Autumnal conker wreath / Halloween wreath

We went for a walk to collect some of the conkers starting to fall to make a conker wreath.
What you will need…
Conkers
Polystyrene
Brown paint
Dressmaker pins
Thread to hang.

20130925-203750.jpg

We cut out a ring of polystyrene into a donut shape..

20130925-203902.jpg

We then painted our polystyrene ring with brown acrylic paint…

20130925-203957.jpg

Once dried I used the dressmaker pins to push into the polystyrene and attach the conkers, the kids chose where to put the conkers and I attached them…
This would be lovely on its own as a autumn themed door wreath..

20130925-204148.jpg

We then painted eyeballs onto our conkers to give it a Halloween feel, I used some white emulsion that I had kicking about in the shed and coloured acrylics for the iris and pupils.
We tied a piece of thread to hang it with.

20130925-204345.jpg

If you would like to find more ideas or follow our daily activities you can find at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725?ref=tn_tnmn

Autumnal story themed busy box.

Basing our simple busy box on one of our current favourite books we set about recreating our seasonal story.
We found a nicely sized box which I drew a picture on to reflect our story, our story was ‘Guess how much I love you Autumn’..

20130923-180134.jpg

We then took a walk in the woods to collect leaves which we placed in our box along with our book…

20130923-180307.jpg

After filling the box I closed it and left it for baby Noah to discover…

20130923-180436.jpg

Once Noah had discovered his box we read the story together & played with the leaves…

20130923-180551.jpg

20130923-180611.jpg

If you would like to find out more about our daily activities you can find us on https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725?ref=hl

LEAF ART

Autumn is mostly in full flow…

20130922-191409.jpg

Today we decided to go in search of some beautiful autumn colours and capture the moment with some leaf art.
We waited for a less windy day & set out under a cloudy sky with our umbrellas in tow.

20130922-191607.jpg

We collected leaves in the woods and headed to a patch of green to start our designs,…Elis cracked on arranging his pile…

20130922-191756.jpg

…..for a quick game of football.

20130922-191834.jpg

Before flying his handmade kite high…

20130922-191933.jpg

We had great fun and lots of fresh air and even managed to climb a few trees, we wrapped up our leaf art afternoon by riding our bikes home…

20130922-192111.jpg

If you would like to find out more or follow our daily fun then you can find us at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725?ref=hl

Boat building, cake making, minions, fine dining in Paris & totem poles…But kisses are most valued.

It seems the routine of back to school has finally been re-established this week with all children having got over their return to school bugs that seem to grace the house with start of new terms, Mila, 4 has taken to full time school like a duck to water & all the others returned like they’ve never been off. I on the other hand am finding the dynamic change within the household a little fast paced with Noah, 17 months & I spending more hours in the day as a solitary couple, it makes me observe his rapid development & transition from baby to toddler a little more carefully & uninterruptedly & his growing up is becoming more apparent from day to day. My highlight by far this week has been the realisation that although he is not able to communicate verbally yet he really does understand lots of things we say to him, he’s a proper little man in his own right and with myself becoming more aware of his understanding I find i’m talking to him in a grown up way & letting him make more of his own choices, these choices in turn fill more of my hours in the day with things that usually get carried out quickly being sometimes painstakingly drawn out, we usually manage the school run in around 15 minutes but a few times this week I’ve let him take his own direction on his little legs and our walk home from school has involved 2 steps forward & then 4 steps back & a few to each side and other directions as he finds something that catches his eye and is off!! He’s become very fond of picking up acorns from a particular spot on our route & I firmly believe he’d make a great squirrel… But above all and by absolutely far my most favourite moment with Noah this week has been his willingness to pucker up & offer kisses at every given moment, he’s quickly learning that its a valuable action to perfect & I’ve taken great joy most days repeatedly cleaning the mirrors in the household that have evidently been subject to his slobbery kissing practices..

