Science can be fun for kids

Keeping the little ones busy and entertained can be a challenge with the changeable UK weather. So I was delighted to discover a whole world of fun at the bottom of our garden this year. The small pond had been blessed with a family of frogs and was filling up fast with frogspawn.

Well aware that this was not something to be moved from its natural habitat, we introduced the granddaughter to garden safaris, obviously wearing the obligatory wellington boots and goggles!

It is great to see the world afresh through their goggle enhanced eyes! Her enthusiasm and instant love of the tiny jelly like creatures has not diminished over recent weeks as they have grown and emerged from their frogspawn state into tiny and very active tadpoles. The proud parents look on silently from the rocks at the edge of the pond, as the little tadpoles pop up for air, and then shelter under the floating pond iris plant.

frog and frogspawn

As the tadpoles continue to grow, my three year old granddaughter has surprised me in her scientific assessments of what is happening and her patience in the transformation of the tadpoles into frogs. As she noticed the first tiny legs appearing, she was instantly maternal and impressed. She then told me that it would take weeks and weeks for the legs to grow, even though they were so tiny, as she had been growing hers for years!

Another conversation was also quite revealing; she explained to me that the tadpoles couldn’t live in the sea as they would get lost and frightened by the big waves – it was too big, and that is why the mummy frog chose our pond and not the nearby ocean.

tadpoles

So there is no rush, but endless opportunities of accompanied exploration and observation. As they grow I will keep you updated.

 

Who says science isn’t fun for kids!

science fun for kids

Check out our other seaside children’s adventures and activities here

 

We Found Pirate Ships On The Beach

If you feel like you need some fresh air and exercise after all of your Easter eggs this weekend, why not visit the seaside?

Last weekend we popped to the beach on Sunday morning. The Spring tide had created a treasure trove of shells, pebbles and driftwood for us to explore. My top tip is to be prepared for this and take a bag to store your collection. Continue reading We Found Pirate Ships On The Beach

What’s so special about being a Grandma?

 

So what is so special about being a Grandma? I suppose the simple answer to that one is ….my granddaughter

I have only the one granddaughter and as I am sure most grandmas are, I am convinced that she, at the age of three is a budding genius!

This weeks new skill for example is hopping. Not simply on one foot but both. The joy this gives! After weeks of trying to take off from the ground on just one foot. Determined concentration on her face, as she placed one slipper to rest on the other only to put it back down onto the floor at the moment of take off,  her hop turning into a jump. She has now mastered the art of hopping, so she hops everywhere.

Climbing – she could scale a mountain she thinks but for now the back of the sofa will do

Singing, she is just beginning to learn the word to songs when listening to music. When recently in the car, watching her sing along in her child seat in the back to “Soul Man” one of my Motown favourites, she beemed at the end and said “I like that snow man song” puzzled I thought about this for a moment, then realised she had replaced the word soul with snow and had been singing “I’m a snow man…”

Her art work here depicts a very flattering portrait of me. I don’t have to worry about looking too large as my body is missing completely – which suits me. Although hair on top of my head is missing, I have some amazing eyelashes, and it looks to me like she thinks I am good fun – that I have discovered is really important to me… we are best friends.

 

Grandmas portrait

We both enjoy most weekends together and get up to a very wide variety of things. We plan at the end of one weekend what we are going to try to squeeze into the next. Our efforts include baking, painting, walking, beach combing, gluing, visiting the coffee shop (myself for a coffee, her for a treat) and the latest favourite of cutting.

The joy of a granddaughter is that they know, even before trying out something new, that they can do it.

Confidence, enthusiasm and the joy of new discoveries. For example she is certain, absolutely certain, that I should take a rest and let her drive the car!

Beach combing is another favourite pass  time of ours. Endless hours, me walking, her running across the sands looking for magical shells, driftwood that may obviously have come from a pirate ship, glass that has rounded and been moulded into smooth pebbles that are safe to hold in tiny palms and store away as treasure.

“Grandmas and Grandpas are everything nice.
Like presents and candy and raspberry ice.And chocolate fudge sundaes, with cherries on top.
And popcorn and peanuts and grape soda pop.In winter or summer, in rain or in sun,
Grandmas and Grandpas are wonderful fun!!!”

-Unknown Author

My amazing granddaughter and I have many adventures and through this blog I am looking forward to sharing some of them with you.

Take a look at our great day at Windmill Farm talking to the animals and saving scrapbook photos or messy play preparations for Easter Crafts

Alternatively for a gentle retreat for mums or grandmas take a look t my Grandmas retreat – an interior mix of the vintage and modern.

