Other than the necessary trips to school and supermarkets, we haven’t really been out since before new year. We usually try and take the kids out as often as possible, but my new job means weekdays are out of the question, and the weekends just seem to be about catching up on everything. I knew we would all benefit from some fresh air, exercise and a change of scenery, so on Saturday, we jumped in the car and headed over to the Wyre Forest to do the Stick Man Trail. It was a beautiful day – cold but sunny – perfect for a walk in the woods.
Parking at the forest was just £3 for the day, and the activity pack for the trail was £3, making it a super cheap day out, especially if you were to take a picnic. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t bother buying the pack if we were to do it again, but would chuck some paper, clipboards and wax crayons into our bag.
It didn’t start off too well. Within minutes, Alex fell over and landed in a huge pile of mud. Typically, he was the only one not wearing wellies (discovered he had grown out of them!) and was covered head to toe in thick mud. Graham took him back to the toilets to try and clean him up a little. We hovered around, and Harrison spent a happy few minutes paddling in a little stream and looking at ways to cross it.
Alex came back, slightly less muddy but with a big hole in his jeans and a graze on his hand, and refused to walk. Graham carried him on his shoulders for a while, whilst Harrison ran on ahead. He wasn’t a happy bunny at all!
We carried on a bit further, stopping to do some rubbings of tree bark and looking out for signs showing the characters from the story, ready to tick off the list.
It became apparent that Alex wasn’t going to get down and join in, and Benjamin started getting whiny in his pushchair. He wanted to get out for a walk, but with Graham holding Alex and me helping Harrison, he couldn’t. Graham decided to head back to the cafe to get them a cake and a drink, and Harrison and I continued on the trail.
At various points on the trail there are activities to have a go at. Harrison absolutely loved building and playing in the dens. We talked about why you might need to build a den in the woods, and who might live in them. It’s something we’ve never done before – living in inner city Birmingham means den building opportunities are somewhat limited – but is something we definitely want to do again because the kids can get so much out of it.
The trail, which is about a mile long is perfect for little legs and is perfectly accessible with the pushchair if you stick to the paths. However, doing some of the activities like den building would have been difficult with the pram, so next time we will take the carrier for Benjamin so we can all get involved.
Harrison was so excited at the end of the trail when we found the Stick Man. We collected sticks to make our very own – that’s this weekend’s activity!
I’m not entirely sure how long the Stick Man Trail is on for at the Wyre Forest, but you can find all the information here. We will definitely be going back to the woods again, even if it has finished. Harrison and I can’t wait to build some more dens and see what else the forest has to offer!