Craft Packs, Pretend Play and Fig Scones

The last couple of days have been slightly calmer, as we’re getting used to this new way of life. I’ve been trying to schedule in more time for myself, and allowing myself to leave the girls to their own devices sometimes, guilt-free. After catching up with my daughter’s school class on Zoom yesterday, we watched a nature show about water nymphs. It’s on Tuesday and Thursdays and is run by a nature centre. The classes are interactive, with a quiz for kids and a creative task for them to complete before the next one. Last time, they enjoyed designing their own plants and naming them.

We did some of my daughter’s schoolwork and made a multicoloured number grid to help her with it ๐Ÿ™‚

After some academic time, we made egg carton daffodils, which was an activity suggested by my other daughter’ s preschool. The girls enjoyed painting the bell part of the flower yellow, and then I cut out what felt like millions of petals from a cereal box for them to paint. If you have white paint, it’s better to paint the cardboard with that first and let it dry, as the yellow will look less patchy when added, but we didn’t have any so we just slathered a lot of yellow on ๐Ÿ™‚ We are still waiting for it to completely dry ๐Ÿ™‚

I tried a recipe from a magazine for fig and walnut scones. They turned out really well, but the girls refused to eat them because of the fruit and nuts inside. (More for me :)) It was a beautiful day and the girls spent a lot of time in the garden playing. I made some chai tea and attempted to sit outside and read a magazine, but I think I just read the same paragraph multiple times and then stopped to watch their “bike races.”

Since my daughter is learning about pets in school, I set up their vets when they were asleep. I just improvised with items we had in the house, using cushions and blankets for pet beds, plasters and calpol syringes for them to use on teddies. My kids are obsessed with plasters, so I knew they’d be happy to be granted permission to put them on their toy animals ๐Ÿ™‚ I set up a little desk with two seats, a pen holder, a phone, paper to write the animal’s ailments down, and a grooming corner, as well as all the toy animals I could find without raiding their bedroom and waking them up ๐Ÿ™‚ It was so simple to throw together, but the girls were excited to see it when they came downstairs ๐Ÿ™‚

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We had some overnight oats for breakfast. I love the fact that they’re ready when you get up and no pre-coffee preparation is required. I used oats, grated apple, plain yogurt and milk, mixed it and put some frozen berries on top and put it in the fridge overnight. Sometimes I just use milk without yogurt and sometimes I do an apple and peanut butter one. I like porridge weirdly thick so this picture might look unappealing to some ๐Ÿ™‚

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After breakfast, we spent some time in the garden, did some more dancing and kids’ yoga and then worked on my daughter’s pets theme for school. We did some creative writing and my younger daughter drew pictures of her imaginary pet, its food and a house for it to live in. Then, two activity packs I’d ordered for the girls arrived in the post and they were very excited ๐Ÿ™‚ They got a world book day book each, a sticker book, a mask to make, bookmarks and a paper lady to decorate that came with pretend hair and fabric. I like the fact it has crazily curly hair. The gluing kept the girls occupied for a long time too ๐Ÿ™‚

I repurposed some leftover chow mein I’d made last night by combining it with chicken stock I had in the freezer. I had put ginger, onion, garlic, a small bit of chicken, soy sauce and oyster sauce in the noodles last night, so it was like chicken noodle soup with extra flavour ๐Ÿ™‚ It felt like a good thing to eat to fend off any germs ๐Ÿ™‚

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After lunch, we watched a kids’ music class so the girls could make use of their musical instruments and run around inside ๐Ÿ™‚ They spent a little more time in the garden and we are having an early close-the-curtains, put-on-pyjamas and watch-a-movie night ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

Gentler Days

I name this post gentler days because of the slower pace of life we have all been forced to take. Iโ€™m finding sticking to a schedule, albeit a looser one, is helping us to pass the days, and even enjoy the unique gifts they bring with them

