What to do with your little treasure’s treasure.

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Look what I found in my little boy’s school pockets when I was doing the school uniform wash.  It always brings a smile to my face. This is his treasure, each item special to him, worth picking up and stowing in his shorts pockets.

 

May he always have such awe and wonder throughout his life!

 

It reminded me of a really sweet idea I came across a while ago on Pinterest, where a mother had saved all her sons things from his pockets over the years, made a lamp stand from it and the presented it to him as an adult, click here to see it: Little treasure’s treasure

 

Now that’s cute, don’t you think?

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School holiday fun

If you have young ones this summer holiday, my hope for you is to enjoy your children whilst maintaining some balance.

I’ve started gathering together ideas for the school holidays.  Things to do together, independent activities and things to do when it’s raining.  I will be adding to it regularly. Click here to follow the link: Pinterest school holiday ideas

Last weekend we sat down and made a note of all our summer holiday ideas for this year. We’ve probably got loads more but after approximately six minutes our children were literally upside down on the sofa, as their attention had waned and it was time to move on!

summer holliday mind map

We’ve decided to trial spending mornings together (so children and adult(s) doing activities together) and then afternoons spent independently with children doing independent or ‘child only’ activities, giving me (and my husband if he’s home) time to do other things. This is if we are not going out for the day or having friends over, on those days we’ll just go with the flow.  This morning/afternoon idea is only really possible if you have slightly older children obviously.  When mine were younger it was all consuming and tiring, but looking back it was so worth it. They are amazing, with such fabulous imaginations just waiting to be sparked!

If you decide to do a mind map of ideas like we did, think back to your most favourite childhood summer holiday activities for inspiration for the together time.

To help our children to become a bit more independent with their free time and to develop their problem solving skills (“I’m bored, what can I do?”) we decided to make a long list of ideas for this independent time, they found this really easy and got quite excited about it, we’ve put it on the wall and they’ve referred back to it twice today already, here’s the list:

list of independent children's activities

In our together time this morning we chose to do:

Acrylic painting of pebbles (yet to be finished)

painted pebbles by children

N.B If you do choose to do this, bear in mind the following:

  • acrylic paint is oil based and hard to wash off, outside is ideal
  • use disposable containers for the paint pots or a paper plate to mix it on, as I said it won’t wash off well
  • this activity is a two step process, you’ll need to paint the base colour one day and then add other colours another day to allow for the paint to dry or it will smudge (mine were frustrated when the colours smudged) so let them know they won’t have their finished product straight away

Den Building 

children's den in the garden

We’ve gathered old blankets and have a dedicated stash of old pegs all kept in a big box in the garage for times when den building calls! (Pip’s got an little old book shelf in his for his ‘shoe rack’ he keeps asking for my shoes every time I go in). We’ve just had our mid afternoon snack in their together, they loved it.

Nurture your children but don’t forget yourself or you’ll end up like I did by the end of last summer holidays – at the end of my tether, shattered and feeling more than a little demotivated due to the lack of personal creative outlet/satisfaction!  Let’s see how this one goes…

 

For places to visit and things to do in Harrogate see my fellow bloggers excellent site: Harrogate Mama she’s researched loads and it’s really informative.

 

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How do you communicate with your children?

What are all the different ways we can communicate with each other?  Speaking is just one way isn’t it?  There’s:

body language

gesture

facial expression

sign language

writing

any more?

I read somewhere a while ago that we should try writing a note for our children as an alternative to speaking, especially if that method isn’t working, we may sound like a nag (apparently) or just be sick of asking and being ignored.  Also sometimes people don’t respond well to being told (out loud) either.

Well in our home, we have recently have decided to crack down on the fact that our mini me’s take a bowl full cereal in the morning and ALWAYS leave some in the bottom as well as milk.  We’ve tried incentives in the past to help them not do this any more but it’s carried on.  So now, even though it sounds harsh, we fine them 50p if they leave any whilst continually saying “only take what you know you can eat”.

So far they’ve each had to pay a fine (bless) but it does seem to be working.

Anyway, this week, we’re running low on cereal and I did the weekly shop yesterday.  I’m strictly only shopping once a week now unless absolutely necessary (in an attempt to control the shopping bill).  So I decided to make some home made granola this morning (as we have loads of oats).  It does take a while but I carried out the various stages in and around all the other jobs I needed to get done in the house today.

When I finally poured it into the container, I decided to write a note to my children on top of it:

a tupperware container containing homemade granola with a note saying Dear Pip and Flo please only take what you can eat this took me ages to make thank you mummy

 

We’ll see what the response is, I’ll let you know…

What do you think?  Have you tried writing a note?  It doesn’t have to be a request either, it could be a simple ‘affection note’ on your child’s pillow, telling them why you love them or what is special about them. (Think about how nice it is to spontaneously receive a lovely note yourself – really nurturing).

Who’s daring enough to leave me comment?  Stick your head above the parapet…

(If you do leave a comment, it may seem to disappear temporarily but this is only while it is checked (spam and all that) but fear not, it will re appear soon and it will COUNT!)  Thank you.

 

the letters of my name Fiona in order to sign off