Sunday 11th May was National Children’s Day UK.
Children’s Day was established by the UN General Assembly in 1954 as a day of “worldwide fraternity and understanding between children”. It is a day that is all about the importance of children and how they have special rights and freedoms that help them grow into happy, healthy adults.
National Children’s Day UK have collaborated with Project Wild Thing and the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood to encourage families to swap screen-time for wild time. NCDUK 2014 explores children’s need to connect with nature and how much the lack of this can impact on their health and wellbeing. They are promoting the Children’s Outdoor Charter, where ‘every child in the UK has the developmental right to spend time enjoying and exploring the wonders of the natural world’. As an early years teacher and now a Mum I fully endorse the principles that children need access to nature.
National Children’s Day UK also coincided with the Broads Outdoors Festival which is in its fourth year and holds over 100 events across two weeks in May.
So with our ‘Children’s Outdoor Charter’ to hand we set off to the ‘Go Wild at NWT Barton Broad’ day which was held at Barton Turf Adventure Centre, 19 miles from our house. The activity day was run by Norfolk Wildlife Trust (NWT) and The Broads Authority.
It was advertised as a ‘fun packed family day of walks, boat trips, craft activities, pond dipping, minibeast hunting and much more’. It certainly delivered each of those! We were impressed by how many tents and activities were provided.
The weather was typically British – completely unpredictable. One moment it was raining, the next warm and another moment later it would appear as if it would rain again. So we were equipped for all weather eventualities.
The area was beautiful and unspoilt. A path had been created for the day and was signposted with nature facts. Adam loved the small bridges and was fascinated by the rivers.
In true Adam style he wanted to run – everywhere!
However, he found his own assault course attempting to get over the cut grass. It managed to slow him down for a little while.
We proudly displayed the ‘Children’s Outdoor Charter’ at Barton Turf
Adam was intrigued by the reeds. He loved their texture…
… and spent the rest of the day carrying at least one.
After exploring the broad for an hour we came across the pond dipping activity. I hadn’t expected Adam to stay still to take any notice but he loved it.
He had several attempts and pointed to the minibeasts he had found.
We headed back for lunch where Adam discovered the storytelling tent. He was captivated by the story and sat still listening intently.
Food couldn’t distract Adam away from the chance of sitting in a tractor. He managed to pull and push every lever and control possible in attempt to get it started!
After lunch the weather seemed to be improving so we discarded some of the layers of clothing and went on a boat trip. Adam got to wear his first lifejacket. We were lucky to have the boat to ourselves.
Unfortunately the weather deteriorated quickly. Huge rain clouds came over quickly.
Within a few moments the heavens opened and we were drenched. The seats filled with water and soaked our bottoms. Poor Adam’s first experience of a boat trip so certainly a wet one and he wasn’t too impressed.
The rain cut our day out short. Despite wearing waterproofs we were soaked through.
We never got round to making a mini beast home or a bird box. We also missed out on the North Norfolk Worm Charming Championships. However, as Adam’s main experience of worms so far are the edible version he may have had a shock!
Check our other toddler friendly venues in ‘Adventures of Adam around Norfolk’.
Adam was 2 years old.