Happy Little Season Box

Processed with VSCO with s1 presetDon’t you just love the seasons? Each one being so different and bringing fresh new wonders. Having young children I find this is easy to appreciate as I see the joy each season brings to them. After all, our daughter has only experienced four Autumns! Crispy leaves and collecting conkers are definite favourites!

This Autumn we have been overjoyed to receive a Happy Little Season Box from Ruth over at read create and love me too. I received this box free of charge, however all views are my own.

The happy little season box is an activity box for children inspired by the season, this autumn’s box was full of crafty stuff some fun added extras (snowdrops to plant & leaf cutters). The happy little season box is so beautifully packaged, its certainly delightful. It fits through your letter box so you don’t have to worry about not being at home when it arrives.

Our children have tried a couple of other craft boxes but they have been very prescriptive and quite uninspiring. I totally love the way the Happy little season box is open ended, it’s inspired by the season which fuels creativity . We have opened it up on a few occasions and our son has decided what to create. It really does stimulate hours of creativity and activity.

Here’s what Penguin got up to. A birthday card for his best mate

A peg doll for his sister

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A painting of connecting trees

Natural play dough leaf cutting fun

There were so many possibilities with this box even Little Missy got to create a birthday card for her Granny.

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All that is left now is to wonder what the winter box will hold! Actually I don’t think we need to wait. Ruth is selling the winter happy little season box over at folksy.

Have you ever received a craft box or an activity box through your door, was it any good? I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below  🙂

Estuary Fun!

We recently visited the beautiful country of Wales. We stayed in Pembrokeshire, close to Poppit Sands where the Teifi River becomes a river estuary and meets the sea. Our son loves geography so this was fab.

Our little munchkins were both interested to see the boats floating in the estuary at one time of the day and then stuck in the sand at another time of the day. We got to see the estuary from many different angles and at different times of day.

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Our little ones are definitely explorers, loving to visit different places every day.

We found some fantastic flat stones that will be great to paint on! Have you checked out Our Pebble Family? We also found this incredibly large anchor, not sure it will fit in the boot! We will leave it for you to sit on.

We haven’t yet understood why seaweed likes to stick to stones, or exactly how the moon creates the tides, or why we found some zebra rocks, but we are having fun with it!

It’s so inspiring to be in beautiful places, couldn’t we just stay on holiday!!?

Possibly the best beach in Wales!

Don’t you just love a good beach? I just love the sea but living so far from it means I don’t see it very often. This probably means I think all beaches are awesomely amazing. To me this one was, take a peek and see what you think.

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Mwnt is on the west coast of Wales, on the Ceredigion coast. As far as I can tell it consists of the beach, shop, church, sheep and carpark. What a delightful little place.

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I loved that it felt so isolated, having the whole beach pretty much to ourselves 😀 We did meet a very confident little boy who quickly joined in playing with our son. Please bear in mind that we did visit mid week during late September. I imagine in the summer months this beach is very popular.

There’s a very cute little shop at the top of the steps leading from the beach, very handy for buckets and spades, snacks, postcards and ice creams. There are some toilets attached to the shop, all maintained by the national trust, that and the £3 a day carpark.

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Bottle nosed dolphins can also be spotted from Mwnt, either from the beach or from the costal path. We sadly didn’t catch a glimpse but it can be done!

Little Missy flew her first kite here, this made me rather jealous. I am extremely bad at flying kites however would really love to be great. One day!

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Do you have a favourite beach in Wales? I’d love to include it in our itinerary for our next Wales trip.

 

Nature Playdough

We love playing in nature and playing with nature. Our children are always collecting pinecones, sticks, conkers etc… We currently have a boot full of some rather large sticks!

We recently experimented with creating different coloured play dough with natural colours. A friend mentioned that beetroot powder creates a fantastic colour, I managed to get some from Amazon for a decent price.

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We made a brown (cinnamon powder – it smells great), a bright reddy pink (beetroot powder), orange (paprika) and yellow (turmeric)

We used a basic play dough recipe (see below) and added the following amounts for the different colours.

Yellow – 2tbs turmeric
Orange – 2tsp paprika
Reddy pink – 2tbs beetroot powder
Brown – 3tbs cinnamon

Basic Playdough Recipe
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of salt
2tbs cream of tartar
1tsp glycerin (this makes playdoh more elasticy – can be omitted)
2tbs oil (we used olive oil – baby oil or vegetable oil will work too)
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Method
Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and desired colour in a large bowl. Add oil, glycerin and boiling water, mix with a wooden spoon. Wait for dough to cool a little and then kneed. Your dough is ready for play 😀

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To carry on the nature and sensory themes we included pinecones, different coloured beans and fresh rosemary on the table. We had fun using our imagination and creating!

