We were recently introduced to the wonderful & fun world of scooting!!

Scooters are something we’ve never really considered so when the lovely people over at Micro Scooters wanted to send us some to celebrate becoming finalist in the family fun category for the MAD blog awards….we accepted with excitement! 

Tailored to suit individual needs the scooters were ideal for the different age catergories in the house…everyone big and small had something just right for them…from a stunt scooter for the teenager right down to a dinosaurtastic scootersaraus set for Noah, 3. These scooters were certainly a far cry from the scooters that our elder children had played on 10 years ago, we were surprisingly impressed at how scooters have evolved! 

After ordering our scooters they arrived with us with 24 hours!! It was like Christmas… 

 Everyone was over the moon and eager to try them out… 


 So with all the scooters easily put together with zero stress we took a vote and decided to head out and trial our scooters with a trip to the skate park!
Here’s how we got on on our very first adventure with our Micro Scooters

With our scooter bags packed with duck food and pennies we found a great stretch along the seaside to test our scooters.. 

 the girls accessoried… 

 our first test was a speed test….Noah was the starter….

 and finisher….😊 

 but it wasn’t long before they raced off to do their own thing… 

 Elis, a usual skater boarder, took some time to familiarise himself with his new stunt scooter before we headed to the skate park.. 

 And obviously with his new scooter in tow, Noah 3, wanted to follow his big brother… 

 so we watched for a while from afar… 

 before heading down for a closer look.. 

He watched his brother whizzing past with the bigger boys so we decided to walk around the adjoining lake to feed the ducks in the hope that the skate park would be a little quieter later on…

So back on the scooters, we headed off… 

   Noah was sure the swans had come to check out his fantastic dinosaur helmet 😊 
 With a bit more practice under our belts…including a little practice in dusting ourselves off… 

 we headed back to the skatepark…

It was a lot quieter…we watched for a while… 


 big brother and little brother scooted alongside each other… 

 until their knees could take no more… 

 and their hearts were content with a day full of scooting memories to take home… 

 We would like to thank Micro Scooters for sending us our new scooters, we can’t rave about them enough! They are fantastic and a superb addition to the family, our schools runs just got a whole load easier and fun…

You have the one 110% approval from us for a family fun product! 

The scooters we were sent were *Micro MX BenJ stunt scooter

*Micro Trixx scooter

*Maxi Micro scooter 

*Mini Micro Scooter

You can find more info on their website Website here.

Or you could follow their Facebook page here for info, competitions and loads of fun…

We are now scooting converts… 

 Especially a three year old, dinosaur loving little boys that now has some fab memories and a new favourite item to take to bed 😉❤️ 

You can follow more of our daily family fun on Facebook here.

Teetering on the school run. 

Teetering on that fine line of balance trying to smoothly sail through the school run process without descending into a chaos of irretrievable tag team shouting that will only leave us with unforgiving kisses at the school gates & a walk home awash with guilt is something that happens….well it does here.

It’s not how mornings are planned but that point of no return is such an accessible place to arrive at but such a difficult place to return from once you’ve hurtled full force over it without a safety net or a line to pull you back..

Having my eyes pinged open to a morning chorus of bitching and griping amongst the kids, happily throwing undertones of vocal gnarliness at each other is NOT going to start the day well, (and they know that) there’s not even a snooze option, just a realisation that you’re going to be fighting to let it all go over your head….easier said than done. 

The ironicness is that the sky is blue and the morning sun is streaming feelings of Spring through the  window informing you it’s a beautiful day… but they still choose to open their eyes with a main aim of talking to each other like crap about absolutely mindless things, things that really don’t matter. Talking like crap just for the sake of it.

This morning I opened my eyes to a full scale verbal war because one of the preteens farted whilst walking past the others room, it could of been intentional (& there’d be no surprise for those actions), but it was used as a tool to prompt an onslaught of personal attacks over the smallest of things…in short, it wasn’t actually about the fart, the fart was irrelevant. It was an excuse.

