Tag Archives: chestnuts

Chestnuts, Potions and Kites

On Tuesday afternoon, we went to our local park to hunt for some more chestnuts.

Chestnuts one 1

My mum was with us, so between us we managed to gather quite a few chestnuts fairly quickly, with a little help from the children before they decided to play football instead.

chestnuts two 2

Next we went down to the play area and the children had a good time, but after a while it was getting too cold and we decided to set off home.

chestnuts three 3

We picked up a few more chestnuts on the way back and then the big three played piggy in the middle for a while.

chestnuts four 4 again

Back at home, they drew some pictures of a chestnut in its spiky case.

On Wednesday, we went to Home Education Group at our friends’ house.

Potions one 1

Owl wasn’t feeling very well, so he spent most of the afternoon inside with one of his friends playing with Lego, but the rest of the children went outside to find ingredients to make a magic potion.

Potions two 2

They also had fun in the new tree house which has been built since we last visited.

Kite one 1

I had offered to make a kite with anyone who was interested (after reading Fiona’s post last week) and suddenly, at the end of the afternoon,  some of the children decided they would like to do it.  So we found two straight, lightweight sticks and tied them in a cross shape with string.  Then we taped on a plastic carrier bag.

kite two 2

We decorated the kite with leaves, added a wool tail with more leaves, and found a piece of wood to wind the string around.

kite three 3

The children had a lot of fun testing out their kite.  It didn’t seem to matter to them that it didn’t fly terribly well – they managed to get it up off the ground just enough to satisfy themselves that it was flying!

kite four 4

They had some real success a couple of times, only to disappear around the corner before I could get a photograph.

potions, kites and chickens

Finally it was time to go home.  There was just time for Rabbit to admire her potion one last time.  She and Tiddler also went to say goodbye to the chickens, and I quickly made another kite for the boy of the house, so we could take the first one home.  I took a picture of their carved pumpkin for inspiration too!  It was a lovely afternoon with good friends and I left feeling really positive.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Haw Berries, Chestnuts and Freedom

On the last two Wednesday afternoons we have been out with our Home Education group.  We have been enjoying the good weather, the fresh air and the freedom to explore and learn outdoors.

haw berry picking

The week before last, we went haw berry picking at the local smallholdings where some of our home educating friends live.  We had a lovely time, and got a small but reasonable harvest of berries.  Owl was particularly keen and he really stuck at it to make sure we collected enough.  We used the berries to make haw sauce, which Owl, Daddy and I liked very much – the younger children weren’t so sure, but really I thought it was rather similar to tomato ketchup!  It lasted a mere two days, so we need to go and pick some more berries before it is too late.

Chestnut picking

This week’s activity was chestnut picking in our local park.  The same friend who took us haw picking taught us how to do it.  For the uninitiated, you hit the chestnuts with a stick to get them down and then stamp on them to remove them from their cases – so all in all, a very child-friendly exercise!

chestnut picking and conker collecting

After a bit of tree-climbing and conker collecting, we returned home with our haul.  We haven’t decided yet whether to roast the chestnuts or make soup with them.  We are finding it difficult to choose so we will just have to go back to collect some more!

I love Autumn, it’s my favourite season, and there is so much fun to be had outdoors.  We always collect leaves and conkers, but this year we are all really enjoying learning more about foraging for food.  I think that the freedom to do this kind of thing together is one of the things I like most about home education.  I am grateful to my friends for sharing their knowledge and skills with us – it seems far more valuable to me than a lot of what goes on in school.  I wish teachers had the freedom to take children out of the classroom and spend time outdoors doing things like this.

The weather has changed now, so it might not be so idyllic but we are planning to carry on making the most of the Autumn bounty for as long as possible.  Closer to home, we have plenty of apples and a few pears in our garden, as well as some pumpkins which we will be picking soon.  This evening I went out in the dark and rain to pick some apples, feeling somewhat heroic, and Suburban Dad is now making chutney at nearly midnight.  It might be a bit crazy, but there’s a great deal of satisfaction to be found in using free sources of food.  The brambles might be over for this year, but we are not done with foraging yet!

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall