Category Archives: Seasonal

Another day, another lavender field

After a very lazy morning this morning we met up with friends at another local lavender field this afternoon.

Mayfield Lavender is a family run lavender farm about 10 minutes from our house. It is free to visit and you can walk through the lavender, soaking up the amazing smell and view. There is a shop and cafe, where you can relax with an ice cream or purchase lavender products, gifts and plants.

Today we walked round the fields, well actually the adults walked round the fields while the kids ran, wrestled and chased each other round! They hid amongst the plants, spotted bees by the hundreds, saw many different butterflies, played Fruit Salad and Duck, Duck, Goose and had a wonderful time.

It is a lovely place to visit and we will definitely be going back soon.

Mayfield Lavender

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , ,

Lavender Picking

This weekend was our local lavender harvest fair. We went for the first time last year and really enjoyed it so we were keen to go back this year.

We arranged to meet our friends from Caterpillar Tales there but we were so late with everything this morning that we ended up arriving just as they were leaving! We chatted for a few minutes and they invited us over to their house once we had finished instead.

We collected out bucket and scissors from the Carshalton Lavender stall, and found a good spot in the field to start cutting our lavender.Lavender HarvestWe had been there about 20 minutes and collected about a handful in the bucket when all of a sudden Ben was crying and holding his hand. There was a lot of blood and he had obviously cut himself with the scissors. We rushed him to the first aid area and they did a great job of bandaging him up and keeping him calm. At this point we hadn’t managed to stop it bleeding so really thought we were going to have to take him to A&E to get it seen to.

Gordon went to pay for the lavender we had harvested and the lovely ladies who did the bandaging gave all 3 kids a lavender cake for being so good! We kept Ben’s hand elevated and walked back to the car.

Ben had calmed down quite a lot by this point so, knowing how busy A&E could be on a hot Sunday afternoon, we decided to go to Caterpillar Tales house as they only live 2 minutes away from the fields, and have a better look at the damage Ben had done. If it was still bleeding we would leave Jasmine and Thomas there and take Ben to A&E, but if not we would clean it and dress it again ourselves, knowing Caterpillar Tales would have a fully stocked First Aid box!

Thankfully, it had stopped bleeding. Once we’d cleaned it up a bit It didn’t look as bad as I had feared either. It is a bad cut, but not quite as big as I first thought, so we bandaged it up again and he went out and played happily with his friends for the afternoon. Poorly FingerWe enjoyed a lovely afternoon with our friends and Ben was only slightly disappointed that he couldn’t play in the water! He did play in the sand pit though so when we got home we changed the bandage for the third time and the cut looked much better still. I think as it is such a clean cut it will heal very quickly. Fingers crossed anyway!

I still don’t really know how he managed to cut himself. He uses scissors regularly at home and has never come close to doing this sort of damage! He did tell me just before he went to bed that he was “being silly and the scissors snipped me” so maybe it wasn’t quite as accidental as it could have been.

I guess sometimes they just have to learn the hard way don’t they, especially as a headstrong 3 year old! I don’t suppose he will do it again in a hurry!

 

 

 

Tagged , , , , ,

A picnic and fruit picking

Yesterday we spent a lovely day at Claremont Landscape Gardens and Garsons PYO Farm.

We started off at Claremont, arriving at lunch time and enjoying a delicious picnic in the shade by the lake.

Once everyone had eaten we set off round the lake to discover and explore. The kids and Gordon walked up the hill, all the way to the top, and ran back down again! Then we headed over to the woodland, explored a ditch, hunted for grasshoppers and found a cherry tree with some delicious cherries growing on it that Gordon and Ben enjoying tasting!Claremont 1As were walked round the grassy area and woodland we counted butterflies and recorded our results with the Big Butterfly Count. We saw lots of Ringlets and Small Whites and a Gatekeeper.

We continued round the lake, watching the fish jump out of the water to catch flies and the dragonflies zipping around. At one point we stopped to watch a dragonfly flying around the edge of the water and Jasmine noticed a Southern Hawker Dragonfly laying eggs in the bank right below where we were standing! We watched  it for quite a long time, having never been that close to a dragonfly before we were all amazed by how big it was!Southern Hawker DragonflyWe walked round the lake and back to the car park, and then drove the 5 minutes to Garsons Farm.

We have only been to Garsons once so far this year, for the asparagus picking, so there was lots we wanted to get today! We started with gooseberries and raspberries then went to the redcurrant field. Next was carrots, peas, mange tout and finally cucumber.Garsons PYOWhile the kids do enjoy picking the fruit and vegetables, they also enjoy taste testing what they can! I don’t mind them eating a few, however I try and make sure most of what they pick goes into the punnets!

It was so late by the time we’d finished at the farm that we decided to eat out at Pizza Hut, the kids favourite! After dinner of pizza and ice cream we went home, well past the kids normal bedtime but well worth the late night as we’d had such a lovely day.

Once all 3 kids were tucked up and asleep, Gordon and I started the long process of removing the redcurrants from the stems, ready for me to make jam today.

And that is where I must go now, The fruit was stewed and the juice strained over night. Now to begin my first jam of the year.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Easter Egg Trail at Polesdon Lacey

This afternoon we went to Polesdon Lacey to do the Cadbury/National Trust Easter Egg Trail.

