Today we spent the morning in the park. It was a freezing morning… it felt like -2 or -3 degrees. Light snow was falling and fluttering around, but not really reaching the ground, just spiralling off into another direction. We very nearly deemed it too cold for the park. Then we realised we had to man up a bit (especially since I’m Scottish and grew up playing outside in all weathers) and we bundled up and headed to the Kelsey Park in Beckenham, Kent.
Best thing of all? We didn’t spend a penny. Here are my top 5 fun free things for toddlers to do in the park:
1. Parks are ace for parents of scooter-mad toddlers and children. Lots of space for the kids to scoot (scoot? scooter? Who knows?) and no cars to be a danger. My two year old loved the hills and dips on the paths, getting up a good speed and managing to steer and maintain control. (Methinks it won’t be long before she develops her daddy’s love of watching F1 races)
2. Download a free printable nature trail from the Woodland Trust and tick off each thing as you see them. Today, we stopped to look at squirrels in trees, waved to birds on the path and stepped on the crunchy leaves.
3. Feed the ducks and geese. Kelsey Park in Beckenham has signs up letting us know that their ducks and geese prefer wholegrain breads over white (how very middle class!) and we were very good and obeyed the sign. Might take some Irish soda bread with me next time, to give them a Celtic treat.
4. Count! We counted trees, we counted ducks, we counted swings, we counted boys, we counted girls, we counted… EVERYTHING! (Also: apparently 16 comes after 13…)
5. Have a picnic. Even in wintery weather, you can have a little al fresco dining. Today, we took some croissants, ham and cheese with us. OK OK, so we cheated and popped into the park cafe for a hot chocolate too, but it really was blooming cold!
But the thing with two-year-olds is they get tired easily, and when this happens, my daughter likes to resort to what I call “Lazy Girl Scooting” which I caught on video…