One morning the kids didn’t wake me up for a really long time. It was great as I just want to sleep and eat and eat and sleep at the moment. The reason for my new cat like routine can be seen below:
I woke up into a different world. The house had been transformed into an indoor campsite! Little lizards and creatures could be seen lurking in nooks and crannies and in case I wondered where I was there was a helpful sign:
And a helpful schedule of events:
First I was taken to the campfire, (ingeniously created out of logs, sticks and torn up paper) where I was shown how to light the fire and then treated to some roasted bugs!
I still felt hungry for some reason so we moved on to a different cooking challenge – frying bacon and eggs. We all feasted on crispy bacon and egg sandwiches which I never would have thought to make of my own accord. Then I was treated to a little magic show. Jessy did some card tricks and they both made a bottle of liquid magically light up. They also re-created the colour changing drinks trick which I used at Jessy’s Harry Potter party.
The campfire activities have happened over the course of a few days around other things. Jessy’s lovely friend Daisy has been staying with us on and off and my niece came back too so I’ve had 3 kids filling up the house with shouts and squeals and creative mess this week! Thank goodness they entertain each other so well as sometimes I’ve felt pretty useless and grumpy feeling so sick and tired all the time. Today though I’ve had a little more energy and I’ve really enjoyed joining in with more campsite activities.
I went on a Beast Hunt where I had to gather and count all sorts of soft toy animals dotted around the house. My prize was a trip to the Petting Zoo run by Anais where I got to hold and feed a baby polar bear a baby lion and a snake. Anais bravely had all the snakes around her neck at once!
Next up we all enjoyed some painting with a bugs theme. I haven’t painted for a long time and I enjoyed creating a little garden scene. The kids were even kind enough to be impressed when it really wasn’t up to much! Daisy spent her time very carefully painting a Leaf Bug. Anais followed the theme loosely and did Adventure Time drawings. She’s been drawing them quite a lot recently and got very good at depicting the characters. Jessy was prolific and created 3 pages of bugs very quickly!
The next challenge was tent building and we created a great one behind the sofa with a long covered tunnel entrance which I’ve agreed to let them keep up for a while.
After that we did some singing around the campfire. I taught them Kookaburra which I remembered from Brownies! Daisy taught us one about flowers, daffodils and the campfire. We tried a couple of rounds but Anais came over incredibly shy and hid under a blanket refusing to join in. I found it a bit frustrating as she is the one who goes to Stagecoach and wants a career in acting! I have found Anais and I clashing a little more lately – I think the combination of a hormonal adolescent girl and a hormonal pregnant woman is a difficult one at times!
The campsite inevitably left a lot of mess, so I made a deal that I would create them a Treasure Hunt while they tidied up from all the activities. They did a very good job with minimal supervision and the Treasure Hunt kept them busy while I cooked dinner.
Aside from Camp Levenshulme, Jessy, Daisy and I enjoyed a good day out for National Play Day at Torkington Park. They had traditional fair type games such as ‘Hook-a-Duck’ and ‘Knock the Cans Down’. I think the favourite by far though was the large pile of straw bales where literally hundreds of children played on and off. It was lovely and hot with a little stream to paddle in to cool down. My favourite part was just as we were leaving and everyone was hungry the burger van announced it was giving everything away free, and we all got a hot meal for nothing!
We’ve enjoyed quite a few days in. The kids are so creative together. They’ve barely shown interest in screens aside from occasionally watching a film together or Jessy wanting a little chill out time on Minecraft. One day Jessy and Daisy created a lovely outdoor Drawing Den where I found them colouring in pictures together and chatting away.
They literally play from dawn until dusk. Sometimes they are animals (Daisy in particular spends a lot of time being a little dog and sometimes comes for snuggles) Sometimes they create elaborate games with figures and toys, more often than not they create dens and shelters with the sofas and most of my clean bedding! On the days when I’ve felt pretty ill I have sat and listened to them laughing and running and tried to soak up that childhood happiness of freedom and play. Sometimes their exuberance overwhelms me (and I’m pretty sure it must be overwhelming the neighbours too!) and I become the boring adult telling them to stop shouting and keep the noise down. They’re never suppressed for long though – all that joy just comes bursting back out!! I know it’s a cliche but we really could learn a lot from children about how to keep happy and live life to the full.