20130921-000033.jpg

We’ve been busy…

Our week started with rain as we set out on Sunday morning with a boat building mission, not to be perturbed by the weather we collected off cuts of wood from our local sawmill, a bag of nails from the builders yard & headed to a lake in the Forest of Dean to set up our own boat builders yard, a pop up tent was our workshop & we made a sign to pin to a tree to alert others to our workspace. The kids hammered away as did the rain but we stuck with it and emerged from our workspace along with a little patch of blue skies to send our sea vessels on their maiden voyages, it was a good day although nearly a week on our wet weather gear & boats still accommodate the footwells of the car…. car cleaning is really not my forte although I found myself quite a dab hand at joinery 🙂

20130921-000845.jpg

20130921-000914.jpg

Whilst in the forest we searched for signs of Autumn & returned home with pockets full of autumnal loot, we couldn’t resist playing around with our sharpie marker pens & personalising our treasures. A treasure of our day in the form of a natural family portrait now abides by the t.v….

Us… au natrual

20130921-001506.jpg

Sponge cakes…

This week also saw some deliciously pleasing to the eye & beautifully sweet cake making within the house, with the aid of old sponges that we had lying about Eden set about with her scissors & little girls imagination to make her own sponge cakes. They turned out delightfully pretty and she was very proud of her pretend baking skills….

20130921-001827.jpg

I once again turned my hand to healthy hearty breakfasts this week and was so on the ball with school runs and organisation that I found myself sharpie markering our morning eggs alongside my morning brew, having never personally watched Despicable Me the kids were pretty chuffed at my efforts to present them with a few minions… I will get around to watching it one day 🙂

Boiled, soft, hard or alternatively with a smile thrown in….

20130921-002208.jpg

I also found this week with all children apart from Noah in full time school I had a little time to myself during afternoon naps, I opted not to do obligatory housework (I’d accomplished the basics and everyone had clean pants and food on the table!) and instead filled some of my me time trying to find ways to enhance the little people’s educational activities on their return home, I opted to throw the washing in the drier & make a different use of our pegs with an alphabetic matching wheel using a paper plate, it was used well but I now find myself finding random alphabetical pegs in different locations, mainly underfoot when I least expect it.

20130921-002905.jpg

Play dates & European traveling…

Thursday we had extra little people in the house with an after school play date, I don’t usually do activities for play dates as I feel it’s a time for the kids to be completely themselves and the importance of being able to play freely & fluently, I believe, is an important part of the kids learning by themselves how to forge relationships, aquire social skills & grow their own imagination and creativity, it’s also a sure way of almost instantaneously turning the house into something resembling an upside down snow globe that’s on a continuos shake motion, EVERYTHING was taken out and rapidly abandoned before moving onto the next target, it was a big clean up operation… I couldn’t resist a little scene setting though so the little ladies were whisked off to dine in style in a Parisian restaurant i’d set up in the kitchen. It was simply a cardboard window with a painted view and a laden coffee table..

20130921-004047.jpg

Our week finished much the way it had started, outside in the fresh air. We’d found an inner cardboard tube to a roll of carpet on our travels & dragged it home, like you do. With a splash of colour we turned our tube into a totem pole…. I’d decided that I wanted to use our totem pole as a team building exercise so had a plan to not only get the kids to paint the design I had drawn but also have them carry it to the top of a huge hill, together, and place it as the sun set, together, and then roll, throw and drag it back down the hill in the dark, together. We giggled, shouted, pulled pushed & tussled, together……

20130921-004725.jpg

20130921-004735.jpg

Our week was a good one, relatively plain sailing & a very pleasant transition into full time school & autumn weather….the colours are rapidly changing in the trees & the kids are flourishing more and more each day, but with the addition of kisses their growth is accepted with a bit more ease…

If you would like to find out more about what we’ve been up to or follow our daily shenanigans you can do so by joining us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725?ref=hl

Summers over, autumn begins & another one ventures further from the nest….

