Our first Kite Festival!

As a family on a budget I am always on the look out for ways to entertain the kids and spend some quality time together for little or no money. We spend lots of time outside going for walks and to the beach and I am so thankful for where we live!

The other day I saw a Facebook post advertising a free kite festival in a nearby coastal town. I wasn’t sure about it at first as I have never been to a kite festival and wondered whether it would have enough to hold my kids attention for long. I decided to go for it though as it was completely free, sounded fun and the weather looked good for the day (always a bonus when it is an outdoor event on the beach)! I took my five year old son, eight year old daughter and seven year old niece (plus my youngest sister for some adult company)!

We travelled there on our local train and my wonderful gran had given us some money to treat ourselves to chips for lunch so we bought our chip lunch and headed quickly to the beach!

The kites were amazing! So many different kinds and something for all ages. The kids (and myself) were all completely enthralled by these beautiful kites flying in the sky. It is one of the quietest and most peaceful meals I have eaten in a long time! (Hey, maybe I should set up a few kites in the garden?……) They sat there watching the kites for a while before deciding to play on the sand. Next we headed to the bouncy castle, where for a small charge the kids could play on for as long as they liked! I was impressed with this – usually you pay a small fortune only to be told five minutes later that the time is up! This gave me and my sister some much needed time to sit and catch up whilst the kids were happily playing. Spending time with my youngest sister is very precious at the moment as she is hoping to head off to university in September – a university which is right at the other end of the country! I am going to miss her terribly – as are my kiddies!

 

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After we had spent a few hours at the festival we caught the sea ferry back home to our village which was quite honestly a perfect end to a very lovely day. The kids had a lot of fun and are already asking to go to the festival next year – I think that means that they enjoyed it!

 

Fork printing!

As a lot of my regular followers will know, me and my little ones love experimenting with different ways to paint. Don’t get me wrong paintbrushes are fantastic but we also love using other items! Fork printing is a super way to paint and kids love experimenting with different ways to use the prints in their art work.

To fork print you will need – paint, paper and forks (that’s it)!

Begin by dipping the back of your fork into the coloured paint of your choice and pressing down onto your paper ( you may need to roll it slightly to get the full fork print). My daughter decided to make a sunflower picture so she used a yellow then dipped the tips in brown paint to form the sunflower seeds. She also used a paintbrush to paint her leaves.

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We did quite a few fork print pictures so we ended up with quite a collection! Here are a few of the kids pictures –

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We really enjoy printing with forks. My son used to get a little frustrated with this as it can take a little practice to roll the fork, but now he loves it! My kids love mixing the fork prints with brush painting to make their art. We hope you like our pictures!

Happy Thursday!

 

Home sweet home!

Regular followers of my blog will know how happy I am and how much I love living where I do. It is genuinely one of my favourite places to be. I grew up in the city until mum and dad decided to move us all to the country (right by the beach!) here in beautiful Wales, UK. I now have a husband and two wonderful kids and still live very close to my parents (just five minutes drive away). I cannot imagine anywhere better to bring up our family. The beach is on our doorstep, woodland is everywhere and nature is all around us. Wales has some amazing scenery and people come from all over the world to visit and see it for themselves! I wrote on the blog a little while ago about a place called Blue Lake where we love going for regular walks. It is one of our favourite ways to spend family time!

I thought it would be nice to share with you a photo which I took whilst sitting in our back garden the other evening. You can see the beach wall from our home and on this particular night as I looked up I could see people walking along the wall enjoying the evening sunset. It made a beautiful picture so I quickly grabbed the camera! I hope this photo shows one of the reasons I feel so lucky to live in this beautiful country.

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To the Sea!

It was finally warm and sunny enough to head to the beach last weekend and spend an afternoon there (rather than a quick ten minutes blowing out the cobwebs in the sea breeze gales). We were so excited at the prospect of a sunny beach afternoon!

When we arrived I set up my place with the beach bag, toys, towels etc and my much longed for book! The kids straight away shook off their shoes and socks and literally ran……….. they ran and ran and did not pause until they reached the sea. I took a quick snap of them racing to the water and as I did it got me thinking…. When did I lose that sheer excitement of just splashing in the water? As a kid all I wanted was for mum to say we could go in the sea on our holiday beach days, as a mum now, all I wanted was a few minutes of peace and quiet on the sand. (Don’t get me wrong I love playing with my kids on the beach but getting into the water doesn’t hold as much appeal any-more)! The sea is kind of Daddy territory! I watched them for a little while then took off my shoes and headed over to them. What followed was a water splash battle which ended up with us all pretty drenched but incredibly happy! The joy on their faces was so cool to see. It reminded me that kids get such pleasure from the things that we probably don’t see as being huge or important, but are probably the things that form the best type of memories for them……

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The voice of the sea speaks to the soul – Kate Chopin.

 

Paper plate portholes!

Summer is finally on its way! The sunshine has been out and my daughter wanted to do a summer themed activity this weekend. One of her favourite  craft themes is the Ocean so she opted to make a paper plate porthole. Paper plate portholes are a lovely simple craft which look really effective, and can be adapted to make with a wide age range of children.

To make your paper plate porthole you will need – 2 paper plates, paint, glue, coloured paper and pens.

