Beach Sunday

The sun came out this morning so we decided to make the most of it, and head for the beach! We had such a lovely relaxing time. It was bliss!

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We did some shadow dancing……

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We took off our shoes and paddled in the sea…….. Nothing can instantly send you back to childhood like the feel of sand between your toes and the sea splashing your legs!

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Pictures in the sand!

The kids explored rock pools and also enjoyed drawing pictures in the sand. I remember doing this when I was a kid on holiday at the seaside, and it was always one of my favourite things to do at the beach! They hunted out materials which they could use on their pictures to add a 3D effect. Seaweed made brilliant hair for their alien friends!

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Creating their beach art!

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I even created my own beach art!

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Pebble throwing!

We finished off by playing a throwing game. I drew single lines at approximately one metre intervals in the sand, with a number written next to each of them. These numbers are the points that are scored if you throw your stone nearest to that line.

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I wrote the numbers as multiples of 5 going up to 30. The closest line to the start scores 5, the furthest scoring 30!

IMG_2008So at the first line you score 5 points, the second line 10 points, the third line 15 points, and so on.

The children then each found a shiny white pebble (easily distinguishable )! to throw.

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The aim of the game is to throw your pebble the furthest as this gives you the highest chance of scoring more points. They each had 5 turns. We kept a tally of the scores by writing them in the sand, in a circle drawn for each child. (We wrote their initial of their first name to make it easier)!

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The winner is the person who scores the most at the end of the game.

This is another brilliant way to help older children with their number work. My daughter loves to help add the scores up for each person, improving her maths without her even realising!

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Hope you have all had a lovely Sunday too!

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Knuckle Printed Pumpkins!

Continuing with our Autumn activities, the kids decided they wanted to paint pumpkins today. We decided against the paintbrush and chose to use our knuckles instead! This is a super simple activity which my son and daughter both love as it involves getting their hands messy – always a hit with my two little ones!

You will need – orange paint, paintbrush, paper and green pen / crayon.

Firstly, paint your knuckle with orange paint.

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Then push your painted knuckle down onto your paper to make your print. Once dry, add a pumpkin stalk with green pen or crayon.

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You could also add a scary face to adapt the activity for Halloween! We are going to make lots of these pumpkins with faces on, and use as bunting around the house for Halloween decoration!

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A really simple activity for Autumn! Have fun!

My Liebster Award!

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I am very excited and honoured to be nominated by the wonderful muminthecotswolds to receive a Liebster award! As I have only been blogging since last month this was a very lovely (and very much appreciated) surprise! Thank you again!

The Liebster Award is an award passed on between bloggers and is a lovely way to recognise and find some fabulous and fantastic blogs!

Here are those very important rules –       

Once nominated you need to write a blog post including – a link to the person who nominated you, 11 interesting facts about yourself, answers to the questions asked by the blogger who nominated you, links to your nominated blogs and 11 questions for your nominated blogs to answer.  You should also notify the blogs you nominate!

So here we go…….

11 facts about me – 

1 – I am a married mum of 2 beautiful children. I have a daughter aged 7 and a son aged 4. I really try hard to cherish every moment as it really does feel like they are growing so fast. (The blink and you will miss it concept)!

2 –  I live in Wales, UK and I am completely in love with my home! We live right by the sea and spend much of our free time at the beach. I was born in and spent my childhood living in the West Midlands, UK. I think it is because of this that I truly appreciate the sea air, amazing views and peace and tranquillity. I couldn’t wish for a better place for my children to grow up in. (Although I do occasionally miss the hustle and bustle of city life, as well as the shops when I yearn for some retail therapy)!                             11259741_831238943598471_6482366365139489650_n3 – I am a qualified nursery assistant and teaching assistant, and have worked with children since I was eighteen in different capacities. I love my current job as a day nursery assistant (where I have worked for the past eleven years)! and nothing can lift your spirits like having a conversation with a two year old about the intricacies of toddler life!

4 – I love music and one of my favourite things to do is to see my favourite bands and singers in concert with my baby youngest sister. She is like my concert buddy!

5 – I have two younger sisters who are my best friends. I know if I ever need them they are, and always will be there in an instant. I know I can trust and rely on them always. I am very thankful for this!

6 – I love car boot sales! Some of my happiest Sundays as a child were spent wandering around huge car boot sales with my mum and dad, searching for bargains! I still love them and enjoy the hunt for hidden treasures!

7 – Our family also includes two hugely loved pets, a Labrador retriever named Sam and a leopard gecko called Charlie! Both bring a lot of joy to our days.

8 – My food weakness is cheese. I prefer cheese to chocolate and would eat it all day long if I could. Oh and cabbage…..(I know it is strange but weirdly enough cabbage is my second favourite food). Beautiful food!

9 – I would love to be able to drive! I started driving lessons a couple of years ago and though I sometimes let my nerves get the better of me I really enjoyed them. Unfortunately I had to give them up as my husband lost his job, so we couldn’t continue to afford them. I am determined to not give up though and hubby has said he will take me out in the car himself and help me!

