This week we invited a tree to tea (well, lunch)! Have you done that yet? If not, sign up here to get your free party pack!
“The Woodland Trust is encouraging families to get together this summer and celebrate the UK’s incredible trees and woods by throwing a party”.1 It is basically an excuse to have a big picnic and enjoy the fresh air in the company of a special guest – a tree, in order to raise awareness of just how important woods and trees really are!
Trees are amazing. They provide shelter on a hot day, they provide homes for wildlife, they make the best climbing frames you could ask for, and they give us oxygen (need I say more???).
We sent off for our pack quite a while ago now and, when it arrived last week, I was desperate to use it straight away. The pack contains stickers, straws, bags for picnic rubbish, a small game, spotter guides, a picnic guide with tips and ideas, some other bits and pieces, and lots of information about trees.
The first thing we needed to do was to find a picnic spot. As we live in Chislehurst (which, as I found out the other day, literally means “wooded hill on cisels (gravel)”) trees are not hard to come by, and in the end we decided just to choose a shady spot in the park, under a huge beautiful tree.
I decided to try some of the food ideas provided in the picnic guide and so put a little bit more effort into lunch than I might normally. I made a caterpillar tortilla roll, though it doesn’t look anywhere near as good as the one in the picture that I was supplied; for this I spread mayonnaise, cheese, and salad onto a tortilla (not too thickly), rolled it up tightly, sliced it and then arranged it on a plate. I also added black olives and cocktail sticks for antennae. Knowing that 2-4 olives would not be enough for my strange olive-loving children, I also brought the rest of the olives in a pot for them to argue over!
We also made rainbow fruit kebabs using fruits in all the colours of the rainbow! For these we used blackberries, blueberries, kiwis, pineapple, oranges and strawberries. I brought all of the fruit to the park pre-cut and then we each made our own. A and E loved choosing their fruit and threading it onto their skewers. Or at least they did for about two minutes before the novelty wore off and they decided that it was just too slow and totally pointless and that eating it straight from the tubs was much easier! I enjoyed creating a rainbow anyway!
Once we had finished our picnic (and had a play in the park) we went into the woods for a scavenger hunt.
We collected leaves, feathers, fir cones, “helicopters”, bark, stones, and twigs, and then headed to the bears to make some art.
E fed the bears, while A created a picture of a desert island with trees and boats.
When they tired of this I tried to get them to spot different types of trees, though by this point they were much too tired and hot, and I had been bitten by far too many mosquitos, so we headed home.
On the way back we climbed trees.
And A rode her bike like a daredevil!
Once we got home the only thing that we could do was play with water. D decided to do some work in the garden, cutting all of the bushes and A and E discovered the delight of making potions with the flowers that came off! A perfect way to cool down!
We will continue to use our tree party pack throughout the summer; there is still so much to do and discover. We may even pick a different tree to invite to tea – we are spoilt for choice!