Thursday, 21 April 2011

Den Building

As the sun has been so hot I thought it would be a good idea for the children to build a den to provide some shelter. We found some blankets, sheets and flags which we attached to the fence and play house using drawing pins. The children thought it was fantastic. They sat in there on a cot quilt for hours. I was told that lunch was to be served in the den.

This morning we popped to Asda to see if we could find a cheap king sized sheet to use to build a better den. They were all expensive but they had a sale on curtains. We found a pair of tab top curtains reduced to under £5. My sewing skills are poor but I'm going to try to join the two curtains. Martin is going to put some cup hooks along the side of the house and fence. The children will be able to hook the tabs of the curtains onto the hooks and make their own den without any adult input.

I've got some fabric wax crayons (a previous Asda sale bargain) that they can use to decorate the sheet.

Today is the last working day of the Easter holiday. I don't work or charge for Bank Holidays unless a parent specifically needs childcare. The two week holiday has flown by. I was quite nervous at the prospect of having six children here daily. February half term was hard work as the weather was dreadful. I'm actually feeling quite sad that the holiday has come to an end, I've really enjoyed the week.

I'm looking forward to the long weekend to spend time with my own children. The holidays are always hectic but make a lovely change from the routine of school runs, ironing uniforms and making packed lunches.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Easter School Break

We're now on the second week of the Easter break from school. February half term dragged as the weather was awful. This week and last have flown by. We've had some wonderful weather so we've been out and about everyday.

I've got three children of my own and have minded two or three others each day. We've been out somewhere each day. We've been to Fermyn woods twice, East Carlton a couple of times, a trip to McDonalds for a McFlurry (my healthy eating policy went out of the window that day!), borrowed books from the library, etc.

My house and car are both full of sand that the mucky children have carried home from our various trips. Yesterday we saw some friends from school at the park. Rather than buy buckets and spades from Asda they had bought Smartprice bowls, sieves and whisks. The children had a great time in the sand pretending to make cakes.

Today we went to East Carlton. We pick up a child from home at 9am so tend to head to the park straight after. We were the first car to park at East Carlton but there was lots of people walking their dogs in the woods. I hope they weren't hoping for a peaceful walk as my lot were rather rowdy! Whenever I'm out with four or more children I get a lot of comments. I had five children with me today. One chap walking his dog said, 'you've got your hands full'. A lady (who had a dog the size of a donkey) said how nice it was to see the children playing with nature rather than with manufactured toys. They loved climbing trees, collecting leaves and playing with the wooden sculptures in the park. I love listening to the children role playing. They decided today to pretend to be animals and ask each other to guess what they were. It was funny to watch as they knew what each was pretending to be, I was clueless!

In the afternoon we went to the Spread Eagle at Oakley Hay. During the school holidays they run Big Cook, Little Cook sessions for children. Last week we made cupcakes, this week it was Easter chocolate nests. The children also decorated Easter buny masks.

Yesterday we popped to Home Bargains to buy mini Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies to add to the cardboard Easter baskets that we made last week. Tomorrow we'll be busy making a Birthday cake. One of the children will be celebrating his Birthday over the weekend. We'll be baking a cake to we can sing happy birthday to him on Thursday.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Northamptonshire Country Parks

Our parking permit for Fermyn Woods expired last week. At the weekend, my husband and I took or own children to Barnwell Country Park. We decided to renew the permit, this year having one that covers some of the other country parks in the county(Fermyn, Irchester, Brixworth, Sywell and Barnwell). I worked out that with the parking charge of £2.50 you need to visit the parks 19 times or more to make it worthwhile. During the Spring/Summer months we can sometimes be at Fermyn woods several times in one week. It also saves the hassle of making sure you have change for the parking meter.

Fermyn woods have just caught up with the other parks and have started Nature Tots sessions. We'll be attending one of these for the first time at the beginning of May. They say it is a toddler group with a difference. I'm hoping now we've booked a place that the weather is kind to us!

On Monday I took five children alone to Fermyn woods. We arrived at 9am and didn't leave till 1pm (had to be home for children to be collected). Lunch ended up being very early that day. From 10am the older children were asking when it would be time to have the picnic. By 11.15am I gave up saying, 'not yet' and we headed to wash our hands for lunch.

We're so lucky having a park like this so close by. Next week we're going to head a little further afield. I fancy going to Brixworth or Sywell as I've not been to those for years. Looking at the County COuncil website it seems that both parks have changed a lot in recent years.
Earlier this year my childminding website expired. I was reluctant to renew it as it always seemed very slow and I find it slow to edit/update. I decided to set up a blog instead. For some reason I ended up with an awful template, after a lot of tinkering I gave up. Here I am, several months later starting again. I decided to start from scratch with a new blog. I did renew my website, but hope by the time it expires in December 2011 that I'll have worked out how to transfer the website address to this blog.

I also have a Facebook page for my childminding business, search 'Corby Childminder' and you should find me.