Tuesday Top 5 – After School Activities

So, the children are back at school after the long summer break, but there’s always that time after school that you need to fill, between them finishing school, and them having their dinner. I don’t know about you but I always seem to struggle to entertain them, to keep them, busy to stop them from arguing etc. before dinner. So I’ve come up with five activities, you can do to Entertain your children, for a couple of hours after school.

  1. Conker hunting – I don’t know about you but as a child I used to absolutely love collecting conkers and to be honest nothing has changed! Wrap up warm, grab a bag or a bucket, and go in search of some conker trees. I know there are lots near us, so we are quite lucky. If you don’t know where there are any conker trees, maybe ask your neighbours, or your friends, or family, and see if they know where there are any conquer trees and enjoy. On another day you could do something crafty with the conkers – conker caterpillars or conker people etc.
     

 

2. Lavender Play-Doh – you probably find the children usually come home from school they are extremely tired, hyped up or argumentative, and you just want them to stop arguing and calm down. Why not try some lavender Play-Dough the lavender will have a nice calming affect and smells amazing. I’ve found a lovely recipe from The Imagination Tree – here

lavender playdough

 

3. Teddy bears picnic – instead of waiting for dinner time to arrive, why not have an early dinner, and have a teddy bears picnic.  If it’s a nice night you could take the children to the park, take some teddies, take a picnic, and they can sit and have their dinner, play and have fun, when you get home you won’t have to worry about getting dinner and you can stay out longer because they will have already eaten, and they can just get ready for bed when they get home.  If it’s raining and windy, you could make a den with the children and have a picnic in the den.

 

 

4. Board games – another idea is to have a family games night and play various different boardgames there are so many to choose from and some of them are quite short so you could play a few in one night and keep the children entertained for as longus you need to. Some ideas of board games include: (I’ve linked each game to where they can be bought) :
Pie Face
Frustration
UNO
Connect 4
Chess

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5. Fruit painting – last but no means least I’ve chosen fruit painting, you can choose different types of fruits including; apples, pears, grapes, star fruit, and oranges etc. You can experiment with different fruits, different paints and different colours and create some lovely pictures; you could even turn the pictures into wrapping paper.

fruit printing

 

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Tuesday’s Top 5

Top 5 Tips For YouTube

 

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YouTube has billions of visitors daily. Many of these visitors are children or teenagers.

Unfortunately some of the content on YouTube is not safe for children to view.

I have created a list of my top five tips to keep your children safe on YouTube.

  • Download YouTube kids I’ve put it in the secure and restricted mode.

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  • Create a Google account that can be used by the whole family.

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  • If your children create videos, make sure they’re signed into the family account and the videos are private.

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  • Subscribe to family friendly YouTube channels.

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  • Disable the comments – this is the start any nasty comments from trolls.

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Tuesday’s Top 5 – Summer Crafts / Activities

It’s coming towards the end of the summer holidays and you’re probably starting to tear your hair out, so I’ve put this blog together of 5 Summer Crafts / Activities.  I hope it gives you some inspiration to keep your children entertained.

Ice Painting – This is fun for all ages and also edible, but wear protective clothing as it will stain.

  • Ice cube tray
  • Small plastic bowls
  • Plastic spoons
  • Food coloring
  • Scissors
  • Thick paper
  • Craft sticks or disposable ice cream spoons

To make the “paint”, use mix some food colouring with water and pour into the ice cube trays. The more food colouring you use the more intense the colour.  Make a selection of colours and your children can experiment mixing the colours.  Put sticks into the icecube and put them in the freezer for 4-6 hours or overnight. Once frozen lay out some newspaper or a protective cloth and put some thick paper on a tray and then let your children loose with the Ice paint.

They will love painting pictures, mixing colours, and possibly even tasting.

Potato Masher Creatures- Who would have thought you can have fun with a potato masher?

  • Potato Masher
  • Paper
  • Card
  • Poster Paints
  • Glue

There are various creatures to make using a potato masher. I’m going to explain 3.

