Thursday, 8 September 2011

Not Back To School Day

As a home educating family we like to celebrate 'not back to school day' with a special activity, as do most other families. This is usually a picnic out in nature or something similar, but yesterday due to the damp weather we went out to explore one of our local woodland areas instead.  Once we arrived the day commenced with a hill rolling race, always a lot of fun... so I'm told.

We spent lots of time identifying different types of trees which included a walnut tree and other types of plants and fungi and we found a natural chalk out crop. The woods were very noisy as it was rather windy which added a spooky atmosphere, one tree actually sounded exactly like a creaky old door opening. Rather puzzlingly deep in the centre we found one small spot where there was no sound at all.

Do you think  the entrance looks kind of spooky?...a bit like a tunnel. When the children had finished exploring and playing in the trees we decided to pick some apples from this tree before returning home.

This is the tree that provided us with enough apple jam and pie fillings to last all winter last year. There are many more apples this year and they are twice the size, we collected 10 kilos which is about 20lbs and the tree still had so many apples on that you wouldn't have known we had picked any at all. The children helped to collect apples in between more hill rolling, we also collected a few elderberries... I have plans for some elderberry syrup this year, so will need to pick more.

Some of the foraged apples are so big that it is very hard to hold them effectively while trying to peel them. So far we have made another batch of apple jam and prepared several bags of apple pie filling which have been frozen for winter. The children would like to make some fruit leathers, a natural form of fruit sweets so this will be put on the list of things to make. Overall everyone had a lovely 'not back to school day' enjoying the freedom to explore nature.


  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful day. What a great way to celebrate :o)

  2. Thank-you for reading, Hannah. We did have a wonderful day with the added bonus of beautiful apples, which were extremely heavy to carry home. Worth it in the end though :)

  3. that looks lovely, Icould do with a hill roll, and I'd love to explore that hobbity tree passage x

  4. Thank-you for reading, the hill rolling is good there... I'm told ;)

  5. Sounds as if it was a wonderful day :)