Entertaining Junior has it’s own Pinterest account where you can find lots of great ideas for fun ways to keep your little people amused. Bear with me as I try to work out how to link it…..
Owing to personal circumstances I have been unable to update this space as I had hoped. I believe that things will be resolved by the end of January and intend to resume regular posts as of the beginning of February. For now, I hope that you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
What started as a bit of lino that needed replacing at the end of September has spread and spread and taken over my kitchen, back hall, downstairs toilet, dining room and our lives ……
“Ooohhhh, why is that dining room carpet wet there?” (up came the kitchen lino)
“Ooohh, the dishwasher seems to be leaking, but it’s not on???” (disconnect dishwasher)
“Ooooh, I need to lift the back hall and toilet lino too???” (up came the lino part 2)
“OOOHHHH, the concrete floor is saturated, you need to cut through the dining room carpet to test it??? RRRRIIIIPPP (up comes the dining room carpet)
“you need to install fans and de-humidifiers too??”
“What do you mean, it’s up the walls?” (off comes the dining room, kitchen and toilet wallpaper)
So here we are at the end of October currently sporting an extreme form of shabby chic. After a week of looking at bare plaster accompanied by the sounds and breeze associated with a ferry I gave the children the felts and told them to decorate the walls. It’s an ongoing project and rather liberating to draw on the walls… for everyone.
When the paper goes back up, we will forget what we have drawn until it is time to re-decorate again. I like to think that one day, when my children are grown up with children of their own, we’ll strip our wallpaper and show our grandchildren their wall art (like cave drawings!) and maybe hand them a felt-tip ..
Photos to follow shortly…….
Ahhh, welcome Sunday, Funday…. best day of the week.
What will you do today?
The Forestry Commission has plenty planned for today in your local woodlands, or
You can Bake for your lunchbox
Maybe crack open some paint, or take a hairdryer to your crayons
Turn a cardboard box into a spaceship
Go blackberry picking
Take the dog for a walk
paint everyone’s toenails
bake some bread
learn (or teach) how to tie your shoelaces
Read a lovely long book and relish the pictures
let the juniors loose with the chalk on the patio
Build an indoor tent with a sheet
play “will it float, will it sink?” with a sink/ bowl of water
Let Junior wash the (toy) dishes
Wash the doll’s clothes and put up a washing line for your Junior to peg out the clothes
Have a toy car wash. or a bike-wash. Or wash the family car…… whatever!
Have a Funday, Sunday whatever you do… I’d love to hear what you get up to!
A who dunnit for your little detectives.
You will need:
Some shoes of varying sizes
A corresponding number of cuddly animals and/or dolls
Some paper and a pen
a small amount of mud (or paint/ ink stamps)
A magnifying glass and other detective-y apparatus (optional)
A packet of chocolate biscuits (or other favourite)
Your biscuit tin.
Pick one pair of shoes to be the “guilty” shoes .Using the mud/ paint on the soles of the shoes make foot prints on the paper. Allow to dry and cut out.
Purchase your chocolate biscuits and resist the urge to eat them.
Allocate toys to shoes.
Write the clue(s) to the stolen biscuits and the note for the biscuit tin.
On Saturday morning, big up the biscuit tin
“There’s some biscuits in the tin, we’ll have one in a minute with a drink.”
When you’re ready, get the tin down and open it up to find the note left by the biscuit burglar.
“I have your biscuits!! You wait and see, try as you might, you will never catch me!!!”
Using your detective equipment set the children searching for “clues” to catch you biscuit burglar. Hopefully they will eventually find your foot prints.
Now lead the children to the toys. They now need to work out which toy it is that stole their biscuits. They should be able to rule out some of the shoes based on size etc. If you have been cunning you will have made a few of them more difficult to decide between. Using only one of the pair of each remaining shoes (make sure it’s not the shoe with the clue in, that would give it away!!!), repeat the shoe printing process you did the night before and get the children to try to spot which is the match.
Once they have worked this out get them to search in the shoes for the biscuits. At this point they should find the clue in the other shoe of the pair left by the biscuit burglar as to the location of the biscuits. This clue could lead you directly to the biscuits, or to a map, or another clue. How long they hunt for the treasure and how many clues you leave is up to you. Once they find them, you can all sit down and have a biscuit, safe in the knowledge that the streets are a safer place.
