Do you struggle to get the kids outside? Would they play in the woods if they had something fun to do? Then you might want to invest in a Battlebox Great British Adventure Kit for Christmas or a birthday. These cool kits for kids take traditional outdoor games and activities and bring them up to date with a selection of themed accessories. Battlebox invited us to try out their ‘Extreme Ambush Kit’ and camouflage suits so off we went into the woods…
Ambush in the woods…
In our living room at home, the ghillie suits make the kids look like eco-yetis. But then they weren’t designed to be lounged around in. These three piece camouflage outfits are for a forest ambush. Which is what we are going to do today, as soon as we’ve had lunch.
Wierdly, Matthew blends into the Ford Mondeo in his jolly green giant suit as we head up towards Dalton Woods beyond the old quarry. But that’s nothing compared to their camouflage when they add the helmet and stride up the path. Cameron crouches into a bush and practically disappears. Matthew thinks he’s invisible (and invincible!).
We meet three cows at the top of the hill, and the boys get so close I worry we are going to provoke a stampede.
The battle box kit comes with owl whistle, whittling book, a pile of stink bombs and fun snaps, a bag of marshmallows, 8 bomb bags, chocolate, a catapult, a cloth satchel, a water bottle, the child’s camouflage suit, and a warning that it’s ‘dangerously good gear.’
After their stand-off with the cows, the boys cheerfully head off with the satchel full to the brim to set up an ambush, promising to let us know when they are ready by tooting on the owl whistle.
Let battle commence – kids against adults
The first clues come ten minutes later, not with Hedgewig’s call, but the sound of fireworks night. It seems they can’t resist trying out the fun snaps and bomb bags. We follow the noise, which takes us into a muddy clearing, with an upturned tree at the centre. But the soldiers are now quiet and there is no sign of them. We stop by the tree to listen. Could they be hiding under it?
Suddenly I am hit on the hand. It hurts and I scream as a pink marshmallow ricochets from my thumb and lands ‘plop’ by a tree. Who knew marshmallows could be used as weapons? Someone should tell the Defence Secretary. Battlebox may have stumbled upon an idea for reducing spending on Afghanistan. But the marshmallow bullets are nothing compared to the stench the children unleash a few seconds later. The stink bombs are up and running, and so are we – in the other direction.
And then adults against kids
1-0 to the kids. It’s our turn to ambush the boys, which involves me squeezing into the child’s suit while Stuart puts on the adult camouflage. It’s a tight fit and doesn’t quite cover my voluminous stomach. But it doesn’t matter because we have a plan.
Stuart and I separate. We’re not going to lie and wait for the kids to find us; that would be stupid. We will attack from the front. A sophisticated plan of attack sketched out on the back of a spent bomb bag requires sitting it out for a while in the bushes to lull the kids into a false sense of security. Stuart finds a tree and blends in immediately, but my hiding place, in a blackberry bush, is less successful. I try to untangle myself from the prickles but find myself entrapped.
As the kids approach I activate my stink bomb back up plan to chase them away, but the little glass vials don’t break in deep mud. In fact they completely disappear. When the boys ambush me in their ‘civvies,’ I am scrabbling about in the dirt looking for fart capsules with brambles clinging to my thighs and backside.
Meeting the public
A walker passes by with his dog and nods. “You on an expedition?” he asks, politely ignoring the fart smell as though all this is completely normal in his world. But then he is wearing a crocodile Dundee Hat, so maybe he does this kind of thing at weekends.
Five minutes later a family follows, splashing through the mud. They are entranced, wanting to know where we got the suits and if I intend to wear it to the supermarket later on? Funny that. It’s what Battlebox suggested as well. Do I look like someone who wants to hang around the broccoli and cabbage section in a woolly pretend army suit that’s designed and fitted for a ten year old? Tell me honestly. Do I? Hannah puts on the helmet with her pink dress and flowered welly boots. She just looks cute. Like a mini pink and green bee keeper. It’s not fair.
The aftermath of attack
We do a quick scout round for rubbish; one of the downsides of the kit is the litter from the stink bombs and bomb bags, but the pockets of the camouflage bag are ideal for that. Meanwhile the kids are discussing their favourite bits of the ambush kit. Hannah liked the owl whistle. Matt is now very attached to the slingshot. And Cameron confesses he loved stink bombs best. Until he discovers the rest of the packet of marshmallows. And then he changes his mind. Pink and white balls of fluff may be make surprisingly good weapons, but they’re at their most lovable when chewed. Battlebox, it seems, have thought of everything.
Our Battlebox gaming tips
- Open your box with caution; there is some seriously dangerous stuff inside…like marshmallows and bombs that smell worse than Dad’s armpits.
- Plan your game before you go. You are there to have a battle in the woods, not a petty argument over who should wear the suit.
- Choose a nice day; a soggy ghillie suit would be a bit miserable
- Let the kids plan the games but then put your own sneaky twist on it to ensure you win.
- Set boundaries; you don’t want your precious child wandering lost around a far away field in full camouflage as the sun goes down.
- Go on a diet if you are going to wear the kid’s suit…unless you are a kid.
- Save the chocolate bar for Mum, who might be in need of some comfort eating after her woodland ordeal.
- Keep one or two of the stink bombs/bomb bags back for your next visit to Granny’s house. It would be a shame if she missed out on the fun.
Battlebox Adventure Kits start from £22 and can be purchased online from the Great British Battlebox Adventure site.
Disclosure Note: We’re grateful to Battlebox for their support in helping us to bring you this post. The experience, views and opinions expressed are however, as always, entirely our own.