 

Send for the Nurse

Imaginative play, fun learning and laughter

Children love to feel grown up and to help. When I was ill recently after a stay in hospital – where I was very well cared for, I returned home to a very eager carer. My granddaughter was ready  to look after me.

Her dedication to duty knew no bounds – armed with a stethoscope, pretend scissors, and tweezers and in full uniform I couldn’t have been in better hands!

After listening intently to her own heart beat she then went on to listen to mine. Declaring head to one side, serious expression and serious tone of voce that  I was okay, but really poorly and I needed…my hair cut!

scissor nurse

She had found the pretend scissors in the nurses kit. They were supposed to be there to pretend to cut bandages, but age 3,  she had connected them with hairdressing; fabulous!

She climbed up onto the couch and proceeded to pretend to cut my hair with the play scissors. She then listened to my heart beat again and declared me well!

She  was praised by everyone and we all laughed and I must admit that I really did feel much better:

laughter quote

Watching her at play, enjoying her imaginative role brought back memories. When very young I had also had a nurses costume, in which I had hours of role play fun. Although many things have changed over the years some things appear strangely unchanged.

When I was well again, I was thinking about her nurse role play and I took a look to see if I had remembered things correctly –  such as an old ladybird book I had as a child. Strangely enough the costume really did appear very similar, I did notice one book though that made me think. My Hero, My Dad the Nurse:

 

Things had changed. So next time when she wants to pretend, perhaps I will ask her if she is a doctor or consultant. I will let you know if at that point, when she has more responsibility, I my need my head shaving rather than just a hair cut!

For other imaginative play you might want to read our Small World Big Imagination post

Baking Fun with Fireman Sam

Baking is something that both my grand daughter and I have enjoyed most Sundays for years. In fact a decision is made every Sunday evening about what baking will take place when mu granddaughter visits the following weekend.

Sunday morning is our cooking time.

When she was very young, we used to bring her high chair into the kitchen and she would love to have her own bowl of flour that she dived into to mix. Most of the “baking time” in those days was spent after the cooking phase was over cleaning all surfaces that the flour had travelled to – mainly the floor!

Now she has reached the grand old age of three, she is a much neater baker.

She considers herself an old hand at this. Our baking time begins, once aprons are in place, with her sat on the window sill – her baking seat. She then tells me which ingredients we will need for making buns or biscuits.

Baking is a great counting opportunity – the opportunity to open up a bag of flour, sugar or icing sugar and then have sole control of the spoon to count out spoonfuls, brings endless pleasure and excitement.

As her confidence has increased she has begun to suggest more bespoke baking. On the occasion here her idea was Fireman Sam buns.

The fun began at the shop on Saturday, looking for the right colour icing and bun cases – yellow for Sam’s hat for example!!

cooking with grandma
Baking fun

 

This is our entry for the Firelabel best baking awards.

How did we do it?

Marshmallow noses, pink icing, chocolate piping and yellow bun case hats, created a Fireman Sam she was very happy with.

The two strands of hair were a part I didn’t expect her to have noticed but she had although a lot of them had hair that wasnt quite so neat!!

If you have any children’s baking to share it would be great to see it.

Continue reading at Send for the nurse

childrens best baking runner up award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why not make a snowcat? #snow

For those of you who have young children, the snow this weekend was probably a chance to get creative outside. Here are a few of our snow fun ideas that we wanted to share with you:

close cat snow photo

If you are venturing out into the cold layer up and don’t wear your best clothes – snow is white but it can be messy! We layered up with two pairs of everything !

Then if you are going to get creative and you love cats, why not build a snow cat instead of a snowman? Mia has a new toy cat she named Snowy. Perfect inspiration for a snow sculpture. Take layers of paper out to be your creative table. Shovel the snow and pat into a round body and head, then cut out two triangles for ears. Use pompoms for eyes and nose, and pipe cleaners for mouth. At that point ask your little artist what the cat is wearing. I expected a scarf, but no Mia thought a sequined dress. So we sprinkled some sequins onto a piece of paper and Mia placed them all over the cats body. Amazing and she loved it!

playing  in snow with grandma snow cat

Next we tried jumping in the snow. For this we chose an area of snow that was white and untouched – less slippery. We counted snowjumps.

 

After that we had a small snowball fight – traditional good fun!

Then we found a garden branch and tried snow snow writing. Mia was great at writing her name and after snow writing came snow reading. With older children you could write lots of clues in the snow for them to find snow treasure.

write

Next is making footprints in the snow by marching like a dinosaur, then tip toeing like a mouse. Then walking in your own footprints or each others. Guessing what other creatures have left footprints you discover along the way – we found squirrel and cat footprints.

footprints in the snow

Last of all we decided that the birds and squirrels who live in our garden might like a treat to eat. We got lots of nuts and hid them around the garden for them to find, and threw some on the snow. That was good fun as when they landed they made a thud on the snow.