Visit the Woodland Trust nature detectives page for a mass of free Autumn inspired activities. Games, activity packs, spotter sheets, rules for conkers, recipes, ID cards and scavenger hunts are amongst some of the things on offer. They also have the other 3 seasons covered aswell!!!
This year, for a number of reasons we decided not to do that birthday party thing. Instead, we invited some close friends on a Gruffalo hunt. The location was recommended by a friend (and very Gruffalo-y it was too) and we took with us a Gruffalo picnic to enjoy. It was really lovely and Autumnal, the leaves were turning on the trees, the sun peeped through and said hello, there was just the right amount of damp underfoot and the effort put in by the children running about could be visibly measured in their “dragon breath”.
The walk was gentle and short. Just long enough to keep to the story and keep them excited. We sent out the advance party to pin the characters up and hide Gruffalo cards in all the right places ( near logs, up trees, by streams, you know the story people) and then, armed with a copy of “The Gruffalo” we set off in search of our pictures. When we found one we read the appropriate bit in the book, and then searched for “the rocks” or “the stream” or “the lake” where a Gruffalo card had been hidden. As we returned back, we collected up our characters (I had not expected this to be the delight it turned out to be) and left the woods as we found them.
Our picnic contained all Gruffalo parts, so that you could compile you very own “tummy Gruffalo” and of course, delicacies such as Gruffalo (apple) crumble and roasted fox. We had to use a little artistic licence with “Owl ice-cream” owing to the location. So we dropped the “ice” and opted for the squirty cream variety to go with the crumble. We had no objection from any Gruffalo puritans.
Just before we left one of the children suggested we should come back and do the “Gruffalo’s child”. I said if it snowed this winter, we would have to. This got me thinking how much fun you could have for hardly any money if you based an afternoon out on a good book. I’m already planning how to do
“Aha A-ho, tracks in the snow. Who’s are these footprints and where do they go?” (Gruffalo’s Child)
But you can use all sorts of books :
The Wind in the Willows (an afternoon of simply messing about in boats- or at least by a river- go character hunting for Mole, Ratty and Badger, build a tiny boat- have a picnic like Ratty’s)
Alice in Wonderland ( due many locations in the book, your could do this pretty much anywhere. Have a game of croquet after your picnic. Go hunting for a rabbit)
Swallows and Amazons (down by a lake- there’s plenty of food in the book to inspire your lunch)
We’re going on a bear hunt. (swishy, swashy, squelch, squelch)
The Secret Garden ( a trip to a local stately home)
Stone soup ( cooking soup in the garden, Hide the vegetables around the garden for the children to find as you ask for them)
Hansel and Gretel ( Remember your stones and bread and end with a nice Gingerbread house for pudding!)
3 Little Pigs (search for the pigs houses)
Little Red Riding Hood (make sure you have a wicker basket)
Snow White (see if you can find the 7 dwarves and their house)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe enjoy a walk in the (snowy) woods in some oversized coats!!!
If you think of any more, or you have already done a book themed day out, please share your ideas!
Is it raining? Some-one a bit poorly? Time for a home cinema experience…. How much video have you taken of of your children and how often do you watch it? Fetch the duvets…. make some popcorn….draw the curtains and make the children the stars of the silver screen. Everyone loves seeing themselves on TV, even littlies, plus you get to do “Director’s Commentary” alongside. Go on, treat yourself to a trip down memory lane together….
Here comes the weekend. Lots to be done and wee folk to entertain. Why not combine the two? Introducing the Chore Jar Game. Simply write the chores on slips of paper, don’t forget to add some fun things too!! Fold them up, place into the jar, set the timer to one hour and see how many you can do.
You can play in teams, or individually and even colour code “Junior” and “Senior” tasks. When the timer goes bing it’s time for a treat for everyone that took part.
Examples to get you started: sweep the yard, empty the washing machine, tidy the toys, make your bed, dust the table, have a biscuit, tell a joke, do 20 star jumps, 5 minutes free play, read a story