Hunter-Gatherer, Time Outside

bow and arrow

Autumn, to me, is all about harvest. We are still gathering apples and processing them, but it is also a rich time for collecting craft materials. The children love to help. It doesn’t take much to encourage them to go outside and collect seeds and leaves.

bucket of acorns

We are lucky that so many different trees grow in our garden. Planted decades before we moved here, they are mature enough to provide all sorts of interesting natural craft materials. We love our oak tree. It is one of my favourite places to sit and spend time. This year, it’s acorns seem bigger than ever, but maybe I say that every year.

acorn gall

The children are fascinated by the acorn galls. A few of these magically appear on the nature table each year.

sycamore seed dragonflies

One tree that we don’t have in the garden is a sycamore. There are one or two down our lane. As we walk home from school, the children scoop up handfuls of the seeds to bring home. A few are thrown up to see who can make them spiral down to the ground again. Some end up in pots of earth, while others are added to the craft materials.  This week they made dragonflies, using the seeds.

sycamore seed dragonflies 2

The sticks were picked up from the hedgerow. I love the knobbly stick. It gives it a real dragon look. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’ll know that we do like our dragon (and here) and dragonfly (and here) crafts.

bow and arrow 2

In between all the gathering, there is plenty of time to play outside. The archery kit, that TF had for his birthday, is still a big hit. Even a bit of drizzle will not put them off missing their turn. Their aim and the distance, that they can fire the arrows, is improving. I wasn’t sure how well the bow and arrows would last, but the children have certainly put it through its paces and it is still going strong. I’m waiting for the subtle hints for a more substantial set.

In the meantime, with all the natural craft materials that they have gathered, I think we will be busy creating a few masterpieces in the weeks to come.

(Just in case you are wondering, despite the title of this post, nothing was actually hunted. The arrows have little plungers on the end. Purely for play and never to be pointed at anyone. Ever.)

Joining in with the #CountryKids. If you are looking for some outdoor play inspiration, then hop on over.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


22 thoughts on “Hunter-Gatherer, Time Outside

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 12:19 am

    That stretch in the top photo is amazing, and I love all the treasures that have been collected.

    Popping over from Country Kids.

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      They really do have fun with the bow and arrows. Its always wonderful to see them working as a team.

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Oh what a great post Cheryl, the acorns are fantastic. I love that you have a couple of little archers in the making. I used to be in an archery team in my (much) younger days and I’ve really been hankering after a new set. It’s definitely only a matter of time before they want to swap the plungers. It’s a brilliant sport though x

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      It really has been a hit (pun not intended) and they are old enough to play nicely. I think there will be a lot more of this in the future.

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 1:52 am

    My kids would love to make those dragonflies – what a great idea. I bought my son a ‘nerf’ bow but your archery kit looks fab.

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      I’ve not seen a nerf bow. I’ll have to check it out. The dragonflies are so simple, but they love making them. Going to string them up in a mobile. I can see them flying above our nature table.

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 2:34 am

    Love that first photo, and the dragonflies are fabulous…our next craft activity perhaps.. 🙂 What a great collection you’re gathering for your craft table!

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      The children and I love working with natural craft materials, so to have so much collecting up makes me very happy. Rainy days are sorted! 😀

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 8:19 am

    What a great acorn collection! And the dragonflies look fantastic 🙂

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:24 pm

      Thanks Hannah. Not sure if the children have more fun collecting or making.

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Brilliant archery photos! And plenty ‘gathered’ there, too – lots of crafting times ahead 🙂 CountryKids

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:25 pm

      Oh, we are going to be busy. Looking forward to seeing the ideas that the children come up with.

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 10:51 am

    A wonderful post Cheryl, your kids look like they have archery lessons that is a great stance there! Loving your acorn haul and I have often wondered what to make with all the helicopters hitting the ground here on the farm. Now I know! Thanks for linking up with Country Kids.

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      One has had lessons and taught the others. Doesn’t it always work that way?!

      I have very fond memories of playing with sycamore seeds, as a child, and making them spiral down. Lovely to see my children doing the same. Hope you have a go at the dragonflies.

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Those acorn galls look fantastic. I’ve not heard of, or seen, those before. I also love the sycamore dragon crafts. Well keep my eyes peeled out and about for some of those. Lovely post 🙂

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      Some years we have lots of acorn galls. Not so many this year. The shapes are so beautiful. Amazing little wasps to cause the acorn to grow spikey instead of its normal smoothness.

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:34 pm

      Thanks Kim. Autumn is a lovely time of year.

  • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I think my lot would enjoy an archery set too. love the dragonflies – very clever, but still simple. Juliex

    • Saturday 12 October, 2013 at 11:37 pm

      I love crafts like this. The children have to do some thinking. How many wings and how are they positioned, but they are having simple fun at the same time. 🙂

  • Monday 14 October, 2013 at 3:02 am

    oh i’m loving those dragonflies! i have a little friend who will love making those! thank you for the inspiration!

    • Monday 14 October, 2013 at 2:09 pm

      I think I can guess who you mean!! Hope Lily has fun.

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