Summer Fun

This summer has been a strange one weather wise. We have had days when the weather has been so warm if you want to get outside you have to do it in the morning or risk melting, days when the rain has been so heavy you practically had to swim wherever you need to get to and days like today, when it feels absolutely autumnal, even the leaves are changing colour!

Autumn is already setting in, the days are getting shorter and I am sitting here writing this in my dressing gown. With this in mind I thought it was probably worth recapping our summer as a way to capture the memories as well as sharing with you what we have been up to (I have been terrible at keeping up with blogging this summer!). Hopefully you will find some summer inspiration in there somewhere too.

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We did lots more that I didn’t manage to capture with the camera too. We flew spaceships to the moon, got chased by monsters, hunted for dinosaurs and elephants and made fires with sticks. I do love Little Man’s imagination, it opens up a whole new world.

Another way we have been keeping all these memories is in a summer scrapbook, inspired by Steph Tilly from Center Parcs. You should have seen the mess in the front room by the time we had finished putting in the first lot of photos! There was glitter, stickers, glue, paper and colouring pens all over the floor and we are still finding glitter now. Steph has a few other tips on how to preserve your summer memories but this was absolutely my favourite. Little Man has loved the process too. It gives him a real chance to talk about what we have been up to and link it all up together. His speech is coming on so well now and this is another one of those activities that really encourages him to express himself verbally. Well worth doing and a lovely keepsake. The tricky part is letting them loose. I so wanted to stop him drawing on the pictures and tell him where to stick things but I am glad I didn’t. It adds to the memories and really makes it his.

How have you been preserving your summer memories?

This is my entry to the Center Parcs and Tots 100 August challenge. If I’m chosen, I would like to visit Elvedon Forest.

Outdoor Play Party – We have a treehouse!

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It was quite some time a go that I wrote the post Why I want a Treehouse for my Toddler. In fact it was a whole year ago! Our initial plan was to get one for Christmas, but for one reason or another it never happened and Little Man ended up adding to his tractor collection instead. We have, however, slowly been collecting playhouses, usually old and in need of repair. This collection first came in handy when the opportunity arose for chickens. Little Man and Daddy worked hard and quickly over a few days to get the sweet little house up and ready for our brood of 6. The leftovers as it were, were then stored in our little copse in a corner of the garden. Out of sight but not out of mind, at least not for Daddy anyway.

Over the summer holidays he always gets a couple of weeks off. A time which rarely coincides with my work but a time that allows him to get on with stuff he never gets round to otherwise. During this time he had been quite cagey about what he had been up to and I just assumed he had been busy playing with cars in his workshop, his usual use of time when he has it. Then one day I drove up the drive after a day at work to spy something up high in-between our large conifer and one of the plum trees. It was a treehouse! I was so excited I ran indoors and let the cat out of the bag. Apparently he was trying to keep it a secret until he had finished but now that Little Man knew the first thing he wanted to do was check it out.

 

As you can imagine he loved it! Standing in it and squealing, picking ivy leaves and dropping them out of the windows. Jumping up and down and banging about. He certainly put it to the test. At the moment there still aren’t any stairs so in the meantime we have a ladder and I can’t believe how good Little Man is at going up and down it. He flies up there and down again, flitting between bike riding, snail hunting and peeking at us through the trees. He has been out there helping Daddy paint it and fix the windows in. It truly is his space and everything I wanted in a treehouse for him. Thank you Daddy! You are awesome.

Do you have a treehouse? Would you consider getting one for your kids?

Last Outdoor Play Party I really enjoyed Mummy Crusader’s post about Geocaching. We tried it once some time ago but it wasn’t exactly a grand success, even though we all had a fabulous time. Mummy Crusader has inspired us to try it again so keep posted for our next geocaching adventure.

Second Graders finds a geocache | mommycrusader.com

How have you been playing outdoors this fortnight? Have you been climbing trees or treasure hunting? However, you have chosen to play outdoors please do link up. We love reading all your posts and sharing them with the world.

We’d appreciate it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we’ll gladly further share your post on FacebookTwitterPinterest. Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back.

Please note that by contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured.(If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the ‘featured’ button from the sidebar.) Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week! 

 

 


PSP Southampton Boat Show

A fantastic family day out

PSP Southampton Boat Show 2014 logo

Has anyone been to the PSP Southampton Boat Show? I haven’t but it looks like a cracker of a show.

I was recently sent a press release about the event and after reading it I thought I had to share it. If we lived a little bit closer we would definitely be attending!

The show is one of Europe’s largest outdoor boat shows and is running from Friday 12 September until Sunday 21 September 2014, and from what I’ve read it promises to be a fun-filled, jam packed family day out. There is a wide range of entertainment on offer, from live music to helicopter rides! There are even GetAfloat sessions that offer 90 minutes free instruction in dinghy sailing. The age range for this is 8 – 16yrs so Little Man would be far too little but if your kids are a bit older they would love it! You never know, they might discover a new hobby.

For the first time in the history of the Show, visitors will also be able to take to the air on the new PSP Southampton Boat Show Eye. The impressive ride is only £3 a go and will take you up more than 100 feet off the ground for a spectacular 360 degree view of the Show and surrounding Southampton area. Can you imagine the views?

