To take part, we had to choose ten challenges from a list of forty, and record the children as they tried out their new skills. There were lots of laughs along the way and it was lovely to see the three children joining in and supporting one another in their efforts.
Carrying out the activities against the backdrop of the forest and the beach added a real element of adventure and the children rose to the challenges brilliantly.
Some challenges were a pretty easy such as having to balance something on your head for 15 seconds. Kizzy did a good job walking with a frisbee on her head, keeping a straight back and her chin up. Not to be outdone, Freddy had a go too, running with it on his head!
At the seaside, the kids wanted to get in the sea to catch a wave, but as we didn't have the kit for a day's surfing, we decided to let the waves catch them instead! (A little artistic licence in the completion of this challenge!!) Freddy loved his first ever taste of running in the sea and jumping the waves. It was such a pleasure watching him and hearing his giggles as he experienced the joy of the seaside with his sisters. The sun was shining and it was a gorgeous day. His water confidence increased massively, as he was very timid around it before discovering the fun of the surf.
Den building has been an activity that everyone has enjoyed. Using the fallen branches from trees and making a wigwam shape around a tree trunk has proven to be a very efficient way of building a natural, outdoor den. Being in a forest provided the best environment for den building, Gruffalo searching and bear hunting. Freddy has had a wonderfully imaginative forest adventure and the den building definitely added to his games.
We bought Freddy a frisbee from a shop and introduced him to the fun of the flying disc! Due to the problem with his eyes, his 3D vision is not as good as it should be and I do worry about the limitations this may give him. However, after putting the frisbee in his hand, he showed excellent throwing and catching skills and not once did his vision hinder his ability. He very quickly got the hang of it and learned a fun new skill.
Piggy backs are always fun and it was lovely to see Ella and Kizzy giving each other rides through the forest. When I was a little girl I had a piggy back related injury and broke my nose after falling flat on my face while carrying someone on my back. Thankfully the girls were much safer and more stable than I was!
Swinging as high as you can is one of the challenges that the children really loved. Freddy has just learned how to swing on his own and can get himself going and swing really high with confidence. He has loved the play area here at Blackwood Forest. But when we found a rope swing in the woods it was too good an opportunity to pass by. Kizzy had a go and managed to swing really high until she hit a tree and went into a death spiral! It was very funny watching her spin round and around. Maybe I should have saved her, but I was too busy laughing.
I was really proud of Kizzy for having a go at climbing trees. She was a bit nervous, but felt the fear and did it anyway. Challenging yourself physically is an exhilarating thing to do, and it feels so good when you accomplish what you set out to do. Kizzy was very brave and managed to negotiate the branches of a tree to get quite high.
Other challenges that the children completed were building a sandcastle on Sandown Beach on the Isle of Wight. It was not the best sand for making castles so they made a raised mound of sand surrounding a deep hole that quickly filled with sun warmed sea water. (I really liked it as it reminded me of a fantasy land from Westeroes in Game of Thrones for some reason.) They managed to get some dry sand from further up shore and mix it with the heavy, wet sand to make two turreted towers overlooking their miniature kingdom, using Freddy's new bucket, to complete the grand structure. They didn't last long though, because Freddy was desperate to jump on them! That is one of the joys of building a sandcastle though.
After the excitement of the Commonwealth Games and in particular the thrilling men's 4 x 100 m relay, the children are all very interested in athletics. So staging their own 100 m sprint (albeit clad in wellies) gave them a chance to embody their inner Usain Bolt and run like the wind! Freddy enjoys racing his sisters and giving himself a cheeky headstart. There were so many long stretches of open forest paths to run down whilst we were on holiday. The children got plenty of exercise and fresh air in the great outdoors.
On one of our day trips, we watched some street performers in Winchester who were doing a street dance demonstration. Freddy was so intrigued by the popping and locking and the break dance moves that the kids were doing. When we got back, he wanted to try his own street dancing moves based on what he had seen. He was utterly adorable pulling his moves and doing his thing. As a result of the dancing, we are going to be finding a street dance class for Freddy to attend so he can perfect his B-Boying! This has been the best part of this challenge, discovering a new skill that Freddy wants to explore further.
We have really loved taking part in this challenge, learning new skills and having fun together. It was a great idea for keeping the kids active and entertained, and I absolutely adored watching them getting stuck in. Here is our video showing how the children got on as they embraced the #GetYourSkillsOn challenges.
This is our entry into the Tots 100/Robinson's Fruit Shoot #GetYourSkillsOn challenge.