Yesterday, we started the day with some exercise and outdoor time to increase the chances of my children sitting still for schoolwork ๐Ÿ™‚ We did some of the girlsโ€™ yoga for kids and had a dance party to my ย records in the living room ๐Ÿ™‚ They played outside on their bikes for a while so I could sit at the garden table with a cup of coffee and gather my thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚ With the onslaught of questions, it doesnโ€™t really work, but I still try ๐Ÿ™‚ The girls practised skipping and played with their bubble guns and I noticed that our tulips are close to coming out to cheer up our garden ๐Ÿ™‚

My older daughter practised her spellings for the week by making the letters with play dough. It turned into a play dough session with my other daughter making me โ€œpancakesโ€ with various toppings ๐Ÿ™‚ My older daughter had a reading activity about a kangaroo, so we ended up making play dough kangaroo families ๐Ÿ™‚ I find that interspersing schoolwork with play related to it in some way increases their concentration. I like the fact my daughter made hats for the kangaroos too ๐Ÿ™‚ We visited the national geographic website for kids and read some facts about kangaroos. I didnโ€™t know that the baby ones are the size of a grape and that they can jump 9 metres. The girls tried to recreate that in our hallway ๐Ÿ™‚

My friend had sent us a scavenger hunt you can complete with kids around the house. They enjoyed racing off to find the essential objects and proudly showing me what creative choices theyโ€™d come up with ๐Ÿ™‚

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We made some more flatbreads for lunch and the girls helped me with the mixing. I think Iโ€™ve discovered my new addiction and probably wonโ€™t buy flatbreads from the shop again ๐Ÿ™‚ I made what the girls called โ€œsnacky lunchโ€œ, where I set finger food out and they help themselves. I dug out some miniature cups I have that Iโ€™d forgotten for the girls to use. They liked having their own little tea cups and it felt like a tea party ๐Ÿ™‚

Today, we started the day with outside time in the garden again, as well as dancing and kidsโ€™ yoga. We filled up a bird feeder to try and attract more birds to our garden. Iโ€™ve noticed a robin and some blackbirds making frequent visits the last few days, and the girls show an interest in them too.

One of my daughterโ€™s school activities was to write a book review of her favourite book, so I adapted it to include both of them. They each chose their favourite book and we read them together. While my older daughter made a summary and answered questions about it, my younger one drew a picture of hers from the cover. They had to rate the book out of five stars so I got my younger one to draw her stars and colour them in ๐Ÿ™‚

Afterwards, we watched a Maddie Moate recorded live show about birds. There was a quiz and aย craft project for making your own bird feeder. The girls seemed genuinely interested in guessing birds by their song and spotting birds in our garden.

For lunch, I decided to try a new recipe to use up wilting lettuce we had, so I made a soup with potato, onion, garlic and lettuce in it. I blended it before the girls got a chance to look at it and was surprised they actually ate it and said they liked it. (They still donโ€™t know there was lettuce in it.) It tasted like leek and potato soup, but a little thinner. Iโ€™m trying to grow more lettuce from the lettuce ends that were left. Iโ€™ve put them in a bowl of water to see if they grow back. Iโ€™d seen people doing that with root veg too and was interested to see if itโ€™d work for us. Iโ€™m grateful for the fact this last week has made me more aware of food and waste and unnecessary trips to the shop. I always liked cooking from scratch and baking, but itโ€™s made me more inventive in using everything up.

My younger daughterโ€™s preschool had suggested some activities for home, so we decided to try one today. We made a sensory garden/farm. I used an old tub and the girls enjoyed scrunching Weetabix into it to make pretend soil. The instructions said you could use any crushed cereal or soil. We made a tin foil โ€œpondโ€ and then I gave the girls empty plant pots and we went on a โ€œschool tripโ€ into the garden to collect leaves, stones, twigs and anything else the girls found for the garden.