Caterpillar – Use your potato masher and some green paint and print onto paper in a “wave” shape.  Clean the potato masher and dip into the red paint and print at the end of the wave to create the caterpillars head.  Cut some circles to make eyes or you could use googly eyes if you have them and your catterpiller is complete.

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Crab– Use your potato masher and use a colour of your choice to print onto paper once. Let it dry and then cut the shape out. Stick onto a piece of card.  Cut out 8 small rectangle strips and 2 small circles with a small rectangle cut out of it. Use 6 of the strips for legs and use the other 2 strips for the front legs and add the circles to make claws.  Finish off by adding some eyes googley eyes work best.

Lady Bug- Dip your potato masher in red paint and print onto some card.  Cut out some small rectangular strips out of black card and some small circles also out of black card.  Stick on the black strips to make legs and stick on the circles for the ladybug spots. Stick on some googly eyes and draw some antenna.

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Dragonfly Craft- This craft is so simple but so effective.

  • Dragonfly template
  • Acrylic paint in assorted colors
  • White cardstock
  • Q-tips / Cotton Buds
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint palettes

Print out the dragon fly stencil here.

Put various colours of paint out, so your children can get creative.  Use the Q tips and dip them in the paint and dab them onto the dragonfly, use various colours to create a unique pattern.  You could use gems down the centre of the body to add a bit of sparkle.  Cut out your dragonfly to create a neat finish.

This tutorial came from projectswithkids.com.

Nature Scavenger Hunt
A few weeks ago, me and the girls went on a nature walk with some friends.  They absolutely loved it and it was a great outdoor activity.  Don’t forgot your picnic 😉

I’ve found a website from Buggy and Buddy for free printable Scavenger Hunts here.

Bored Jar
How many times have your children said to you “I’m bored!” Hopefully this could be a solution- well for a few minutes at least.

You will need:

  • A old jam jar
  • Paper / lolly pop sticks
  • Pens

Use the paper and write a list of things you could do when you’re children are bored (see ideas below).  Then you can cut up the paper and put the individual ideas in the jar.  Alternatively you could write the ideas on lolly pop sticks and place these in the jar.

Here’s a list of ideas for inspiration:

  1. Read a book
  2. Write in your holiday book
  3. Tidy your bedroom
  4. Do one job
  5. Draw something
  6. Draw an animal
  7. Draw our house
  8. Paint something
  9. Watch a movie
  10. Make a gift for someone
  11. Tidy your desk
  12. Make homemade bubbles
  13. Have a bubble bath
  14. Make cupcakes
  15. Play on Moshi Monsters
  16. Go on Youtube and search funny things
  17. Make homemade Bubbles
  18. Make Gloop
  19. Make a treasure hunt
  20. Make something with a box
  21. Story starting – There is a monster in my garden….
  22. Story starting – Yesterday I went in a spaceship to….
  23. Story starting  – There once was a little girl who liked to skip….
  24. Write a story about you.
  25. Go to the park
  26. Go to the beach
  27. Find shapes in clouds
  28. Create a family flag
  29. Make a musical instrument
  30. Do the recycling
  31. Build a time capsule
  32. Find something in your house that starts with every letter of the alphabet
  33. Have a picnic – indoor or outdoor. Teddies allowed.
  34. Have a scooter race.
  35. Play with a toy you haven’t played with in a while.
  36. Learn ten words in a different language
  37. Play on the trampoline
  38. Make homemade play dough
  39. Make and decorate paper airplanes
  40. Let Dad choose something to do
  41. Let Mam choose something to do
  42. Walk the dog
  43. Make an animal out of the things in the craft cupboard
  44. Make something with a box
  45. Make a den
  46. Play guitar
  47. Tidy under your bed
  48. Look through the cook books and choose something you can cook us all for tea
  49. Build something out of Lego.
  50. Make a list of black and white animals.
  51. Write three things about every
  52. Paint your nails
  53. Make a sock puppet
  54. Have a bubble bath
  55. Play a board game
  56. Make a board game of your own
  57. Customise your clothes
  58. Make something with your buttons
  59. Play on the Xbox
  60. Play on the wii
  61. Draw a picture blindfolded
  62. Draw a picture with your feet
  63. Make a video
  64. Write a poem
  65. Google something to make
  66. Make a card pyramid
  67. Go and collect some stones and make them into bugs
  68. Dance to loud music
  69. Play on the trampoline
  70. Start a club with your friends
  71. Tidy craft cupboard
  72. Sew something
  73. Bake cookies
  74. Play out with friends
  75. Ride your bike
  76. Water balloon fight
  77. Wash the car
  78. Play with the chalks outside
  79. Make a bookmark
  80. Make some homemade ice lollies

