Immersing yourself and your children in nature, getting out in it as much as possible and noticing the changing seasons are all wonderful tonics to the fast-paced, stressful lives we lead today.
And as autumn gets under way, with her gorgeous leaves, rose hips hanging like jewels on the hedgerows and conkers richly gleaming on the ground there's never been a better time to get out and enjoy this mellow season.
It is almost impossible at the moment to return from a walk with empty pockets. Children are natural magpies and, if you follow their lead, you will be too. But, apart from having conker fights, what do you do will all your treasures?
Here's what we made after a walk one weekend.Conkers are beautiful but, in our house at least, they do get everywhere: trouser pockets, the washing machine and down the back of the sofa.
So instead, we made an autumn mobile (with ideas from this wonderful book). This is what you need:
- A stick
- Beautiful coloured leaves
- Florists' wire (the stuff on a roll is ideal) or any string and a large needle. You'll also need something to make holes
- Treasures like acorns, teasel heads, rose hips, fir cones
Make a knot at the end of the string or wire and holes in the conkers or leaves (children will need supervision or help with this) and get creative! You could have one stick across and the string hanging down at intervals or you can have four sticks tied with string in the corners to make a square and the treasures hanging down The possibilities are endless.
One idea I'm keen to try out this year is threading rose hips on wire to make a garland to string up high in my kitchen window (away from little hands). I also want to flatten some red and orange leaves and then string them up too. If I had small window panes I'd stick a leaf in each one. You're only limited by your imagination (and perhaps what kind of windows you have).