Showing posts with label free range summer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label free range summer. Show all posts

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Our Summer Family Bucket List

The countdown to the summer holidays has begun and we have been busy creating a family summer bucket list.  This is the last summer before Archie starts school and unlike last year when we were learning to juggle four and working out how to do things with a newborn in tow, this year we have four children to entertain, enjoy and explore with.

So we wrote a bucket list, (inspired by one of my favourite blogger friend Hayley)  a list of things we all want to do, things to tick off this summer as we make our memories.  There are so many more things we could add, I think this will be the summer we get to watch Cora take her first steps, to celebrate a big birthday for me, to make a giant boat in the sand the way I used to as a child, to teach the boys to ride pedal bikes, to buy school uniform ready for Archie and to potty train Finn.  This is our final list though, our top 12 that we are determined to complete over the next couple of  months.

What is on your summer bucket list? Have you got anything exciting planned?
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Thursday, 11 May 2017

Little Tikes Eco 'Go Green' Playhouse review

If you are anything like me, then you dream of being able to open the back door on a summer morning and let the children run around until they get hungry / thirsty / tired.  I want to drink a cup of tea with my feet up whilst they run around wearing themselves out, exercising their imaginations and making the most of whatever outdoor space we have available.

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

Realistically with four under six this may stay a dream, but the children were sent the Little Tikes Eco Playhouse and it has certainly allowed me more time to sit and drink tea than before.  The playhouse is everything you would expect from a Little Tikes garden toy - strong, well built, easy to assemble and colourful, as well as having some interesting features to help children learn as they play.

It took two men around an hour to build after coming flatpacked in a huge box but was easy enough with just a little drilling.

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

The boys are no strangers to recycling and love collecting their rubbish for Grandma who takes part in several recycling schemes beyond the standard blue and red bins.  The house has two recycling bins that can be removed and emptied and they have naturally sorted their rubbish as they play.

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

You may have noticed what looks like a solar panel on the roof - it actually is a solar panel, powering a light inside the house! There is also a gutter along one side that feeds down to make a working tap inside.  

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

The brown area to the right is for growing flowers in, although we haven't yet started on this project.  The area is quite shallow so our plans to grow tomatoes were thwarted but we will be giving flowers a go very soon.

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

I love the eco side of this playhouse, it is refreshing alongside all their battery operated toys and technology.  The simplicity of a playhouse allows them so much freedom and they have used it in so many ways for so many purposes.

I am hoping that the magic lasts all summer and I know that this is a house that will last our family for years as the younger two grow into it even more.  It is an investment that will hopefully yield ours of tea drinking with my feet up on a chair enjoying some sunshine. 

little tikes go green playhouse, eco playhouse

eco playhouse, go green, little tikes

Thank you to Little Tikes for sending us this wonderful house, it has had many hours of play and I think we will have many hours more.  All thoughts and opinions are completely my own.

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Monday, 12 September 2016

The Beach Hut

I have always lived close to the sea and my memories of summer growing up are the smell of sun cream, the sound of laughter, the feel of sand under my toes, the salty taste on my lips after swimming in the sea and our beach hut.  Every summer we had the same one, right in the middle of the strip, we shared it with other families, we brought picnics down, we spent whole days there, we never got bored of the beach.

My mum and dad kept hold of the beach hut, they renewed the rental each year and now I love the fact that my own children are growing up with the same experiences.  It isn't at our local beach but it is just a short drive away and they love it there.  I can keep Cora out of the sun, we can drink hot tea and coffee, we can stay down for tea and we can watch the glorious sunsets.

Because the tides come in higher in the winter, the hut is taken away and this weekend was our last chance to enjoy a day at the beach hut this year.  We were so lucky with the weather and Sunday was warm and bright and we spent all afternoon by the sea.

We intended to go home for dinner, now that school and nursery are back in we are trying to stick to the routine, but we ended up with fish and chips on the promenade and being barefoot on the sand as the sun set.  It felt like a perfect end of the season, and whilst I am still hoping on some bonus summer days before the end of the month, next time we are at the beach hut we may well have four mobile children!

