The girls and I were invited to join Wild Rumpus for a trip to The Spellbound Forest at the weekend. Created by the team behind the Just So Festival, The Spellbound Forest weaved it’s magic through Delamere Forest in Cheshire, bringing to life four English fairy tales with a mixture of story telling, theatre, music, dance, woodland crafts and toy making. The event was like a forest school on a grand scale, full of inspiration and ideas to bring back and adapt to keep the outdoor story telling alive at home.
Walk to School Week
Did you know next week is Walk to School Week? We walk to school everyday, come rain or shine, and are very lucky to have a tree-lined cycle path that runs almost the whole route from our house to school, giving the children a car-free space to run, skip and scoot. This daily walk brings such an important breathing-space to our morning, a welcome transition after the hustle and bustle of packing lunch bags and locating coats. We’ve also been joining in with Living Streets #mumswalk project this month and creating a Pinterest gallery of our walks to school. I know not everyone is able to walk the school run, but if you’re tempted to give it a try for Walk to School Week, here are some ideas you could use to make the A to B journey that little bit more interesting.
On Monday… [Read more…]
We are very fond of Pippi Longstocking in our house and her inspiration is seen in lots of different ways – from her encouragement to climb trees, through the idea that fun and creativity is rarely tidy to our latest passion: turnupstuffing.
Do you know Pippi? She’s nine years old, lives by herself and doesn’t go to school. Her mother has died and her father is a Cannibal King. And she’s celebrated in a series of books by Astrid Lindgren. She is also an expert at turnupstuffing – and so are my kids!
What’s a turnupstuffer? [Read more…]
Remember the easy sewing project from yesterday, showing how to make a bag? It was a fun project for little fingers but we turned it into a springboard for another activity too, by making a scavenger hunt on the reverse side.
First we had a blast of ideas for all the things we might find on our nature walk . The children shouted them out and we put all the ideas down on some stickers. Some wrote them down, some drew pictures and I scribed the others. Here a some of the things they came up with: [Read more…]
We have to leave for school five minutes early so we can factor in enough time for horse chestnut gathering on the way there. And the walk home talks just that bit longer too because there are just so many interesting things to pick up from the floor at this time of the year. [Read more…]
This shows them that writing has a purpose and involves them in serious, grown-up business. Don’t worry too much about spellings and neatness, the idea is to promote writing as something practical that they can do, not something where they make mistakes or get things wrong.
Have them add picture clues if they like, especially if they’re shopping with younger siblings who might like to join in too.
And then when you’re shopping, let them be in charge – giving them the added practise at reading their list. Letting them direct the purchases might even make for a happier trip to the supermarket with less pestering now they’re in charge.
After a trip to the beach we returned with a bucket full of treasures and decided to make a rock pool in the garden for lots more beach play at home. You can see in the pictures some of the things we collected, and a few we already had at home: pebbles and shells, sand and seaweed and two mermaid’s purses (much to B’s delight).
The girls gave the treasures a clean and then settled them into a new home in a tub of water. They made some fish from scrunched up tinfoil and then were ready to play. Adding in some tea-strainer fishing nets was perfect.
Books about seasides and mermaids
My girls love stories about the sea. Here are two favourites which we’re reading tonight – the perfect bedtime stories after a trip to the beach.
Shirley Hughes books are favourites in our house and The Big Alfie Out of Doors Storybook is L’s favourite of them all. It’s a collection of short stories and poems about outdoor play and adventures. One tells the story of Bonting, Alfie’s treasured pebble who is lost (and later happily found) on a family outing to the beach. The illustrations capture the essence of a UK beach.
Can You Catch a Mermaid by Jane Ray is a wonderful story set by the sea. It’s a moving tale of a lonely little girl and a very hard decision she has to make. It’s all about friendship and features Jane Ray’s beautiful illustrations. B has a real love of mermaids so this is her top pick, and I like it because it can be read on different levels: it has a happy ending and also leaves you thinking about unanswered questions long after you’ve finished reading.
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