There’s a certain tone in their voices that portrays their mood. That tone was my dawn chorus & even though the words were a jumble the situation was clearly apparent.

So through blurry eyes (and desperately not wanting too) that then becomes my stance. 

Knowing I should be the adult makes it worse but I seem to head down the path of playing them at their own game in a ‘see you don’t like it’ sort of way in a desperation that they’ll grasp onto the knowledge that it’s really not nice and they’ll then wholeheartedly live and die by the morals of treating others the way you’d like to be treated yourself….who am I kidding. 

I can live with missing shoes (missing being defined as a lack of looking) and elusive hairbrushes (even though we’ve got enough kicking about to fill a hair salon) 

Their inability to share the bathroom is bearable and being dragged into unresponsive statue like states by the TV doesn’t bother me overly, but talking to each other like complete tripe drives me crazy, it’s the unwanted weight that thunders into me when I’m balancing. 

In an ideal world I’d ignore it, don an apron and whip up a tower of pancakes to happily fill their bellies & see them off with a beautiful organisation & ample words to fill them with the knowledge that I’ll pine for them all day and count down the minutes til their happy faces returned.

The reality- I utter and mumble & have them make do with toast with a lecture about world hunger and their luckiness to have what they do, I point out their need to tidy their rooms the second they return home  from school to make amends and promise them that they’ll spend every second in each other’s company (even if it’s til adulthood) until learn to get on, be nice & respect each other. No care is taken in the packed lunch making…In short  I crash, bash & make my disappointment evident, I partake the school run like a fishwife with a bunch of children with faces looking like smacked bums. 

I dish out kisses but I’m sure it’s an obligation. 

I walk home under a beautiful blue sky exuding hints of Spring feeling like shit and promises that tomorrow I won’t slip from that fine line. I’ll still teeter but I will not fall. 

Why can’t they just be nice? 

I love them with every morsel of my being but I falter. 

3.30 they’ll come crashing through the door dumping their wares, heading for the fridge and the process will start again.

In our house we have a dysfunctional normality and although it’s not evident within the dawn chorus we do exude love for each other, mostly. 


How much of your life is spent doing everyday things? Ever been peeling spuds, changing nappies or doing the kids hair & wondered just how much time it takes?

Today I had time on my hands & worked it out..

These are based on just one child (although I have 6!)…it’s a whole lot of time…

the list could go on & on but unfortunately I just haven’t got the time 😉 


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!!!





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


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

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


Before climbing into our outside lairs to settle down..



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/


Digging in the archives I’ve selected over 100 different boredom busting ideas for the kids to try out during the school holidays… Indoors & out, sunshine or rain, here’s my choice to keep the kids entertained…
1.Make your own fairy doors..

20140524-142847-52127071.jpg2..Make a box dolls house using samples collected from B&Q… Be your own interior designer!

20140524-142953-52193922.jpg3..Make your own pine cone hedgehog pets.

4..Have an indoor campout..if you haven’t got a pop up tent then build an under table den..

20140524-143223-52343988.jpg5..Make donuts for the fairies using Cheerios & icing.

20140524-143314-52394977.jpg6..Take a train ride.

20140524-143411-52451380.jpg7..Set up a marble hunt in the woods.

20140524-143455-52495007.jpg8.Make your own Tree folk.

20140524-143534-52534111.jpg9..Have a cake decorating competition, buy value cakes for approx 60p each and decorate with icing and sweets. The winner of ours got a half an hour extra bedtime pass.

20140524-143737-52657543.jpg10..Make a milk carton bird house/feeder.

20140524-143822-52702010.jpg11..Tin can lanterns. Fill an empty tin with water and freeze, once frozen carefully use a hammer and nails to make your own patterns, once finished run under warm water to release the ice and pop in a tea light. ( best suited to older children, take care of sharp edges)

20140524-144052-52852302.jpg12..make a chocolate brownie, creme fraiche and fruit pizza.