There will be loads of boats on show, little and large, plain and fancy, and the marina itself is supposed to be absolutely stunning so if your kids are into boats then it sounds like a must do. Even if they aren’t I reckon it will be a great day out. There are also loads of opportunities to actually get out on the water from speeding across the waves with the On The Water Try-a-Boat sessions to climbing aboard the historic tall ship Phoenix which looks incredibly like a pirate ship and has even starred in Dr Who!

Murray Ellis, Managing Director of PSP Southampton Boat Show said “We’re very excited about this year’s PSP Southampton Boat Show, a perfect event for everyone passionate about the outdoors and what it has to offer.  We hope to inspire visitors to try out something new for the day, whether that is on the water or even in the air! The mix of shopping, attractions, marine activities and boats will create a vibrant and exciting atmosphere for the whole family to enjoy.  

“With our new attractions and hundreds of boats to climb aboard, many being unveiled for first time, it really will be a spectacular Show!”

Tickets to the PSP Southampton Boat Show sound reasonable as well, considering the amount of things on offer, with adult tickets starting from £15 and two children under the age of 15 getting in free with each paying adult.  That makes it a £30 day out for two adults and four children excluding food but if you get organised and take a picnic that doesn’t sound bad compared with other similar sized events or attractions.

For all Show ticket information visit www.southamptonboatshow.com . The website is actually quite good with loads of information about what’s on and general information about what to expect at the show.

Apparently The London Boat Show is happening Friday 9 – Sunday 20 January 2014 at ExCeL London.  I think we might try and make this one as it is much closer for us although it does look less family friendly. Anyone been to either? What did you think?

Please note I was not paid in any way to feature this press release. 

Outdoor Play Party – Moth Trapping

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This past fortnight we have finally found time to do some moth trapping again. Last year when Little Man was only 16 months old we gave it a go and although his attention didn’t last long he still enjoyed it. This time round Little Man is 2 and a half and he loves bugs and beasties of any kind.

I made sure to set up the moth trap the night before while Little Man was sleeping and I got up early so that I could make sure all the moths were in pots before he got his little mits on them. Although he loves bugs, he isn’t always the most delicate of handlers! I had planned on ID’ing them all as well, just for me really, but that went out the window quite quickly when I realised I had caught quite a lot of smaller moths that took a lot of time to find in the books. Even when I did find them I wasn’t sure if I had the right species! Think I’m gonna have to start trapping more often so that I can get my eye in.

Little Man couldn’t care less whether we could name them or not he just wanted to see them. Daddy brought him into the garden to find out what we had caught and he got very excited at the sight of all the pots, asking what they were and showing them all to us. I had a job encouraging him not to shake the pots but he was keen to investigate each one. When it came to release time he was at first quite reluctant. ‘No mummy! Put it back!’. Oh, he wasn’t impressed, he wanted to keep them all. I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to let them go, but his 2 yr old self soon played a part and his interest moved to chasing butterflies around the garden. Phew, I was able to let the moths go without any causalities.

I really do think Little Man enjoyed checking out the moths and seeing how different they all were and I’m looking forward to seeing what he thinks of it all again next year when he is another year older.

If you want to have a go at moth trapping check out the article I wrote last year – Moth Trapping – A Great Summer Activity. It really is good fun.

Last Outdoor Play Party I loved 15 Outdoor Water Play Ideas from There’s Just One Mommy. Little Man just loves water play and I know he would love all of these activities. I also love the opportunity to discover lots of lovely new bloggers.

15 fun outdoor water play ideas to keep kids busy this summer

How have you been playing outdoors this fortnight? Have you been discovering bugs and beasties or enjoying some water play? However, you have chosen to play outdoors please do link up. We love reading all your posts and sharing them with the world.

We’d appreciate it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we’ll gladly further share your post on FacebookTwitterPinterest. Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back.

Please note that by contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured.(If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the ‘featured’ button from the sidebar.) Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week! 


Outdoor Play Party – Blackberry Monster

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Little Man is a true blackberry monster at the moment. Everywhere we go he spots them. He has even become an expert in picking only the blackest ones he can find, checking that they are ripe and not full of holes or mucky in any way. If we pop out for a quick walk and blackberries happen to be about it inevitably turns into a long walk as we stop and sample any that are in reach. In fact, very few ever make it home!

In the event that some might manage to avoid the fate of filling Little Man’s tum here are some recipes I would rather like to try:

Blackberry Brandy

Blackberry Limeade

Frozen Blackberry Fool

Blackberry preserve

Have you been out blackberry picking yet? Do you have any favourite blackberry recipes? Please share them if you do. I would love to give them a go.

Last Outdoor Play Party I really loved An Idea on Tuesday’s Maths in the Playground. I especially loved the counting 1 – 10. Little Man is just starting to count so I know this would really help his number recognition and I know he would love the transporting element of it.

How have you been playing outdoors this fortnight? Have you been making the most of summer fruits, providing lots of summer learning opportunities or just taking it as it comes? However, you have chosen to play outdoors please do link up. We love reading all your posts and sharing them with the world.

We’d appreciate it if you included a link back to this post (either in your post or sidebar) to help us spread the word about the importance (and fun!) of outdoor play! In return, we’ll gladly further share your post on FacebookTwitterPinterest. Please feel free to grab the Outdoor Play Party button from the sidebar and/or include a text link back.

Please note that by contributing you are giving permission for an image and link to your post to be republished if featured.(If you have been featured, please feel free to grab the ‘featured’ button from the sidebar.) Share your ideas for outdoor play activities with us every other week! 


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