I had my camera on me and hadn't used it all day but when the sun started to set and the light turned golden I couldn't resist having a play around and taking a few pictures.

cuddles with Grandpa

noughts and crosses with Daddy

I love that my babies are growing up in the same place that I did, having such similar experiences and enjoying the same things.  

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Saturday, 27 August 2016

What the Kids Wore - Goretex Shoes

Our Summer Bucket List was long and I never imagined we would get so far through it.  There are still so many things I want to do before they go back to school and some that I doubt we will be able to fit in, but we have had so many adventures that I will be sending them back to school and nursery content with the amazing summer we shared.

One of the things I was really keen to try with the boys was fruit picking.  I have never taken them, which doesn't make much sense considering how much they adore fruit of every kind.  We packed a picnic and plenty of water last week and met a group of friends to spend the morning at a PYO farm.  We happened to choose a ridiculously hot day which meant it was actually pretty quiet and we had the strawberry fields to ourselves.

We collected a few plums, apples and redcurrants but really it was all about the strawberries.  I don't know whether more were consumed there or brought home, but we got home to discover that Archie had tried every single strawberry in his punnet to check it was juicy first.

The boys were recently sent some Goretex trainers and they were ideal on this hot day as they are so breathable.  The fact they are waterproof meant we were prepared for all weather and they kept the boys feet protected when they found hay bales and wooden crates to climb on and over after our picnic.  

We are loving our free range summer, the exploring, discovering nature, running and climbing, playing with friends, staying up late and getting dirty.  The boys are having so many adventures and their shoes are keeping up with them well!  Cora spent the morning cuddled up in the sling which made both of us rather warm and rather glad to find a bit of shade to cool down in for a picnic lunch.

We had such a wonderful time fruit picking that I am hoping we can make it back there before the end of the season to fill up the fruit bowl again.  We are definitely going to be picking our own pumpkins and I am sure their Goretex shoes will be needed to keep them dry by then!

What else have you got planned for the final days of summer?

Disclosure: We are Goretex Ambassadors this year so we have been asked to share our big day adventures.  
All words and pictures are my own.

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Wednesday, 2 September 2015

An August Bank Holiday

The August bank holiday is always one of my favourites.  It always falls around the time of my birthday and seems to be the perfect time to say goodbye to the summer, even if we are hoping for a few more weeks of sunshine.  We managed two days out of three where the temperature was above 20 degrees and we didn't need raincoats and welly boots so I think we did well!

There always seems to be lots going on locally over the weekend, and we chose a small fun fair right down by the beach on Saturday.  It was perfect for little ones like mine as they could go on almost everything and I think the teacups were definitely the favourite.

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

How Summer Should Be

Summers shouldn't be spent inside, and certainly not in a hospital.  The days should be long because we see so much sun, not because they drag and there should always be ice cream.

Now we are free, we are enjoying the beautiful weather with picnics in the park, afternoons at the beach and paddling pools in the garden.

brothers, summer, picnic in the park brothers

Suncream is applied, suncastles are built and shells are washed.  A mini milk lolly stops being a treat and fast becomes a necessity to keep cool.  Hot feet paddle in the cold sea and Mummy braves swimming in the waves.  

sandy toddler toes, summer at the beach, building sandcastles

watering can in paddling pool, paddling pool at the beach

Bags of scotch eggs and strawberries, and a big stripy blanket.  Swings, slides and stickers for those of us who can't run around at the moment.  More suncream, more ice creams and more fresh air.  

toddler eating strawberries, picnic in the park

matching brothers, toddler and baby matching T-shirts, picnic time

Days with friends, days with family and days spent playing in the back garden.  Water beads, paddling pools, painting and playdough.  Homemade ice lollies whenever the mood takes us, with washing drying on the line as we play.

paddling pool, water bead play, garden in summer play

Laughing, splashing, butterfly spotting and of course dining al fresco. Sandy toes, hooded towels and yet more ice cream.  Wearing just a nappy (the children, not me), strolls along the seafront and fish and chips on the beach just because we can.  

family of four, family at the beach, shoulder rides at the beach, my beautiful family

This is how summer should be, this is our August. 

stroll on seafront, pink lining bag, double buggy at the seaside

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