20140524-144204-52924970.jpg13.Watch trains passing.

20140524-144233-52953812.jpg14..dig for hidden money at the beach (draw a square and bury coins to be found)

20140524-144336-53016676.jpg15..play elastics.

20140524-144411-53051660.jpg16..make a Reading hammock with a long piece of fabric.

20140524-144459-53099185.jpg17..Take a boat ride.

20140524-144533-53133981.jpg18..watch planes from the end of a runway..

20140524-144703-53223056.jpg19..Design your own clothes and use your phone camera to help you try them on.

20140524-144751-53271080.jpg20..Make a fabric or rope swing.

20140524-144820-53300801.jpg21..Become an outdoor artist.

20140524-144851-53331811.jpg22..Go stream fishing with nets and jars.

20140524-144932-53372672.jpg23..Build boats with wood offcuts from a saw mill and a bag of nails.

20140524-145020-53420619.jpg24..play in puddles.

20140524-145049-53449167.jpg25..Have a wheel barrow race.

20140524-145117-53477351.jpg26..Make some toilet tube tunnels.

20140524-145150-53510777.jpg27..make a jar fairy house lantern

20140524-145224-53544384.jpg28..make a matchbox art box

20140524-145316-53596448.jpg29..make matchstick aeroplanes.

20140524-145354-53634054.jpg30..have a mini marshmallow tealight toasting session.

20140524-145455-53695959.jpg31..Have a look at some art and try recreating it.

20140524-145534-53734880.jpg32..Experiment with eggs.

20140524-145606-53766062.jpg33..make an outdoor Lego Playstation.

20140524-145640-53800436.jpg34..Make an outdoor art Playstation.

20140524-145712-53832026.jpg35..have a mud tea party.

20140524-145758-53878648.jpg36..make an Elmer elephant from a milk carton.

20140524-145844-53924841.jpg37..make a woodland tripwire course.

20140524-145919-53959344.jpg38..get the kids to wash up.

20140524-145951-53991777.jpg39..make some giant Mikado using breadsticks and melted chocolate.

20140524-150033-54033834.jpg40..make an outdoor Reading area using a bed canopy or sheet.

20140524-150139-54099484.jpg41..put on a puppet show with your own lollipop stick puppets.

20140524-150217-54137482.jpg42..sail some cork boats

20140524-150250-54170660.jpg43..make an outdoor treasure table to put things you collect whilst out.

20140524-150335-54215372.jpg44..make a milk carton watering can.

20140524-150410-54250971.jpg45..bury your own time capsule.

20140524-150443-54283555.jpg46..have a kite retrieval challenge, make some simple kites with paper and string and throw them into the trees for the kids to climb and retrieve.

20140524-150559-54359122.jpg47..make a ribbon wind sock using a plastic milk carton.

20140524-150656-54416958.jpg48..make your own junk band.

20140524-150728-54448207.jpg49..create your own Man V food tea.

20140524-150811-54491237.jpg50..decorate some paper lanterns (3pack at Poundland)

20140524-150907-54547276.jpg51..make a sheet den by hanging a broom or stick in a tree using strong and hanging a sheet over it.

20140524-151012-54612250.jpg52..make you own picnic pots using jars.

20140524-151102-54662194.jpg53..try your own flower petal art.

20140524-151135-54695073.jpg54..make some fabric fairy wings.

20140524-151233-54753584.jpg55..make a mountain out if a molehill.

20140524-151315-54795639.jpg56..discover old treasure (you can buy old coins on eBay to drop to be discovered!)

20140524-151418-54858691.jpg57..make fun shaped pizzas.

20140524-151552-54952293.jpg58..do a penny search in the grass.

20140524-151636-54996741.jpg59..make some salt art bottle using salt and chalk.

