So the long summer holidays are almost upon us, which will either make you jump for joy or run screaming! As for me I love them as long as the sun shines. Pook like most tots will spend hours happily entertained in the garden with not very much.
Here are our top 10 Fun and Free things to do in the garden.
Bubbles. Some water and washing up liquid either with bubble wands or in the water tray/paddling pool. Then the fun really can begin as adding a few cups pots and pans turns it into many imaginary things. Pooks favourite is Dollies washing day!
Making a Den (see post about building a wig wam) It can be much simpler though. Just a blanket thrown over some garden chairs
Having a picnic with all the soft toys and dollies.
Going on a bug hunt. Some pretend binoculars made from good old toilet rolls and a dish to collect them in. You can then spend time trying to identify them and just watching what they are doing.
Taking the inside toys out. It must be one of the oldest tricks in the book but to suddenly have some toys from indoors set out on a blanket outside changes all the possibilities for fun.
Hanging up the washing. No I don’t get Pook to do this for fun but a washing line at tots height and a selection of pegs plus some dollies clothes. Plus it is great for strengthening those little fingers. Also ties in well with Dollies Washing Day.
For Meemoo a comfy soft rug and laying back to look up at the clouds. Don’t have to be a Meemoo to enjoy this though.
Hunting for stones. Stones seem to fascinate Pook and many other tots who I have had the pleasure to know. Once you have a good collection they can be used for painting on.
Watering the Plants. Pook just loves watering all the things that are growing.
So what are your favourite things to do in the garden in your house? Follow from 4th August for a daily update of Garden play ideas.
The Octonauts are a big thing in our house at the moment. Pook eats ,sleeps and breaths the Octonauts. Peso, the little penguin, is a medic and a favourite. Pook was very excited to be making Peso’s medic bag. I stared by turning an Easter egg box , yes we are still eating them in this house, inside out. Thankfully the box was then white just like Pesos. Pook then helped me to cut the sellotape to re-tape the edges. I then cut around the centre so it opened while she made a handle.The flap has Velcro attached to keep the box closed. Inside the box I put some cotton wool pleat, plasters and other bits form the doctors set. It was now ready for playing. A medics waiting room was made by quickly rearranging the dining room chairs. All of the animals were lined waiting to seek Medic Pook. Pook had a wonderful time bandaging up all of her poorly animals. It became engrossing play for her. She played this for a long time by herself, chattering away about what was happening, and me well I had the time to write this!
So finally after three years of living in rented beige houses we have a place of our own to splash paint on the walls. You could say that the lack of colour has led us to develop the brightest of bright plans, blue walls, a rainbow, a word cloud denoting everything that is our family, book hanging displays for Meemoo and Pook to easily find their favourites and a large fuzzy felt board. However many of the ideas are after spending oodles of time on pintrest looking for inspiration.
First we had the all important shelves fitted. We hired Mark Gallard to fit them for us. You can never have enough storage as toy collections continue to grow.
It is from these that the rainbow stripes will begin. Originally we planned to paint the room ourselves but that was not to be. We eventually hired Anna Claire to paint the room and I am so pleased we did. Not only did she manage to fit us in very short notice she has done a fantastic job. It looks amazing. I smile every time the rainbow.
Maybe it’s just me but lately I’ve seen lots and lots of pins and Facebook feeds about making squirty paint for using in the garden from the simple things found in your kitchen cupboard. So I thought that Pook and I needed to join in with the fun. I raided the junk collection and found some squirty bottles which we then filled with cornflour, food colouring and water.
Pook got really excited.
I got the quantities of cornflour to water wrong and it was very very runny but this added to the fun. You could squirt the colours close to each other and watch them run together to make beautiful rainbows of colour. I only used red, blue and yellow food colouring which worked really well when they all merged together.
We captured these beautiful pools of colour by rubbing sheets of blank white paper over the paint and leaving them to dry.
We now have some very unique paper to draw on. Pook and I did this again and again until we had no cornflour left!
So to make my version of squirty garden paint you will need
Add 1/2 cup of cornflour to the bottle and some drops of your chosen food colouring. Add a cup of water. Shake well and have lots of squirty fun!
Don’t panic about your patio being covered in children’s doodles. A watering can of water and it all washes away. plus you get to have more fun watching the colours disappear.
This spring I decided to grow our own vegetables, as our garden only had two patches of grass. Pook choose carrots, peas, potatoes and sunflowers.
Amazingly the sunflowers have grown from seed and are now flowering, all a tad wonky, not straight and tall like you see in France. In an attempt to straighten them I broke one of the flowers which was bought inside and placed in a Pook safe vase, a plastic bottle.
Pook and I looked carefully at the sunflower and I introduced her to Van Gogh Sunflowers which was the inspiration for creating our own sunflowers. I provided her with selection of yellow and orange crayons and pencils, large sheets of paper, stickly stickly glue and access to the sticking box.
She then enjoyed creating her own shape
and collaborative collaging on lots of different yellows.
The blue background was created by sticking her finished sunflower on some blue tissue paper ready to be trimmed and displayed in our new family play room.