Well, the mother-in-law has scuppered my plans for camping in half term week, so I've pledged to drag the kids round the countryside every weekend.
Yesterday we took in our first family walk. By this I mean we planned where we were going and we ALL walked. No buggy or child-carrier for Small. The map came out and a route was picked. Loki was encouraged to write a list of the wildlife he would like to see on his nature ramble. The list consisted of:
Horses - Smalls choice, she likes horses,
Red Kite - considering we live a stones throw from the Chilterns Red Kites hold little novelty factor these days and I was surprised to see them added to the list. They are more common than crows over our garden!,
Worms - Loki likes worms,
Chucks - I'm sure I'd said chickens, but it appears on the list as Chucks,
Not a particularly ambitious list (which didn't matter anyway as we left it at home). The walk wasn't terribly ambitous either - we weren't sure how well Small would do without her buggy for back up and I didn't fancy carrying her for miles. We took a circular route of about 3 miles taking in farm track, sheep fields (Dog loved that!) and footpaths round the edge of farmland. Small only needed to be carried for the last 1/4 mile or so, which I think was more to do with the terrain than tired legs. Maybe a slightly longer walk can be attempted next time!
Wildlife we did see included; Bluebells, Guinea Fowl (not really wild), a sparrowhawk and rabbits. There was probably more but a large dog and two children tend to make enough racket to scare off anything really interesting before we see it.
I'm now on a mission to find small some sensible walking shoes - her "princess shoes" really weren't suitable for the terrain. Does anybody know where I can get walking boots in a childs size 9?
The Ramblers have some tips on walking with children and there is also a link to a list of books of family walks; http://www.ramblers.org.uk/info/everyone/children/ .