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20 July 2016

A Big Wild Sleepout with RSPB

It's always lovely to spend time outdoors as a family connecting with nature, enjoying some fresh air and learning about creatures great and small. We've been camping many times over the years which we really enjoy but when we heard about the Big Wild Sleepout (29th-31st July) we were keen to be involved.

For the 4th year running the RSPB are trying to encourage more children to sleep outside, even if it's just in a den or pop up tent in their back yard, and for many little ones it may be their first experience of nocturnal wildlife - it's exciting yet educational too. Listening for owls, watching moths and bats while having fun with torches is a great experience for all and with this warmer weather it is perfect timing to sign up!

We decided to give sleeping in the garden a go, ahead of the Big Wild Sleepout, to see how we got on as this was not something that we had ever tried before despite staying on designated campsites numerous times! The Mini Mes were really eager to get started and it wasn't long until we had a small tent erected, some snacks to nibble on (of course) and some some other fun activities prepared to make the most of our night.

Firstly we dined al fresco. I felt that pizza was the best option as it was easy to eat with no cutlery required and it's definitely a favourite here. It was lovely to feel the warm breeze on our skin as we ate and chatted about our plans for the summer holiday. We also made had some ice creams which were well appreciated by all, especially my sweet tooth.

There were a few little creepy crawlies to be discovered as the sun started to set and we were able to carefully collect a few in our Minibeast Viewer for a closer look while finding out some interesting facts about them from our insect book. We found a family of woodlouse under rocks, a few snails and even a cricket hiding in the grass which we popped in the pot with some flowers to magnify before releasing again.

As it became darker our Star Gazer Astronomical Telescope came into use which is fantastic for viewing the stars, moon and planets. As it's really lightweight it can easily be transported outside and our How to Read the Solar System book gave us specific things to search for in the night sky and helped us to learn about what we could see. It was amazing to lay back together on soft towels and blankets looking at different patterns and shapes and I really started to feel as though the experience was bonding us all together even more so.

Finally, as it got late, we pulled out our torches and settled down to play a few games of Top Trumps before sleeping. 

Our expereince was really relaxing and a nice escape from technology. Most evenings I spend at the laptop or catching up with a TV series when the Mini Mes are in bed so being outside was a wonderful change and I felt so refreshed for doing so. The Mini Mes certainly liked staying up past their usual bedtime and doing something different too.

If you would like to be involved and commit to sleeping out on the weekend of 29th-31st July you can sign up on the website. Everyone who signs up will get a free pack in the post including some great accessories such as glow-in-the-dark bunting for their night time adventure!

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  1. This sounds like just our sort of thing - we are RSPB members.

  2. Love this idea, we love the outdoors and weve just started camping alot and its amazing to see how the kids who were once frigjtened of the dont fear them at all but more intrigued by them

  3. Maxi is having a wild slept out at his friends house on Friday!

  4. It sounds like fun! I remember when we I was young we used to have lots of sleep outs in the garden in preparation for camping trips.

  5. I bet you felt like you were on holiday in your own back garden! It's such a nice idea to sleep outside and the RSPB have been very clever in appealing to families in this way.

  6. sounds really fun, my garden is too small :( i used to love camping in the garden as a kid

  7. Love this idea, I applied for a pack as my kids would love this x

  8. My children often do a sleep out in the garden but dont always make it through the night becuase they get spooked and come in- ofcourse I dont sleep either!

  9. This looks like so much fun - my two would love it x x

  10. I've been looking at this the last few days, it looks fab! Just wish there was one near us tho we are off camping soon so I guess we could try it there?!


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