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..... We make
..... We explore
..... We nuture

Three children *** Two dogs *** Two parents *** Country loving *** Cottage dwelling in the South-West of the UK. That's us!

We've been blogging since January 2010.

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Just a thought….

"A moment spent in wonder is worth a lifetime spent in awe."



Thank you….

  • Notmyyearoff Love that photo - the bee actually looks like he's opening the rose up to get into it! 28 Jun
  • Val We have a strong affection for 'humbly bumbles' and the poppies look gorgeous. A lovely post! 27 Jun
  • Neesie Busy busy bee...I watched and photographed a busy bee visiting a peony in my garden and it went into the petals around the outside. Until... 27 Jun
  • S.L.O.A.H. I always love poppies - beautiful and poignant in equal measure; perfect for a Sunday photo. #MMBC 27 Jun
  • Meals and Makes Lovely photos. The poppy is beautiful, its nice to capture them on camera, I don't take enough photos of our garden.#MMBC 26 Jun
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Time to smile

"God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles."

- J B S Haldane

Debs Random Writings

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craft activity for 3- 5 year olds

Ways to celebrate May Day

may day cake

Almost May Day. I’ve been mulling over how to celebrate this year. Last year we made a maypole cake. Using jelly babies as the dancers. I’m pretty sure that the children will want to make another one this year.

dancing round the maypole

I couldn’t let May Day pass without heading off to watch a local maypole dancing event. (the eternal search for bubbly pie continues)

laughterThey’ll be flower headdresses to make. And faces to wash.

planting on Earth Day

Seeds to plant.

garden goddessesAnd goodness knows, our Garden Goddesses need a bit of re-styling. (Ahem. Several years in the garden have not been kind to them.) Our gardening could do with the blessing.

peacock well dressingAnd if we have time, it would be fun to experiment with well dressing again.

apple blossomBut as sure as eggs are eggs, there will be blossom to enjoy. (Blossom testing)

I’m sure we will celebrate the season with old favourites, and possibly with a few new activities thrown in. As ever my head is overflowing with possibilities.

Whether you are looking forward to celebrating May Day, Beltane, or just enjoying the long weekend, I hope you’ve found a few more family fun ideas to enjoy, from my list. How do you celebrate May Day?

may day ideas for the family and children

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Making Bath Bombs with Children

bath bomb moulds

Yesterday, I spent a lovely morning with a classroom of 4-5 year olds. I admit that does sound like a recipe for a headache, but it really wasn’t. They were so calm and peaceful. By the time I left at lunchtime, I felt less stressed than I had started the day. We were making bath bombs. My second Christmas crafting session with school.

A couple of years ago, I posted instructions on how to make bath bombs with children here, but as time has passed, I have made a few alterations to the way I do it. Time for a little update, I think.

bath bomb fun

The main change is to use silicon moulds instead of the paper cases and plastic cups. I now use an ice cube silicon tray which I cut up into individual moulds. I’ve found that if the mixture is the right consistency and packed tightly enough in the mould, then they can be gently pushed out of the mould within seconds. Then left to dry on top of the bag.

The red heart shape moulds have been the most popular. The resulting bath bomb looks so smooth and pretty. Some were speckled with lavender flowers. I wish I had taken photos today, as the rows of heart shaped bath bombs looked just perfect.

bath bomb making

I’m looking forward to this weekend, as I’ll be making bath bombs with my own children. I keep it simple at school, but we can be that little bit more creative at home. Can’t wait!

Bath bombs make great handmade presents. Especially at Christmas. If you have ever thought of making bath bombs take a look at step-by-step guide (It is my most popular post ever). They are so easy to make (my children started making them at 3 years old) and a lot cheaper than buying them ready made.

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A distracted book craft

I love when a book sparks a craft. I also love when a book inspires a discussion. I’ve been dying to do this craft ever since we read the book and this weekend I finally put idea and materials together.

I need to back track slightly. A few months ago, BL, TF and I were waiting in the car while AJ was in her harp lesson. It’s too short to do much, so I tend to take a book to read to them. This time I chose The Tortoise’s Gift. TF didn’t want to wait in the car. He didn’t want me to read to him, but as soon as I started reading he settled down and listened. So captivated, I hoped he was remembering to breathe. He was totally distracted from his disgruntled mood. In fact when the music lesson was over, both children pleaded for me to finish the book as the story had grabbed them. Complete turn around.

The book is a Barefoot Books chapter book with enchanting illustrations. It’s perfect to read to TF at 5 years, and BL, at 8 years, is captivated by the story enough to read it for herself more than once.

This weekend, I dug out my supply of walnut shells and sequins and began to glue. One child at a time found me. Each sat down to make their own tortoise, until all three had joined me at the table, concentrating on colours and patterns, in absolute silence. You could have heard a sequin drop.

I knew that I wanted to put the shiny tortoises on the Christmas tree, where the fairy lights would make the sequins glisten. My idea for attaching them did not work. It was AJ that came up with the idea to glue the pipe cleaner to the inside of the walnut shell. Perfect!

While preparing to glue the tortoises, I put the glue gun on to heat and then popped outside to check that the hens’ water hadn’t frozen over again. It had. A couple of inches of solid ice. Back outside with a kettle of not-hot water. When I came back in, after chatting with the hens, there was a definite smell of something over hot. I checked the Aga to see if I had left something on it. Or in it. I recognized the smell, but couldn’t place it. Until I walked passed the very hot glue gun. Too much multi tasking. The glue came out easily and there was a puff of smoke as I glued. The tortoises survived and the children were safely at school. Phew!

Funny as being distracted was the very discussion that this book and craft have sparked.

This morning, we were discussing the book. I asked the children which character, from the book, they felt that they were most like. The elephant who stopped for a scratch and forgot, the lion who was too busy anticipating glory to remember, the monkeys who were distracted by a game or the tortoise who was single minded in the task and succeeded. Funnily enough the children all chose the tortoise. They felt that they would not get distracted.

As they got ready for school, the subject changed. Soon there was more messing around than getting ready. To such an extent that we left slightly late (still on time for school). As we walked down our lane to school, I asked them if it was ever good to be distracted and when it was bad. They came up with some lovely ideas. Good to be distracted when you’re hurt or upset. Not good if you are doing school work  or walking to school (narrow country lanes do not have pavements).

I might just add that using a glue gun is a bad time to be distracted too! Not sure I can claim to be much like the tortoise either.

(AJ has blogged about another BB book that we got at the same time. Take a look here. It’s for a slightly older reader.)

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There have been cases when people lifted my photos and words, and used them without credit to me or asking permission first. Using them for their own commercial gain. I have now added a level of security to deter people from doing this. Apologies to people who do play nicely. If you would like to use any of my photos, please contact me.

Copyright notice:

All my words and photos are copyrighted to me. They cannot be used for commercial benefit by anyone else. If you would like to use any of them, then please ask me first and don't just take. Written permission only. Don't pass my words, photos or ideas off as your own. It's not nice.