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Drayton Manor…

For Chloe’s 2nd birthday, we went to Drayton Manor and had a wonderful day, we decided to do the same for Olivia’s 2nd birthday and I am pleased to say we had a brilliant day!

We got there really early as we expected it to be really busy but it wasn’t to bad.  We started by going round the zoo to look at the animals, Olivia loved looking at all the different animals; waving and saying “Hi” to every single one!!

 

 

Olivia was very niggly in the morning, as she is teething (again!), we managed to get her to have a rare nap, then we took it in turns to take Chloe on the rides.  Chloe absolutely loved all the rides it was her first time to go on the big rides like Ben10 and the pirate ship  etc.  She loved them all and it was so nice to be able to run from ride to ride to ride laughing and giggling with her.

 

 

Once Olivia woke up, she was in a much better mood and loved the rides, the buffalo was his favourite, she giggled the whole time she was on there.

I must say the staff at Drayton Manor, from the start when I booked the tickets (I had quite a lot of trouble booking online) to when we left the park at 5:30 p.m. The staff were amazing; so friendly, helpful and interactive with the children, it made the day is so much more enjoyable, I can’t wait until I next visit thank you Drayton Manor.

Days out and depression…..

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On Friday the 8th of April we went to Lower Drayton Farm, but this was no ordinary day out.  I decided earlier on in the week that I would take the girls out for the day and decided on Lower Drayton Farm.

Well Friday morning came and I’d had about 2 hours sleep, I suffer from restless legs syndrome (RLS) and had been really suffering that night, so when I woke up after 2 hours sleep, I was exhausted, my mood was very low, and the last thing I wanted to do was go out for the day.  My mum was staying with us and insisted we go out I know she wanted to get me out of the house as it would do me good it didn’t feel like that at the time. I also didn’t want to let the girls down.

Anyway we all got ready, which always seems to take forever; packed lunches, drinks, coats, changing bag, wellies and a change of clothes it felt like we were going for a week!

We arrived at the very muddy lower Drayton farm, and went into the shop to buy our tickets.  We were greeted by a lovely lady, she was very welcoming, and took time to answer any questions we had. On that particular day the weather was looking particularly gloomy, and the forecast was rain, because of this we were given a family pass to visit the farm Again.

While we were buying our tickets the tractor have just returned and was getting ready to go again, so we hopped on board the trailer for our tour of Lower Drayton Farm. This was my favourite part of the day mainly because the girls behaved!

We got taken around the cowsheds where farmer Ray talked about the Combine Harvester, the cows, what they eat, where there milk goes etc. Next we went into a big field, still on the tractor and we were able to see and feed the Emu’s, black sheep, ponies, llamas, alpacas etc. and Farmer Ray explained all about them. I personally found his talk very informative and educational! He was also very friendly and jovial.

When we got back to the farm we had some lunch and then went to look at all the other animals, the girls were able to bottle feed the goats and sheep, Chloe held a guinea pig, Olivia prodded and poked said guinea pig, Olivia got pecked by a hen – her own fault she was told not to put her fingers in the pen.

After an enjoyable play on the play area it was time to take 2 grumpy, whingy, tired girls home.  Thank you Lower Drayton Farm we had a lovely time and can’t wait for our next visit.

Although the girls were grumpy, whingy, moany and very tired by the end of the day, I did have a good day and I am glad I went.  A lot of people don’t understand that with depression, even getting out of bed in the morning is hard work, leaving the house is even harder, so for me to go to the farm on that day was a big achievement!