20140524-152205-55325414.jpg60..make carrier bag kites

IMG_3861.JPG61..Make breadstick sparklers

IMG_3831.JPG62..Hunt for autumn colours

IMG_3832.JPG63..make a conker abacus

IMG_3833.JPG64..carve stick toadstools

IMG_3834.JPG65..go rainy day lilo surfing

IMG_3835.JPG66..make an autumn crown

IMG_3837.JPG67..make paper doiley ballerinas

IMG_3836.JPG68..make limpet shell mushrooms

IMG_3838.JPG69..make spooky eyes from toilet roll tubes

IMG_3839.JPG70..make an autumn lantern

IMG_3840.JPG71..build an under table bear lair

IMG_3841.JPG72..make some stick stump robins

IMG_3842.JPG73..Have a picnic supper before bed

IMG_3843.JPG74..go on an alphabet hunt

IMG_3844.JPG75..make your own beach art with a rake

IMG_3845.JPG76..make an under table house den with a sheet

IMG_3846.JPG77..Have fun with an empty picture frame

IMG_3847.JPG78..go waterbutt rolling

IMG_3848.JPG79..have an upside down back to front dinner

IMG_3849.JPG80..have teddy bear porridge

IMG_3850.JPG81..make a colour wheel with leaves

IMG_3851.JPG82..make some hazelnut owls

IMG_3852.JPG83..play in the park in the dark

IMG_3853.JPG84..make a homework station

IMG_3854.JPG85..take your duvets to the cinema

IMG_3855.JPG86..create a themed bath

IMG_3856.JPG87..do some extreme stairway boating (caution needed!)

IMG_3857.JPG88..Set up a bed outside for a duvet day!

IMG_3858.JPG89..Watch finding memo from a boat

IMG_3859.JPG90..search out fireflies, secretly splash glow sticks in the trees

IMG_3860.JPG91..make a fruit pizza

IMG_3862.JPG92..make your artwork come alive with playdough

IMG_3863.JPG93..play glow in the dark swingball

IMG_3864.JPG94..have a half term budget

IMG_3865.JPG95..become housework hereos

IMG_3866.JPG96..make toilet roll poos

IMG_3867.JPG97..build a rope swing

IMG_3868.JPG98..have an autumn picnic

IMG_3869.JPG99..play shadows

IMG_3870.JPG100..search for skeleton leaves

IMG_3871.JPG101 have tea on the sofa!




We decided we wanted to have fish and chips for tea with a difference so with our thinking caps firmly on it was voted that we would create a ‘through the looking glass’ picnic in the woods. We got together what we needed and picked up chips on the way there…
It was beautiful and although we had no Mad Hatter or a mouse for out teapot the picnic turned out just right…
Here’s how we got on…




















20140516-072721.jpgwe do love a themed picnic and this was a great one for the memory bank…



Everybody loves dens!!
We decided to transform the kitchen table again and this time our mission was to head to space in an under table rocket with our toddler spaceman….

Here’s what we did…

Our prep started with making some alien sensory specimen bottles, we filled bottles with water & added a few drops of food colouring and some play dough outer space snakes..

20140512-175654.jpgwe bought some yummy Milky Way stars and some flying saucers to snack on as we headed to the moon…


20140512-175823.jpgwe made our own solar system using ball pit balls and a football covered in tin foil..

20140512-175933.jpgwe then set about building our rocket… I used a large piece of cardboard covered in wall paper for the flight deck & cut out a circle for the port hole..

At the other end I made the rocket entrance using a large box, I also covered this in wall paper and cut out a door, I only cut three side to the door to still enable us to open and close it..

20140512-180328.jpgI covered the table with an old black duvet cover and lay a blanket on the floor..


20140512-180438.jpgI then cut out two circles in the duvet to make our spec rocket windows, I cut out some rings using silver card and stuck them to the duvet..

20140512-180645.jpgfinally I made a NASA sign 🙂

We then set about making our space outfit with a roll of tin foil…
We covered some wellies and added liberal amounts of tape around and around them…

20140512-180916.jpgwe used a cardboard box covered with tin foil for our space helmet..

