How Hill is an environmental study centre on the Norfolk Broads. Its main role is to provide residential field courses for schools. It is where children can explore the woods and marshes, meet the marshman, visit the windmills and have a trip on the river. They try their hand at thatching and an assortment of other crafts. How Hill states “they gain an insight into the fragile world of the Broads, and often this is the beginning of a life-long interest in the environment.”
How Hill holds a special place in the hearts of my husband and I. As a child I stayed at How Hill on a school residential trip and we visited the grounds many times as a family when I was young. My husband has completed several How Hill residential trips with his Year 3 and 4 classes.
We took part in a How Hill Nature Tots morning session. Straight away it was clear that Adam and Beth were in a typical toddler mood and wanted to do everything opposite to what was expected. The big hill was too great a opportunity to miss and the cousins immediately ran down it.
The Nature Tots session had been planned well and was pitched perfectly for little ones. The activities were matched to their attention span and were relatively fast paced.
We went into the How Hill woods and explored the colours of the different leaves. The children collected leaves to be used later in a craft activity. They made nests for birds using sticks found on the wood floor and created a woodland pet from a pine cone and leaves. Adam was captivated when he met the How Hill deer. He didn’t stop cuddling and stroking the deer and enjoyed collecting green leaves for it to eat.
As we walked further into the forest, kicking leaves, we came across pictures of woodland animals. We joined the group to sort the animals into which habitat they lived in. We also found a large Holly House to explore which most people could fit inside.
Most of the activities Adam flitted in and out of. The Nature Tots team was accommodating. This was a typical view of Adam and Beth – exploring nature in their own way!
Adam’s favourite activity was meeting the How Hill Slug – a huge fallen tree! He enjoyed sitting on the slug but loved walking along it even more – again and again!
After a snack the toddlers made a magic potion from bats wee (water and food colouring) and natural materials found in the wood. Adam decided to make his own concoction in the wheelbarrow instead of in a cup.
Adam and Beth had a wonderful time playing in the muddy puddle.
Inside the How Hill house there were plenty of nature arts and crafts activities available if the weather had been too bad. I loved their use of wood to make an attractive name label for each child. It made a wonderful keepsake for the day.
How Hill Nature Tots take place throughout the year so keep an eye out on their website for the next event. Sessions cost £3 per adult, £3 per child and under 2’s are free. The activity session lasted for 2 hours, followed by our packed lunch at 12 o’clock in the gardens. There were tables and chairs available in the house to eat at and refreshments available at a reasonable price.
Are you looking for other toddler friendly days out around Norfolk? Then take a look at our Adventures of Adam around Norfolk posts –
Adam was 2 years and 6 months old.