Keeping the Children Busy with Rock Painting Activity

Summer holidays are well and truly here but in Great British style the weather is not! The hot summer days seem to be over now and we are left with windy, rainy days instead. Weather like this makes it hard for us parents to keep the children entertained outdoors, especially when it comes to keeping the budget at a low cost.

Since the children have finished school for the summer we have had pretty crap weather, I don’t want to keep the children indoors (otherwise my house looks like a bomb site) I want to see them outdoors enjoying the time that they have off school, playing with friends and making new ones.

I came across a Facebook page called ‘Love on the rocks uk’. It’s a page where people paint on rocks then hide them for others to find. All they ask of you is to get creative as you want with a rock and some paints and then write on the back “love on the rocks” with the Facebook symbol then hide the rock within your community; a park, forest or a beach promenade. Take a photo of it and share it on Facebook for other rock hunters to find it. Once found, the hope is that people will look up the Facebook page and join in with the fun.

This activity is cheap and fun. Not only are you getting creative but also getting out and about in the great outdoors.

We visited Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex for the Wind in the Willows Trail and whilst we was there we found some rocks to paint on. We took some felt tip pens and sharpies with us. Found a quite spot to sit down at and got drawing

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That’s what is great about this activity it keeps the children busy, it’s fun and they get to explore at the same time.

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The eldest drew a sunset onto his rock, using tippex for the shadow on the sea

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Our little collection of love on the rocks

We found a few spots in Hanningfield to hide them and left them feeling very happy with ourselves, that maybe we can put a smile onto someones face.

Would love to see the face of the child/adult that finds these rocks. They’re not a work of art but they are fun

A shadow of a cat sat in front of a sunset
A shadow of a cat sat in front of a sunset
Love on the rocks written on the back
Love on the rocks written on the back

Why not join in on the fun. Wouldn’t it be fun to spread the love of rocks further afield. I am thinking of hiding some abroad

 

 

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An adventure into the woods

My boys love to explore the outdoors. They love to be set free and just run wild.

My youngest boys are climbers, wherever we are they will attempt to climb anything, wether it be a door frame in the house, a pole in the play area or a tree in a forest. I am always calling them little monkeys. There is something about a tree that attracts a child’s attention . They can not wait to let their adventurous side out and climb to the highest point that they can. So you can imagine how excited my boys were when we took them along to Epping Forest for a tree adventure.

The sun was shining, so we all climbed into the car and drive the short distance to the forest. Dad had told the boys all about a tree swing that was set up in a clearing of the forest, they were eager to explore and find it. Dad knew exactly where it was, although if I were to go back again I definitely would get lost looking for it.

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There were lots of fallen down tree and branches all over, we had to climb under and over some of them to get where we were going. Daddy was on a mission, he knew where we were heading to, but to me the trees all looked the same.  After walking for 10 minutes we had found the clearing where the swing was.

The boys couldn’t wait to give it a go, the youngest one first.

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Daddy gave him a big push and he swung around in a big circle screaming with delight, shouting out “It’s amazing!”  We all had a go, even Mummy and Daddy. I have to say, it was good fun. Felling free, swinging around amongst the trees.

The boys then went on a little adventure, climbing the trees, seeing who could climb the highest.

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The 8 year old is always the winner when it comes to climbing, I’m sure he was a monkey in his past life. He likes to push himself, to see if he can climb to the top, Much to Mum’s dislike. I don’t like to encourage to climb to high but Daddy says it’s ok. Sometimes I just can’t watch. He says that he enjoys climbing because he knows that it is something that he can do and that he feels free with nature and comfortable.

He likes to explore the trees and he works out what branches are the strongest ones to climb on to, he works out his route up and down with lots of thought.

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We had lots of fun in the woods, exploring, climbing and swinging. We got lots of exercise and it was great to be out as a family enjoying the surroundings with each other. We ended our adventure with a hot drink in a cafe on the way home.

What do your children enjoy doing in the woods?

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Exploring the Cornish Beaches #countrykids

Last week we had our summer holiday in Cornwall, a complete surprise for us as Daddy booked it on our last day at work/school. We were to spend a week at Perranporth on a Haven holiday site.

The boys absolutely love Cornwall, Jak the eldest is always in the sea on his bodyboard, splashing around in the waves, Joseph and Oliver love to play in the sand and the many rock pools that are on the beaches.

We normally visit a beach a day whilst we are in Cornwall but as the weather was typical english weather and the rain clouds took over the sun we only managed 3 which was pretty good really.

