The Go Wild Go West blog

5 Spring Mini Adventures for the family

Adventures in Spring

At last, the weather is warming up; the flowers are emerging and the welcome sounds of singing birds and buzzing bees can be heard. Spring is here so it’s time for outdoor adventure!

Whether it’s the school holidays, the weekend, or after school – this is the best time of year to get outdoors with the children and have some fun.

rope swing

On a sunny day, make time for adventure. Dodge after-school clubs for a day, cancel indoor reservations, shift your busy routine around….

Here are our 5 favourite Mini-Adventures for Spring. Easy, outdoor fun activities for the family, right from your own doorstep

1. Flip-a-coin Adventure

Let the coin decide your adventure….

This is our all-time favourite adventure!

  • Spread your local map out on the floor.
    *If you don’t have a local map, I would HIGHLY recommend investing in one of the Ordnance Survey’s Customised Maps which allows you to put your house (or chosen location) at the centre of the map
  • Toss a coin over the map
  • Mark the place it’s landed in pencil
  • Plot a route to navigate as closely as possible to that point, ideally using bikes or walking
  • See where your adventure takes you!

This is a great way to explore your local area and visit places you otherwise wouldn’t have! Our adventures have led us to an interesting assortment of locations like an old well, a sewage works (!) and a pub (winner). Wherever you end up, the journey is always lots of fun!

map reading
Where will your adventure take you?

2. Set an ambush

The kids chose to include this in the list. They love ambushes!

  • Incorporate the ‘ambush game’ into a regular walk, like the school run. Get the kids to run ahead a little and hide wherever they can. As you approach, see if you can spot them before they have the chance to jump out and ambush you!
  • Take the ambush up a notch and find some slightly ‘wilder’ terrain – it doesn’t need to be big, just somewhere they can hide!
    Let the kids disappear for a while to plot their ambush.

When they’re ready (ours give a wolf cry), start walking towards them and wait for the inevitable…..

If the kids are really serious, get them to camo themselves with mud, vines and leaves!

mini adventure with kids
AMBUSH!

3. Build a rope swing

With just a rope, a stick, and a tree you can create hours of entertainment!

Things to look for in your search for the perfect swing-spot:

  • A tree that is ALIVE
  • A branch (that is also still alive) that sticks out horizontally from the tree
  • A good clear, wide swinging space (beech woods are probably the best hunting ground for big sturdy trees with clear spaces between them).
  • Make sure the swing trajectory doesn’t fly across a public footpath, or anything dangerous in case of a fall

How to build a rope swing:

  • Tie a short but weighty stick to the rope.
  • Throw it over the chosen branch.
  • Align the two ends of the rope and throw over the branch again (getting the second loop as close to the first as possible).
  • Now get the stick you’ve chosen as your swing seat.  Let the rope hang down and tie the log with knots at the right height.  Any extra rope can be wrapped around the log to make the seat more comfy.
  • Test with adult weight so it is essential that grown-ups get to go on the swing first and give it a good test run.
Enjoy!

4. Night time pond dipping

You may think that ponds are quiet, calm places but wait until you see what’s going on beneath the surface!!

Ponds are a hive of life, and Spring is a busy time for pond dwellers. With mating season underway, visiting a pond is guaranteed to be an incredible show! Most of the action happens at night so grab a torch and get ready for an adventure!

In past years we’ve visited neighbours’ ponds or found ponds in local fields and even wildlife reserves. We’ve seen the mating dance of Great Crested Newts, tadpoles under attack from dragonfly nymphs and diving beetles the size of our fingers!

Well worth the trip!

pond dipping
What can you see?

Ponds

If you don’t have a pond, why not dig one this year? You can get a pond liner and plants from a local garden centre. Without much space, we decided to bury a couple of buckets to create our ponds. 2 years on and they’re buzzing with life.

With so many ponds being removed or built on, our populations of newts and frogs are struggling (along with all the other hundreds of species reliant on ponds). So if there’s one thing you can do for nature this Spring, it’s dig a pond!

Bucket ponds

5. Listen to the Dawn Chorus

After a long winter, there’s nothing better than rejoicing in bird song on a sunny Spring Day!

Birds begin to sing again in Spring as the mating season kicks off. The boys sing to show the girls how wonderful they are, plus to warn other males away from their territory.

wren
A little wren

Read more about 5 bird songs that you can learn this Spring here.

  • Birds begin to sing early in the morning as the sun rises. Whether you’re urban or rural, the sound of the dawn chorus is incredible.
  • Set your alarm early and get up before the sun. Head out into a local park or nearby fields/woods, just sit in your garden or open a window and listen to the sound of the birds.
  • Even better if you can find an Easterly facing spot to watch the sun rise at the same time. The perfect way to start the day.

The Spring Mini-Adventure Challenge

Can you complete all 5 mini-adventures?
Let us know how you get on! Tag us in your adventure photos on social media… Instagram @gowildgowest and Facebook @gowildgowest

Find our full set of mini-adventures here.

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