First Day Of Summer Holidays!

Well, okay, not the first. We’ve already had a week. But I mean the first without sun, sea and sand on our doorstep. Well, with a little sun perhaps…. 😄

First thing yesterday morning I made three summer holiday rules…

a) Be awake by 9am

b) Dressed and eaten breakfast by 10am

c) Before any screen time you need to have…read for 20 minutes, tidied your room, done a maths problem or a writing task (of which I will provide), done a job from the job box, and played or done something creative for 40 minutes. 😄

Of course, Alfie growled at this. But he would do – and esentially it is mainly meant for him – for he is our ‘screen curiosity box’! 😂

(And the waking times are meant for Leon and Maya…the teen / preteen…who could sleep until 11am if we let them!)

Then, Maya wrote us a ‘bucket list’ of things to do, before the words ‘I’m bored’ arise…. 

So far, so good!

Leon and Maya spent the day playing board games, messing about in the garden and doing some gardening, and some maths problems. Barely any screens involved.

And Alfie was a little trickier – he did keep sneaking back to that screen! But he also read a book for an hour, tidied his room, did a job, did some drawing, made a film with Lilly, and played outside with his friend Rasmus, as well as with his siblings.

Ted is never a problem with a screen. He’s never even touched an ipad or a mobile phone!

I also have a ‘vague’ structure to each day, which I kind of used last summer holiday, being ;

Monday – Library Day

Tuesday – Art Day

Wednesday – Outdoor Adventure Day

Thursday – Recipe Day

Friday – Educational Day

Well. We’ll see how that goes. As far as I’m concerned, every day is educational day really. And sometimes we won’t want to do what’s on the ‘structure’ – like if it pours with rain, or if we don’t need to change our library books. 

But it’s nice to have a bit of structure. And nice to have a bit of a routine. But as I want to be flexible, I’m going to make it depend on how we feel on the day!

For example, yesterday was ‘outdoor adventure day’ (though essentially I want us to go outside every day!), but having just got home from Turkey, we didn’t want a big adventure.

So I just chunted them out in the garden as much as possible. And we had fun.

Jumping over the water sprinkler…

And playing ‘Star wars’ with badminton racket ‘laser swords’ and bubbles from the bubble machine…. 😂

And Leon and Maya spent a lot of time in the garden, especially in the evening. I’m not sure what they were doing – but there was a lot of laughter – so they must have been having fun!

And Ted. Well, he spent the whole day with Celina, in her paddling pool. 😄

So, it was an ‘outdoor adventure’ kind of day, despite being in our own back garden! 😊

A Summer Party

Six months on , we celebrate Alfie’s 8th birthday. 😄

He didn’t want a party in December. At least he couldn’t decide what kind of party to have. Or how many people to invite. And he didn’t want games – at least not competitive ones…

So we settled for an open-ended summer party, with free play, lots of friends, and lots of fun! 😄

He had four requests…

a) To have ‘geometry dash’ plates and cups…

…which we made by printing out lots of ‘geometry dash’ faces and sticking them on plain plates and cups (cups not shown).

b) To have ‘FNAF’ cupcakes, which Maya and I made….

…and for your information, he is not allowed to play ‘FNAF’ yet, but he is very intrigued by it, as some of his friends play it, so this does not stop him from looking up the pictures of the characters on the internet, and drawing them… 😳

c) A craft table with minecraft / supermario / geometry dash / FNAF pictures (printed from the computer) which you could cut and stick with…

Sadly this table was not appreciated by his friends….but it was a lovely idea, and everyone had a wonderful time running around playing instead.

d) To have a ‘shop’. We had a token system….

Every child was given an envelope with their name on. In each envelope were 10 tokens (which I found in a local shop)….

With these 10 tokens, the kids could buy 1 each (sometimes more, depending on the item), from the ‘summer kiosk’ menu…

Translation is…

Ice-cream bar, candyfloss, tube of bubbles, FNAF cupcake, big punchball balloon, paper craft, origami boat with snacks (crisps and goldfish crackers), slice of watermelon, mini water pistol and a bottle of soda (NO Coca-cola!).

And yes, we borrowed a candyfloss machine (from the scout hut – there are benefits from being a scout leader!) 😆

After the kids had eaten pizza or a hotdog, they were given their envelope of tokens, and allowed to ‘buy’ from the kiosk. 😄

And we had decorated the veranda in ‘summer style’ with coloured flags and an ice-cream banner…

There was free play in the garden – water balloon pinatas hanging from the tree, and an obstacle course, as well as the usual swings, climbing ropes and spider net, and trampoline. At the end we put on the water sprinkler (we had told the kids in advance to bring a change of clothes or swimming gear), and Richard did a treasure hunt for the party bags.

The kids really enjoyed the kiosk, putting the water pistols and the balloons (not so much the bubbles!) to good use. 

And at the end, it was the present opening….  

It was a fantastic, wonderful party – really enjoyed by everyone – so much, in fact, that many of the kids want to do the same for their birthdays! 😄😄😄

End Of The Pre-School Years!

Four children, and the last of the four, has had his last day at preschool! Ending with the traditional summer concert in the church, followed by cake…

Goodbye preschool years!

It doesn’t feel sad right now – but I might be sad when he goes off to ‘big’ school (Reception / Kindergatan) in August! 😳

Pre-school Carnival Day

Catching up on my blog again – going back a few weeks – and we celebrated Ted’s preschool ‘Music Carnival’ day. An annual event where some of the pre-schools in the local area meet at the church, and walk down to a nearby park with balloons, singing and playing instruments. And when they get to the park, the younger ones have a song & rhythm time, and the older ones get to see a magician…

The girl in the picture is Alice, Ted’s best friend from pre-school. Unfortunately they are going to different schools (Reception / Kindergatan) next year, but I really hope we’ll stay in touch. 😄

Dream Of Your Future Husband On Midsummer’s Eve….

Yesterday it was midsummer – one of the biggest festivals of the year in Sweden. Of course we were not there to celebrate – but Maya did not let it pass by completely unmarked!

In Sweden it is tradition for a young girl to put seven different kinds of flower under her pillow on midsummer’s eve – and she will then dream of her future husband…

So pick she did – and under the pillow they went!

But the only people she dreamt of last night were her family….!

Leaving behind some very flat flowers….

I guess she’s not ready to be married off quite yet! 😄💐

Getting Ready For The Sun!

The sun has taken a long time to come out this year, but I think it’s finally here!

Ted and I have been talking a lot about the sun – the shape, the colour, what the sun does and how it helps us, why we should protect ourselves from the sun and how, what season the sun comes out most in, and what we sometimes do in the summer! 😊☀️

We’ve been painting the sun…





…and playing with a sensory sun tray….





We even decorated an old sun cap with felt pieces…


….as well as, of course, enjoying the sun….


Our nature shelf is ready for summer…..

…and so are we!
It’s been a very busy week of saying goodbye for the summer to teachers and giving them presents, cleaning the house and planting our last flowers, fruits and vegetables in the garden, cleaning out the animals, and packing our cases, all ready for a (hopefully) wonderful, sunny holiday in Croatia! ☀️✈️