REDISCOVERING SEA DRAGON EGGS.

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We discovered sea dragon eggs once before and couldn’t believe our luck when we stumbled over them once again!

Here’s how we got on…

I secretly painted a hard boiled duck egg with sparkly nail varnish and when the kids weren’t looking I placed it in a nest made of seaweed in a small cove along the coast…

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I made some dragon footprints leading from the sea shore to the nest..

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I then sat on the picnic blanket whilst the kids set out to beach comb…

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And then they reappeared from the rocks clutching something…

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It was a dragons egg!!!

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We examined it…

20140728-123238-45158897.jpgand sniffed it…

20140728-123301-45181502.jpgand Mila took me to see the dragon footprints they’d found..

20140728-123338-45218000.jpgNoah gave the it once over too…
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Who’d of thought that we’d stumble over dragon eggs again ;-)

SEA DRAGONS

20140721-165021-60621220.jpgDid you know that sea dragons come from the sea on beautiful summer days hiding in the haze of sea mist? They lay their eggs upon the crests of waves that lap against the shore.
These eggs are elusive, and if you are lucky enough you may stumble upon them.
If you are lucky enough to find these elusive and sparkling eggs treat them with care and throw them back into the waves….

We found some sea dragon eggs.

(Shhhhhh… I made our dragon eggs using Jawbreakers and nail varnish and with a dose of slight of hand bought the magic alive)

Here’s how I did it….

I started by given a few jaw breakers a few coats of sparkly nail varnish…

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20140721-165407-60847490.jpgwith the aid of a cut sponge and slight of hand I made some dragon tracks…

20140721-165511-60911967.jpgI told Mila about the sea dragons, their elusiveness & how if we looked really carefully we may find traces of them…she picked out things she thought may be evidence…

20140721-165641-61001801.jpgand sure enough with a little gentle guidance she stumbled upon dragon footprints…

20140721-165735-61055434.jpgI lay our eggs in wait as everyone played in the sea with an underlying hope of glimpsing a sea dragon..

20140721-165837-61117355.jpgThe eggs lay where the crest of the waves meets the sun kissed shoreline…

I waited and watched as Mila came out of the sea…

20140721-165955-61195259.jpgand then she stumbled upon the strange sparkly blue eggs…

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20140721-170108-61268393.jpgshe listened to them and said she could hear popping…. DRAGON BABIES LEARNING TO SPOUT WATER!!…

20140721-170219-61339165.jpgI lay some more but they were left undiscovered…

20140721-170305-61385316.jpgwe made pictures in the sand of what we thought a water breathing sea dragon would look like..

20140721-170453-61493235.jpgwe kept our sea dragon eggs for the afternoon and then decided to return to the shore and throw them back into the crests of the waves….

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It was a magical find and we’ll remember our discovery of sea dragons forever…

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FAMILY DAYS FOLLOWERS SUMMER BOREDOM JAR

We asked our Family Days followers to pool together to fill our ultimate boredom jar to see us through the school holidays…Here’s the summer fun bucket list that you guys put together!! Our jar’s certainly overflowing with fun! There’s enough ideas to last through the holidays twice over!

Thank you to everyone for these fab ideas that won’t break the bank but will keep the kids entertained and amused come rain or shine.

Now all we need to do is find a jar big enough to fit all our ideas into :-)20140716-120843-43723884.jpg20140716-120859-43739620.jpg

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Thank you to all those who threw ideas into the pot! Have a fantastic and fun filled summer!
For more ideas find us https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725?ref=hl&ref_type=bookmark
And Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/familydays/

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70 FAMILY DAYS SUMMER FUN IDEAS

Here’s another of our tried & tested lists of fun things to do!
This will keep you going through the summer whatever the weather..

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1…Have tea on the sofa!

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2.Make your own tree folk in the woods.

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3.Build your own tipi with sticks & a length of fabric.

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4.Make your own fun pizzas.

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5.Make an edible table football with a box, skewers & jelly babies.

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6.Make cut grass nests.

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7.Identify nut bearing trees ready to return in the autumn.

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8.Make cork sail boats.

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9.Make a matchbox art box.

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10.make your own milk bottle top paint palettes.

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11.Make hand soap flower cubes.

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12.Make fairy donuts for the garden fairies using Cheerios and icing.

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13.Have a pop up camping night in the living room.

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14.Have your own spa day outside.

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15.Make your own non spill bubble pot using a Pringles can.

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16.Go for an early morning walk to watch the day begin.

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17. Have a picnic breakfast.

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18.Take some chalk to the beach.

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19. Make a low washing line and have a laundry day.

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20.Make your own outdoor Playstations. Drawing, Lego or make up.

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21.Have a duvet day by taking out storage boxes and blankets to make a bed.

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22.Fly carrier bag kites.

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23.Make sponge cakes.