The girls came up with their own way of decorating the garden. They put stones as rocks around the pond, leaves, twigs planted as trees, a couple of flowers, and some weeds hanging over the side as โ€œivy.โ€ When theyโ€™d finished, they added toy animals to it. I think itโ€™ll provide hours of entertainment if I can manage to dissuade my daughter from eating the Weetabix soil ๐Ÿ™‚ There are aspects of life that are difficult at the moment, but Iโ€™m glad of the extra time it has given me with the girls and the projects we wouldnโ€™t have had time to do otherwise.

 

Posting Letters and Guided Drawings

I needed a gentler sort of day today. I feel like we have been cramming a lot into our days, and although it works well as a distraction, the exhaustion has hit me a bit. This morning, after having some breakfast, coffee and managing to squeeze in a few hundred words of writing, I put on a live PE video for the girls. The idea was to tire them out in the living room, but they showed little interest in it and ended up rollerskating instead. I guess it is just trial and error – figuring out what will interest them and what won’t. To be fair to them, PE was never my forte either ๐Ÿ™‚

Afterwards, the girls decorated the envelopes for the cards they had made for their friends. We went for a quick walk to a nearby postbox so they could post them. It seemed a bit silly, since one of the friends lives within walking distance of our house, but I think the postbox added an element of novelty to it for the girls ๐Ÿ™‚ I remembered writing letters to penpals as a kid. I had one in England and another in a different school to mine. We wrote each other regular letters and finally met in person for a shared school trip. That’s a fond memory, and I think it’s good for the girls to experience some form of that in the modern world ๐Ÿ™‚

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I did some schoolwork with my daughter when we got back while my other daughter completed some of her magazine. I’ve noticed that they have been sitting for longer when I refer to what we are doing as “school.” Although, they still tired of it after an hour and asked for TV ๐Ÿ™‚

We went for a short drive to the roadside honesty box again ๐Ÿ™‚ They seem to have expanded it now – maybe they are getting a lot of custom. It’s a good way to buy what you need without having any human contact ๐Ÿ™‚ I got some huge kiwis, a loaf of homemade whiskey bread (which I’m curious to try) and a jar of homemade bolognese sauce.

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After we got home, we had some lunch and then the girls watched a recording of a live art show. The fact that a little girl was involved in it seemed to hold their interest ๐Ÿ™‚ They learned how to draw unicorns and Batman and were completely engrossed in it ๐Ÿ™‚ I hadn’t used guided drawing before with them, but I will again ๐Ÿ™‚

I photocopied a page of my daughter’s magazine so they could both make matching letter holders. They just had to paste them to cardboard, cut them out and paint the legs to hold them together. I don’t know if they have any letters to put in them, but I might dig out some birthday cards etc for them to put inside ๐Ÿ™‚ For once I was glad of the junk box we have that is filled with cardboard and empties itself every time I open the cupboard ๐Ÿ™‚

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Finally, the girls had a play in the garden and I tackled some of the housework. I’m noticing our piles of clutter are worsening since we’ve been in the house and I think we might have to build an extension to contain them all in by the time September comes ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m taking some time to myself to write, drink tea and let my children entertain themselves. I feel the need to just sit and “be” for a change and to allow myself some time for creative output too.

Slow Days and Homemade Lemonade

Today was a slow-moving day, centred around the house. I received a lovely surprise basket of chocolate from โ€œthe girlsโ€ (my parents) for Motherโ€™s Day. It cheered me up because Iโ€™d thought it was a package with a returned dress I had sold in it ๐Ÿ˜€ I went for a quick walk with the girls early this morning to buy lemons from the fruit shop. My daughter had been requesting my homemade lemonade, so I decided the extra vitamins wouldnโ€™t do them any harm at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚ I got a moment of peace to make it, which is rare in our house. But it feels like the girls are slowing the pace they live at (sometimes) to match the world at the minute.

