SNOW FUN INDOORS & OUT

Embrace the snow with some activities to keep the kids busy both inside and out!
Bring in a tray of snow for the smallest members of the family to explore..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0175.jpgor to try your hand at snow sculpting

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0176.jpghead out with some pots of water mixed with food colouring to do some snow painting..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0179.jpgmake snow man blush by filling a spray bottle with water and a few drops of food colouring..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0178.jpgavoid snowballs in the ears by making some paper targets to peg on the washing line..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0177.jpgtry freezing some bubbles!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0184.jpgor make some beautiful ice lanterns..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0181.jpgor some colourful icy bird feeders..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0180.jpgand if it all gets a bit cold how about heading indoors with some snowmen in jars to have a thawing experiment? Place them in different places to see where they thaw fastest..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0187.jpgyou could make an igloo with sugar cubes

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0186.jpgand if it all gets a bit much then snuggle down in your own under table snow den..

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/da9/50259951/files/2014/12/img_0183.jpgwith some simple snowman cups filled with ice cream or hot chocolate..

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GIANT TOBLERONE TEAMWORK & OUTDOOR ARTIST ADVENTURING.

IMG_5124.JPGFor todays festive adventuring we decided we were going to become outdoor artists specialising in sculpture and portrait painting.
What better way to try our hand at sculpture than involving an essential of christmas…Toblerone….but on a giant scale πŸ™‚
Our aim was to take our prebuilt 8ft chocolate bar to the top of a hill as a team building exercise for the kids…they built it, they carried it and they tussled with it in the wind until we were 4 triangles down and a roll of tin foil lighter! (Which we did retrieve)
We then headed to the beach for the afternoon laden with paintbrushes and paint, we had a quick stop off at The Works for an easel & an artist pad…(Β£9.99 for the easel but money well spent as it folds down flat for the car and will be used again & again in future adventures….perfect for the mountains!)

Here’s how we got on…

We used sheets of cardboard to make our triangles which we then wrapped in paper ready to paint brown..IMG_5138.JPGwe attached our triangles to a piece of board (an old cupboard backing) using a glue gun and duct tape. Once secured we painted brown and wrapped a few triangles in tin foil…

IMG_5139.JPGso we were ready! We woke up to a cloud of misty rain and wind but decided to brave it and headed out with our Toblerone in tow..

IMG_5121.JPGThe big kids bonded with no option whilst carrying the bar whilst the smaller kids carried their own triangles..

IMG_5122.JPGIt took us 20 minutes to reach the top of the hill, we had a few cross words which were amusing to watch happening underneath a giant chocolate bar but ample giggles as the wind nearly took them off a few times πŸ™‚
But we made it and worked up a big appetite…

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We kicked about up the top pleased at ourselves for our chocolately achievement whilst the wind battered us and the rain came in..

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IMG_5127.JPG…before deciding to head back down whilst we still had a few triangles left..

IMG_5128.JPGwith a good bit of excercise partaken in our sculputre mission we took our Toblerone back home and grabbed some paint supplies and a flask of hot chocolate and headed to the beach for some seaside chippies, some sea air and a spot of portrait painting…
With a quick stop off in town we picked up some squirty cream for our hot chocolate and a nice sturdy easel to stop our art blowing away from The Works.

IMG_5136.JPGand after a car journey of bickering we set about painting each other in a good light….in fact it was a beautiful light as the sun went down πŸ˜‰

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IMG_5130.JPGMila painted Eden..

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IMG_5131.JPGwith the rosiest cheeks…

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IMG_5133.JPGshe was a very proud artist πŸ™‚

IMG_5135.JPGthey all did a fab job and produced some beautiful original works that will hang well on the wall and last a lifetime in the memory bank…

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FESTIVE CRACKER HUNT & SPROUT POTTING

IMG_0027.JPGwe headed to the woods for a festive picnic, some cracker hunting, a spot of sprout potting & some whipping up of some reindeer food..
Here’s how we got on…

IMG_0023.JPGwe took with us a few boxes of crackers…

IMG_0024.JPGand a festive tipple! It is Christmas after all..