The first beach we went to was the one on the door step to the Haven site at Perranporth, the beach is wide and long and ideal for a bit of fun in the sea with the bodyboard. We spent quite a bit of our time at this beach and sometimes went down early evening just for a little walk and to look out to sea and watch the sun set.

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Jak out on the waves

Oliver really enjoyed running up to the waters edge and then running away from the waves as they neared him, he squealed with delight as the water touched his toes

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The beach was full of washed up jelly fish, Joseph spent a long time looking at the closely as he had just done a topic of the beach at school and chose to make a jelly fish from paper mache

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On Thursday we packed up a lunch and went out for the day visiting two of our favourite beaches, Porthcurno and Gwithian.

Porthcurno as got to be one of my favourite places, not just for the covey beach but for the Minnack Theatre, it’s so beautiful and has stunning views from the cliff tops. Unfortunately the day we went to Porthcurno the sea was very choppy and Jak didn’t get much time in the sea, so we spent an hour playing in the sand and burying our feet, Oliver really liked doing this and kept jumping into the hole and saying ‘my feet my feet’

The next beach we went to was just near Hayle at Gwithian, the beach is right at the end of a dusty cliff top road which is run by The National Trust, it cost us £5 to park for the day. Parking here means you can enjoy the beach as well as exploring the cliff tops too. We found a good spot on the beach and set up our wind breaker and tent, then we sat down and dug the biggest hole ever to bury Dad in

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This beach has many rock pools to play in, some of them are even deep enough to swim in, once the tide is out, so many places are exposed to explore, Joseph went off in search of crabs and bought back some rock with muscles attached to it lol. We went for a walk along the rocks and done some exploring of our own, finding some gorgeous stunning little beaches and coves.

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The views were amazing and a perfect place for an evening barbecue

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All of these photos were taken on my I Phone but i have so many more on my camera (but can not find the computer lead, very upsetting)

We had such a brilliant time at the beach and everyone enjoyed themselves so much, we have come home with some lovely new memories to add to our memory jar of our time in Cornwall.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

 

 

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Discovery Basket Heuristic Play

Oliver is now 22 months old and spending more and more time playing independently, he likes to explore new things and loves to play with my tins of food from my kitchen cupboard, stacking them up and rolling them around the floor.

Heuristic Play is exploring the properties of real objects as opposed to toys.

I set up a box for Oliver to explore filled with natural manmade  objects:

  • A metal sieve
  • A wooden spoon
  • A whisk
  • A hairbrush
  • A cardboard tube
  • A glove
  • A rubber cup
  • A piece of felt

He sat and played on his won for ages, exploring the tube by looking through it, putting objects into his sieve and stirring it around with the spoon and brushing his hair with the hairbrush.

I observed him for 5 minutes and noted down the things that he did

  • Stirring objects around in the sieve with the spoon and then changing to the whisk
  • Shouting down the tube
  • Putting the fabric on his head
  • He put his hand inside the glove, then he put his foot inside it, then he wrapped it around his neck as if it was a scarf

I introduced some pasta twists and a paintbrush half way through

  • First He sat and tasted the pasta
  • He brushed his face with the paintbrush then started painting the fabric
  • He held the paintbrush in one hand and the spoon in the other making circular motions with them on the floor
  • He wipes his hands on the felt using it as a towel
  • He put everything back into the sieve and mixes them around

I have recently been playing Silly Soup with Oliver and his big brother Joseph, introducing names of things and sounds.

Observing Oliver during his treasure basket play showed me that he has remembered about the silly soup as he done the same actions with the sieve and other objects. He was silent throughout his 5 minutes play but normally he is really loud, talking and singing away to himself.

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Oliver has objects stored in a box and he chooses to pick them up and play with them now over his toys, i love watching him explore them. I add new items to the box to keep him interested and each time he plays with them he learns new things to do each time.

 

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A nice find on a miserable day!

Today hasn’t been a very good day, we spent all morning out in the wet miserable weather all because I fear getting into a car and driving us all a few miles down the road!

Jak had a football tournament to attend and we had to be there for 10:40 so we set off at 9:30 which should have been plenty of enough time to get to our destination but as we got to the train station (we was going 3 stops) I noticed that the station was closed for works so I decided that we would have to catch a bus half way and walk the other half, there was a light rain but it wasn’t too bad. As we got off of the bus I noticed a pathway heading off into a park in the direction that we was going, I looked on my maps app on the phone and it looked like the address we was going to was at the other end of the park.

