Searching for sticks

Some days, afternoons stretch before me like an empty abyss. All I can see are monotonous hours needing to be filled, as I struggle for ideas to entertain my two year old. Before Christmas, my work schedule often saw me exhausted, counting down the hours until bedtime. I’m ashamed to admit this.

It’s not been like that recently. Feeling less tired and myself again, I’ve enjoyed the time spent with my feisty little girl. She makes me laugh – proper big belly laughs. Today was one such day. And it was mainly because of a nature trail for toddlers. Or, to be exact, my toddler.

Nature Trail for ToddlersArmed with nothing more than a bag, a torch, a list and a crayon, we set off to find some “treasure”. (It should be noted that nature trails are a great way to con gullible toddlers into thinking sticks and leaves etc are actual treasure. There’s only so long they’ll be happy to rummage around for something that’s not an iPad or the latest One Direction album.)

Nature Trail for Toddlers EquipmentFrog spent ages examining her list of “must-haves”. She discussed each item and talked to me about where we might find them. After five minutes of posing with her bag over her shoulder, we set off.

Nature Trail ListNature TrailLooking for treasure

If you look really carefully in the photograph above, you’ll see there are no pebbles. Not one. Nada. We looked everywhere for a stone or pebble and eventually Frog spotted one, nestled amongst all the other stones and pebbles “bits of ground”. She was ecstatic. It went straight in the bag for treasure.

This is where patience set in and I had to quell my inner In A Rush Mum. We had nowhere to go and nowhere to be. I reminded myself I could simply watch her search the bushes of leaves for that *perfect* leaf. Gradually, I felt myself begin to relax as I succumbed to the peace of a tantrum-free zone.

Woods and lake

I even felt a little thrill of excitement as we spotted an empty snail shell by the side of the path. (When you get out as little as I do, it’s the small things, OK?)

Empty Snail Shell

Arriving home, we unpacked our bounty. Frog inevitably lost interest and demanded we get out the play-dough, but a hot water bottle and some warm milk on the sofa put that idea out of mind for at least, oh, ten minutes.

Nature Trail BountyI like afternoons now, I think we’ll do this again. Just remind me not to add feathers to the list. That bit of fluff took me AGES to spot.


Linking up to The Sunday Showcase at Here Come The Girls and Country Kids at Coombe Mill. 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall



  1. says

    This is such a good idea. My wee man loves playing with sticks and leaves and stones. What is even better though is finding some water to chuck them in so I’m not sure we would get our treasure home!

  2. Ghislaine Forbes says

    Lovely photos. They take me back to holidays when we used to send Lizzy off with her list on the French campsites. F looks as if she had a brilliant time. Love ma x

  3. says

    Good tip on the feather! I love taking my little one out but the afternoons are so dark and cold at the moment we haven’t ventured further than the garden. My toddler would have been knee deep in your amazing puddles!

  4. says

    A great way to enjoy and afternoon together. You have reminded me that I have a scavenger Hunt proforma on my website education page. I must print it off and have a go round the farm with my gang. Thanks for inspiring me and linking up with Country Kids!


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