IMG_0026.JPGwe took with us a cake which we covered with carrots that were to be left for the woodland reindeer to feast on…

IMG_0028.JPGthe kids enjoyed milk and cookies whilst I disappeared to hide the crackers..

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IMG_0022.PNGand then they were off!!

IMG_0032.JPGthey had to find four crackers each before returning to the table so everybody got a chance..

IMG_0033.JPGthey all gathered in a pulling frenzy!

IMG_0034.JPGand we read the jokes..

IMG_0035.JPGsome of us wore hats…and others didn’t πŸ™‚

IMG_0037.JPGwe then gathered up our sprouts for a game of sprout potting

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IMG_0040.JPGwhich eventually turned into a game of muddy sprout paintball type human target practice..it got messy

IMG_0041.JPGand there were casualties πŸ™‚
After our game we calmed down with some sedate reindeer food making..we mixed porridge oats with glitter

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IMG_0043.JPGand we popped it all into an air tight container ready to sprinkle Christmas Eve

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CHOCOLATE CRISPY CAKE FESTIVE WREATH

We decided to make a yummy edible wreath from chocolate crispy cakes!
Here’s how we did it…

We used
1/4 box of cornflakes
2 bars of milk chocolate
Additional sweeties for decoration
Ribbon to hang
Greaseproof paper

IMG_5064.JPGwe cut out a round of greaseproof paper and placed it on a tray (our tray was a pizza baking tray)

IMG_5063.JPGplace a bowl in the middle of the paper..

IMG_5062.JPGwe then melted our ️️chocolate by placing it in a pan over simmering water

IMG_5061.JPGonce melted we stirred in the cornflakes and scooped them onto our greaseproof paper

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IMG_5059.JPGwe added our sweeties to make our holly berries and leaves

IMG_5058.JPGand we placed it in the fridge to set

IMG_5057.JPGonce it had hardened up we carefully took it off the greaseproof paper and tied ribbon to hang..

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ADVENT ADVENTURING/ FESTIVE WREATH & FOREST TREE DECORATING

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We were set a challenge to make a festive wreath by our friends over at ‘Mum in the Mad house’….so we accepted….
We’ve never made a real wreath as an activity before so thought we’d give it a crack…..the perfect opportunity for an adventure.
We decided to head to the forest for a festive afternoon to search out the ideal tree to decorate for our appreciation of the Christmas trees home and to leave the woods nice and sparkly for the Christmas reindeer that supposedly practice their night flight there…
We took some decorations and some garden wire, cutters, ribbon & Poundland battery operated fairy lights to make our wreaths.
Here’s how we got on…

IMG_9958.JPGwe headed into the Forest of Dean with our basket in tow

IMG_9960.JPGand we found a tree…a beautiful tree..

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IMG_9952.JPGthe tree looked fab and shall remain there until after Christmas when the flight reindeer finish practicing and we return to de-decorate it.
We then headed to the lake to find a spot to make our wreaths picking up pine branches as we went…and pine cones too

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….everyone collected

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IMG_9956.JPGthe lake was beautiful and we took time to reflect

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Then into our wreaths,
The picnic tables were frosty but we set up on one..

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Mila had other ideas…because she’s 5

IMG_9955.JPG we used garden wire to bind together our pine sprigs

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IMG_9942.JPGNoah bashed..

IMG_9944-0.JPGwe finished by tying ribbon on..

IMG_9940-0.JPGand Dad helped add the lights.

IMG_9939.JPGit turned out fab!!

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IMG_9961.JPGwith the light fading we headed home..

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IMG_9932.JPGand Noah carried the wreath with a helping hand.

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Thank you Mum in the Mad House, we enjoyed our challenge and our memories hang nicely on the door.

