We Have A Flower Shop!

We have a flower shop in our play room right now…

For those rainy summer days…

It is not too expensive…

We sell potted plants…

Bunches of flowers and baskets…

Boxes of wooden flowers…

Posies of flowers for arranging…

Homemade beaded flowers (made with wire and shiny see through beads)…

Homemade collage flowers (made from coloured card stuck on green painted garden sticks)…

Seeds…

And even flower pots with bags of soil…

Maya and Alfie are enjoying this role play.

The only problem is, I keep finding flowers planted in pots of soil all over the house! 🙂

Boats Galore!

We spent a whole morning making boats…

Bark boats.

Walnut Boats.

Milk Carton boats.

To make a bark boat …

Take a nice sturdy flat piece of bark and sandpaper it back and front.

Make a hole for the mast with something sharp, add a little wood glue, then put in a straight thin stick for a mast.

Finally, make a sail (we found paper was better – our material one sank!) – and decorate if wished.

To make a walnut shell boat…

Take a walnut half, add the tiniest bit of plasticine (too much and it will sink), and add a flag.

To make milk carton boats…

Clean out and tape up a long milk carton, and cut along sideways. Add kitchen roll funnels and flags, decorate as wished.

And then we went to set them sail…

Some boats floated, some boats sank. 

Everyone had fun – even those who just observed!

Children And Their Horses…

This is a post for my mum to have a chance to see her grandchildren on their horses!

A year has gone by since Leon and Maya started riding, and they’ve since learnt to not only to walk and gallop, but ride bareback, drive a cart, pull a sledge, try a small jump and ride back to front, as well as having taken part in many rides through the forest. They’ve ridden in the sun, in the rain, in the wind and in the snow.

Now a year has come to an end, and they’ll be taking a break for the summer.

So goodbye horses – for now…

Here is Leon with ‘Fandango’…

And here is Maya with ‘Kamir’..

Riding in Sweden is not easy – especially at ‘Skutan’ where there is no inside riding area.

The kids are lifting saddles, cleaning hooves and riding in minus degrees for much of the year.

It’ s very hard work and they can get very cold – and it’s really for those who are seriously passionate about riding.

 Leon has chosen not to continue next year – but Maya (who has loved horses for as long as I remember) has decided she would like to continue – so we’ll be seeing ‘Kamir’ again next year…

Your Local Pet Shop…

As an ex-preschool teacher, I am always aware of the properties of sand!

Wet sand, dry sand and really really wet sand. All move in different ways, and all have their pros and cons.

If you’re in a really good nursery (or preschool) in England, you’re sure to have both dry and wet.

However, here, at home in Sweden, our sandbox is dry or wet according to season, and it’s got bits of stones in it, and dried leaves – and, well, it’s kind of dirty….

We wanted dry, glittery sand. Clean sand. The kind that runs through your hands like water. That spins the wheel and travels effortlessly through the holes in your bucket.

So we went to the pet shop – and bought ‘terrarium sand’…

… and it spins and flows like a treat!

I think the word we’re looking for is ‘trickles’!

So, if you’re looking for fantastic sand – try your pet shop.

There you’ll also find an exciting array of things for other activities, such as blue coloured aquarium gravel for a make believe fish tank,  small stones for sensory boxes such as this fantastic dinosaur box at Counting Coconuts, or bird houses for these wonderful fairy houses at Pink and Green Mama.

Enjoy your local pet shop! 🙂

Chocolate Dipped Fruit (Yum!)

It was Swedish grandmother’s birthday at the weekend, and as is the tradition, the kids decided to make her some sweets.

Maya decided there was nothing better than….

Chocolate dipped fruit!

She chose strawberries and blackberries.

And both white and brown chocolate.

Simply wash the fruit and melt the chocolate, and dip, dip, dip!

Yes, there was a little tasting….!

Once the chocolate is melted, this is such an easy sweet to make with kids – and good for strawberry season too!

They were eaten in a jiffy!

The Milk Bar

Now what do you think this looks like?

Shall I tell you?

It’s the making of a ‘milk bar’….

Complete with a vat of milk.

(Actually it’s water coloured with white paint)

But we have chocolate, banana and strawberry too….

(using just a touch of food colouring – and a little drinking chocolate powder…)

Save those empty milk cartons –

–  and use those empty bottles!

And don’t forget to label them!

This was really Maya’s project – but it ended up keeping Maya, Alfie and one of the neighbour’s kids happy for the rest of the day – coupled with the mud café of course!

Build A 3D Maze

Those of you who know my oldest son Leon, will also know that for a few years he has had a great interest in mazes. Not just solving them, but drawing his own for others to solve – and they are really good!

Like these mazes here….

Leon and Alfie sat together drawing the other day – and unbeknown to me…

Alfie was drawing ‘mazes’….

You may not get lost it’s true – but mazes they are none the less!

And so what better way to enthuse a maze passion…

With bridges…

Tricky passages…

The use of a straw and a ping-pong ball…

And an indoor 3D maze!

Just use your straw to blow the ball through the maze!

There was even a point system introduced – when one ball meets another.

A really fun game to build and play – and still going strong!

(Alfie in the end found it easier to push the ball with the straw)