Childhood is such a wondrous time, it should be filled with magic and mystery, with fairies, goblins and pixies. It should be brimful of imagination and wonder and the sky should never be the limit. It is one of the things I love about my kids. Their imaginations are fantastic, they are full of stories and questions and I love to listen to them playing together whilst making up so many different things in their gorgeous little minds. We have fairies in our garden and all our toys do come to life at night. I know that as they grow, the loss of the childhood magic is one of the things I will be most sad about. I want to keep them aged 6 and 4 forever, I never want them to stop believing in Santa and the tooth fairy but I know all too soon it will happen.
Whilst researching my 'to-do' blogs for the holidays I came across the Northumberlandia website. I am fairly ashamed to admit, that despite it being on our doorstep, we have only actually visited this remarkable spot once since it opened. I was very pleased to see so many things going on, Northumberland Wildlife Trust is heavily involved with Northumberlandia and put on lots of really good events for the entire family throughout the year. A lot of them are free and if not, very low cost, this is a great way to introduce the kids to wildlife and nature and support our environment around us.
A new name jumped out at me, Footprints on the Moon. I instantly loved the name and was intrigued so I delved more. I discovered that here was something that was right up our street! Footprints on the Moon is a Community Interest Company which means that they exist purely for the benefit of the community. They are not a profit making company which to me is extra special as it proves this is done from the heart and for our kids. It was set up by Annie and Sarah and their current base is the beautiful woods surrounding Northumberlandia. They are however expanding and will be branching out into other areas hopefully in the near future. I believe they are truly unique, in our area anyway, as the whole point is to be outdoors, explore nature, play outside, have fun, be kids. They run their sessions in all weathers, rain or shine, as Billy Connolly once said, there is no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes!.
On Saturday they held their first ever festival in the woods and we were invited along to see what they are all about. Immediately upon arrival I loved it. There is just something magical about the woods, I think I maybe read too many Enid Blyton books as a child but I just love the trees, the peace and tranquillity that you find there. The kids had already gone in with my mam as for some reason there was horrendous traffic on the A19.
Spread out amongst the ferns and trees were lots of fabulous activities. By the time I got there, they had already made bug houses - bottles filled with leaves/twigs and flowers to encourage little critters in and also bird feeders. These were empty toilet roll holders, on string and the kids put peanut butter all over them and stuck seeds on them. Ingenious! such a simple thought and if you know my kids, you will know how much they enjoyed these activities. They now have pride of place outside their playhouse.
We moved on to making headdresses, using leaves and twigs and of course glitter.
Next up was some painting, fairy wings to be precise, or in Luca's case Buzz Lightyear wings.
All the volunteers helping out were superb, tons of patience and really kind and helpful. It was a lovely atmosphere, the kids just ran about freely, no worries of cars and roads. Lots of fallen logs to explore and flowers to look at, we all absolutely loved it.
There was so much to do, we had story telling, that was great, we have actually seen this lady a few times when we have attended Little Sparklers sessions at various libraries. She was really good getting the kids involved in telling the story.
We painted pictures, made fairy wands, hid in dens and ran amongst the trees. We enjoyed some gorgeous hot donuts with chocolate and salted caramel, mmmmmm!
We even made S'mores around the campfire, perfect end to a perfect day.
If you have youngsters who love getting out and about in the fresh air, check out Footprints on the Moon and have a go, they run Wild Tots sessions for pre-schoolers through the week. Annie and Sarah are running a private event for us and our friends in September and we cannot wait! Thank you all for a lovely day, looking forward to more adventures with you.