In Stockholm’s Ice Bar : Some Great Pics!

Yesterday I took Leon and Maya on a special little adventure…

…To the ICE BAR!

Yes, it was expensive – but yes, it was worth it!

At the Nordic hotel in stockholm, the famous ‘Ice Bar’ has opened up its doors to children for a short period this summer.

Huge blocks of ice have been transported from Lapland to make the ice bar – and beautiful carvings have been cut in to the ice.

But first you need to put on the warm, fur lined, silver cloaks with gloves (provided)…

…before enjoying the colored drinks served at the bar (which is made from ice)…

Did I mention the glasses were also made of ice?

Maya chose a red cranberry juice named ‘Lapland’, while Leon chose a peppermint tasting, and aptly named ‘Igloo’ juice…

Let’s take a step back…

And have a little look at our surroundings…

And leave ¬†– before we freeze…..!!!

ūüôā

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A 3D Flower Petal Picture Frame!

We tried this fantastic craft from a newly discovered, and excellent blog ‘The Artful Parent’, via the wonderful ‘Crafty Crow’

We have a plethora of flowers in our garden..

A true ‘rainbow garden’…

And we needed a craft..

So we discovered this one…

The collecting of flower petals…

The preparation of cardboard frames (covered with contact paper)…

Makes for an easy canvas to stick petals on…

Just stick them on, as Alfie did…

Or make a picture, as Maya did…

A sea life picture (can you see the octopus and the seaweed?)…

A rainbow…

A flower…

Cover the petal picture with contact paper and tape six sides together to make a box…

It’s looks beautiful with the sun shining through!

A really fun craft to do – and great for different ages ¬†ūüôā

Ten Times Around The Sun

My wonderful, and well travelled son, has been ten times around the sun!

Happy 10th Birthday Leon!

London, England. Born, but not bred!

One . Exploring the wilds of the Dordogne, France.

Nearly Two. Time in Tunisia.

Three. Las Palmas Park in Sunnyvale, California.

Four. Yosemite, California.

Five. After visiting the pirate museum, Florida.

Six. The wonders of volcanoes of Hawaii.

Seven. The island of Gotland, Sweden.

Eight. Canoeing in Thailand.

Nine. Hiking in Lapland, Sweden.

Ten. Rock hunting in Nynashamn, Sweden.

Always so kind, always so curious.

You make us laugh with your humor.

You spur us on with your love of life.

You are a truly special person.

Thank you for being you.

 

Rampaging Robots!

Maya has a had a fascination with robots for a long time now, having asked for a ‘robotic horse’ for her birthday for two years running (we have yet to find one, and so far she has been happy with battery running cats and dogs that jump, somersault and bark/miaow….). Now that Alfie is slightly older, that fascination has spread….

So it was time to make….

Robots!

Inspired by these ones we saw in Filth Wizardry, it was the perfect activity for a couple of three years old, and a seven and eight year old…

Alfie’s is the one on the right, made entirely by himself (except for putting the foil on the box) – once he discovered the stickers however, the robot was left to his own devices! I helped Lily with the one on the right, suggesting eyes and antennae…

Maya went to town on her robot (below)…

Whereas her friend Leon made a more conventionaly ¬†symmetrical robot…

It wasn’t long before Maya and I started on our GIANT robot!

I helped Maya with the covering of the foil on the boxes, but she did everything else –

I just LOVE his face!

Of course it was a great time to use our play dough robots (Walmart many moons ago)…

Make some pull toy robots (a present – thanks Maxine!)…

And make a robot ‘exhibition’ in the play room…

The above collection consisted of a moving robot Leon made some years ago from this kit, a *Wall-E’ puzzle, a small collection of toy robots from films (‘Wall-E’ and ‘Star Wars’) and a traditional small metal one, and some wonderful books…

‘Wendel’s Workshop’ – The kids LOVE this one – about a mouse who tries to invent a robot who helps him to clean up.

‘Robot’ – One of Jan Pienkowski’s classic pop up books.

‘The Robot’ – A simple book from a learning to read set.

‘Robots‘ – An excellent fact book about robots.

(A fantastic fictional book for older kids which both Leon and Maya loved is the classic Iron Man by Ted Hughes, and its follow up The Iron Woman ).

Roller-Coaster Riding!

One thing that took over our lives a couple of weeks ago.

 Roller-coasters!

It seemed to be that Leon and his friend James still had a lot in common.

¬†The speed and ferocity of roller-coasters…

Not necessarily riding them…

…Mostly just observing…

…Mostly…

And this deeply shared passion inspired the making of many roller-coasters.

Did I say making?

No, not just making – FILMING!

And when not building or filming, they were designing…

¬†Gosh, even the three year old joined in….

Actually, even the BABY had a go….

Happy roller- coaster riding!

Blueberry Picking In Nykelviken

We’ve discovered yet ANOTHER wonderful nature reserve, just 15 minutes drive from our house!

Nykelviken!

A place to picnic…

(Maya and Alfie enjoyed the various picnic chairs carved from wood!)

A place to see animals…

(Also chickens, rabbits, cows and horses)

A place to discover the wonder of a hollow tree stump…

And to play…

To enjoy the sights and smells of the ocean…

And the incredible fauna…

But best of all….

A place to pick…

BLUEBERRIES!

And just in case you’re wondering – yes, they’ve all been eaten!

Alfie ate his with milk after dinner (having eaten the vast majority while picking!), Leon promptly made jam with his when he came home, and Maya made hers in to blueberry cookies as a present for Leon’s birthday! ūüôā

Midsummer Memories

It’s a little late in the day to post about midsummer, but because we were in √Ėland at the time, and there’s been so many posts about that, I just haven’t got round to it yet.

This was our third midsummer in Sweden, and it’s a special time here…

In preparation we read this amazing book…

‘The Flowers’ Festival’ by Elsa Beskow is old fashioned, and while suitable for children of around 5 or 6 and up, it is the perfect story for midsummer. Amazingly detailed pictures , all the different flowers take on a different personality, having a party where the weeds are made to stay on the outsides – Lisa, a little human girl, discovers this world of flowers on a midsummer’s eve…

At midsummer in Sweden it’s important to prepare a ‘midsommar st√•ng’…

¬†(Note the little girl on the right is wearing the traditional Swedish folk dress –though it’s now just as common that young girls dress in white, as Maya does, on the left…)

Then it’s time to raise the ‘st√•ng’…

Where Swedish folk dancers do their stuff…

…. eventually joined by members of the public.

In √Ėland midsummer is attended by thousands of people, so they were well prepared…

…with a drawing station for the kids…

Where Maya drew the most appropriate picture…

At the end of the day, the tradition is for young girls to find seven different wild flowers and put them under their pillow – it is ¬†said they will then dream of their future sweetheart….

…and so these are the flowers by Maya’s bedside, all ready to go under her pillow…

Did you dream of anyone this midsummer?

Flower Smashing!!!

It’s not new, it’s not original – but it’s lots of fun!

Flower smashing! Or, a much nicer way to put it, is finding out about our colors in nature…

I got the idea from Rachelle at Tinkerlab, via the Crafty Crow, here.

We have an outstanding mixture of colored flowers growing in our garden right now…

And so we decided to get to see some of nature’s natural¬†color, through ‘printing’…

Yes…using hammers…

The result wasn’t outstanding… but you could certainly see the natural colours come out…

(and some of the striped petunia’s looked pretty cool)

Maya decided to cut out her prints to make a collage –¬†

while Leon had other ways of experimenting with the flower’s natural colour…

Check out here how.