Sunday, 31 August 2014

40 Days of Summer - Day 31 onwards

Day 31: Make Soup!

While we were away, L discovered he really liked Carrot Soup. This doesn't sound very exciting, but if you have read Top Ten Tips for Fussy Eaters you will know why this is news. L has really grown in confidence with his eating, but this was a real surprise, as he knows he doesn't like cooked carrots, so I was amazed he wanted to try it. I promised we would make some when we got home and thankfully, I have a really easy recipe that takes hardly any ingredients or effort. 

Take a large onion, chop finely and fry in a little olive oil until soft. Chuck in five or six carrots, depending on size, roughly chopped, and half a pint of stock ( I use chicken, but you can use vegetable if you prefer). Add a few sprigs of parsley, thyme and a bay leaf, if you have one. Simmer for twenty minutes, then blitz in a blender. You may need to add more water if you prefer a runnier consistency. Return to the stove to warm through and serve. 

#40DaysofSummer What will you do today?

Day 32: Build Something New at B&Q!

Today, L went to a Kids Can Do It class at B&Q. These classes run every week for an hour on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This week, he made a magazine holder. The classes tend to be themed, so at the moment, it's loosely based on 'back to school'. The classes are for eight to eleven year olds and are very well run. They have all the equipment, including rows of little workmates, as well as pre drilled and cut wood, so that the children can use the tools safely. Aveen, who ran our class, had bags of patience and took a real interest in all the children. L had a brilliant time, and came away from the class with renewed confidence and a magazine holder that he is immensely proud of. 

#40DaysofSummer What will you do today?

Day 33: Visit a Museum!

Not all museums are free, but they are usually very good value. We visited the Helicopter Museum at Weston-super-Mare and it was awesome. We really love history, so it was the perfect day out. On the surface, it was a low-key, intimate venue, but, on further investigation, it stretched for miles and housed some of the biggest helicopters imaginable. I had no idea helicopters could be that big! There was so much to explore and find out about. There were even interactive exhibits and helicopters the children could sit in. Add to that, the really reasonable gift shop prices and cute little play area and it was a great day out!

#40DaysofSummer What will you do today?

Day 34: Make a Rain Gauge!

The summer has left us a bit now, and it's feeling a little Autumnal. It's always tricky finding things to do, when it seems to rain a lot of the time. But this activity welcomes the rain, so it was the perfect choice for this erratic weather!

All you need is a plastic bottle (the 2 ltr type is ideal), a ruler, pen, scissors and lots of sticky tape! 
Cut the top off the bottle (about a third of the way down) and drop the cap inside the base. This will help you see the water level when the rain collects. Next, mark out millimetre sections on a strip of paper. Cut it out and stick it to the side of the bottle, taking care that it is level with the bottom for accurate results! Cover the whole strip with sticky tape to make it waterproof. Then, invert the top that you cut off the bottle and place it inside the base to form a funnel. Tape securely. Find somewhere in the garden where it can collect rain without getting blown over. You can bury it slightly, if necessary. Don't forget to test for water-tightness before you secure it in the garden! If no rain is forthcoming, don't despair, just put out some washing! 

Day 35: Visit Puxton Park!

I don't have very many photos of our trip because it rained. All day. It absolutely chucked it down! We still had a nice time, but I do think, as it is primarily outdoors, it would have been more enjoyable
 with a spot of sunshine! Highlights included a gigantic inflatable pillow, for jumping on and an 'actual' train. The 'pillow' was somewhere between a trampoline and a bouncy castle, I can't really explain it any better than that, but it looked great fun, The train was something that impressed L enormously. He has been thoroughly disgusted with previous 'trains' at various attractions that have turned out to be ... shock, horror!! Tractors! He calls a spade a spade, and a tractor a tractor, so has not been remotely impressed with these affections. You see, what you should have in a train, as the boy will tell you, are coupling rods. And a funnel. So he was thrilled to find that Puxton Park have a proper train, with all the correct parts, albeit in miniature. It was a shame we couldn't see more of the animals, but we did get some very close encounters with a few of them who were sheltering in the tunnel as we came through on the train! We intend to pop back another day when it's not so wet, as I am sure we didn't really do it justice, but it was a lovely day out all the same! 

#40DaysofSummer What will you do today?

Day 36: Find Your Local Garden Centre!

A Garden Centre isn't necessarily the first place you think of when it comes to entertaining children, but, if you are on a budget, it is definitely one to consider. Completely free, you will find all sorts to look at, often including pets and tropical fish, maybe even some play equipment if you are lucky. It's good for children to know where food comes from, and it's surprising how interested they are in learning about the different plants and trees. There are lots of cheap bedding plants and seeds to buy that are perfect for little ones to choose themselves, then take home and plant, developing a healthy love of all things natural! L is especially fond of the fish, it's almost like being at an aquarium, without the price tag! The best part, though, has to be the tea and cake in the cafĂ© before heading home! This can get expensive, though, so look out for offers. Our local garden centre offers a pot of tea (meant to be for one, but you can ask for an extra cup, and will easily stretch to two!) and a cake for £2.99. A bit tight, I know, but we have been known to share the cake and save a lot of money that way! 

#40DaysofSummer What will you do today?

Day 37: Invent a New Game! 

Today we stayed in, because we had been on a lot of adventures and just wanted to relax, but we did manage to fit something fun in. We invented a new game, called Guess What? It's a bit like digital eye-spy. Here's how to play: Everyone leaves the room, except one person, who, using a digital camera, smart phone or similar, takes a close up photo of an object in the room. Everyone comes back in, checks out the photo and the first person to point to what it is, is the winner! It's amazing how different things look close-up and it can take a really long time to work out the answer! Here are some examples, to show you what I mean...

Did you guess any? From left to right; A rattan shelf, a lampshade and my trousers! For younger children, you can make it easier by zooming out a bit, it's really easy to adapt for whoever's playing. However, don't expect your children to go easy on you when it's your turn, mine certainly didn't!

#40DaysofSummer What will you do today?

Day 38: Revisit the Best Bits!

It was back to the beach today, for a last hurrah before school goes back and the weather starts to turn. It was kind of sad to think it marked the end of the summer, but we have had so many lovely trips and fun days, we couldn't be too downhearted. So, it was more sandcastles and ice cream, and time to bore you with some more British seaside pics! 

     #40DaysofSummer What will you do today?

Day 39 and 40: Give In Gracefully!

Ok, so we didn't make it to 40, but we had a fantastic time trying and the last few days disappeared in a whirl of shopping, washing and organising! Doesn't time fly when you're having fun?! 


1 comment

  1. I love reading about your adventures - you certainly keep very busy!


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