Like many other parents, it was important to us to get the summer holidays off to a good start. Kate and I want the kids – Dylan and Xander in particular – to get plenty of fresh air and exercise. This idea from the Calypso Holiday Hacks campaign, then, was just the job. We took them to a nearby wood to look for wildlife.

Finding animals would not be easy. A large number of them are either nocturnal or afraid of little boys with big voices. Similarly, the boys were hoping to find bears and Gruffalos, so their expectations needed managing! We set off in the hope of finding a few smaller living things and evidence of some of their bigger woodland neighbours.

You can see how we did in the video below.

Although we were unable to actually see any rabbits, foxes or badgers, we found plenty of signs of life and I think the boys really enjoyed playing the role of detectives and seeking them out. As well as seeing butterflies, dragonflies and bees, we heard several different birds in the trees. We also found a couple of footprints, some claw marks and droppings so there was still lots to look for. We also found what may have been an entrance to a rabbit’s warren.

The entrance to a rabbit warren under a tree.

As well as being educational and good exercise, they got plenty of fresh air as they broadened their horizons. Another great thing about this activity, of course, is that it didn’t cost anything.

I also really enjoyed taking part. I used to love going to the same wood as a child and it had been years since I visited. It was fascinating seeing how the landscape had changed. Some of the areas that I remembered being sad and sparse following the great storm of 1987 were bursting with life again and that was great to see.

A butterfly.

Although we spent a couple of hours looking for wildlife, we only took in a small area of the massive wood so we’re looking forward to going back to explore more later in the summer. This Holiday Hack, then, is a gift that keeps giving – hopefully we’ll spot a couple of creatures next time too!

There are plenty of indoor, outdoor and life hack ideas in the Calypso Holiday Hacks app – why not try a few of them this week?

Disclosure: this is a collaborative post.

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