Category Archives: Play

Down Time

We have been really busy lately. What with days out, family parties, friends parties, and the lovely weather calling for us to be outdoors it seems like an age since we spent the day at home doing nothing.

Over the weekend I was delivering leaflets for a friends business and Gordon and the kids came along to help. We were out for 2 hours at a time and the kids loved “being the postman” but it was hard work.

Yesterday we spent the whole day at Garsons Farm with friends, We took a picnic and had a really great time picking raspberries, strawberries and carrots, but by the end of the day we were all shattered.

So today was a day for some down time. Today we stayed at home.

This morning Jasmine and Thomas played with their Lego. They were playing really nicely upstairs so I spent some time with Ben, who wanted to do colouring and dot-to-dots.

Dot-to-dots with Ben

After a while he wanted to join in the Lego game so I went upstairs as well to put some laundry away (and try and keep the peace – why is it that 2 children play really nicely together but add a third and the arguments start!)

After lunch all three continued to play together so I got on with some web/admin stuff. They seemed to be playing something to do with Star Wars as it definitely involved Lightsabers but also seemed to need several empty toy boxes, so toys were tipped out, and chairs were moved into the middle of the room. I ignored the mess being created as they were so happy playing their game!

just playing

After a while they went to play upstairs and I could hear a lot of running around and things being moved but today I didn’t want to stop them. Today they needed to be able to play at home.

They started playing Hide and Seek. They hid in wardrobes, under duvets, under beds, behind me, under the dining table, behind the sofa and in corners. It was great watching them and I admit I did give them a few ideas of new hiding places!

But then I noticed the signs. If I didn’t stop them and begin the long tidy up session it would never get done. They were all getting tired and silly-ness would soon overtake fun. With 3 young kids, once they get like that it is very hard to stop it. So before it got out of control we started putting things away. Thomas and Jasmine made a good start but after a while they needed encouragement so I turned it into a race of sorts. I got a bag that I was going to put toys in to give away and they had to beat me and put the toys away before I got to them! It actually worked really well as I picked the tricky to put away toys – you know the ones that only fit in their box one way and one way only – and I couldn’t work out how they went! Seriously, I can never remember and these toys drive me mad! I really would love to give them away!

Once downstairs was tidy the kids watched some TV while I cooked dinner. They watched Deadly 60, possibly their favourite programme! All three love it and we have several (and more) episodes on the Sky planner for them to choose from.

After dinner I asked Ben to help me get the washing in from the line outside and Jasmine and Thomas went to tidy their bedroom. I had been to have a quick look upstairs so was fully expecting them to require some help with the tidying. When I first went to check on the progress I found them playing with Lego! But after a nudge in the right direction they eventually did a really good job.

Hopefully our day at home today has helped recharge the kids a little. They got a good long play with their toys and at then end of the day everything was tidied away and the house actually looks quite nice and not like a toy factory explosion!

We’re all ready to start again tomorrow!

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Sports Day in the Park

This time of year is the traditional time for kids to take part in Sports Day. This afternoon we went to the park with our home education group and had our own races, including Egg & Spoon, running and an obstacle race involving water pistols!

We met later than normal to try and take advantage of the cooler weather so we all took a picnic and enjoyed the whole late afternoon/early evening at the park.Sports Day 1After some races we sat down and enjoyed our picnic tea, before a couple more races and a game of Rounders.sports day 2The kids all did really well today and joined in with all the races, and even had a go at Rounders. It was really nice to see them joining in, listening, taking turns and enjoying the organised activities. It makes me realise how much they have changed in this last year and how their confidence is building every day. They had their moments of course – Thomas ran off with the hula-hoop batting circle during rounders and Jasmine didn’t join in with the first running race as she hadn’t listened properly to how it was being done (we did it in ages) – but generally they were really good and we didn’t even have any tantrums about not winning (although I think the “taking part sweets” may have had a role to play in that!)

All in all it was a very sucessful Sports Day and a really lovely afternoon spent with friends.