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So me thinking I was being clever told the boys “look boys! A cut through!” So off we went!

20130316-211941.jpgI had never been into this park before as it the otherside of town to where we live but the path looked long so I was sure it was going to take us either directly to the football fields or pretty much near by to it, Oh How I was wrong! So wrong!

We was walking along side a lake but as it was raining and it seemed to getting heavier there was another lake being formed on the fields beside us and then the path came to an end! There was no way we was going to get over the marshy land to where we wanted to get to, We was being teased by my bad mistake, we could hear children shouting and playing and we could see the main road but with a buggy and a 5 year old in tow it was going to be impossible to get over to them.

It was now 10:45 so I gave up in trying to get there, defeated and soaking wet we decided to turn back and head back home, on our way back through the park we saw what looked like an air raid shelter, it was pretty in a mysterious type of way but such a shame that it was full up with empty lager cans and rubbish! There was an hexagon shaped concrete slab ontop of the ground which was raised up and at the side was a stone stairway going down to doorway which had a steel bar door, the door was open and it looked like it went off into a room of some sort. It may well be a pillbox but im not sure!

20130316-211951.jpgI really wanted to have a bit of explore but we was all so cold and wet and to be honest I was a bit scared as to what I might have found down there! Knowing my area it could have been anything!

I have decided to take the boys back in better weather as the park was an ideal place to go for a lovely bike ride with a perfect wide flat path so hopefully I will get to explore it then    🙂

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Funtime at gymnastics

Joseph goes to gymnastics twice a week, one is a club that he attends at our local sports centre and the other is a parent and toddler class at East London Gymnasium which runs on a Sunday morning.
The Sunday morning session has been closed over the summer holidays but we returned last weekend and this time Oliver went along too.
Oliver is 13 months old and has been walking properly since he was 10 months old and since he took that first step at 8 months old there has been no stopping him. He doesn’t just walk he runs everywhere and climbing well! Don’t get me started on that one the boy must think he his spiderman as he seems to think he can climb vertical walls.
Oliver has so much energy and is non stop on the move do Daddy thought that it would be a brilliant idea for Oliver to start going along with him and Joseph on the Sunday morning to the Gym so he could run off some steam and seeing as everything is made of foam there is no way of him acquiring any new bumps and bruises to the oh so many that he already has. The floor is all soft and squidgy and gives the children that extra spring in there steps in order for them to get a good leap off the floor, so if Oliver fell he probably would only bounce around anyway lol.
Oliver loved it in there he immediately went off exploring all of the activities with a little cheeky grin plastered on his face

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I thought that he would like all of the huge foam shapes that was there, which the boys enjoy building little dens and houses with. Oliver wasn’t even overly joyed to play with his older brothers he was happy enough to go off on his own, one of the activities he really enjoyed doing was the trampoline. The trampoline isn’t raised from the floor so Oliver only had to walk onto it and bounce away on his own, although his preferred method of play on this apparatus was to run round and around.
Next to the trampoline is a foam
Pit that the children use to practice their flips into either using the horse or just diving into it, which Oliver did the latter.
He was so tiny I couldn’t see him in there among all of the foam, he didn’t struggle or scream and actually found it quite funny.He was very confident to be on his own, I didn’t help him once, he just got on with everything himself.

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I like the freedom that Oliver had in the Gym and how he became very confident in his own actions, how he felt the need to no longer be reliant on me for help and how his playing was not only safe but also he was learning a lot from it too.

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Along with trampolines, foam pit, spring boards, balance beams and monkey bars there is also a small soft play area at the back with slides, climbing slopes and ladders all of different shapes for children to explore.

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Oliver is just like his big brother and loves to climb, he could have spent all day long in here especially climbing up
The bumpy steps and even though he is only 72cm in length nothing was going to stop him from attempting to get to the top. He found a way of using his head (nose) to pull himself up and gripped his little toes against the plastic to get leverage and push him upwards.
Onwards and upwards that’s my boys.

Daddy even tried Oliver out on the balance bars and holding daddy’s hand for that little bit of support Oliver walked along one tiny foot in front of the other along the bar balancing away, he was like a pro, like it was something he does everyday, he even plucked up the courage to let go of Daddy’s hand and do it alone, he didn’t get far when he turned to daddy with his arms outright wanting Daddy to help him.

Oliver had lots of fun at his day at the gymnastics gymnasium and I hope he has just as much enjoyment next week.

What clubs do your children and do and what age were they when they started?

Thank you for reading 🙂

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