We’ve done these for the last 2 years and it has become a family tradition now! In previous years we’ve been to Morden Hall Park and Box Hill so this year we thought we’d find a new one to try. We have been to Polesdon Lacey once before and the kids had a really good time. There is lots of open space to run round, a natural playground to explore and beautiful scenery all round.

Once we’d worked out the password and collected our egg, we did some more playing and exploring.

We had a great time doing the trail at Polesdon Lacey. We’re off to Box Hill on Monday because we love the Cadbury/National Trust Easter Egg Trails so much!

Tagged , , , ,

Easter Fudge

Today we have had a full on Easter craft day! Alongside making our Easter Bonnets I got my wonderful Usborne Little Book of Easter Activities out and chose 2 activities; one for the kids to do, one for me to do.

For me, I chose Easter Fudge.

While the recipe is in a book designed to be for children, I wouldn’t say this recipe is child-friendly as it involves using a hob. I don’t know at what age I will consider it OK for the kids to get close to a hot hob, but it is not yet!

It is, however, a very simple recipe and makes delicious fudge!

IngredientsEaster Fudge

450g (1lb) icing sugar
100g (4oz) white marshmallows
2 tbsp milk
100g (4oz) unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
yellow food colouriing

shallow 18cm (7in) square cake tin

Method

1. Using a paper towel, wipe some oil onto the sides and bottom of the cake tin. Line the bottom with greaseproof paper and wipe oil over this as well.

2. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl.

3. Cut the marshmallows in half and put them in a small pan. Add the milk, butter and vanilla essence.

4. Gently heat the pan. Stir the mixture every now and then with a wooden spoon until everything has melted.

5. Pour the mixture into the icing sugar. Beat everything together until it is smooth then mix in the food colouring.

6. Put the fudge into the tin and push it into the corners. Gently agitate the tin to smooth the top of the fudge.

7. When the fudge is cool enough put it into the fridge for around three hours to go firm.

8. Once firm, loosen the edges of the fudge with a blunt knife, then turn it out onto a chopping board. Remove the paper.

9. Cut the fudge into pieces. Put the pieces in an airtight container in the fridge for a further hour to harden.

Note: If you want to make pink fudge, use pink marshmallows and add pink or red food colouring.

Eat and Enjoy 🙂

Tagged ,

1 Minute Easter Chick

1 minute Easter chick

 

You will need:

2 pompoms, big one for the body and smaller one for the head
2 Googly eyes, small
Craft foam
PVA Glue

Glue the 2 pompoms together. Stick 2 googly eyes to the head. Cut a small triangle from craft foam; this is the beak. Glue this in place under the eyes.

It really is as simple as that! You could try using different things to add wings (I couldn’t find anything that looked right!), or make different animals.. the possibilities are endless 🙂

Tagged , , ,

Easy To Make Bird Feeder

Today is the vernal equinox, the first day of spring. Finally, spring has arrived! With perfect timing two of our Narcissus flowers opened this morning!

Narcissus

This afternoon we went to a friends house and made some really simple bird feeders. They were so easy to make, we made some more once we got home!

You will need:

Cookie Cutters
Bread (old/stale is best)
Peanut Butter
Seeds

Cut several shapes out of the bread slices. Spread peanut butter on the cut shapes. Sprinkle seeds over the peanut butter and press gently so they stick.

I simply placed our feeders around the garden, however you could make a very small hole in the bread and thread with string before you begin, so they can be hung up.

Tagged , ,

Pompom Easter Chick Craft

Jasmine asked me this morning if she could “make a chick out of wool?”

Pompom chicks.. perfect Spring/Easter craft! All we managed to do today was make the pompoms and this evening I have cut out all the “chick” bits so the kids will get to make theirs tomorrow.

Here is what to do.

You will need:

  • Wool
  • Cardboard
  • Googly eyes
  • Felt
  • Craft feathers

Start by cutting out 4 circles from your card, two approx 8cm and two 5cm. Cut a 10p sized hole in the middle of your cut circles. These are the templates for the pompoms.

Place the two larger discs together and wind wool around until the hole is almost full. Cut through the wool around the outer edge and tie inbetween the cardboard discs with a length of wool. Pull the cardboard discs away. Repeat for the smaller discs.

Join the pompoms together with more wool tied first to the larger pompom and then round the smaller one.

Cut a beak and feet shapes from felt and glue these on to your chick, along with googly eyes. Glue a couple of feathers in each side for wings.

Tagged ,

Paper Plate Snake Mobile

We finally finished our paper plate snake mobiles this afternoon! We started them last weekend when we were doing some snake based crafts for Chinese New Year. I found the idea here. As they take a couple of days to make (you have to paint both sides of the plate) they just got left behind but finally I found 10 minutes to grab the kids attention just before dinner today!

You need:

Paper Plate
Paint
Stickers
Pen
Wool

How to make:

Paint both sides of the paper plate. Draw on a spiral. Decorate the plate with stickers. Draw a face in the centre of the spiral. Cut along the lines of the spiral. Make a hole on the head of the snake and thread some wool, securing with a knot. Hang your snake mobile.

 

 

Tagged , , , ,
Advertisements