We ended the day with some giant bubbles!sports day 3We were having such a good time we didn’t leave the park until 7.30pm – the time my kids are normally heading off to bed! Sadly the combination of heat, excitement and tiredness meant that Ben was sick in the car on the way home. My poor little one was very good though and didn’t complain once bless him. By the time I had cleaned the car and car seat and showered Ben, it was so late Jasmine actually asked to go to bed! 

We are trialling a new Dance class tomorrow morning so I really hope that, after the success of today, Thomas and Jasmine aren’t too tired to join in..

watch this space!

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Trams and Lego

Today we went on a shopping adventure. We took the bus and Supertram into Meadowhall to go to the Lego Store and the Disney Store; possibly the best places on earth for my kids!On the tram

In the Lego StoreThey all got new lego sets and Thomas and Jasmine made their own minifigures, and Jasmine got a new cuddly toy from the Disney Store.LegoThey do love Lego and once we were back at grandma’s they sat down and built their new models.

All in all, a great day!


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Grandma’s garden

We are having a new boiler fitted at home this week, so today we drove up to my mums in Sheffield to escape the mess!

As soon as we arrived the kids went into the garden.Sheffield 1They played with the cats and hunted for bugs in the plants and the water. We found some bees feeding on daisies, woodlice, and a couple of other bugs. Unfortunately we also found lily beetles and grubs on the lilies. In the birds water table we found some mosquito larvae and drone fly larvae (rat tailed maggots).Sheffield 2The kids can’t wait to go out and hunt for more bugs tomorrow!

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Hot, hot, hot!

I think we can well and truly call this a heat wave. The thermometer registered 30 degrees Celsius in the house, in the shade and over 40 degrees Celsius in the sun outside! So once again, we’ve spent the day in the paddling pool. Well, it really is too hot to do anything else!Paddling PoolWe ended the day with a BBQ! The kids love BBQs, although really I think what they love is the idea of a BBQ as they never seem to eat much of the food cooked on one! They all much prefer the salad accompaniment!BBQWhilst we were sitting eating dinner we were visited by several birds, some in the apple tree and a female blackbird who landed only a few feet away and rather than fly off, decided we were OK and she hopped round eating her dinner!BirdsAnd then as we were going inside ready for the kids bedtime, Jasmine spotted this amongst the flower bed.GrasshopperA grasshopper! We were all very excited about seeing this in the garden!


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Good Times with Good Friends

We had a lovely day today with our friends Caterpillar Tales.

This morning they were holding a fundraiser at their Toddler Group for The Lullaby Trust in memory of Matilda Mae, so we went to support them with that and then afterwards we went back to their house for lunch and play.

The kids played in the “talking bush”, on the climbing frame, found a huge ants nest in the sand pit, collected lots of ants!, played tennis, played lego, and lots more. In fact, they played really nicely together for hours. It was lovely!Caterpillar Tales GardenIn other news, when we got home we found that one of the silkworms has started to make its cocoon. I’m hoping the others start soon because until they do we have to keep feeding them, which disturbs the one already spinning. This silkworm rearing is much harder than I imagined!Silkworm

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Pond dipping and perfume making

I was beginning to worry this week that I’d never get a #countrykids post written. Our week so far has been pretty boring really!

But then today we had our Home Education group get together and we all met at the home of a family who live on a smallholding. So this afternoon there was plenty of wonderful outdoor stuff happening!

As soon as we arrived Jasmine headed for the pond. They have a wonderful pond in the garden full of tadpoles, frogs, fish, newts and (to Jasmine’s delight) pond skaters! A large part of the afternoon was taken up pond dipping. Pond dippingThe pond does have a “no net” rule at the moment because it has been over-pond-dipped by the kids, so today it was buckets and hands only. Not that that stopped anyone and they were still catching tadpoles, frogs and newts. At one point there was a frog in a watering can and a newt in the underseat compartment of a ride-on toy train!

