Monday, 25 July 2011

Camping at Home !

Camping at Home.

Here in the UK the school summer holidays have begun.  Hoorah!
After the world wide credit crunch lots of people are not going on holiday this summer, so we have a few ideas for "holidays at home" over the next few weeks.
This week we are having a camping holiday at home.  We often do this, even in the winter.  It takes a bit of imagination but the kids have always loved it.  Sometimes the children sleep in sleeping bags on their own beds and sometimes they go the whole hog and sleep out in the back garden in tents.
Depends on the temperature.  However, the absolute best thing is building our own tents.

This is what we're aiming for.....

 This is what you'll need for starters.....


Old curtains.
Old sheets.
Clothes many as you can find.

You may also use.......

Chairs, sticks, string, clothes airers, cushions.....anything that comes to hand and lots of imagination.

Here's what to do....

1.   Indoors or outdoors, find a space or gap to build a camp in.  Find a place where it can be left up for a while and won't be in the way.

2.   Lay down a blanket or mat to be a floor.

3.   Spread a cloth or curtain over the nearby chairs or clothes rack to make a roof.  Use the pegs to secure the cloth. Now my kids are older they use drawing pins too but I would not recommend them for little kids.

4.   Use lots of imagination to customise your camp.  Add teddies and toys, treasures and books.

5.   Play all day!

Didn't take long for the cat to move in!

Camp in a gap in the living room.

Palatial camp built by son.

All's done and well done!

Tents are so much fun, whether it's under the laundry rack or built together outside, the fun lasts for days.
The children like to have their supper in their tents or for you to squeeze in with them.  However tiny the interior of the tent is, the kids are great at giving guided tours to the adults and cats who come to visit. 
Little children often then love to fill their camps with everything they can find.  Entire bedrooms have been known to disappear into their tents, with the children sitting outside because they've run out of space for humans!
Go with the's good clean fun and it can all get put back tomorrow.
This is so good for their imaginations and, if you enter into the swing off it, your tent will be
for a jungle explorer today and for having tea with the queen tomorrow!

Have fun, see you next week,
Heli  x

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Hello and Welcome

Hello and welcome to more new countries. I love this part of blogging. I was a geographer in my murky past and I love tracking the countries on the blogger map as they come up. Is that a bit sad?... probably, but I like it !
Hello to Thailand and Kuwait!

Heli x

Me trees

Hello everyone.

Wow , what a week!

We've had sports days , netball matches, school plays, leavers assemblies, gifts for teachers, lockers to clear , school trips and my 42nd birthday. My youngest has just completed his junior school, so it's new school uniform and excitement about senior school.  It's also been the soggiest week of July ever known!
Being a mum is such a scramble but it's such fun. You all arrive in a breathless heap on the floor on the first day of the holidays but it soon turns into games and painting, friends and playing. I love having them back in the holidays, during term time every thing is so rushed. They grow up so fast and we want to enjoy every minute. (Until they argue and then all bets are off!)

So here we go. My kids made "me trees" or "me flowers" at nursery school and loved them. It's a combination of self portraits and body prints to make a plant. The stalk is simply a piece of string measured to the child's height.  Kids love having their height measured and comparing it with each other or you. There always seems to be a competition to be the tallest.

It will be a bit messy so I suggest you pop down some old news papers or a paint proof cloth before you begin.  Have that bowl of warm washing up water standing by and start early enough to get all cleaned up before tea time is due.   Never let children near paint when they're tired or doubles the cleaning up!

This is what we're aiming for....

You will need....

String for the stalk and  an extra bit to hang the plant up with.
Paints in a range of colours.
Paint brush and water pot.
Supervised scissors.
Paper plate or a large flat, washable plate/tray.
Plain card from a cereal box.....we used a cheerio box this week!
Sticky tape.
Hands and feet.

Here's what to do....

1.   Cut a circle from the cereal packet. It's easiest to draw round a small plate. This will be the face.

2.   Paint your own face on the circle and leave it to dry. This is a good chance to chat about all the different features on a face. Use a mirror.  I have freckles to they've been painted on too.

3.   Mix up some brightly coloured paint on the paper plate or a washable dish. Dip in hands and make hand prints on the plain paper. These will be the petals an the flower. Make lots, we did 9. Leave to dry.

4.   Mix some green or brown paint and do the same with footprints. These will be the leaves. Yep, this is the messy bit. Have that warm water standing by! Leave to dry. The point of the paper plate is to throw it away afterwards and reduce the cleaning up.

5.   Cut the piece of string to the same height as your child. Measuring is always fun.

6.   Sticky tape the end of the string onto the back of the dry face.

7.   Stick the hand prints to the back of the face. Do this round the face so that when you look at the front, the petals frame the face.

8.   Use sticky tape to fasten the foot leaves to the string. Spread them out to look like a beanstalk.

9.  Finally, hang the flower up at the same height as your child. In a row if you have several, and admire!

All's done and well done!

There we are then. In our house Daddy is the tallest and it's fun measuring his height by standing on stools and chairs.  Believe it or not .... this is very early practical maths, so encourage your little ones to go round the house measuring everything.  Measure with string or play bricks, even lego.  
Have a contest to find the tallest teddy!

Something less painty next week!

See you soon
Heli x