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24. create your own framed beach art.

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25.Watch trains go by.

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26.Take an empty picture frame out on your travels.

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27.Carve your own toadstools and paint with nail varnish.

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28.Take a rake to the beach and make footprints.

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29.Make a glow in the dark swingball by attaching glow sticks to the string with tape or pull ties.

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30.Build your own stick birds nest.

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31.Make some fabric fairy/butterfly wings.

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32.Make a shower curtain water slide.

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33.Make a toy wash station.

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34.Make camping reading lights by putting head torches on water filled milk cartons.

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35.Walk barefoot through daisies.

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36 have your own rap battle, scene set with decorated boxes.

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37. make a moth attractor and shadow charade sheet by hanging a sheet up and back lighting it.

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38. Make a moth attracting lamp using a water filled milk carton and back lighting it.

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39.Cook your own popcorn using kernels.

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40. make a tree stump bird table.

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41.Pan for gold using spray painted gravel.

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42. Make fairy shell houses by decorating shells.

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43.Make a reading hammock with a length of fabric.

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44.Go on a bike ride.

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45.Make an indoor sandpit.

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46.Make a cress hedgehog.

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47. Do a penny search in the grass.

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48.Go hunting for evidence of fairies.

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49.Make a shell mobile.

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50.Make your own picnic pots.

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51.Make a sheet den by hanging a sheet over a branch.

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52.Have a spring clean day using spray bottle filled with water.

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53. Decorate plain paper lanterns from Poundland.

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54.Make a milk carton ribbon wind sock.

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55.Go on a bear hunt.

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56.Make an outdoor discovery table to put on every thing you collect.

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57.Create a washing up station outside.

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58. Go to the park in the dark.

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59.Make a trip wire assault course using string.

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60.Make an undertable library.

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61.Search for fairy evidence (secretly sprinkle fairy dust for the kids to discover)

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62.Make you’re own chocolate pizzas and top with sweeties.

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63. Build boats with off cuts of wood and a bag of nails.

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64. Watch the sun set.

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65.Go on a nocturnal neighbourhood hedgehog spotting walk.

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66.Go on a colours of the rainbow hunt.

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67.Visit a pick your own farm and cook with what you pick.

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68.Make your own out door art exhibition.

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69.Go lilo surfing in the rain.

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70.Eat plenty of chocolate spread and peanut butter teddy bear toast.

And don’t forget the budget! Give them their own holiday treats budget to stop them trawling though the cupboards and tell them that when it’s gone it’s gone!!!

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ENJOY THE SUMMER :-)

BUBBLE BLOWING IN THE SKY ON SUGARLOAF MOUNTAIN

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Today we decided to head for the hills under a beautiful blue sky, we took a huge tub of bubbles, some yummies & a flask of tea. We headed to Sugarloaf mountain in Abergavenny.
Our walk was relatively easy but quite rocky & steep under foot in places. Our route was approximately 4 miles from start to finish & took us around 3.5 hours with lots of stop offs on the way up to enjoy the view, catch our breath & bask in the glorious sunshine. The colours of summer were out in full force.

We headed up the hill from the car park & walked with the mountain in our view winding our way up on several different well defined paths.
Once at the top we spent some time blowing bubbles before heading back down.

Always take plenty of water & some warm clothing as it can be quite windy on the top…this is a great walk but also one that gets the stamina racing in places.

(We started our walk from Llanwenarth car park (NP7) SO268166.
By car: From the west follow the A40. Just before you reach Abergavenny, and just after the Lamb and Flag pub, turn left where the Sugarloaf Vineyards are signposted. Take the first left and follow the road up. Turn left again and the road bends sharply round to the right. Continue uphill until you come to a very sharp left turn. Follow this bend round and take the right-hand fork shortly after. Continue along this road, past some small parking areas, until you reach the main tarmac car park with stone trig point. From the east follow the A40 out of Abergavenny and turn right following the signs for Sugarloaf Vineyards. Follow instructions above.)

Here’s his our walk looked…

20140709-190602-68762242.jpgwe started with a gorgeous view in the carpark.

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20140709-190723-68843728.jpgNoah got a speed on following a beetle… There were lots of shiny electric blue beetles.

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20140709-191055-69055667.jpgwe found a huge bolder which we thought was the fist of an enormous giant turned to stone during a mountain top battle of territory..

20140709-191232-69152858.jpgwe found feathers which were particularly tickly on the ears

20140709-191514-69314533.jpgas we got to the top the rocks became bigger..they were great to explore

20140709-191704-69424842.jpgwe spent some time blowing bubbles

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20140709-191759-69479230.jpgNoah also spent some time taming a prehistoric rock dinosaur

20140709-191925-69565973.jpgafter the dinosaur was defeated we climbed to the summit..

