The girls and I have been doing tours of various beaches the last couple of weeks 🙂 We picked a particularly changeable day, weatherwise, to go to one in County Down, but I liked the fact we got to experience a summer’s day and a stormy day at the beach all in one afternoon 🙂 It started to rain, but we had brought raincoats, and I like watching the choppy sea anyway 🙂 Everyone else fled so it felt like we had our own little private beach for a while 🙂 The girls made sandcastles and decorated them with shells. One of my daughters loves collecting everything she finds at the beach and bringing it home, but I’m thinking of sneaking some of them back to the beach as her shell tin is overflowing now 🙂
We chose another day that wasn’t sunny to visit the beach and did some rockpooling. We looked for crabs and other creatures in the pools. We only found some snails and pretty shells, but it still entertained the girls for a long time 🙂 We skimmed stones on the still sea, which was a first for the girls, and for me 🙂 There was a strange light the whole day that made the sky look like an all-day sunrise. We walked along the seafront and paddled in the water. Afterwards, we got some ice cream and sat overlooking the harbour and chatting 🙂
We also went on a day out to Castle Espie. You can’t feed the birds at the moment, but the girls still enjoyed watching them and exploring. They did some rock climbing and ladybird spotting (which they have got into because my parents have a holly tree in their garden that all the ladybirds flock to :)) I spotted some thistles which remind me of my granny and I hadn’t noticed there before. We went to the wooded part to have a picnic and sat on a log 🙂 We tried some den building (which I am not good at!) Afterwards, the girls suggested we build miniature dens for their dolls and that felt much more manageable 🙂
They played music at the Pixiephone, climbed on toadstools and whispered their wishes to the wishing tree. My daughter told me she wished that I’d get a machine for my birthday that dispenses chocolate. (I wish that would happen too.) We had a look in the gift shop since the girls had some money to spend. I like looking at all the beautiful books and then putting them back when I see they are nearly twenty pounds each 🙂 The girls got a little nature book each and have been interested in reading about the countryside and butterflies 🙂 We sat in the sun and the girls had some sticks of rock while I had a coffee 🙂 Since they had new things to look at, they sat at peace for a change 🙂
I picked up some sticker mosaic kits for the girls this week. They are only 79p in Home Bargains. I might go back for some more since they kept them quiet for so long 🙂
We made a craft I had found online. They are little natural decoration/chime type things 🙂 You just find a stick and wrap embroidery thread around it until it is mostly covered. You add a loop to hang it from, so it sits either horizontally or vertically. At the end, we just took a piece of the thread and added a bell each and a couple of beads. You attach it and if you hang them up outside they sound like windchimes 🙂
We also made a finger paints family tree. You just draw the outline of a tree, let your kids do fingerprint leaves all over it and then add family members to it 🙂 Afterwards, the girls asked me to draw pictures for them to paint and colour in. I find that if I draw pictures for them myself, they tend to trace over them and spend longer colouring them than they do with colouring books.
It was a gloomy day, so we had some hot chocolate and marshmallows and painted some rocks we had collected at the beach too 🙂 I let them use my acrylic paints for that and for some reason, they seem to think that is a real privilege 😀