I always thought Autumn was my favourite season, but since having a kid/s I think I’m a summer convert. I do have two summer babies after all. But oh man, the adventures are what makes the season so damn great.
I absolutely love spending our weekends as a family exploring new places and trying new things. It helps with my wanderlust for one thing, without having to spend a fortune or leave the country (or renew my passport) and teaches Henry so much.
Luckily for us, being close to both the city centre and lots of countryside, we have plenty of opportunity for new adventures and repeating old ones from previous years. And this includes our new love for Pick Your Own farms.
We’ve already built a little yearly tradition for Pumpkin picking, and now we’re developing one for Strawberry picking in the summer too. Last year Henry was just starting to walk and was mainly interested in the straw on the floor. This year, well he wanted to help A LOT!!
As anyone with a toddler will know, they can be super strong-willed, which Henry has in abundance, so strawberry picking this year was a challenge, though still very much fun.
Yes we have ended up with quite a few bruised strawberries as they spent a lot of time being relocated from punnet to punnet by Henry, but they’re still very yummy, and I’ll be using up any overly bruised ones in a fruit crumble (recipe coming soon).
So how do you survive fruit picking with an energetic toddler?
Firstly we made sure Henry was involved as much as possible. This meant picking the fruit for him, otherwise we ended up with a lot of green ones, and then asking him to put the fruit in the basket for us. Dann and I spaced ourselves out so he had to run between the two of us which kept him happy and active.
We also let him have a bit of a run around beforehand as well. We actually walked over to the farm as it’s so close to us, and let him run into the fields for a bit before picking anything. Just to try and slow him down a little.
Also grab a couple of baskets/punnets. This means you can collect fruit/veg that the toddler can hold, and others that you can hold. Further into the picking season it’s a bit easier to give the more robust fruit and veg to the toddler (think rhubarb, peas and beans) and the softer, more fragile fruit (strawberries and raspberries) kept with the adults, thus limiting the bruising.
And finally, tag team. This is a much easier adventure when you have a couple of adults in tow. Plus you need that extra person for all the super cute photos!!
You can see our Strawberry picking adventures from last year here, including video!