I hope you have all been enjoying my tips over the holidays on BBC Tees breakfast show. They are playing them around 7.30 am so if you are up early you will catch them, if not you can listen to the catch up shows online.
We have had loads of fun with the last couple of tips, we do love a picnic. We opted for a tea-time picnic in Mulgrave woods in Sandsend. It's free to walk through and as a reward in the middle of the woods are some castle ruins. Perfect for a free adventure. Yes, we all bickered, there were strops and moaning too along the way, after all there were five children, two adults and lots of heat. We were all hangry too, it's not a spelling mistake, it's when you're so hungry it makes you mad. Hangry adults and kids are a lethal combination. Especially in the woods where there are no witnesses to hear the screams.
We made it to the castle and enjoyed running around, claiming rooms in the ruins that would be ours, I won't mention the toilet. The kids absolutely loved it and I was rewarded with a stone in the shape of a love heart by my step-son Archie, proving that you don't need money to make people happy.
The next tip was to have a creative day. We got the buckets, paintbrushes and water out. That kept Chase entertained for a while, once he stopped tipping the water all over the path that is. When he realised he could make patterns with his brush, that's when the Van Gogh in him came out. The brush was frantically scraping the path, face screwed up in concentration on with his next masterpiece ta-daaah! Then the sun worked it's magic and dried it up, ready to do it all over again.
Now I'm not daft, I know with the best will in the world, this won't keep children entertained for more than half an hour at the most, so I lined up some free nature art supplies. Little pebbles, bits of sea-glass and seaweed we had collected from our beach trip and an old roll of wallpaper as our blank canvas.
I had to join in it looked like too much fun. We...Okay I created a work of art, as the kids looked on in disgust, because I wouldn't let them play with it, until I had a great picture for my blog. Once I had finished though they had a great time messing it all up and making their own.
The last thing was making your own sand. Be warned, don't save this one for a rainy day, you will definitely want the kids to play outside with this. It was so simple to make using only three ingredients:
8 cups of Flour
1 cup of Baby-oil
Tsp food colouring
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Then take it straight outside on a plastic mat, we used an old plastic tablecloth I saved from Chase's birthday. They used some beach toys to make little sand shapes and had lots of messy fun. It ended with Chase being 'helpful' shaking off the mat.....onto the dog.....
Make at your own risk! Try different colours, or add cocoa-powder for a chocolate smelling sand. Stay tuned to BBC Tees for more tips throughout the holidays.