Begin by cutting out the centre of one of your paper plates.

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Next paint the other (complete) paper plate blue – this will be your ocean water.

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Now paint the back of the other plate (with the centre cut out). You can choose whichever colours you like. My daughter chose purple with gold and silver spots!

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Pop the plates to one side to dry. Make your ocean creatures using paper and pens. We made fish, an octopus and seaweed.

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When your plates are dry, glue down your ocean creatures where you would like them on the blue plate! You can add other features like air bubbles with a pen.

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Finally stick down your top plate to finish off your porthole.

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My daughter loved making her paper plate porthole! You can add whatever you like to your ocean scene – my little boy loves adding sharks to his ocean!

Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

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Nature faces!

My daughter was off school sick the other day with a pretty nasty head cold. We decided to go out in the garden in the afternoon to get a little fresh air as she was starting to feel a little better. Whilst sitting there she decided she wanted to make a ‘nature face’.

Nature faces are a lovely simple activity to do outdoors. They are adapted from our nature pictures, and are a firm family favourite. They always produce individual unique results and you can make them as serious or silly as you like! All you need is a piece of paper and a pen…..everything else is found from Mother Nature!

Start by drawing a head and neck onto a piece of paper. Next go exploring to see what you can use for hair and facial features. Adult guidance will be needed to make sure everything is safe to pick up (and to stop anything being eaten)!

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My daughter used grass and daisies for her nature girl’s hair, dandelion flowers for the eyes and mouth, and a leaf for the nose!

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We had great fun making different faces and it certainly cheered up a poorly little girl for a while! You can use glue to stick the face down if you want to, or simply wipe everything off and make a new face!

I hope you all have a lovely Saturday!

A Woodland afternoon!

Last weekend the beautiful sun had finally started to shine (hooray!) and me and the hubby wanted to take the kids out for a cheap afternoon somewhere. I had seen a free local Woodland  open day advertised in my facebook feed so we decided to head over there and spend the afternoon exploring the woods!

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When we arrived we were greeted by a very enthusiastic man from the Woodland trust who immediately dragged lined us up for the guided wood walk. (To say he was quick is an understatement – our wellies had barely touched the ground)! This did feel a little strange as we regularly go for woodland walks, so to be guided around felt odd! We did learn quite a bit though and the kids loved listening to the different birdsong. There was a man from the RSPB who helped the kids identify between the different songs. The children were also given guides for them to keep which helped them identify different creatures and different woodland trees.

After the walk we browsed the stalls, which included home – made jam and honey for sale, bat boxes, cakes and cookies (we spent a few pennies here!), kids lucky dip, pick a stick and face painting! Everything was really reasonably priced. The admission was free so you could spend as much or as little as you liked. My daughter wanted her face painted (my son is never too keen on this so decided against it this time). She chose to have a fox painted (keeping in with the woodland theme!) much to the lovely face painting lady’s horror. She said she had never done a fox before – we think she did an amazing job! My daughter loved it and got lots of comments afterwards!

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There was also a stall giving away free wooden bird boxes. I was so impressed! It’s not often in this day that you get something so lovely for free! You could choose to have a ready made one or one that needed building. We chose a bird box that needed building – Daddy was very eager to help the kids build it at home!

The kids loved helping Daddy make the bird box and it was a lovely activity to encourage them to work together. They are going to paint it together soon too, when we have the right type of paint so that it will last and look pretty longer!

We had a fantastic Sunday afternoon and I will certainly be looking out for the next one!

Paper plate crab!

We love making things from paper plates as they are so versatile and hold endless craft opportunities! One of my favourite things to make with the little ones are paper plate crabs. They look so cute and the paper plate works really well with this craft. My kids love making these simple little crabs and I think they are a lovely craft to make now the sun is starting to shine a little more!

To make your crab you will need – paper plate, paint, felt pens and coloured paper.

Start by painting your paper plate. My daughter chose orange for her paper plate crab.

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Leave the paper plate to dry. Cut out two circles from coloured paper and draw on the eyes with a felt pen.

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Next fold a strip of paper (to make a concertina effect), then glue it to the back of one of the eyes. This will make the eyes pop out, giving a 3d effect! Repeat with the other eye.

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Once the paper plate is dry stick the eyes on with glue and draw the crab’s mouth on with a pen. Next cut out some legs and pincers from coloured paper then glue onto your crab!

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My little ones love their paper plate crabs and they are a wonderful simple activity to do. The kids even took theirs outside and played in the sunshine with them! For more animal craft ideas please take a peek here!

 

Trampoline Chalking!

This idea came up on my Facebook news feed a few days ago and I thought it was a super idea! We have all done the whole chalking on the footpath thing as kids and have probably done it with our own little ones so I thought this was a brilliant new take on it! All you need is some kids chalks, the trampoline and some imagination!

Let the kids free with the chalk, draw and colour to their hearts content on the trampoline base and the next lot of rain will wash the artwork away! Such a simple idea but we loved it!

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The kids loved the freedom of being able to chalk on such a large area of space. I loved seeing how they worked together to create what effectively became a pretty cool mural! We will definitely be repeating this activity! A lovely way to create a piece of group art!

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