Whilst Jasmine was busy at the pond, Thomas did some digging and ran over the obstacle course that had been built.ThomasThe other activity that was planned for this afternoon was perfume making, using herbs and petals from the garden. All the kids loved doing this and gave special thought into what they wanted to put in to their mix. Thomas chose to use just mint leaves, whereas Jasmine and Ben both used a combination of different herbs and petals. Once they had selected the ingredients, we added a little water and used a pestle to crush it all together. Making perfumeWe have brought the perfume home and Thomas has asked for a squirty bottle to keep his in! I think I’ll be hunting three out tomorrow!

The final thing we did before heading home was to collect the eggs from the chickens.Chickens

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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In Photographs

We have had a really quiet day today and don’t seem to have done much. I mean, we’ve been busy all day, but just with”stuff”.

I took Ben to toddler group this morning and Gordon cleaned the rabbit hutch with a little help from Thomas and Jasmine, the kids played in the garden, Gordon and I sorted some stuff out, we played with the rabbits.

So because I can’t think of much to say here are some photographs I took.25th June Collage 1 25th June Collage 2 25th June Collage 3

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The Craziest Costume

The title of today’s post is because of this:Dressing up

So, who is your winner of the craziest costume? Personally, I think Jasmine is the clear winner, Halloween bat costume, reindeer hat and googly eye glasses.. yep, definitely crazy!

Once they’d done a spot of dressing up, Thomas got one of the Wipe Clean activity books out and asked for the pen. The other two soon joined in and we all spent some time sitting together writing and drawing.Wipe Clean BooksI love these books as they have loads of fun activities for the kids to do and can be used time and time again. The most used books are the Usborne dot-to-dot and mazes books, but we also have a few Priddy books and they all got used today. Ben particularly liked the Priddy Books “Things that go” with all its diggers and cars! He did some really great counting and pattern recognition.

After lunch we needed to go into town to do some shopping. I wanted to nip into WHSmiths quickly to get a magazine and while I did get it, we also got these because of course we need more Lego!Lego activity booksAfter dinner this evening the kids built their figures and we read the story from Thomas’ book – Big City Life.Lego FiguresThe two other important things for me to remember about today are the silkworms shed skin (they are huge now so I’m hoping it won’t be too long until they pupate) and Thomas went in the rabbit run and was really sensible amd stroked both rabbits.

All in all, a rather good day!


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Saturday Stuff

After losing the plot a bit yesterday my aim for today was for it to be relaxed, easy and stress free.

I took Jasmine to gymnastics this morning and Gordon stayed home with the boys. When we got back they had been busy building a train track.Train Play They haven’t played with the trains and track recently. I always find toys go in cycles and usually a stressful day signals a change is needed. As yesterday was a stressful day, it was nice to see a change in toy choice!

They played really nicely with the trains and track for the rest of the morning while I got on with some laundry and other stuff.

After lunch I suddenly remembered there was a local church fair on today that I had planned on going to. It was at the church that Caterpillar Tales attend and is a really good event.

We got there some time around 1.45pm I think and, of course, went straight to the toy stall! I was determined not to get anything too big or too random, but as usual I failed because I find it so hard to say no to both the kids and a good bargain! Ben and Thomas got some perfect stuff for them. Ben chose a toy landrover and a dumper truck and Thomas got a selection of modelling kits (make a plaster of paris ant hill, some meccano and a Science Museum kit). Jasmine spotted a ride on toy that she has wanted for a very very long time; a Wheelybug. Several of our friends have one of these and it is always her toy of choice at their houses so I knew she’d want it. I asked how much it was (secretly hoping it would be too much!) but it was only £2.00! So she is now the very proud owner of a tiger Wheelybug!Church Fair PurchasesJasmine and Ben also got a soft toy each. Jasmine got a tiny cat and Ben found a really cute rabbit, who he promptly named Chocolate!

After toys, we went and got a cake and a drink each, had a go on various tombolas and lucky dips where we won far too many sweets and a good selection of books, had a glass of freshly pressed lemonade and came home.

The rest of the afternoon was spent building with the Science Museum kit and the meccano, and riding around on a Wheelybug!


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