(Orchard Toys giant farm jigsaw)
Time spent at home yesterday morning busy with play before going out to dig up the last King Edward potatoes at the allotment, fly a kite (which got stuck in a tree and had to be rescued) and a walk in the woods. The children were searching for fairy doors in the trees and fairy food perfect for fairy banquets.
It seems like in our late summer days there are hints of a changing season. The pumpkins are slowly ripening. The trees are turning a slight golden shade. Changing from the dark, glossy green or emerald, lush colours of Spring time and early Summer. On the odd day here and there, bonfire smoke is in the air, whispering that it will soon be back to school time. Time for putting on coats and wrapping up against the cooler air.
My mother-in-law is getting chickens! We are really excited about this...about meeting the baby chicks and seeing them in their new home and, of course, finding the first eggs!
At the end of August this chicken house will be the new home to three Bantams. Bantam eggs are smaller then regular hen eggs, K and L will love it when they start laying. They can go looking for eggs when they stay at their Nanny's house.
On a completely different subject, while we were at my mother-in-laws home last night, Little L had such a tantrum. She was over-tired, angry and out of control. She had been sharing a bed with K and they had been keeping each other awake by kicking each other, playing and getting in and out of bed. My husband and I decided to take L back to the bed she usually sleeps in while staying with Nanny in a different bedroom. This was how the tantrum started. I felt so bad for my little girl, being so out of control and upset that out of desperation I used an adapted version of a technique called the "Quiet Bunny". This came from Elizabeth Pantley's book 'the no-cry discipline solution' Gentle Ways to Encourage Good Behaviour Without Whining,Tantrums and Tears'. So while she was thrashing around and kicking the wall, I said 'Let's do the quiet bunny. Wriggle your nose, relax your nose. Instantly, she stopped crying and kicking and actually wriggled her nose. I couldn't believe it. Then I carried on with 'Wriggle your fingers, relax your fingers' and then I continued on with other body parts, toes and arms and ears and then we took five deep bunny breaths together. She started to relax, she re-gained control of herself and I was able to tuck her in and snuggle her down into bed and talk to her about why we were putting her in her own bed. She came to the top of the stairs a couple of times after this, but I tucked her back into bed and then she fell asleep. The Quiet Bunny technique was a real aid in calming her down.
(I did actually use this technique earlier in the week with a milder tantrum with Little L with instant success then too.)
Do you have any tips which calms your child down in the heat of the moment?
Chalking on the paving stones, a fun activity for summertime! We simply bought some Chunky Chalks from the Early Learning Centre, but as these chalks are pretty small and intended for chalk boards, I think they will wear down quite quickly. They had so much fun, I have just ordered some of these Crayola 15 Outdoor Crayons !
Today we woke up to a beautiful morning, summertime blue skies, so we decided to go to near by Flowers Of Hatch for 'pick your own' flowers.
At the entrance of the field, there is a wooden gate covered in pretty bunting and a shed filled with buckets to collect the flowers, scissors for cutting, newspaper and twine for wrapping the blooms when you are finished.
We wandered between the rows of flowers, picking and choosing the ones we liked before placing them in the bucket. Little L headed straight for all the pink ones! What a sweet way to spend a morning!
We're still busy in the garden, gathering and picking fruit and vegetables every day to bring indoors to the kitchen. Today we all dug for potatoes, the children squealing when they spotted them in the dirt. And then squealing again when they came across creepy crawlies in the soil.
We spent the rest of the morning and then all afternoon outside, clearing, weeding and preparing the ground ready for putting in our raised beds. I pulled up old strawberry plants which have covered the ground thickly amongst the raspberry canes for years. K loved using the full size fork to dig into the ground and loosen the roots for me. The children do have child size gardening tools, but K much preferred using the 'real' fork. Working in the garden was like play to them. It reminded me that children love to be busy with real work, with mummy or daddy close by.