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I found a glass bottle Iโ€™d got from IKEA to store the lemonade in. I added the juice of 2 1/2 large lemons and the zest to about 700ml of boiled water in a measuring jug. While it was hot, I stirred in a generous amount of honey to taste (it was at least 1/4 of a squeezy tube) and stirred it well. After it had cooled, I transferred it to a bottle and put it in the fridge to chill. In the hours it spent sitting, reaching the right temperature, I was asked tens of times if it was ready yet ๐Ÿ™‚

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We tuned in on Facebook to Wee Bookworms to watch a live video of a reading of Peter Rabbit by a lady who works in the bookshop. They are on every Saturday morning at 11.30am for kids. I also ordered one of their activity packs each for the girls. Theyโ€™ll be so excited when they see them arriving in the post ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

I changed the beds and aired out the house, which always uplifts me and continued to move the piles of clutter to different positions in my kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

For lunch, I made some hummus to go with the flatbreads I had made last night. It was a simple recipe and tasted really good. My kids didnโ€™t agree, but they devoured the flatbreads anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ve been looking out for flour when weโ€™ve been in the shops and havenโ€™t seen any in a while. Luckily, I had some left because I tend to bake bread every week anyway. But I was thinking of options for when we run out and remembered you can blend porridge oats and use them instead of flour – Just a tip I remembered if anyone is in the same boat. You can also use polenta to make American cornbread if you have any. My hummus – it tastes better than it looks ๐Ÿ˜€

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After lunch, we had some quiet time, playing dominos and I made myself a caramel latte ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™m not missing my takeaway coffee as much as I thought I would. I tend to get it when Iโ€™m writing, but Iโ€™ve realised there are cheaper alternatives and the one I made today tasted the same ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

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We put on some yoga music and the girls did some kidsโ€™ yoga, whilst climbing on me as I attempted to do it! Itโ€™s cute actually – my daughter taught me all the poses she uses in nursery, like happy baby, ice skater, tree, happy and sad dog and kitty, etc. I made them an after-yoga snack of fruit and water. Then they headed out to the garden to burn off some excess energy. I hung out the laundry, which has, weirdly, become one of my favourite things to do. They played in the dirt and made food out of soil and water ๐Ÿ™‚

We finished the day with some bolognese, stories and playing restaurants. Iโ€™m exhausted now, but simultaneously, looking forward to tomorrow. I say that in the spirit of finding the good in a difficult situation, rather than discounting the severity of it.

Wooded Walks & Stopping For Flowers

I didn’t get a chance to document what we did yesterday, so I thought I’d share it with you today ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been making the effort to still get ready by about nine o’clock (ok, a bit later at the weekend.) But I find that getting dressed up, putting on make-up and going out for a walk first thing lifts my mood. We are mostly self-isolating, only going out for walks in remote places or if we need something from the shop.We drove to a forest near a village in County Down and the fact we’d arrived so early meant we were the only ones there, apart from one dog walker in the distance ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t know my way around, but that was part of the adventure. I followed the girls and just tried to remember where we’d left the car so we could get home again ๐Ÿ™‚ We found logs laid out around a fire pit. The girls wanted me to light a campfire, but I had nothing to light it with, and I don’t trust myself with anything bigger than a candle anyway ๐Ÿ™‚ So, we just sat down around it and pretended to light one instead. I had brought some coffee and gingerbread men and water for the girls, so we had a free snack while we were there ๐Ÿ™‚ There were a couple of dens someone else had built there. But the thing that kept the girls entertained the longest was a puddle with two planks balanced across it, like a little bridge ๐Ÿ™‚ They spent ages climbing across it, practising balancing and creating more obstacles on it with bits of wood and leaves ๐Ÿ™‚ They also used sticks to measure how deep the puddle was, so it was vaguely educational as well ๐Ÿ™‚ We followed the paths which were visible, but muddy. Next time, I’ll remember to bring wellies ๐Ÿ™‚ But squelching in it was part of the fun. I have felt less worried this week about the girls getting messy and wrecking their clothes, probably because I know no one else will see ๐Ÿ™‚ I had brought a leaf sample book from the Woodland Trust so the girls could try to identify leaves. We built a den of our own and climbed the hill, taking a shortcut back to the car, as by then the girls were both worn out. The weather was perfect while we were there and it was nice being out in the natural light and feeling the sun on our faces.

