line! Doesn’t this sound like basis of a good old-fashioned summer holiday game? Using a stopwatch to ensure fairness, Mia and Joe took it in turns to see who could take the most bites of the apple. Much more difficult than they had both expected, and almost impossible once they got the giggles!

Joe’s little face says it all, as he turned around and got bumped on the head by an apple. They played the game for ages, which was lovely to see. It can be a bit of battle some days to persuade them outdoors and away from the screens of tv and computer games. Especially over the summer holidays it’s always great for them to have some new games and plenty of outdoors time.

You might see the passion flower in our garden blooming in the background of some of the pictures. I couldn’t resist sharing a close up, as it really is glorious. Such a wonderful plant to have inherited with our new garden and quite a surprise when it started growing in early summer.

As well as a few bites of apple from the game, Mia and Joe always rely on BEAR’s fruity snacks for a healthy tummy-filler between meals. After all of that running around the garden their choice was Arctic Paws in raspberry and blueberry flavour. All BEAR Paws are made with 100% pure fruit and are baked into delicious (and very cute!) paw shapes. With no-added nonsense, no added sugars or preservatives they are an excellent healthy option.

Mia and Joe are always changing their minds about which are their favourite BEAR Paw flavours – they love them all, but I think their current winners are the Dino Paws in strawberry and apple flavour for Joe and the Safari Paws in mango and strawberry flavour for Mia! There is a good range of BEAR Paw flavours, which also includes Jungle Paws (apple and blackcurrant) as well as the Arctic Paws they are snacking through here!

Always up for a nature challenge, Joe chose another activity to follow the apple game. Using a collection of leaves, pebbles, sticks and other findings from the garden, he made some lovely rubbings with crayons onto white paper. Having made something similar at nursery a few weeks ago, he decided he was quite the expert at this, and was bossing Mia around (for a change!) with instructions on how to colour the leaves and paper properly.

They both got really involved with the outdoor activities in the wildlife adventure kits. Although our fun afternoon was eventually rained off, they happily retreated indoors with their leaf pictures to stick on the kitchen fridge, and Wildlife Trust reward stickers for doing so well!

The fun alphabet BEAR cards can be collected in every multipack of BEAR Paws. Perfect for little ones making up their own alphabet-themed outdoor activities.

For more BEAR fun take a look at:

http://www.bearnibbles.co.uk/

BEAR Nibbles on Facebook

@follow_the_bear

As part of the BEAR Happy by Nature team we are happy to work with them on this collaborative post.

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Summer afternoons picking elderflowers

A couple of weeks ago, I woke up on a Sunday morning convinced I had missed the elderflower season this year. I dashed out as soon as I was up, sure that I would have missed the best of the crop! I find time every year to make elderflower cordial, even the summer when Joe was born (full heartfelt story here).

A busy couple of weeks had meant that the elderflowers had to wait this year, but luckily opposite our house is the perfect lane for picking them. It’s quite shaded by lots of other trees, so a week or so behind the main season, and I was so happy to find that there were hundreds still in bloom, calming the elderflower anxiety (first world drama crisis, ahem).

It was also the perfect opportunity to try out my new to me Bobbin bike (committed eBay searching does pay off eventually!) and so I combined a cycle ride with elderflower collecting. The bike’s lovely wicker basket was the perfect thing for collecting and transporting the flowers safely home. Even if my family all laughed at me for being a massive blogger/IG cliche!

I hadn’t ridden a bike for over ten years and had forgotten how much fun it is; just complete exhilerating freedom, cycling down a country lane in the sunshine…it was a complete rediscovered childhood pleasure, just blissful. As Mia accurately summed up the moment, ‘oh Mummy, I didn’t know you could ride a bike…now we can cycle to the cafe together!’ She has only just learned to ride her bike after a long-standing lack of cycling confidence and some previous nasty falls. So we cycled along, collecting elderflowers like something from an Enid Blyton novel, wishing that every day could be like this. But if it was we would end up with a large amount of elderflower cordial and really achey legs!

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