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20140709-192044-69644253.jpgit was quite breezy…

20140709-192129-69689654.jpgafter taking in the beautiful 360 views we headed back down on the path that was clearly defined and visible from the top..

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20140709-192403-69843649.jpgwe made sure we took the time to turn around to look with awe at where we had walked..

20140709-192510-69910415.jpgwe stopped to watch the farmers herding their mountain sheep on their horses.

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20140709-192643-70003975.jpgthe colours today were truly stunning and offered a real glimpse of summer..

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20140709-192743-70063245.jpgNoah enjoyed a kip on the way down..

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20140709-192857-70137313.jpgSugarloaf is a beautiful mountain & one of our favourites in all seasons. Today the blue sky made it even more so gorgeous.

OCEAN VIEW OUTDOOR SPA

After returning from a week at a festival we decided we needed a little restoration & recovery time, so we collected up some things to make our own treatment couch & beach spa & headed for the ocean to cleanse & lift our souls…

We used two strong plastic storage boxes to carry what we needed and once at the beach we lay these side by side and covered them with towels to make our spa couch, we set up next to a sea water rock pool that would act as one of our treatments.
With a quick stop off at Tesco for supplies we headed on down to Rest Bay with a cool box of yummies & ice….

Here’s how we got on.

First we made a treatment sign..

20140701-203630-74190283.jpgthen we found a beautiful spot to set up..

20140701-203706-74226820.jpgwe used some pebbles which we wrote on with sharpie marker pens that were warmed by the sun, we placed them on our muscles and relaxed to absorb and top up our zap, enthusiasm, sparkle, flow, energy and get up and go..

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20140701-204034-74434433.jpgwe placed refreshing cucumber on our eyes..

20140701-204112-74472889.jpgwe made some refreshing lemonade with sparkling water, lemons & sugar.

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20140701-204409-74649734.jpgwe had bubble gun splash treatments to gentle tingle our senses

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We treated ourselves to some deep cool sand body wraps..

20140701-205045-75045944.jpgwe turned a rock pool into an invigorating ice cube deep chill auto awakening pool..

20140701-205252-75172989.jpgwe put our feet in and filled it with ice..

20140701-205338-75218646.jpgeveryone took turns to have a treatment..

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20140701-205418-75258312.jpgwe finished wish plenty of refreshing paddling in the sea and some fruit!

20140701-205521-75321228.jpgeveryone loved the outdoor spa and we all returned home refreshed by the sea breeze and cleansed inside and out :-)

SHOWER CURTAIN WATER SLIDING…

We wanted to make our own water slide so we took an old shower curtain, some baby bubble bath, some tent pegs & a camping container full of water to a grassy bank…
We put the sheet on the bank and secured it in the corners using tent pegs making sure they were not protruding out at all. With a few good squirts of our baby bubble bath & some water thrown over we were good to go!!!

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It was fab slippy sliddy fun perfect for a summers day!!

BALLOON ROULETTE OBSTACLE COURSE

We decided we wanted to make our own fun wet & messy obstacle course in the woods…
Here’s what we did…

First we prepped everything we would need…

20140622-093106-34266238.jpgwe filled some balloons with flour..

20140622-093141-34301260.jpgand some with Jelli bath gunge..

20140622-093212-34332919.jpgwe made a sign of simple instructions..

20140622-093244-34364844.jpgwe collected some water guns for our target shooting part of the course..

20140622-093328-34408618.jpgsome cushions became a pit of hot lava and we used rope that we’d swing across it..

20140622-093425-34465144.jpgwe took an old plastic shower curtain with some soap to make a slippy sliddy scramble obstacle.

With everything put together we used a wheelbarrow to take it to the woods, not forgetting to take a container of water too!…

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With everything set up the fun began!!!! It was wet, messy & gungy….

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We used string to make a line to hang our balloons from..

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It was loads of fun, we headed home ready fora good hose down!

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TOY WASH STATION

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We decided that the toys needed a bit of pampering so we set up our own toy wash station.
I gathered up what I had around the house, I filled some empty bottles with diluted bubble bath mixture & cut up an old towel to make several smaller ones, I gathered a small bar of soap, some cotton wool, old toothbrushes, a sponge and hairbrush.
Finally I used some garden string to make a washing line.
Here’s how we got on!

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20140612-162829.jpgOnce all was put out the kids were let loose to wash, scrub, primp & preen til their hands were wrinkly from the water & their toys were sparkly..

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20140612-163049.jpgWe had great fun and all the toys had a good scrub!

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RSPB BIG WILD SLEEPOUT

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This week Family Days were contacted by the RSPB…which is fantastic to of been thought of.
We were asked if we would do a ‘Big Wild Sleepout’ specifically for the RSPB & post how we got on. We accepted this with pleasure….Eeeeeek.

We were not given any specific guidelines or needs, the only ask was that we have a ‘Big Wild Sleepout’…. So, how we did this, was entirely up to us.