10 – I love singing. Nothing cheers me up like singing along to the radio. (Not so sure that the neighbours would agree though)!

11 – If I won the lottery I would buy a farm and have a gorgeous farm shop. I would spend the rest of my days stocking the shop with my home-made cheeses and jam. Oh and cabbage, I would plant fields and fields full of that yummy vegetable!

My questions from Stephanie – 

1 – How long have you been blogging?

I have only been blogging for one month so I am a huge newcomer! I am enjoying it so much though and love reading blogs that I follow and discovering new ones. I already feel like I have made new friends through blogging which is brilliant!

2 – Do you have any hobbies?

Unsurprisingly my favourite thing to do is to craft and create! Either alone or with the kids. It keeps me sane! I also enjoy running. It is my alone time and gives me chance to think and clear my head. I never used to be a runner until one of my sisters signed us up for Cancer Research Race for Life. I started training and caught the running bug! I would not be without my running shoes now!

3 – Who’s your celebrity crush?

Just one?! Ok, if I have to whittle it down to just one, it would be Johnny Depp. The man is beautiful!

4 – If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? 

Definitely pink! It is my favourite colour and I love all shades. I love bright and uplifting colours and pink makes me feel happy!

5 – What’s your favourite TV show?

Ooh, this is difficult!  At the end of each day I love nothing more than curling up on the sofa and chilling out. I love watching Great British Bake Off and Gogglebox. (Nice easy TV viewing which makes me giggle)!

6 – When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be lots of different things when I was a little girl, but the main things I wanted to be were a marine biologist, a florist or a nursery nurse. Growing up in a city though I think pushed the marine biologist out of the equation, so I focused far more on the florist or nursery nurse career. (I must admit since moving to the seaside, I am completely enthralled by the shore and the sea still, and long to be actively doing something rather than just sitting watching the ocean)! As I grew up I realised how much I loved kids and  I had lots of babysitting jobs. I went on to study childcare at college and gained my diploma. The rest is history as they say!

7 – Where is your favourite place to eat out?

We don’t tend to eat out too much, but when we do we love to go to our local Chinese restaurant. We all love the food there and it is a lovely yummy treat!

8 – Shoes or bags?

Shoes! Even though I don’t really wear heels that often I have quite a lot of every other available shoe going, much to hubby’s disgust!

9 – Who is a hero in your life?

I have quite a lot of heroes in my life and they are all heroes for different reasons. My grandma is a big hero to me though and holds a huge piece of my heart. She is a very strong, opinionated lady who is incredibly honest and I love that! I love people who tell you the truth and whom you can trust. She has led such a colourful life and has been through a lot, but she still remains a lovely lady! Unfortunately she has been quite ill recently, but seems to be on the mend again! She was a huge part of my childhood and read me endless stories, taught me to read and helped me with my education. She showed me how to bake and I have lots of memories of home – made tarts, pies, crumbles and cakes! She was always incredibly full of love!

10 – What is your favourite season?

This is a tough one! I love each season for the different things it brings, and the different crafts and activities I can do in each one. I think if I had to pick just one, it would be Winter. It is an incredibly beautiful season with snow and ice, and I love wrapping up warm and going for winter walks with the family! I love curling up in the evenings in front of the fire with a mug of hot chocolate! It also includes Christmas and I love the magic that Christmas brings for the kids. The range of crafts we do at Christmas is fantastic! winter-05

11 – Give three words that describe you best.

Honest, caring and creative!

My nominees –

whatsfordinnermoms

noddfacrafts

aromaticessence

pillowsalamode

quirkyandwonderful

healthyinallhuesblog

missyscraftymess

It was super hard picking out just a few blogs to nominate! There are some fantastic blogs around!

I love reading the above nominated blogs and find lots of inspiration when I visit them. I have also tried to nominate blogs which haven’t received recent Liebster Award nominations! I hope my nominated blogs enjoy writing their Liebster post. I have really enjoyed writing mine and it certainly makes you think hard! I think it is a lovely way to discover new blogs!

My questions for my nominated blogs – 

1 – Why did you start blogging?

2 – Where is your favourite place to be?

3 – What is your favourite childhood memory?

4 – What is your greatest achievement?

5 – What is your dream job?

6 – Books or movies?

7 – Country or city?

8 – If you could have one super power what would it be?

9 – What is your favourite food?

10 – How do you spend your free time?

11 – Needle & thread or paint & glue?

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Rainbow leaf printing!

We are well into our autumn activities and crafts now in our home, and we are loving them! This weekend we got creative with some autumn leaves and did some rainbow leaf printing. This activity is one of my kids favourites and looks really pretty!

You will need – dry leaves, paper, paint in lots of different colours and paintbrushes.

Start off by painting strips in different colours onto a leaf then print (paint side down) onto the paper.

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My daughter also painted patterns onto the leaves instead of strips, and the overall effect was very similar to tie dye. They looked very pretty!

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These rainbow leaf prints are very simple, look super effective and make a nice change from the usual autumnal coloured leaf printing!

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I think they would look brilliant cut out and mounted individually onto black card as celebration cards. (My dads birthday is fast approaching so he may well receive one of these beauties)!