On the way home, I stopped at one of the little honesty box farm shops to see what they had. They had some anemones they had cut and were selling them in bunches. We brought some home and put them in a vase at the window to cheer things up for ourselves and our neighbours ๐Ÿ™‚ The girls are becoming gentler with things and my older daughter looked after the flowers on the drive home without pulling the heads off them ๐Ÿ™‚

At home, I made the girls some noodles and one of my girls completed her magazine while the other one wrote “creative writing” sentences about our morning and the things we’d done. She drew an accompanying picture. It’s a bit like journalling for kids and will be nice to look back on in the future.

Afterwards, the girls asked to paint and did pictures with spring colours, like candy egg pink, blue and yellow. The girls used the colours to make seasonal pictures with daffodils, blue skies, etc.

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Then, they played in the garden for a while. Their favourite game is to โ€œcookโ€ soil and leaves in our old barbecue and serve it at the outdoor table for someoneโ€™s pretend birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

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We followed it with a film afternoon, watching a kids’ movie with popcorn, sweets and coffee (for me.) I need something to sustain me through this period ๐Ÿ™‚ I made some homemade pizzas and chips and the girls continued their film throughout dinner. The benefit to making your own dough is you can make the pizzas into any size you like. The girls requested “baby pizzas,” so I made small ones for them, You can also freeze the dough after it rises and defrost it for use another day, or to make homemade dough sticks or doughballs. (You can make your own garlic butter or dip for them too.)

I spent the evening baking and cooking/freezing food before it expired. ย I made some flatbreads, a huge loaf of bread and some pizza dough. I lit a candle in my window for everything thatโ€™s been happening and took some time to just sit and think.

Apart from a small bunch of flowers, we spent no money yesterday and didn’t see a soul all day, but in many ways, it felt like a richer day than if those things had been possibilities.

 

Walks by the Sea and Water Bracelets

Today, the morning stood out in stark contrast to the world around us. It felt fresh and the skies seemed to open up. I love the fact in Springtime the sky seems to lift higher and it feels like we aren’t closed into a grey box anymore. We got up early and got ready to go for a walk. I’m finding that starting the day with a walk makes the girls’ energy levels far more manageable. Otherwise, they’d be dismantling everything in the house and fighting with each other and driving me crazy ๐Ÿ™‚

We drove to the seaside and went onto the beach. I was surprised by how few people were there. I’d expected everyone to have the same idea as a location for a “remote” walk. We walked along the shore and the girls threw rocks in the sea, built miniature sandcastles with their hands, decorated them with shells and filled the moat with water they’d scooped up with sea shells. I liked seeing what they came up with in the absence of a bucket and spade ๐Ÿ™‚ They also started jumping in the shallow water, and I just let them get on with it, even if it resulted in wet feet, because it feels like we all have so little freedom at the minute. The Stena Line passed by and it whipped up the waves and the girls pretended the tide was chasing them and ran away squealing ๐Ÿ™‚ There were a couple of dog walkers out, but other than that, it was deserted, and we had the beach to ourselves. We stayed for a while, just absorbing some sunlight and looking at the view.

Afterwards, we went to a local health food shop to get a few things. I’d forgotten how much I like going there. I’d got into a habit of convenience shopping instead of supporting local shops, and I’m trying to break that now. The girls loved going there too. The lady who owns it is so friendly and has a box of toys for kids. We got some spelt pasta, which I’ve never tried before, some biscuits, yeast, chai tea and oat milk, so I could make myself some Starbucks-style lattes ๐Ÿ™‚ The lady very kindly gave the girls a lolly each and they were so excited about them ๐Ÿ™‚ I have already noticed the girls becoming a bit less demanding, and I think the simpler lifestyle will do them no harm, apart from maybe missing the social side with others.