Well, once the sunshine fully hit & the kids finished school I abandoned the blog to enable us to adventure through the summer holidays without having to put my brain to blog writing, as some of you may know blog writing is a path I started a while ago but seemingly didn’t tred too well. So now with the children back in school & baby Noah & I left alone I’m able to try and pick it back up again & spend some time & thought on my posts during afternoon nap times…. That’s the plan, putting it into action & seeing it through will be another matter… But I’m gonna give it a go.
20130912-105457.jpg

How did our summer go….
Summer was filled with an overload of memories, adventures, up, downs, moments of elation & dysfunctional household running. We trod the days very well, explored the great outdoors just a little away from our doorstep & managed to come out the other side and reemerge into September generally unscathed & successfully with buckets loads of memories in tow…
Our summer saw lots of the outdoors, cheap natural activities & a lot of fuel in the car… Our Facebook page grew at an alarming rate as we reunited a lost cuddly bunny with its little girl & Family Days was thrown overnight into its 15 minutes of fame. The bunny traveled home after a few adventures with us & we were inundated with new interest on our Facebook page, it seems in retrospect that our unexpected dealings with a well loved comforter resulted in lots of people joining us & sticking around to share in what we do…. Which is nice. My worry at one stage was that people were seemingly being drawn in for the adventures of Pink bunny without realising that we were Family Days long before we picked up pink bunny & remained as Family Days once Pink Bunny had been reunited. Pink bunny was just an addition along for the ride & thankfully we had beautiful support from our old followers & also from lots of new ones whom seemed to slot in on the page comfortably & happily in a instant … It’s been a very pleasant surprise to us that all that hooked up with us as a result of the little chappies plight to be reunited seem to have stuck around, seen us for who we are & most importantly are staying willingly for the ride that we continue on.
20130912-105736.jpg

20130912-110007.jpg

What memories did we make?…
We’ve achieved so much in the break that logging it all here with one post will just not happen so I think that I may use the blog as a library to revist some of the adventures we’ve had & write a little more as to how we achieved our activities individually over time. We’ve panned for gold, hunted for prehistoric creatures, searched for sea dragons, discovered geological precious gems, found pearl filled seashells & pirate treasure chest. I’ve thrown imagination, magic & slight of hand into lots of things & managed to gets some beautiful results & install some lovely enchantment into the minds of the little people in the house… Alongside all things fluffy, magical & sparkly we’ve also had lots of gross fun and messy play, we’ve been plagued by pranks, made fake dog poo, and embarked on some great themed box making for baby Noah.
We haven’t forgot the education though & subtly thrown it into some things we’ve done, we braved a festival, had an Antarctic themed day, an etiquette day, a stranger danger day & learnt how some people face daily barriers with some role play scenarios to discover how others overcome disability, we had an experience of being blind & of being deaf.
20130912-111135.jpg20130912-111311.jpg20130912-111342.jpg20130912-111424.jpg

And we didn’t forget our natural mucky muddy deliciously outdoorsy outside play 🙂 we wild camped, built tipis, damns, rafts, bridges & dens, climbed mountains, gazed at the stars, climbed trees, hunted for fossils & slid down grassy banks on lilo’s in the rain covered in baby oil, we even rolled down hills inside waterbutts filled with cushions…. We’ve taken risks & quite often thrown away health & safety to venture with some traditional risky play. We’ve had bruised knees, plasters, knocks & bangs, & tears shed but always got up with a smile & often sadistic giggles.

20130912-111708.jpg20130912-111754.jpg

We’ve absorbed lots of natural beauty too, seen sunrises & sunsets & embraced the rain, danced under waterfalls & spent lots of time sleeping on return journeys in the car whilst dribbling with mud laden knees.

20130912-112259.jpg

20130912-112201.jpg

But overall we’ve been happy most of the time, we’ve been together & most importantly we’ve spent virtually nothing in all that we’ve done.

So that’s it really, sounds good doesn’t it? I neglect on this occasion to mention the arguments, fights, bickering, failed trips, housework, footwells of the car over bursting with junk, the fights to get the kids in the bath & apologies to the neighbours for the dysfunction that spills over the fence, the stupid amounts of bills that take priority over fun sometimes & sometimes not 😉 the mountainous wash basket that I rarely summit & my completely ridiculous lack of organisation skills & my bug bare at the current price of food shopping and ongoing battle to stop the kids grazing…. But that’s life isn’t it? I’m sure if you’ve followed us by now you should know there’s plenty of downs to go with the ups…

Summer has been good.

Hello Autumn 🙂

If you’d like to peek at our daily trials tribulation & normality within the household then please check out our https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725?ref=hl, it’s where it all started & where it all continues… We’d love to have you come & share the fun with us.