Better Than ‘In The Night Garden’

Sometimes CBeebies just doesn’t cut it. The last few weeks have given us an early summer with balmy and light evenings to play around with, the boys and I have been making the most of it by heading out for some twilight wanders and bedtime stories on a hilltop. Our last foray took us to a wee hillock just 15 minutes drive out of  the city a few hours before sunset and we dawdled up some empty footpaths stopping to hide in wheatfields, hedgerows and look at the armies of ants that marched across the cracked earth.

It wasn’t all idyllic mind, the big lad threw a well aimed stick at my head and the little one had a massive strop when he dropped a rock on his foot, boys will be boys and all that. It was still preferable to doing the same old thing at home, routines have their place when it comes to parenting but to I’m a fan of the saying “the less routine, the more life”.

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After an hour of walking and mucking about in the meadows we made for the modest summit of Robin Hood Hill and managed a few chapters of Fantastic Mr Fox under a dipping sun before some telling yawns nudged us back down the hill to the car. Both kids were fast asleep after five minutes which made putting them to bed far easier than usual.

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For any parent who feels that the bedtimes are getting a bit dull and tired,  I strongly recommend taking your kids out to the nearest field, wood, river or hilltop with a picnic, a blanket and a few books and let them run about, get muddy, climb trees and stay up really late.

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