We’ve been treating this last week as our family holiday. The weather has been scorching hot, Colin’s sister and fiance have been visiting and Colin had the week off work, so we’ve been making the most of it.
We spent a day out at Croyde beach. The children went bodyboarding for the first time, which brought back memories of the first time my parents took me bodyboarding on the uncovered polystyrene board my mum used as a child.
Working on the allotment has been hot and sticky work, so Aaron watered the plants and himself to cool down!
I love these colourful marigolds against the blue shed.
Aaron helped Grandpa do some painting.
Another day was spent rockpooling at Westward Ho! Tabitha was thrilled to drive the children’s karts for the first time, whilst Aaron came on the big go-karts with the grown ups.
For dinner we ate fish and chips overlooking the sea and then finished off the day with ice creams. I think these two photos really sum up the children’s different characters. Aaron is often serious and concentrates intently on whatever he is doing, whereas Tabitha is cheeky and mischievous.
We live very close to the Tarka trail, which is a coastal cycle path using the old railway routes. We hired bikes and spent another day cycling about 18 miles to Bideford and back. The scenery was wonderful but we were all feeling very saddle sore by the end!
We weren’t sure if Aaron would be able to keep up on his own bike, so he rode on a tag-along on the back of Colin’s bike.
Tabitha rode in a trailer on the back of my bike. She felt sick at first and wanted to go home, but after a while she got used to it and chilled out with some snacks.
Three messy cousins!
Some of the time we were just too hot to venture outdoors, so we’ve also done plenty of indoor activities. The children loved building ball runs with a 2 m length of guttering sawed into three pieces.
Dribbling balls through a slalom of upturned bowls kept hot and crabby children amused.
They also enjoyed this miniature “treasure island” sensory small world created with sand, pebbles, shells, mini bucket and spade and a treasure chest full of colourful gems.
Today we finally got round to making a scarecrow for the allotment. I stuffed a pillowcase with plastic bags which I’ve been saving for months and the children painted the face with acrylic paint.
Grandpa fixed a wooden stake and crosspiece into the ground. For the body we filled a sack with more plastic bags and scrunched up newspaper, tied it around the stakes and then dressed it.
We stuffed the arms with rolled up sacks. By the time we added gloves, wool hair and a cap the scarecrow was looking pretty good, despite missing facial features at the moment because the paint was still slightly wet!
It’s been a wonderful week and I’m very thankful for spending time with my family, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful area we live in.
Today we created a small world pond scene for our tadpole and frog figures. We live in a first and second floor maisonette and water dripping through the ceiling doesn’t exactly promote a good relationship with your neighbours, so I put down two plastic painting mats and two towels on top to keep the carpet dry. The frog pond started off in a washing up bowl inside a large seed tray to catch the inevitable splashes.
This was very much a spur of the moment idea and created in about 5 minutes flat while the children were eating their snack. I used some leftover aquarium gravel, some pebbles from our loose parts, and some lilypad shapes cut out of craft foam. I also provided a couple of fish nets, a mini tin bucket and some measuring spoons.
Aaron soon decided that it would be much better in the bigger container and poured all the water into the large tray.
They scooped and poured, fished and splashed. They made up little storylines about the tadpoles and frogs. It was oh so much fun!
The children want to play with it again, so next time I will add some blue and green glass pebbles (I completely forgot to use them today). Bigger lilypads and some plastic plants would be a great addition!
When we went downstairs this morning, we were surprised to see snowflakes tumbling down through the sky. I think we must be the last place in the country to have snow this winter! Aaron is keen to go sledging, but it’s too wet to settle here in the town at the moment.
I couldn’t resist making up a quick snow sensory tray for the children to play with. This was very much spur-of-the-moment so I only used what I already had available – salt and cotton wool balls for the snow, some pine branches snipped from our pot-grown Christmas tree as greenery and some red beads for berries. Then we added some of our Holztiger animals and Tabitha’s dolls’ house figures.
The little people were soon having lots of adventures – building snowmen, making snow angels, throwing snowballs, shovelling paths and feeding the animals. Tomorrow I might add a mini bucket and spade, some building blocks, a mirror “lake” for skating and maybe a tractor to shovel the snow if I can find the right kind. We’ll be having lots of fun with both real and pretend snow over the weekend!