What’s your favourite play dough? I’m thinking coco, I need to try coco next!

Wild Art

When I was at school studying art I became really interested in the land art by Andy Goldsworthy. He creates really fantastic artwork in nature with nature. Do check out the link. In June we were involved in the #30DaysWild challenge (doing something wild every day for 30 days) and decided to have our own go at some land art.

We love collecting bits and bobs from nature, pine cones, sticks, stones, shells, feathers, conkers etc… So from our box of many things I started to create this heart made. It wasn’t long before the little munchkins became interested and joined in.

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Since the #30DaysWild challenge we have spent some time in the local river building a dam but also attempting some rock balancing (well…more like stone balancing!)

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have you you created any art in nature? I’d love to see it 😀 Or would you love to give it a go?

Sail boat craft

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We made these sail boats as part of the #30DaysWild challenge. They were fun to make and even more fun to watch them sail down the river!

I didn’t think that we would be able to retrieve our boats after we’d put them in the water so I thought it was important to make them out of natural materials. We used some sticks, a biodegradable twine and a leaf for the sail. To make the base of the boat we made an overlapping square with the sticks and tied them together with twine. We then tied on more sticks across the base and another stick pointing upwards for the sail. When we arrived at the river we found a large leaf and tied it to the stick.

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Penguin had great fun watching the boats sail down the river and also enjoyed videoing the experience, I’m just glad his camera is waterproof!!

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Have you had fun playing in the river? Any ideas for fun river play?

Plaster of Paris Painting 

So this was an experiment. Basically we have loads of plaster of Paris so I’ve been searching for ideas of how we can use it. We tried pouring plaster of Paris into a balloon and squidge it to create a sculpture, this actually worked better as chalk than a piece of art! 

Then we tried to make some paint. Penguin mixed some food colouring with plaster of Paris a created a lovely thick paste. 


The colours love looked great, though Penguin had abit of a race against time as the plaster if Paris began to dry. 


I love the textures the plaster of Paris made on the canvas.


Initially the colours felt really vibrant although when the paint dried the colours became fainter. I still love the end result, it has a cool fresh feel and it looks great up on the wall. I think Penguin is proud.

Have you got any ideas what I can use the rest of my plaster of Paris for? 

Hiding a Geocache

imageThe best way I would describe geocaching is that it is hunting for treasure. It’s an official game that is run worldwide and anyone can take part. We find that it’s a fantastic way of exploring different areas and really exciting for the children. The easiest way to play is to download the Geocaching app on your phone and search for nearby caches. You will then see a map with Geocaches marked on and a blue dot to show you your location. Click on the cache you want to find, read the description and hint, follow your way to the green dot and start searching.

We like the traditional caches that are big enough to include swappables (treasure). Being fairly new to this we aren’t interested in puzzle caches, we just want to explore, see beautiful places and find treasure. Check out our first Geocaching adventure.

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After some successful finds at various locations we thought it would be fun to share the love and create our own Geocache. Penguin had fun choosing some toys to put in the cache. We made a small log book which we are looking forward to see being filled up. We found a good hidey hole under a tree and used a few sticks to hide the cache.

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Here’s how to hide a cache…

  1. Scout for a good location to hide a cache
  2. Get a suitable container
  3. Put small log book, pencil and treasure in container
  4. Hide your cache and save coordinates
  5. Submit cache information to geocaching.com
  6. Visit cache periodically to check it’s still there and stocked with treasure

For a more detailed instructions of how to hide a geocache you can go to the official Geocaching site, follow the link. We used geogz.com to print out a label for the container.

Have you ever been Geocaching? What was your experience like?

It’s time to be WILD

Want to be WILD this June? The The Wildlife Trusts are challenging is to do something WILD everyday for a whole month. Something wild is basically something that connects us with nature. Last year, as a family, we took part in 30 Days Wild and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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If you’d like to take the challenge this year, you can get your activity pack from the Wildlife Trust here.

Here’s a list of all the wild activities and adventures we got up to last year.

Click the links for more details and lots of pics.

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Are you planning on signing up?

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