Home Spas, Fork Cookies & Thoughtful Flowers

This week, my daughterโ€™s school suggested making sea creatures, so the girls got our their junk box and came up with their own ideas ๐Ÿ™‚ One made a turtle and the other made a seahorse. I like watching my kids coming up with their own methods to make things ๐Ÿ™‚ There never seems to be any hesitancy or uncertainty about what theyโ€™re going to make ๐Ÿ™‚

We did a photography video on the afternoon club. The girls experimented with taking photos and changing the lighting. I like watching these videos with them because I learn things from them too ๐Ÿ™‚

A while ago, we had some fruit and vegetables delivered to our house and for some reason, the crate they came in has become a favourite toy ๐Ÿ™‚ The girls just helped themselves to it and it has been used as a tray for pretend food, a table for their den, a cot for teddies and a bed for them too! I always find the girls play most with something that you spent no money on and that wasnโ€™t even intended for play ๐Ÿ™‚

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The girls wanted to use my foot spa, so I set up a โ€œspaโ€ in the kitchen with a nail bar, a chill-out mat and some meditation music in the background. I painted the girlsโ€™ nails and they took it in turns using the bubbles and massage settings for their feet ๐Ÿ™‚

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Last night, I remembered how much I love sitting in just candlelight. I lit a few candles and sat in darkness watching them flickering and collecting my thoughts ๐Ÿ™‚ There is something restorative about it in the same way I benefit from walks by the sea (which we obviously canโ€™t do at the minute.)

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Today I was in a cooking mood, so I tried a new recipe that produces two loaves of bread. The recipe was from Dining on a Dime and worked out really soft in the centre with a crisp crust (although I found the suggestion to use greaseproof paper resulted in it attaching to the loaf like it was superglued to it (so next time, Iโ€™ll leave that step out :))

The girls and I looked at their craft inspiration book for kids. Itโ€™s the best 50p Iโ€™ve ever spent ๐Ÿ™‚ There was a section about puppets, so we made some paper ones we called jelly babies with rings made out of paper to attach them to their fingers. We also made some (literal) hand puppets by drawing on the palms of their hands (much to my daughterโ€™s delight.) She draws on herself often, but it isnโ€™t usually encouraged by me.

I made some smoothies and we set up a clothes shop for the girls in the living room. It was only when I started laying out their dress-up dresses that I realised how many they own. Sometimes I find that sorting through toys kills any temptation to buy more since we always find things we had forgotten about ๐Ÿ™‚ If we donโ€™t have something we improvise (for example, using bells from their musical instruments as a shop bell :))

We made some easy fork biscuits. They only had three ingredients and were so simple to make. The kids were more interested in licking the bowl than making fork imprints on the cookies prior to baking ๐Ÿ™‚

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We also got out their water beads kit and made some ducks. I always think these activities are going to take half an hour and when I look at the clock, five minutes have passed and we are finished ๐Ÿ™‚

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I found a recipe in a magazine for a natural bath soak, so I made some using oats, lavender oil and coconut oil. I put it in the girlsโ€™ bath in hopes of making them sleepy before bed ๐Ÿ™‚ You can store some in a jar and make enough for several uses. I found the process of making it therapeutic too, since you have to melt the coconut oil slowly using a bain marie and the scent of lavender instantly makes me feel relaxed ๐Ÿ™‚

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Thankfully, the weather was good today so the girls enjoyed den building and paddling outside. My daughter brought me a few little flowers and it made me realise, even if a kid hands you some flowers you know are weeds, itโ€™s so sweet that they want to collect them for you and give you a present ๐Ÿ™‚ That made them more beautiful to me than any shop-bought bouquet.

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Buttercups, Homemade Paint & Clay Creations

This morning, I took the girls for a walk on the Greenway. I’ve decided I prefer going for walks on gloomier days because the pathway is less crowded and the walk less stressful ๐Ÿ™‚ The girls took their time, blowing dandelion clocks, working out if we liked butter by holding buttercups to our chins and stopping to admire new additions to the rainbow displays ๐Ÿ™‚ There was a carpet of forget me nots which were hard to capture properly on camera. We talked a lot about nature and the environment. I find that my daughter seems to show more interest in her schoolwork when we do it in a practical way, rather than sitting down at the table writing.

The girls helped me with chores today and really seemed to enjoy themselves. I’m going to recruit them to help out more often because it cut my cleaning time in half ๐Ÿ™‚ One washed the dishes and the other mopped, both to a surprisingly high standard. I think it’s good to give them a chance to learn skills and have pride in their work too.

Afterwards, I made us some more tea and honey and we made some homemade paint. I’d never made it before and it was a bit of an experiment. I just mixed 3/4 cup of flour with 1 1/2 cups of almost boiled water. I whisked it a lot to try to stop lumps forming. They still did and I think next time I might try adding the water more gradually. But it still worked out ๐Ÿ™‚ It comes out like a ready brek consistency. I divided it up and the girls helped me to mix it with food colouring. They used them as finger paints. I like the way one of them is so careful she uses a different finger for each paint colour while the other grabs as much as she can and spreads it on the page ๐Ÿ™‚ I think this is another art project that is more about the process than the end result. I’m going to try letting a couple of the pictures dry overnight, but I have a feeling it’s more for the sensory experience than to have something to frame at the end ๐Ÿ™‚

My daughter has been doing the Jumping Clay tutorials on Youtube. I got her some more air drying clay and she is really focused on it, making sure she has every detail right. My younger daughter joined in today and they made cherry pies, whales and bubble birds (whatever they are!) I think she’s going to be going through a box of the clay a week, but I’m glad there is something she enjoys in school that she can still do at home ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m going to have to build an extension to contain all their creations though ๐Ÿ™‚

The weather was brighter and windy this evening, so I hung out clothes on the line. The girls built a new den, using their tuff tray as a roof, set on two chairs. They made themselves little beds and their baby a cot out of a crate ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes it can be ill-timed when they decide to drag everything out of the cupboards, but I’m glad they have learnt how to make games out of nothing and how to find substitutes for toys they don’t have ๐Ÿ™‚

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