Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Beach activity no. 6: Smiley stone collecting

Whilst reading Coast magazine and daydreaming about swapping river living for a life by the sea, I came across this lovely idea by a couple who had created a magical seaside garden. The garden featured all sorts of flotsam and jetsam finds, hidden amongst a host of colourful coast loving plants. They had put together a quirky collection of stones with faces on them and created a feature of them in their garden.

Given it's the start of kids summer holidays, I thought this would make a great activity to keep kids entertained on the beach and give a focus to their exploring. Particularly useful if it's too cold or wet to play in the sea.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Tights Racing


Tights Racing is a competition to see who can fit the most items down their tights whilst wearing them. To give it a go you'll need a pile of smallish items that comfortably fit in a pair of tights.

To get started, make a pile of your items in the middle with players in a circle around the outside in pairs, with one person in each pair wearing the tights. On the word go, the tightless player races into the middle and picks up one item at a time and takes it back to stuff in their partner's pair of tights. After a couple of minutes, the whistle is blown and players stop stuffing, and start counting. The winning pair is the one who stuffed the most items in.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Messing about on the river

There's a rumor that in England this month, the sun will remember its sunbeams from its smiling face in time to give us a decent summer. If like me you enjoy a touch of verdure with your vista then now's the time to head to the river. I'm biased on the subject as we live on a houseboat on an island on the Thames, and ever since we've moved her our lives have been transformed from urban indulgence to something that more closely resembles the pages of Wind in the Willows.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. These days I'd rather be getting my summer kicks from an afternoon skating my toes on the surface of the water than being served a challenging cocktail in a concept bar by someone called Eros. If you fancy a trip to life's simple pleasures, then here are some tips for a quintessentially English day by the river.

  • Paddleboarding involves standing up on a long surfboard and paddling your way along. Developed as a surfer's alternative for when the waves are too flat to play, it also provides a fantastic way to explore our waterways. To give it a go in London visit the Blue Chip Surf Shop, alternatively search on Google for your nearest provider
  • Wild swimming provides an exhilarating duck's perspective of our waterways. For inspiration grab a copy of Roger Deakin's book Waterlog, otherwise if you're in the UK then check out the OSS website
  • Exploring our water ways by boat is undoubtedly the best way to appreciate the nostalgic charm of our rivers. Whether it's kayaking the city or lounging on a Slipper Launch, simply Google day hire boat providers in your area.
P.s. I am eight months pregnant in above image, not just eaten too many pies.