Wild Events...that don't need wild organisational skills to attend!
Updated: Mar 21, 2019
I started Babble Rock because I had a new-ish baby and I still wanted to do the outdoor activities I had enjoyed in the years preceding his arrival. I think perhaps quite a few of our members have found themselves on the site for similar reasons, however it may be daunting for some folk with a precious new bundle to imagine wild camping or out on a kayak especially if they haven't really done those things before their tiny house-guest arrived. Perhaps the best way to get into outdoor stuff with babies and toddlers is to do smaller events and expeditions that are close to home and require less organisation than a 9 hour scramble along the Aonach Eagach (I jest: Graeme and I certainly haven't done the Aonach Eagach with our tot; in fact I personally have never done the Aonach Eagach at all!)
Luckily there are a number of excellent groups in Glasgow and surrounding areas to enable parents with preschoolers to get out, get free, and get muddy, and in this blogpost I'll detail a few of those.
NOTE: I am still working my way through attending these groups and I can only write about what I have experienced. So these will be written about as I attend, starting with just one for now and updating as I get along to them!
The Children's Wood
So I'm looking at The Children's Wood's excellent web page, wondering how best to summarise the aims and purpose of the organisation in a way that will do it justice and not leave anything out. And in trying to do this, I've realised that, lest I get it wrong or leave out the important stuff, I should really just say "click on the link above and they can tell you in their own words!" But for the purposes of a brief introduction for those Babble Rockers who may not have heard of this excellent inner-city community resource, The Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow is a lovely, rambling wild space in the West End of Glasgow intended for enjoyment and utilisation of and by anyone and everyone. There is no need to book or wait for an organised event to use this space - you can just go down there at any time with your wee ones and play, have a picnic or barbeque (there are fire pits, which may be used responsibly), and just enjoy some wild and messy fun.
There are also a wide variety of organised events, of which you will find details on the web page and on Facebook. They do so many different things - from Tree-planting, Outdoor Learning Groups, Holiday Clubs, and Well-being Events, to things that you may not expect to find in a woodland space such as Outdoor Film Nights. You get my point that I couldn't do it justice here, so do go onto their pages and have a look for yourself. Of most interest to parents of toddlers looking for a weekly nature fix are perhaps the playgroups which meet on a Wednesday and Friday , from 10-12pm, and 11-1pm respectively. Here the volunteers help your preschoolers to play and have fun in all weathers; there is a mud kitchen, a tipi, a stepping stone trail, various outdoor toys, and a fire is built during each session.
We have attended The Children's Wood both as part of the Playgroups and just as a family for an outing, and have enjoyed its beauty in both freezing temperatures and glorious sunshine when the meadow was buzzing with flying beasties and smelling of summer. I couldn't recommend it more highly, and the dedication of its volunteers in keeping this resource running for the community is second to none.
Here are some pictures of Xani enjoying his first playgroup when the weather was nippy!
Here is the time we went along just as a group of friends and built a (responsible!) fire for Pancake Day!
Next up will be a post about Off-Grid Kids, whose new nursery sessions Xani is due to attend next week...watch this space...