Archive for Fun and Games

Summer Evening Baked Potatoes


On one of the warmest evenings of the summer, I decided it would be cool to bake our own potatoes in a fire – just like my brother and I used to do in the fields near our childhood home many years ago…


Sam was not convinced they were going to taste any good, but once we got through the charcoaled skin, and put some butter on of course – he said it was the best jacket potato he’d ever had!



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Paper Planes

There’s a lot of paper airplane making going on in our house at the moment…

I’d recommend either of these books if you want to learn some more adventurous styles, available on Amazon for much less than everywhere else.

A mix of Sam’s own designs, and some from the book. We invented a game called ‘Across the Nile’. You sit on either side of a marked-out area (the Nile river – could be a rug or a piece of cardboard or a masking tape area on the floor), you start with say, ten points each, then you lose a point everytime one of your planes lands in the water whilst trying to cross. When someone loses all their points, the other person is the winner. We played it fast and furious – it was a lot of fun!

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Run Bug Run!

Sam got these little bugs for Christmas.

We had seen some similar ones when we were in America last year, and they came with a sort of playground to run around.

So we tried to make our own using wrapping paper middles and carpet tape…

We had to get the joints as smooth as possible.

There goes a bug into the tunnel.

This is how it finished up.

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Not back to School Norfolk…

Sam would have started school this month, but happily we are home-educating! So to celebrate not-starting-school, we went on a trip to North Norfolk for the week with our friends.

We were blessed with beautiful weather, and so spent most of our time outdoors…

Crabbing at Wells-next-the-sea,

Tree walking,

and storytelling,

and den building at Bewilderwood.

And moving the furniture in!…

Sailing boats in the stream,

and finding a hedgehog in our garden!

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Easter Sunday

On Easter Sunday we spent a beautiful afternoon with Steve, Penny, Catharine and Anna at Sheffield Park Gardens. The sun was shining at last, and there were definitely plenty of signs of Spring in the garden…


Sam chose some new plants for our garden from the Plant Centre.


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A Railway in a Day

Last week we made a railway:


From this!

Here’s how we did it…

First we turned the table upside down onto a piece of 4ft by 2ft, 6mm MDF which we bought from the local DIY store. We screwed two strips of wood to the long edges of the board to hold it securely in place on the table, without having to fix it permanently.

Then we started planning the layout…

…as usual the trains couldn’t wait to try it out!…


When we were happy with our design we drew around the edges of the track with a pencil, and also took an ‘aerial’ photograph so that we could remember later which pieces went where…

Then got started on the painting:

We used our regular children’s paint, and followed the pencil lines only very loosely, so we got quite a vibrant, energetic feel to the ‘landscape’.

When it was dry, (or almost dry, as we just couldn’t wait any longer…), we stuck the track back down with wood glue.

Added some wooden buildings and trees, animals and of course, some trains. We stuck the trees and buildings too, but not the animals (or trains!)…


…and Voila!

Sam has played with it LOADS everyday since we made it.

Here’s some other views:


As an afterthought, I think we probably should have varnished over the painting before sticking the track down, as it would have made it more durable and more or less waterproof (useful when beakers of juice get placed on it etc.). But then, varnishing would have meant another (pretty messy) stage with a lot more drying time, whereas the way things were – we completed the whole project in less than a day – start to finish, and still had some time left to play with it! Also, there’s nothing stopping me varnish even now on an evening. Apart from writing this blog and a rather large pile of ironing that is…x

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Our new blackboard…

Sam and I went to a toy shop and they had this for the little ones to play with…

I couldn’t stop thinking about how much Sam had enjoyed it, so…

…the next day we looked around our house for a suitable space. We chose our kitchen fireplace:

We cleared the space and got ourselves ready:

…and opened the paint!

…two coats and about two hours later, voila!

We left it overnight to allow the paint to dry thoroughly.

Then, in the morning, Sam and Jeremy had fun!:

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