I picked up The Simple Things magazine and a couple of magazines for the girls. I know a lot of people think kids’ magazines are a waste of money, but I find that it settles them and it makes us sit down at the table together to work on them, and they’re educational too. For some reason the cheap toys in them provide more entertainment than any toys I’ve ever bought them. They’ve been playing pizza restaurants all day, in between other activities, with a pizza that slices into quarters and comes with a box, loyalty card, menu etc. You could recreate it with cardboard if you wanted to, for a cheap activity to do indoors, cutting out and colouring the different toppings they can add. It might keep them busy for a few hours creating the toppings ๐Ÿ™‚ The girls have been taking “phone orders” and set up a desk in the living room for their takeaway ๐Ÿ™‚

When we got home, we did some word games and I helped them with their magazines for a while. We had some coffee and snacks and I’ve set up a snack shop. I’d seen the idea for it on a friend’s social media ๐Ÿ™‚ We have a list of snacks and prices and they get a pound each in different change so they can practise counting out money and learn about budgeting for the day. Once their money is gone, they aren’t allowed any more. It’s a good way to ration snacks, and then when they run out of change, you can announce that the shop is closed for the day ๐Ÿ™‚

I dug out some stencils we had in the cupboard and the girls used them for a while. I also had a book we’d borrowed from the library about beating boredom for kids. It has some great ideas in it that don’t require materials. I find most kids’ activity books require you to make a special trip to the shop to source all the parts. The book has simple things like drawing a picture without lifting the pencil from the page, making paper cup telephones, taking fun photos, inventive ways of blowing bubbles. If anyone wants me to share some of the ideas for them while they’re indoors with their kids, message me and I’ll send you them ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls played on their bikes in the garden for a little while to get some fresh air and I hung out some laundry. I usually shove everything in the tumble drier because I don’t have time to hang out laundry and iron it all, etc, so it was nice to have the time to do that for a change. I find it quite a restful chore when I actually get around to doing it ๐Ÿ™‚ I made some fried rice for lunch with leftover rice from yesterday and the girls devoured it. They’ve been constantly hungry since they stopped school; maybe because they know that snacks are accessible at any hour of the day now ๐Ÿ™‚

After lunch, we made water bracelets with a set I had got my daughter for her birthday. You just put stoppers in a tube, fill it with sequins and beads and then fill it up with water, adding a charm before you seal it. One of my daughters wanted me to help with hers and I realised how therapeutic they are to make. They should make them for adults too. I think it would lower all our stress levels at the moment ๐Ÿ™‚

I made myself a vanilla oat latte and got a chance to do some writing while the girls watched TV. I had already made bolognese for a handy dinner. I’m going to use some of my time in the house for batch cooking – not because I’m hoarding ๐Ÿ™‚ but just because I find cooking days relaxing. I lit my white chocolate candle and was bombarded with constant questions – which made me glad I’d prepared dinner in advance for once ๐Ÿ™‚

The girls have started a new game where they skate with one rollerskate on – like a mini skateboard. I’m half amused by it – half waiting for an accident to happen :/ Before bed, they wanted to play races in the living room. I started shouting ready, steady and something silly instead of go and it turned into a new game, like ready, steady, tiny baby chick poop (probably not the best game to discourage toilet humour) but they ended up lying on the floor laughing and I didn’t have to get up and got to drink my tea while it was warm ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know what we will do tomorrow yet, and usually I have everything somewhat planned out. But I’m actually happy to let the day unfold as it decides to do without my interference ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

A Glimpse of Homeschooling and Making Some Home-Baked Treats

I decided to keep my kids off school today. My daughter was disappointed because she was meant to have a nature walk this morning. So, I decided to take them for one of our own. We went for a walk on the greenway and stopped to spot and take pictures of signs of Spring along the way. They donโ€™t usually seem to enjoy walking unless there is the promise of a playground at the end of it, but they are adapting to the way things are at the minute and seemed happy to go out and look around. I found calling it a โ€œschool tripโ€ and making jokes about how I was their new teacher seemed to help. We made a rough schedule of things to do while they are off to keep their routine in place and try to eliminate the bickering that comes with boredom ๐Ÿ™‚

