Friday, May 23, 2014

School Holiday Fun
I saw that Show Us Your Life at Kellys Korner was talking about ideas to keep kiddiewinks busy during the summer hols so I thought I would toss a few ideas out.

 Obviously this is just a teeny tiny glimpse of the fun that can be had throughout the summer but hey it may give someone someone a nudge to think hey I can remember doing that as a kid,I hope its useful to someone somewhere.

Outdoor Fun
 Blowing bubbles
Washing up bottles filled with water to squirt - great fun
Rolling down hills
Painting with water - costs nothing and is great fun
Treasure hunts in sandpits etc
Chalk on the drive
Water flowers
Play in water and make footprints on the drive
Paint outside on big paper
Paint with squirty bottles see here
Go out early in the morning before it gets too hot and then chill in the afternoon
 Here is a early post I did about my 5 favourite kids toys 
Feed the ducks,cheap,cheery and fun
Play catch
Draw a hopscotch grid on the pavement

Indoor Activities
Make binoculars with toilet rolls
Make shakers with yogurt pots
Teddy bears picnics
Have a colour day,when you focus on one colour for food and activities
Teach children how to 'spread' - toast or bread
Make cress - so quick and easy to do
Out of empty plastic containers make boats
Good old Hide and Seek!
Set weekly challenges - how far can you run,how many hops can you do
kids love challenges!
Join summer reading schemes 
Write to famous people like authors,sports celebrities - sometimes you do get a response 
Look out for cheap cinema viewings
Visit a pet shop - always a fave
Indoor picnics on a rainy day
Make blanket tents
Start a savings account 
Comics,sticker books etc
Visit the £1 Shop and get 'supplies' kids love tacky stuff - A £1 shop find
Card games like Top Trumps or Snap
Bake - a long lost art!
This science activity surprised us all 
Dye pasta tubes and when they are dry thread them onto wool to make necklaces

The birds have never stopped singing today. They are singing so loudly now and it's nearly nine pm and they were trilling away this afternoon when I sat in exactly the same spot as I'm sat in now and watched the boys play.

It had been a lazy old Sunday,for some of us anyway. The MotoGp was on the television and nobody was moving much. For hours the boys watched the bikes race around the track and then when it had finished they decided to have a kick around.

There is not much width on our patio but it is long. It has a washing line running down the middle of it. Does this encumber the boys? Maybe. But it also adds to the game. They aim the ball over the washing line and most of the time this works,sometimes the ball falls short and gets tangled up in the washing,my black cardi seemed to fall victim to the ball today but hey I'm not too bothered,I love clean neat washing but I love my boys more.

And so the balls,there were two balls being thrown at the same time,went backwards and forwards over the washing line,making that rhythmic sound of a heavy ball hitting concrete...again and again and again. And feet,in just socks,padded up and down the patio wearing their socks out and causing their feet to be absolutely ditched and feet without even socks on found out the difference between shade and no shade!

And the balls carried on being thrown .

"I almost catched it Mam"

"Did you see how good Iam Mam?"

"Sorry Mam," said with a giggle after it had hit me on the head!

I was sat in the firing line and they or should I say one of them was throwing those balls hard. Of course he said he wasn't throwing them too hard. The sound they made when they hit the fence and ground told a different story.

They were having such fun though. And moments like this always stop me in my tracks. Just a game of catch,on a patio,nothing special and yet ever so special. The looks on their faces. The playfulness of them. The giggles when I got hit by the flipping ball - like I didn't know that was going to happen... It all made for a time for me to stop and focus on these boys of mine and I did.

And now as I fold the deckchairs up and start to head indoors I glance down and there are the balls just lying on the patio,quiet and still,what a difference to this afternoons activity,that's the beauty of kids...they make everything come alive.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Four Days Off
A four day weekend - bliss! Two four day weeks,soon I will have forgotten what it's like to work a full week.

We have not got far at all. As usual,sport dominates the household. To people who do not like sport I cannot explain the hold sport has here,just take it from me that it does! The good bits of that is that it has kept Chips amused,the not so good bit is that we have been stuck inside and most people who know me will know how I feel about that.

Anyway there has been smiles and snippets of good. Let me dig around and find them.

The trip to the park on Friday was nice. We didn't actually get to the park much because Chips had a trip and he grazed his legs and became very upset. What do you do when you are upset and need a bit of comfort? Go to Mammas of course. And so we did. We postponed the park and went to visit my mum and dad,who conveniently live next to the park. And they did the job of smothering Chips with care,until soon the grazes didn't seem to matter quite as much. Chips ate chocolatey malteasers,drank plenty of blackcurrant pop and had a yummy slice of toast - with real butter. Mmmm. That was a treat for both of us. Chips wandered around with his trousers pulled up past his grazed knees in that funny fashion that children with grazes do. He was enthralled with next doors scamp of a cat and spent most of the morning following the rascal cat around. I sat drinking lots of tea,can't beat that,especially on what is usually a work day for me.

