I love spring days out as a family. Exploring places and enjoying each others company. Over the Spring and summer we try to ensure that we spend one day at the weekend out as a family. The thing is that the boys love being out and about as much as me and MadDad do and we spent Sunday pottering in the garden and the weekend was pretty screen free for all of us.
Both the boys really enjoyed personalising their hats from Next and took a lot of time in picking the colours they wanted and it was the perfect quiet time activity. We sat at the table after bath time and discussed why it is OPK to wear what you want and that it is what is on the inside that matters not the outside.
How do you encourage your children to be unique?
I also am a great planner and in the boot of the car I have travel packs for journeys. If you have ever been unlucky enough to have a flat tire or a breakdown with children in the car, you will understand just how much of a lifesaver having something they can do in the car is.
With this in mind I have we have activity packs in the boot of the car. I have folders with everything they could need for a specific activity. So if there is puzzle books, then I will make sure there is a couple of pens of different colours and also a highlighter for the wordsearches and a small dictionary for crosswords.
I tend to save all the crayons and pencils you get in restaurants and also all the little sticker packs and gift packs you get with children’s magazines. The pound shop is also a perfect place to get things for this too.
Other things you could include in the packs are:
Comic Relief day today at school and it was dress up as Where’s Wally (or Waldo, for any American chums) or a character from the books and pay a pound for the privilege which they decided to take from their pocket money. My boys never sit still so this is the best you will get picture wise. They decided that we needed to have a family nerf fight this morning!
They also packed MadDad off to work with red nose day cakes to sell.
What are you doing for Comic Relief?
The good points:
The boys do not fight when playing Skylanders together. Although there is a lot of “battling” in the game, this does not creep out in to real life like it can in some games with the boys.
It is a pretty social game. They can share their figures with friends that also have Skylanders, even if they use a different games platform as the figures are universal.
Maxi loves the Mini games.
Even if you do not have extra figures you can still play a lot of the game.
No more worries about what birthday present to buy as it seems all the children play Skylanders, so a character is a great present.
The not so good points:
It can be hard for an adult to get their head around. I initially thought that we had to but the other 48 figures to be able to play all the game.
It is complicated getting to know which element each figure belongs too (for adults)
It could get expensive if you gave in to pester power
1) How many PEGI ratings are there?
A) There are five age ratings; 3, 7, 12, 16, 18
2) Which 3 PEGI age ratings are legally enforceable?
A) The 12, 16 and 18 ratings are legally enforceable for retailers – 3 and 7 are advisory only.
3) How many PEGI Content Descriptor icons are there?
A) Content Descriptors explain a little bit more about why something has been given a particular rating. There are 8 in total
4) What does the Spider icon mean?
A) It means “Fear” – i.e. it might be frighening for younger children (handy to know, as my younger daughter is quite sensitive!)
5) What does the Fist icon mean?
A) It means that the game in question will include depictions of violence.
6) Parental Controls are available on Smart Phones; True or False?
7) Parental Control features on a video games console can be used to control the amount of time that your child plays on the device per day? True/False?
A) True. This is an absolute GODSEND for me to have found out, especially when it comes to no.1 daughter, who is notoriously difficult to wrench away from games!
The second part of the challenge was for us to set up Parental Controls on our Xbox. You can see how I got on below:
I have commented that Mini is known in this house as “noise with muck on”. He stays clean for all of 5 minutes and his clothes take the brunt of his lifestyle. I expected this as a mum of boys, however, I also have to contend with Eczema which for me rules out using harsh chemicals when cleaning the boys clothes.
Maxi is my main suffer but both boys have periods of really sore and itchy skin, so I was delighted to be able to try out the new Ecover Zero products.
So when Mini asked if he could have the watercolours out to paint and started painting concentric circles in squares, I decided to sit down and we had a fab discussion.
Wassily Kandinsky (1866 – 1944) was a Russian-French painter. His style of painting originally belonged to expressionism, and is sometimes included in symbolism. Kandinsky was one of the artists who gave shape to the abstract art in the early twentieth century.
Kandinsky was inspired by music. So whilst mini was painting I popped on Vivaldi’s four seasons. We talked about the fact Kandinsky thought that each colour has its own language and expression. Kandinsky tried to convert musical compositions into paintings. He heard colours in music and he saw music in colours. Mini told me that black must be sad music.
We also talked about the fact that paintings do not have to be of things or people and can be looked at in lots of different ways. I loved the fact that it is something that MIni could easily mimic and didn’t feel that there was a right or wrong.
Mini is obsessed with planes and tanks and was very respectful when we went to The Imperial War Museum at Duxford, especially when chatting to a retired serviceman about things on his birthday.
How do you talk to your children about Remembrance Day? It is hard to balance the memories without scaring them.