Today’s post is written by Lesley McLaren. She works behind the scenes here at Creative STAR doing various administrative jobs. It’s her first ever blog post! So congratulations and thank you, Lesley.
Oh what to do in the school hols with a 6 year old? Lucky for me, my “little man” (LM) as we call him, is a natural born outdoor explorer with a great interest in all things outdoorsy. Therefore I booked a session with the outdoor activity providers Mud Pies, for an afternoon session.
On the morning the sun was out, but as is usual with the Scottish weather, just as we were to set off for our adventure, the heavens opened. Right, quick change needed, LM was then donned in his salopettes and wellies, waterproofs and wellies for me, but, (and yes he did regret it) hubby set off in jeans! Once we reached our destination – Countesswell Woods, near Aberdeen, the weather just added to the atmosphere with all the tall, dense trees surrounding us.
Our guide, Mandy Tulloch, couldn’t have been more enthusiastic about the surroundings, pointing out certain trees and other nature along our walk through the woods. She was very patient and talkative with all the children in the group. Our first mission of the session was to collect small stones and other goodies to place in the soup, which was first on our menu. The detective in the children came out with many items going into the little cloth bag each child had been given. Pine cones, twigs and other bits were collected but could we each find a piece of bark large enough to represent a plate for the meal?
Emerging from the trees to a small overgrown field, we were led to discover and taste wild blaeberries and wood sorrel. Now for all you parents out there which have fussy eaters, as I do, you will agree that no way would my child even try this at home let alone in the wild. But by some miracle everyone, even the adults were up for a bit of taste testing. The wood sorrel (which for us not in the know, have probably walked past hundreds of times not realising it was edible) had a little surprise to it by tasting of nothing until you crushed it in your mouth and then a sharp lemony flavour appeared.
Branches against the tree made great shelters
Next we set off for camp with a promise of juice and biscuits which for some strange reason seemed to make all the children speed up a little. On our way we passed some small shelters made from large branches against the trees, which of course required a visit. And then…..CAMP!!!! It had been discovered!
The canopy provided a dry shelter from the rain
Now to get messy. First up the soup, a lovely blend of slightly brown water with small multi-coloured stones…yummy. Next course- mud pies, so the hunt for some earth began with children running in all directions, spoons & pots in hand ready to excavate!
Lots of earth here for a tasty mud pie
Back at camp lots of excited muddy fingers were making many mouth-watering dishes, including a culinary speciality -Mud Truffles.
Mud glorious mud!
Finally some woodland friends were served their meal round the campfire and the chefs (and helpers) were rewarded with the earlier promised treats.
A feast fit for a king
After a quick play and run around, it was time to say goodbye to our guide and the woods. I would really recommend the classes, which were both fun and educational. MUD PIES hold classes for ages 2 – 8 in the holidays, but in term time 2 – 5 year olds are invited along for classes each week. Visit the website for details and how to book. And most of all…..have fun!!!