River Bank Picnic & Homemade Sailing Boats

Friday, 5 July 2013  |  Alan - Escape 2

With a glorious weekend forecast, I am itching to find a secluded river bank and while away a fun and relaxing afternoon in the sun. Building little boats first and then sailing these new little treasured vessels down the river or stream, is bound to engage everyone for hours. Giggles, frolicking and fun almost certainly guaranteed and surely one that daddy will want to be in on the action..


"Playing Pooh Sticks with my Boat"

Your boat can be as simple or complex as you like. One easy method is to collect a handful of sticks from the garden and lash them together with a length of twine. A mast can then be attached and a lovely big leaf selected and attached as a sail.

If you have the time/inclination/skill (daddy involvement required in our house), then nail/screw together a rectangle of thin batons of wood and again attach a mast. Send the kids off to find a good leaf (quite a big, fibrous one) and thread it on to the mast..ours didn't last very long as you can see.

"Here is the Boat I made with Grampy"

Pack up the essentials, which will probably include a towel for everyone, swimmers and a change of clothes. If you want to make a day of it then how about taking a special picnic? (Although there is nothing wrong with the humble Marmite sandwich). Or you could think about setting-up a bijou little camp. Take a pretty sheet or a tarp, a length of rope/string and some tent pegs. Then lash the rope up between trees or two long sticks/canes and drape your fabric over the top. If needs be you have the pegs to secure it. Children love a den to play in and you may well be glad of some shade in which to sip your chilled drink. If you don't mind or have far to carry everything then a couple of cushions wouldn't go amiss here...(what am I thinking - have I forgotten all the other clobber that will be absolutely necessary to bring..."but mummy of course we can't leave teddy and dolly at home.."). Oh well I can but dream!

[A perfect stream for sailing your homemade boat]
A perfect little stream for sailing your homemade boat

If you fancy the picnic/river side of things but don't have the time or inclination to build a boat then you could always raid the bath toys and take them for an outing. Don't take a favourite, just in case it takes a longer than expected route down-stream...

Waiting to catch the Boats!

At escape2.co.uk we have a selection of brilliant children's and grown-up's trousers that zip-off to shorts. They dry really, really quickly and are very comfortable to wear. These are great for activities like rock pooling or pond dipping or basically anything that involves water/rain. When you are walking wear them as shorts, and then if they get splashed it doesn't matter in the least as they will dry out really quickly, plus they won't feel horribly cold and clammy even when slightly soggy. If you or your little one gets a little chilly, you know that you can simply zip the legs back on and Hey Presto - trousers.

Can we go now please and are we nearly there yet?!

Suggested Stuff to Take with You:

Floating vessel - either a homemade boat or a bath toy
Fishing net (handy to grab run-aways)
Blanket/Picnic rug
Picnic and plenty of drinks for everyone
Sun screen
Sun Hats
Quick-Drying Shorts/Walking Trousers
Spare clothes and/or swimming costumes
Small Daypack for example The North Face Women's Vault

If you fancy making a Den/Shelter/Sun Shade:

An old pretty sheet or a tarp
Length of rope/string/cord
A couple of tent pegs

For ideas on locations for Wild Swimming click here.

I would dearly love to see pictures of your day at the river and hear any suggestions or comments you have. Please leave a comment below.




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