Apart from checking what I was getting myself into I didn’t do much homework for the job, but it was decided that it should signify a lovely time that is achievable, affordable & reasonably effortless & something that would show what we have under our noses when we think about it a little…
I could of chosen the location as the mountains, a field or wood, or just generally somewhere beautiful but I wanted to show what can be done in your own back garden and more so to the point in a small back garden with limited shrubbery & astro turf…wildlife is everywhere, & here at FD we are no strangers to making use of our surroundings whatever they may be we always find nature.
I didn’t weigh too heavily on my plans of what we were going to do and wanted to keep it simple but very effective both in memories, a little educating & the adventure….. our ultimate goal was family fun.

Initially I decided to throw up the pop up tent but after putting more thought into it I also wanted to show that you actually don’t need a tent….. We used the kitchen table to show versatility and fun in den building but also at the same time used it as a tool to open discussion with the kids about animal homes, our kitchen table then became a ‘snug as a bug lair’…..(the table, a curtain thrown over, an air bed underneath, cushions & blankies)….we did throw a pop up tent next to it as rain was forecast for the early hours of the morning….our kitchen table tent was by no means waterproof.

We used a sheet blacked out with paint just leaving a moon which we hung on the washing line to become a ‘moth attractor’, it also doubled up to play a game of shadow charades and dancing in the moonlight… I painted this myself purely to save on time because our sleepover was on a school day……A simple sheet hanging & backlit by a window was so much fun, versatile and mega effective once it got dark but also great in the sunshine!
We made a Moth restaurant using a water filled milk carton and a torch, we watered down treacle for the moths to sup on but you can make a really delicious treat for them with a moth food recipe and make your restaurant a’la carte (Details on the RSPB website)…we also hung jars in the trees with battery operated tea lights inside to attract the moths, you could spend more time decorating these.
We made some simple bird feeders by hanging pretty porcelain cups from the charity shop with string in trees and filling with bird seed or water, we went on a twilight & nocturnal bug hunt, read stories & chilled. The smallest members of the family were fooled into thinking an owl was in the garden whilst mr FD stood outside the tent throwing his voice with owl hooting hands.

For food we cooked pop corn inbetween two sieves over the fire using kernels and had the obligatory cheese and pineapple hedgehog….. along with a takeaway curry :-)

It was a good evening, everyone went to sleep and the rain came around 3 in the morning, this didn’t really bother them much as they were all still sleeping like babies but the kitchen table tent was not designed as a boat and feet were sticking out of the end too so I woke them up and moved them to the living room inside.

After a couple of hours kip I relocated the pop up tent into the living room in time for them to crawl back into when they awoke to eat breakfast.

As part of our ‘Big Wild Sleepout’ we’d intended to go for a walk as the sun came up to watch everything around us waking up & enjoy the dawn chorus. As there was no sun to keep us company we plan to do this when the sun returns.

We would like to thank the RSPB for contacting us & we hope they enjoy our FD Big Wild Sleepout as much as we did….

We would very much appreciate to hear any thoughts, comments or views you have regarding our camp out, and I’m sure if the RSPB are sat on the sidelines they would like to see what you guys think too.

That’s our exciting news, & is certainly a step in the right direction for us and makes us feel proud that we’ve had the opportunity to inspire more people with our grasping what’s around you & making simplicity magical ethos.

Sleep outs rock, raining, cricks in the neck, slugs and all…

Anyway…here’s how we got on…20140607-201101.jpg20140607-201114.jpg20140607-201124.jpg20140607-201134.jpg20140607-201146.jpg20140607-201201.jpg20140607-201215.jpg20140607-201224.jpg20140607-201237.jpg20140607-201244.jpg20140607-201252.jpg20140607-201318.jpg20140607-201332.jpg20140607-201343.jpg20140607-201353.jpg20140607-201415.jpg20140607-201425.jpg
After our bug hunt we made our tea cup bird feeders..20140607-201558.jpgAnd then gave the popcorn a go..20140607-201630.jpg20140607-201637.jpg20140607-201651.jpg20140607-201657.jpg
Mila read wildlife stories to the dinosaurs..20140607-201805.jpg
20140607-201855.jpgThen we had tea in our snug as a bug lair..20140607-201943.jpg
We put out our moth attractors20140607-202025.jpg20140607-202107.jpg20140607-202114.jpgInvestigated a rustling in the bushes..20140607-202223.jpg
Once it started to get dark we played shadow charades..20140607-202421.jpg

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After playing charades it was time to with hot chocolate..

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Before climbing into our outside lairs to settle down..

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We had loads of fun and can’t wait to do it again!

The RSPB Big Wild Sleepout takes place from the 16-22 June & anyone can get involved. #BigWildSleepout
Find more info at http://www.rspb.org.uk/thingstodo/sleepout/