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NORTH POLE GET ALONG POLE

IMG_9786.JPGAfter arguing, griping, groaning, picking, prodding, sniping & bickering with each other for 24 hours I decided it was about time the kids learnt a few lessons in getting along, teamwork, helping hands & working together.
We achieved this with a carpet role tube we had found discarded on the roadside for the bin men to collect.
So the preteens set about transforming the tube into a North Pole sign….mutually agreed.
IMG_9798.JPGThey covered the tube with white paper and strips of red paper..IMG_9799.JPGthey used a piece of card to make The North Pole arrow..
Finally we used an old mirror ball which we taped to the top..

IMG_9797.JPGWith our pole made we set out to find somewhere to stand it…it was their mission to use teamwork to carry it together.
So we headed to a hill in the middle of the forest.
Here’s how we got on…

IMG_9796.JPGMila was responsible for carrying the sigh that we’d attach to the pole.

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IMG_9791.JPGthey worked well together and collapsed in a heap at the top.
They took turns choosing a spot to place the pole…

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IMG_9793.JPGand finally they agreed on a spot..mutually

IMG_9792.JPGwe spent some time absorbing the falling sun

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IMG_9788.JPGbefore we headed back down…using teamwork….

IMG_9781.JPGno arguments….

IMG_9779.JPGand getting along as we went πŸ™‚

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They worked well together and a good amount of calm was restored between them….everyone should own a get along pole….

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TOILET TISSUE CHRISTMAS WREATH

IMG_9703.JPGWe’ve seen a lot of pretty Christmas wreaths around at the moment and decided we wanted to make our own pretty one. We particularly liked the rag roll ones but had no rags to hand so used an alternative….tissue paper! Good old loo roll!
We used 28 sheets off of a roll, some loom bands to tie, a cardboard ring & ribbon to hang. Literally it cost us pennies.
Here’s how we did it..
First we cut a circle of card..IMG_9641.JPGwe then wrapped each segment of tissue around the card and secured it with a loom band. (You could use elastic bands)

IMG_9642.JPGwe did this until the ring was covered..

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IMG_9657-0.JPGfinally we tied on some ribbon to hang.

IMG_9661.JPGwe thought it turned out really pretty!

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CRAIG-Y-FAN DDU RIDGE WALK

IMG_4926.JPGThere’s nothing more beautiful than a clear, crisp, and fresh winters day walk.
We parked in the Upper Blaen Y Glyn carpark (which in itself is an ideal location for waterfall hunting and picnicking) and headed up the steep path next to the cattle grid that lies to your right as heading out of the carpark.
We climbed the path heading for the visible Craig Y Fan Ddu towering above us. Our intention was to climb up onto the ridge and follow the route around to the right along Graig Fan Las until we reached the crash site of the Wellington Bomber that lays on Waun Rwdd….it was our plan to lay our memorial poppy here which we had been unable to lay a few weeks prior after deciding not to climb due to weather warnings.

As it was we got to the top of the first ridge accompanied by a beautiful blue sky to discover that the adjoining ridges were hugged with whiteout cloud, we took the choice to walk to the edge of the cloud before turning around and heading back the way we had come with clear visibility, it is best to avoid walking into thick white cloud as it often requires a heightened orienteering stance, can be considerably colder and has very low visibility. As much as we were prepared we wanted a blue skied walk….This meant that we did not reach the Wellington site but we found an equally beautifully placed memorial on our route and laid our Poppy.

As we headed back down the sun began to descend and everything was cast into a stunning orange glow as the day slipped away.
Our walk approx 3 hours.

Here’s our walk…

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IMG_4919.JPGwith our Poppy laid we walked to the edge of the cloud..

IMG_4938.JPGand then we headed back down..after we’d took time to admire the view and have a donut πŸ™‚

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Directions..Upper Blaen-y-Glyn Car Park is in Blaen-Y-Glyn which is part of Talybont, BRECON Beacons, Mid Wales.
Once in Talybont-on-Usk follow signs for Talybont reservoir, passing through the village of Aber, continuing until Forestry Commission signs are seen. Follow the road over a small bridge and up a steep hill, crossing cattle grids on the way. The car park is located on the right at the top of the hill.
Talybont-on-Usk is the nearest town or village.
OS Grid Reference: SO 056176
Here’s a map of our route