20140512-181011.jpg our space suit was simply a white babygro with a printed NASA sign stuck to it..

20140512-181147.jpg I put the table by the window and closed the curtain, I then added some cut out moons and stars to the curtain

Once we had finished our space walk we headed back into the comfort of our rocket..

Making sure we left our moon boots outside 🙂

20140512-181734.jpgwe played inside whilst we whizzed through the stars…

(I used sticky tape to attach some battery operated fairy light to the under table ceiling)


We had an out of this world time!!



We decided to embark on a fossil excavating day at the beach. I made this magical by making a giant egg with plaster of Paris & a balloon for the kids to stumble upon.
We gathered together some excavating tools, a bucket containing a sieve, a paintbrush, some hammers and chisels and various tools for scraping, small paintbrushes, sticks and a plastic knife and headed to the beach…

Here’s how we got on…

The prep…

Whilst the kids slept I mixed some plaster of Paris and dipped baby wipes in it, I then coated two water filled balloons (to give the balloons weight and make them easier to work with) with the plaster soaked baby wipes leaving the knot exposed at the top, once dried I carefully cut the top off of the balloons and drained the water being careful not to wet the eggs and removed the balloons, I finished by dusting with a bit of black powder paint. I left the top open so the kids could see inside the egg and whatever had hatched out of it would be left to the imagination.

We found a spot on a pebble beach and set up our excavation dig area…with cake

The kids then headed off to explore and search for signs of fossils in the rocks..

I secretly placed the dinosaur egg amongst the rocks ready for the kids to discover..

We all set about hunting for fossils… Even Noah had a go..

Then we found our first fossil and chipped and chiseled it out of the rock..

Then the kids stumbled on the dinosaur egg!!!


After much discussion about what could of been in the egg it was back to the dig!!!

And there was lots to find..

We cracked open a rock and found a huge fossil! It looked like a dinosaur poop!!

But we think it was a prehistoric shell..


With our loot excavated we spent the rest of the afternoon playing under the watchful eye of our prehistoric friends…

Before gathering up our tools and heading home..



If you would like to follow more of our daily frugal, fun and magical memory making activities and adventures during a childhood that’s fleeting you can find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725?ref=tn_tnmn



We headed to the beach to clear our heads and breathe in some sea air, whilst there we stumbled upon Elfina (our Christmas visiting elf) and a Thinking Bottle sent to us from the North Pole by the ocean fairies wave express… Our very special bottle contains a thousand sparkles and twinkles from a million happy times. We shook it loads and it filled us with thoughts of happy times.
(After the loss of a baby within the household a few weeks ago this was an opportunity to provide the siblings with a grieving tool to add a little happy thinking to their minds during a grieving process in which it’s normal & natural to have some sad times…

Everybody should have a Thinking Bottle to reflect on 🙂

Here’s how we stumbled upon our thinking bottle..

The Thinking Bottle….
I filled a bottle with water and glitter, I wrapped material around the lid securing with string and put on a sticker. I also placed some small shells and pebbles inside.


The thinking bottle label.


Whilst the kids explored the beach I placed Elfina and the thinking bottle.


The girls discovered it..

<img src="https://familydaystriedandtestedblog.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/20140421-233204.jpg" a
They were drawn to the one emerald that lay in amongst all the twinkly 'thinks' inside.


We balanced stones.


Noah explored the rocks with his stubby little hands.


We wore wellies on the wrong feet with grazed knees.


We made our own solar system with the beach pebbles…. We were the centre of the universe.


We found a mermaid purse! Actually a shark egg, it seemed to finish off our magical adventure beautifully… We headed home with our thinking bottle and lots more lovely memories of our afternoon by the ocean…


If you would like to follow more of our daily, frugal & fun magical memory making activities and adventures during a childhood that’s fleeting you can find us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/Family-days-Tried-tested/287237957955725?ref=tn_tnmn