Shetland never ceases to amaze me with it’s community spirit, it’s beauty , both in people and places and the social life that it offers. Fierce gale force, bleak clouds, pouring rain and the far-flungness – nothing stops Shetland from celebrating its magical wildlife and natural heritage. The ‘What’s On’ (Click here for the complete list of events) Calendar in Shetland is busier than anywhere else and there are some annuals that are not to be missed !
One of them is #ShetlandNatureFestival, that had a remarkable opening with Noss celebrating 60 years as a National Nature Reserve at the Open day on 4th July. A great event for families, friends and specially for kids!
But it all changed when I followed my determination to go to the Noss Open day (which I have never missed in the years I have been in Shetland, so I didn’t want to miss it this time ) and boarded the dinghy to cross Bressay over to Isle of Noss. oh , what an exciting wee ride in the little boat!
Saturday for me was about a whole host of events starting with a fun filled open day at the beautiful island of Noss, with lovely sea cliffs homing thousands of breeding bird colonies. In addition to the incredible flora and fauna of Noss , there was guided walk , marine viewing, badge making , and face painting -where I started the adult que :pAnd ofcourse hot and food drinks. Cuppa is a must everywhere! Interestingly , Kellogg’s Chocos is promoting ‘#Khuljayebachpan campaign‘ (the words are in Hindi, my native Indian language meaning unleashed childhood campaign, like it should be!) and creating ‘#KhushiKePal’ (meaning moments of happiness ) and I sorta linked my Saturday experience with this . On the hindsight , it does feel , WOW, there was so much for one to do as a buddy parent and make a day out of it at the #shetlandnaturefestival!
Gone are the days when nature was for adults to adore and appreciate and for the kids, were the science books only! If you believe parenting more as an interaction than instruction, then #shetlandnaturefestival has a lot in it for you and your child. I went with my friend and a great buddy parent I know, Laura and her two lovely kids, toddler Thomas (3years) and infant Sophie. Sophie may have been the littlest festival visitor , only 5 months and some days old and so happy !
The Nature festival runs from 4th – 11th July 2015 and theme is artistic, in conjunction with the UNESCO International Year of Light, #IYL2015. Our Dynamic Earth team from Edinburgh is back after their success and popular demand from last year. They believe in lifelong learning of young explorers and their activities reflect their believe of peer learning !
There are open day events at Noss, Sumburgh Head and in Out Skerries too this year. In the spirit of community outreach, #DynamicEarth Team is with Shetland to provide fun with family activities and celebrating the glory of nature, even at the remotest places with smallest numbers. Some even as small as 76 islanders in all! Amazed?!! So was I when I first first discovered Shetland!!
The nature festival lineup has some lovely guided walks at Mousa, Eshaness, OutterSkerries, Keen of Hamar, Fetlar and Otter spotting trails!
Botanical activities includes making herbal remedies, painting and drawing of plants and wild life. If you are into geology, you can make your own pet rock or see through the illusionary rock crystals. What a great opportunity for a parent to bond with their child while they make minion heads with rocks and also learn a bit about geology!!
To me, Childhood (aka bachpan) is synonymous with a fearless heart and an uninhibited mind ! Buddy parent can empower their child with self learning and may be grow with their kid as well.
‘Tree Magic’ event at the woodlands of Kergord will give you and your child the stories of trees in traditions and religion while ‘Bugs Life’ will lend you some creepy shivers watching the crawlies and the bugs at the Crofthouse Museum. These are great to engage younger children with story telling day out, spotting bugs and even making one of their own. Self learning at it’s best ! And actually, you might get to learn something new from your child !
Kids grow best in their own creative world and buddy parenting supports their world by participating in it and encouraging them to enhance it. They learn, have fun and bond in that own li’l world of innovation!
If you or your child were after a crafty affair for who wants to make their own journal of nature, like me, then this week is yours! Noss open day has given me some lovely souvenirs. I was chuffed making some badges to take away …Thomas was quicker to pick up the trick while I was still trying to catchh up with Martha, the lovely and clever volunteer as you can see in the picture …
…And it was fantastic feel, when dynamic earth even made a lovely handmade card for my journal !
My peerie souvenirs from the Festival Open day. Note the badge that Thomas and I made , truly an Indian heart with a Shetland soul, and imagine the happy face (mine) wearing it 😉If this hasn’t filled your appetite yet, then there is an array activities . Yes there is more , like ‘Go Wild’ to know the critters of the seashores, ‘Bogs are Brilliant’ for the hidden wonders in the layers of moss and role it plays in ecological balance, ‘Incredible Insects’ -Discovering the world of bugs and moths and then there is the Sumburgh Head Open Day to use your binoculars for the seabirds on the edge. You might lend your child a vision !
Amazing, isn’t it?!! Did I not say at the first, Shetland amazes me effortlessly!
The festival satisfies the adventure craving with ‘Climb Shetland‘ taster event of climbing the sea cliffs and that too for beginners as well , there is also the ‘Wet and Wild Adventure Day’, get a whole new view of Shetland while canoeing and/or coasteering.
Did I not say, there is something for everyone!
So what are you waiting for …get in your welli boots , get your wind jacket on and go on the journey of exploring and bonding with your little one !
Every moment in this week is an opportunity for a parent to be their child’s buddy! Don’t you think?
I am a kellogg’s regular and I am delighted to see Kellogg’s promoting healthy learning along with healthy breakfast !!
I always like to ask a question at the end and today I ask what was your “best Khushi ke pal” with your child, your moment of joy with your child?
I am looking forward to the taster session of seacliff climbing to beat the Monday blues. Some people call me mad!
Hope you enjoyed this #simmerdim inspired post and more updates to follow soon , until then be #inspiredbyshetland and a #buddyparent @khuljayebachpan !