IT STARTED WITH A LIST

I love a good list. Shopping lists, baby name lists, Desert Island Disc lists, footballers to make up England’s Euro 2016 squad list, but above all else, my favourite and most important is a ‘things to do' list - more specifically, a things to do with Edie list.

I’m a forward thinking kind of guy so this list hasn’t hastily been scribbled on an old envelope. Oh no, this list sits safely in the Notes of my iPhone and grows with the slightest murmur of an adventure. The list is part formed by recommendations from friends but more often than not stolen from people I’ve never even met. Social Media is an incredible tool for this. I've discovered some wonderful days out and things to do from using hashtag and location searches on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Adventures and activities that can be enjoyed in wellies or sandals, close to home or further afield, educational or just silly, out and about or in the comfort of your home, free or expensive, but most importantly, enjoyable to children.

So guys, open up your Notes (or equivalent) and get typing. So the next time you have a lazy weekend or long school holiday with no plans, your next child-friendly adventure won't need much thought or planning. Weather or budget shouldn’t really matter as a well thought out and exhaustive list should cover all eventualities. If it’s hot and sunny, scroll to those outdoor pursuits. If it’s cold and wet, find an art club or scatter your dining table with old loo rolls, glitter, and paint, and away you go for an afternoon of messy merriment. And if all else fails, come rain or shine, go for a walk. My list contains many a ramble – they're free, healthy and can be incredible fun when creepy crawlies and trees to climb are unearthed en route. 

Below is an indication of the adventures that fill my list but with the precise detail omitted as I’m sure you don’t really need the map co-ordinates of every farm we visit or wild fruit tree we pick from. Hopefully these suggestions along with word of mouth and social media borrowings can inspire your own (detailed) list, a list that will leave you only a few taps of your phone away from a fun and fulfilling adventure with your child.

•    Nature walks
•    Bike rides
•    Climbing trees
•    Den building
•    National Trust
•    Races / ball games
•    Picnics
•    Arts and crafts
•    Seaside
•    Feed the ducks
•    Farms
•    Cinema / theatre
•    Swimming
•    Boating
•    Library
•    Visit family
•    Museums
•    Site seeing
•    Play areas / theme park
•    Pick your own / foraging

And so on...

(Happy to share my England Euro 2016 squad list too if you're reading Mr Hodgson...)