Then it was time to creep into the house and get a nice warm drink. Sitting on the windowsill watching the squirrels and birds take over the garden once more.

Going indoors now fun warmer fun at Can we get Messy or carry on playing outdoors at the beach

Let us know if you have adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Ready For Mothers Day?

Its that time of year again that Mums and Grandmas love! Happy Mothers Day Mums!!

It is similar to other festive days in that despite all good intentions of others, there will no doubt be increased preparation and work for many mums. Perhaps you have parents visiting, other you are visiting them. You may be going out to eat and be wined and dined.

Florists everywhere will be left reeling by the end of  this weekend , having made some beautiful creations to bring a smile to many a mum’s face.

For those of you planning on buying flowers for the weekend, I came across this useful article about saving the pennies read more

 

flowers boy

 

I also came across this lovely health and safety tips eBook full of great blogger tips from Sheilds. You can download a free copy here

MOTHERS DAY

Or if you like my lads have just left everything until the last minute, I saw a great blog post on Cascade of Colour – really made me laugh and very useful too read more

lads

As a grandma I am fortunate enough to have two generations to celebrate with.

What ever the day brings; relaxation, long walks, feasting or messy play with the kids:

What ever you do – have a lovely Mothers Day!

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International scrapbooking day today

 

Today it is international scrapbooking day which has brought back lots of lovely memories from my childhood!

I used to love filling A3 scrapbooks with coloured pages. My themes varies from Animals, Fashion to Greek Mythology. I filled them with cut outs, pictures I had drawn and information I found in magazines or copied from old books. I loved it and as there was no internet then, collecting these different snippets of information involved going to the library, getting magazines or comics and drawing from books.

It has inspired me to start a scrapbook with Mia. She loves animals so I think it will be an animal scrapbook. She likes cutting and sticking at the moment and ours will probably be  a paper book, but I did ponder about Pinterest.

We might do both as I do think Pinterest is like an online scrapbook and I love using it.

We will start a Pinterest board with these lovely images of our day out at a farm.

One lovely moment was when Mia began a conversation with a goat kid. She bend down hands on knees and said “Hello” – now Mia calls the other children of the same age at nursery “little kids”, so when we had explained this was a little kid she had looked rather dubious! Hello little kid”

The young animal had then made its way over towards her and she continued to ask how he was and was he having a nice day. To those who saw this the baby goat looked to all the world as if he was listening and thinking about what she was saying. Moving its head and looking intently towards her. It was a lovely moment and very sweet. If you would like to read more outdoor adventures take a look at why not build a snowcat

 

See other colder outdoor fun at Why not make a snowcat

Our favourite bedtime read

 

Can’t you sleep little bear is an all time favourite read of mine for bedtime with my grand daughter. It is really difficult to choose from so many wonderful #bedtimestories.

Reading at bedtime is a routine that I believe is really important. A fun but calming, bonding time at the end of the day.

Mia’s bedroom has a desk completely filled with beautiful children’s books. These have been gathered over her three years, but she doesn’t want to let the older ones go. Sometimes I catch her going through her very young books and reading them to herself smiling. She uses the intonation I used to use when reading these to her, and it is so lovely that she remembers this.

On world book day it is a lovely time to start a new family tradition. If you do your child as they grow will probably take not only the skill of reading but the love of reading with them.

I also let Mia see me enjoying a good book sometimes, as children do love to copy.

If you are looking for a good #bedtimestory download mummy (and grandmummy!) bloggers favourites free at Adjustable beds UK FREE DOWNLOAD

Another favourite childrens story shared here for World book Day

Being me at Hammersmith Vintage Fair

While on a weekend in London, and exploring “Whats on” I was lucky enough to discover a Vintage fair at Hammersmith – definitely commutable distance from where I was staying.

Vintage is one of my passions. This passion hasn’t diminished as I am becoming vintage myself! I have just added touring memories to touring fashion, style and collectables.

Touring memories happens when as walking around looking at accessories – I might spot a brooch or pair of vintage earings that remind me strongly of ones I saw my mum or grandma wearing when I was a small child.

A good example of this happened when I saw a bright orange glass vase that my Mum received as a present when I was a child. It wasn’t one of her favourites, but as it was a gift she displayed it in our home for many years. At some point the vase disappeared – probably as  the colour tones changed following the sixties and seventies, mellowing into the eighties.

Then touring a vintage fair I turned around and there it was – probably not the same one of course, but identical. It made me smile, that bright orange vase brought back lots of happy memories.

vintage 1