I was amused when my younger daughter sat down on a wall and started to unpack her backpack. Iโ€™d thought it was empty and sheโ€™d just brought it for show but she had brought her toy kettle and cups so she could make โ€œteaโ€ while we were there ๐Ÿ™‚

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After a long walk, we sat down with snacks and coffee and my daughter did โ€œcreative writingโ€ and came up with sentences about our walk and the Spring-like things we saw. Then she used the photos of flowers weโ€™d taken to draw from. It kept her busy for a long time ๐Ÿ™‚ My other daughter coloured and cut out pages from a learning ABCโ€™s box that we got at Christmas time and hadnโ€™t really used yet. I also dug out a kidsโ€™ magazine that had come with our National Trust book. It is about the differences between the seasons and has little doors kids can open to see what they can do in each one. The suggestions for Spring are some things we can do even with social distancing: finding your first spring Blossom, counting the types of birdsong you can hear on a walk, growing a cress head in an egg shell and getting up early to watch the sunrise, as well as hunting for daffodils, making a nest out of twigs, feathers, etc, looking for a carpet of bluebells and identifying birds.

Afterwards, I got out a cookery book I hadnโ€™t used in a long time. Itโ€™s called A Girl Called Jack and was written by a single mum living on a tight budget. It has some good recipes that use up things that you tend to already have lying around your house. So, we made peanut butter thumbprint cookies. I liked the idea of the kids being able to be more involved since it was a simple recipe and they got to make thumbprints in the cookies to fill with jam ๐Ÿ™‚ My older daughter read out the measurements to me for numbers practice and then they ate the leftover jam while I washed up ๐Ÿ™‚

I drew some clock faces with times written beside them so they could practice drawing the hands on, and I was surprised by their enthusiasm. Itโ€™s weird how once you label yourself their โ€œteacherโ€ they start listening and being receptive to what you say ๐Ÿ˜€ I have a feeling it wonโ€™t last though.

I had to go out in the car to drop something off so we stopped at an honesty box farm shop at the side of the road. There are quite a few just off country games roads if you look out for signs for free range eggs. We got some eggs and jam there the other day and today we got some barbecue sauce and potatoes ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love how homemade they look in the little jars with gingham fabric ๐Ÿ™‚

When we got home, we had some hot chocolate with marshmallows and continued to divide up puzzle pieces. Weโ€™ve started a 1000 piece puzzle that is composed of six Disney scenes, so weโ€™ve been working on separating them to make it easier to begin. Iโ€™ve never done a large jigsaw before and I hadnโ€™t anticipated how time consuming it would be, so this is the perfect time for it, since all we have is time ๐Ÿ™‚ (I still have my doubts about my ability to complete one but we will see.)

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The girls had some down time while I wrote part of a new book Iโ€™m working on. There were constant interruptions but I somehow still hit my word count for the day ๐Ÿ™‚ – although it is quite dark subject matter and Iโ€™m thinking something more uplifting might be a better idea in the current situation!

I cleared some space in our living room and put records on while my kids played โ€œroller discosโ€ in their roller skates. (My next door neighbour must loathe us by now.) It helped to tire the girls out and they actually looked as tired as they would after school by the end of the day ๐Ÿ™‚

Iโ€™ve been using up the food we had in the house, making simple dishes and trying to stretch food so we can stay away from the shops for a bit longer. I made spaghetti mixed with sardines in tomato sauce for lunch and it was surprisingly delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ The girls even ate it. For dinner, I used up some chicken goujons Iโ€™d got at the butchers, with rice, veg and the barbecue sauce we got at the farm shop ๐Ÿ™‚ We finished the day with stories and I hope I can keep up the same pace tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™m thinking of making some lists of things to do indoors to inspire myself and others and keep everyoneโ€™s spirits up ๐Ÿ™‚ With a little resourcefulness, having our routines altered doesnโ€™t have to upturn our worlds.