play


15 Frugal Sensory Tub ideas – Low Cost or No Cost 24

Sensory tubs really are a delight for all the senses.  You dont have to fill them with expensive materials or items and often you can repurpose things to make a fantastic thrifty Sensory tub.  So I want to inspire you with these fab frugal sensory tub ideas. You really do not have to go out and buy expensive materials, you just need to take a different look at what you already have in your home and go from there.


Encouraging learning at home for older children 28

Both of my boys are at an age where they have a real thirst for knowledge and there are times when they want to continue that learning at home.  We were recently sent some Letts “Wild About” learning books. This got me thinking about when it is appropriate to use workbooks at home and how best to integrate them in to our home.  I am big on learning through play and this is something that we have always concentrated on, however with my boys getting older (they are currently nine and eight) they are also reaching the point that they want to start working on some other ways. Encouraging learning at more »


A free range summer 23

When I think of my summer holidays as a child, they were filled with sun, sand, bikes, scraped knees, dens and playing out with my mates, only coming home when I was hungry or thirsty. This i9s the type of summer I want my children to have. A somewhat retro summer and certainly a free range one.

I am not saying that I am going to leave my seven and eight year old boys to fend for themselves all day or go on days out with them or even forgo every planned activity. What I am saying though is that I am going to limt screen time and expect them to take out their cricket bat and ball and enjoy some outside time.

I want them to get board and to try and find ways to fill that time with something other than a mindless electronic game. If all else fails then they can resort to the board jar and face the chance of getting a chore instead of an activity!

Who is with me?


Perfect games for Children 5

We were recently sent Spooky Steps, which is a fun game for 4 to 12 year olds and focusses on maths skills. It costs £14.99. The boys both loved this and built it and played independently without any input at all from me and MadDad. The instructions were clear and concise and they loved the 3D effect of the game board. The quality of the materials is really obvious and although it has been played with extensively it does not yet show any signs of wear.

The object of the game is to creep through the spooky house to reach the cauldron and break the witch’s spell. It encourages math skills, but also adds chance to the game, so evening out any age differences in players.
As a parent this game was a real hit as it meant that the boys were using mathematics in a meaningful context without even realising that maths were involved. This is the joy of Orchard Toys. If your child means a little encouragement in a specific area you can focus on it without them even noticing and it makes learning a fun experience through play.


Get outside this half term 5

It is our half term next week and we are big fans of the great outdoors and very lucky to have some wonderful diverse countryside on our doorstep. We are less than a minute from a fab woodland area 5 minutes from the beach and 15 minutes from the North Yorkshire moors.

One of the things that stop people getting outdoors is that they are not appropriately dressed. We have been trying out some splats and have to say they are the perfect footwear for our damp autumn and are easy for the boys to put on themselves, warmer than wellies and are great for Mini, who can not get into wellies with his wide feet and large instep.

I often find that this half term is one of the most exhilarating to be out in. We need to make the most of the daylight before the darker days and nights creep in. So here are some


Learning through play 10

Learning through play, is there any other way when children are small?  For me the answer would be a resounding no.  My boys love to play and whats more I love to play with them. Throughout their lives I have been keen to encourage independent play.  Here they are counting their pennies in their jar.  I didn’t ask them to do this, but they both love money and they love counting.  So we talked about how many pence in a pound, the different shapes and sizes on money and also the fact that the queen was on all coins.  We then used the coins like tiddliwinks.  For me this was a more »




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