Thanks mum and dad for taking the cries of "I want to go home" and turning them into "Do you know Mamma has 21 sewings at her house!" When we walked out that door Chips was much happier than when we walked in it,he is lucky to have such good grandparents.

Saturdays highlight was our Morrison breakfast as after that the day deteriorated. I did smile as I watched Tigs and his girlfriend get ready to go camping for the night. It sounded fun if not somewhat cold! I love to see what adventures this couple get up too. They both work so very,very hard and it's great to watch what they do in their precious free time. It really does make me smile.

MotoGp ruled the day on Sunday. All the boys sat watching the bikes go round the track again and again and again. My mum rang Chips after each race to have the all important race analysis talk - she is affectionately known as 'race control' here and Chips chatters away to her ten to the dozen - once more I think about what I said earlier,the boys are lucky to have such good grandparents.

Later that afternoon my nephew brought his baby boy around to see us. That baby is so beautiful and such a pleasant little chap. I know I say this a lot but Im astounded at how easy going that little baby is. He is adorable. And we all think the world of him. He is six months old now and rolling over. When he lies on his tummy his little legs kick behind him and you can tell that he is getting ready to attempt to move. And he did that funny little thing where you put a baby down on the floor and then without anyone really noticing they gradually slowly move themselves until they are pointing in a different direction to where they were originally put. How clever are babies! Chips enjoyed wafting a cuddly toy near his second cousin and lots of ooos and ahhhs were had as we showed the youngest member of our extended family off to everyone.

Monday rolled around and after a hectic morning washing,sorting and generally running around like a mad thing,the afternoon was spent walking to the park. My brother and family came with us and it was good to see the children play together. Afterwards we came home and ate the enormous amount of cobs that my mum had kindly made us. We laughed at how many cobs she had made when she first produced the bag of at least ten thousand cobs ( well it seemed that way at first!) but we weren't laughing as we ravenously tucked into them and only 'one' was left over. Mother knows best,as they always say! 

And I enthralled my brother with the wonderful radio station that I had warbling away in the kitchen. It was Bank Holiday Monday,I had done a bit of radio swapping around to find something I liked and the show that was on when we brother came up,was not the show I had originally been listening to. And that's all I'm saying but I say it with a big grin on my face. It was playing a corker of a oldie ~ Billy Don't Be A Hero,yep a all time favourite of mine...maybe. And of course my brother would never judge me for having such cracking music on in my kitchen,would you bro....

Four days off....not gone far....not done anything radically amazing but family life plods on and for that Iam grateful.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

A Space For The Butterflies
A space for the butterflies and the bees and any other wildlife that enjoyed a sniff around some wildflowers,that's what year five spent their Monday afternoon creating ..... a wildflower garden.

Our local park celebrates its centenary this year. It was given to the village by the Duke Of Portland one hundred years ago to celebrate his wedding anniversary.

The committee who care for the park have invited local schools to help them create a wildflower garden and that's why I found myself accompanying the whole of year five up the street and to the park.

And what a good time we all had.

No dramas,no fussing or falling out,just children enjoying the fresh air and a break from school routine,on what turned out to be a lovely spring day,warm enough to wear just jumpers and teeshirts and to appreciate the freshness of spring.

We arrived at the park and we given two tasks to do. One was picking up litter and the other was sowing the wildflower seeds. Our group was on litter duty first,the children were placed in groups of three - one to spot the litter,one to hold the big hooped bag to pop the litter into and one 
( this was the most prized job) to use a grabber to pick the litter up. Well to say the children were enthusiastic is a understatement! In seconds the park was covered with groups of chattering children looking everywhere and anywhere for a piece of litter. No stone was left unturned. These kids meant business. Infact as far as the children were concerned there was not enough litter to be found at all! The park was soon totally litter free,not often you can say that about a park!

Soon it was our turn to sow the seeds. This was hilarious! The children were led to a big wide area of earth and told how to spread the seeds evenly around. The best way to do this was described as 'the chicken dance' a kind of swaying move as if you were giving chickens their corn. Well the noises the children made as they distributed the seed around the ground had to heard to be believed! Let's just say the word 'chickens' and I'll let your imaginations do the rest. I stood back and watched the children,the were all having a good time - all of them. For that five minutes they had not a care in the world. They laughed,danced,chattered,quietly concentrated, as they sowed the seed. Isn't it funny what a bit of fresh air and a simple activity like sowing seeds can do?Maybe kids need more of this kind of thing,I certainly think so. There was no arguing,no friction at all,just happy,relaxed,smiling children.

When all the seeds had gone we got ready to walk back to school. And for five minutes the children played on a little grassy bank. Some tried to roll down the hill but it wasn't suitable for rolling really,some made daisy chains,some sat and chattered and some just gazed around.

It was such a peaceful afternoon considering that there were over seventy children around.

I can't wait to see what the wildflower garden will look like,I hope the butterflies will like it.