Happy leaf printing!

Pizza Pasta!

My son and daughter both take a lunch box (bocs bwyd as we say here in Wales!) to school with them for lunchtime. I tend to find myself stuck in the usual rut of making sandwiches to fill their boxes though, which must get a little boring despite the variety of fillings!

Both of them enjoy pasta so I decided to try a pasta lunch instead! I cooked up some pasta and once it was cool I popped some in each of their tubs. Then I stirred in a teaspoon of cold passata sauce (any type of tomato and herb sauce works well).

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Then I added some chopped ham and chopped cherry tomatoes. Finally, I sprinkled over some grated cheese.

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A yummy alternative to sandwiches in the kids lunch box (or in your own)!

Creative Cafe!

My daughter unfortunately really struggles with her number work so I am always looking for ways to help pique her interest in mathematics, and to expand her maths skills. I know though, that simply sitting her down in front of maths worksheets is not going to do this!

As my daughter loves her painting, drawing, and imaginative play, I thought that a lovely way to help her to practice her number skills would be to implement these things into an activity! I decided that we should make a creative cafe!

You will need – paper plates, paints, play money, card, paper and pens.

My daughter painted some ‘meals’ onto paper plates which would be ‘served’ in her cafe. Some of the meals she chose to paint included curry and rice, pizza and salad, fish fingers and chips, and a ham salad! She also made a menu from card which she wrote down all of her menu choices with their prices.

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Once all the paper plate meals were dry she set up her play kitchen with her play till, and laid out a table for her ‘customers’ (made from a toy box with a blanket laid over it as a tablecloth)! Then the customers (myself and her brother!) could order the meal which we wanted. If you don’t have a play kitchen, you could set up on a table, the floor etc instead. cafe1 cafe5

We ordered our food from her, she ‘served’ us and when we had finished we used play money to pay. She had to work out how much our order had cost us and work out our change. She really enjoyed it and her working out got quicker as the game continued. We have played this several times since and she really enjoys it (we all do)! It definitely helps her number and working out skills, and her money skills have improved lots. I wholeheartedly believe that children learn best when having fun!

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Amazing autumn tree paintings!

Autumn is in the air! Summer has certainly finished here in Britain and autumn is approaching. Fast. I am struggling, however, to let go of Summer this year. Usually I am ready to move onto the next season with thoughts of new activities and things to do buzzing around in my head, but alas not this year (probably due to the fact it feels like we haven’t had much of a Summer – one of the rainiest, coldest summers for good old Blighty this year)!

So, to try and get myself and the kids excited for the Autumnal months we decided to make some autumn tree pictures, using cotton buds. We made these last year too, and they were a big hit. It was just my daughter painting today as my little boy was playing with his friend, so here is her autumn tree picture and how she made it! We hope you like it!

You will need – paint (in autumnal colours – we used red, yellow, orange and brown), cotton buds, paper, and paintbrush.

She started off by painting a tree trunk and branches using a paintbrush, onto a plain piece of paper.

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Next, she dipped a cotton bud into the paint and dotted paint around her tree branches to form the leaves of the tree. She then built up the leaves, by dotting more paint using the cotton buds, in the different autumn colours.

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She kept on dotting until she was happy with the way her tree looked. She then added leaf dots falling down from the tree, and at the base of the tree to form piles of leaves.

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She then painted on a hedgehog, and a bird and sunshine in the sky for her own finishing touches. We think it looks lovely and using cotton buds is another fantastic way to shake up painting!

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Super Sunset Sea Pictures!

We are desperately trying to hold on to the last remaining days of our (very poor) British summer this year, but the days are definitely getting shorter and there is quite a chill in the mornings and evenings, signalling Autumn is certainly moving in!

I thought to bring a little sunshine back into our homes, it would be a nice idea to make some sunset pictures. They look so pretty and are really effective!

You will need – paper, paints in blue and sunset colours, paintbrush, black paper and glue.

To make our sunset pictures, my little ones started with a plain piece of paper each and painted some sunset colours in horizontal strips across their paper. (Make sure you leave enough space at the bottom of the page to paint the sea). My son and daughter used yellow, red, orange and purple colours for their pictures.

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Next they painted the sea at the bottom of the paper. My little boy loves painting big waves and fishes in the sea on his picture!

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I then helped the kids cut out a couple of boat shapes from black paper. Once the paintings are dry, glue down your boat shapes and ta-da! – beautiful, sunset pictures!

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A very fruity blast off!

I thought I would share another idea to liven up fruit time for the little ones.

I decided to make this fruity space rocket for my sons snack time (his 4 year old self is currently aspiring to becoming a spaceman so I thought this would be a big hit)! I used a banana as the rocket ship and added some fruit flakes for the windows. I made the rocket flames from tangerine segments, and dotted some more fruity flakes as stars. Finally, a cheese cracker biscuit was a far off planet to explore!

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He loved this and said it’s one of his favourite snack times ever. High five for mummy!

Another fantastic, yummy way to encourage children to eat healthily and to eat up!