The younger the child, the better prepare for the forest trip. Let's make the trip not only great fun, but also safe, comfortable and healthy. For ease of use below, a small cheat sheet that you can use, both getting your child and yourself ready:
- a jacket with a hood - it will protect us from the wind, unexpected rain or ticks or cobwebs;
- higher boots, e.g. wellingtons - especially if we are going to the forest, where, apart from damp ground and low litter, we encounter shrubs, prickly blackberry shoots, etc. Well-worn cotton socks are best suited for wellies so that your feet do not sweat;
- harvest basket - preferably wicker, so that the mushrooms can breathe and be as beautiful when they return home, as when they were collected and put into the basket;
- long pants and a long sleeve blouse. We put the trouser legs in galoshes. If it is warm, thin shorts and a blouse are enough, but it is important that the legs and sleeves are always long. Do not dress your child's tracksuits, as blackberry spikes and Velcro fasteners stick to them;
- despite the hood's clothes, it's worth taking a hat or hat. The skin is thinnest on the head, and unfortunately, the forest is full of ticks and other insects, which we do not pay attention to, constantly looking for new mushrooms.
- forest attire should be bright - it will be easier to see us if we move away from the others, we will also notice any insects that have found a place on our backs or shoulders.
Our boy may not withstand a 2-3 hour (or longer) walk in the woods without a snack. It is therefore worth taking with you either a sandwich, or fruit or even a wafer or cookie. It's also a great idea to pack a thermos with tea, especially if it's windy or cold. We don't have to prepare for an exquisite picnic, but a small "something" will definitely be useful to us. We will also gladly eat an apple or banana during the walk.
What else can be useful?
- toilet paper or handkerchiefs "just in case" (When you follow your need in the forest, look for a safe place where there is as little green as possible - you will avoid "meeting" with a tick or large ants);
- a garbage bag (e.g. for leftover refreshments or other garbage "created" during mushroom picking);
- a bottle of water for rinsing hands or wet wipes - irreplaceable especially after refreshments or physiological needs.
Let's get to know the child before going to the forest with the most common species of mushrooms, so that it can look for them during the trip. Be sure, however, that if finds any mushroom he should inform you of this before he reaches for it himself. The safest, because the most characteristic mushrooms are chanterelles and buttermilk, but it's always worth checking what our child puts in the basket.
Over time, when our Little Mushroomer becomes a seasoned collector, we can broaden his knowledge with species domains, possible occurrences, seasons, etc.
Mushroom trip also good way to have fun. We can make a walk more attractive to a child by inventing special songs to help find e.g. a mushroom or boletus, put together guesswork not only about mushrooms, but the whole forest, its inhabitants, tree species, etc., or invent stories about forest creatures and their adventures.
Finally, remember that the forest is not only a great place to relax, but also a home for many species of animals. So apply the rules of appropriate behavior in the forest, making sure that this forest serves you, animals and other Mushroomers as long as possible.