Thursday, 19 April 2012

Blowing Eggs

When we were kids, blowing eggs was an Easter tradition at my aunt's house where we would always spend our holidays. There was always a great deal of ceremony around collecting the eggs from the hens in the morning. We would then gather round the table and carefully blow the egg's into a bowl ready to be scrambled and served for Easter breakfast. This one's a little late for this year's Easter, but great for kids to do anytime of the year.


To give this a go, you don't need to use the freshly laid kind, any old commoner garden supermarket egg will do. Though I'm a firm believer that a happier free-range hen lays happier and tastier eggs. Anyway, I digress. Get yourself set up with a bowl ready to catch the eggs contents and then carefully pierce the top of the egg with a small blowing hole and make a second slightly larger hole at the bottom, where the egg's contents will fall out. Give the kids an egg each and get them to carefully hold the egg whilst blowing it's contents out into the bowl below.



Once your eggs are empty you can then get the kids to dye and decorate them. To dye them simply dilute some food dye in water and then leave the eggs submerged for half an hour or so.








They can then decorate them with felt tips, glitter, sequins or whatever else you can get your hands on.










Alternatively, get creative yourself and do as these clever people have. Who says eggs don't grow on trees?

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Torchlight Treasure Hunt


Last week, to provide some entertainment for the clan of kids that were staying with us over Easter, we organised a torchlight treasure hunt. Given the time of year we used Easter eggs, but to be honest it would have worked just as well whenever and with whatever you had to hand.






To make a torchlight treasure hunt work at it's best, you need to wrap the treasure in tin foil so that when the kids find it, the treasure lights up like a silver nugget caught in the torch's beam.

As it was still light when the kids went to bed, we hid the eggs and then blacked out the rooms where the game was to be played. The kids loved it. Perhaps a bit too much, as it took us hours to calm them down and settle them in bed. Still, worth it for the fun it gave them.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The real deal Easter Egg Hunt



This year was probably the first Easter that we've had kids around who are about the right age to enjoy one of our Easter Egg Hunts. In our child free days, we tried it several times with grown-up friends who've smiled encouragingly but endured rather than enjoyed the whole experience seemingly as a means to earn their end of hunt roast Easter goose. We've also put several on for cousins and nephews who have enjoyed it, but with the same sort of air that someone who doesn't believe in Father Christmas enjoys their stocking.









As a result we went all out. We laid a trail that covered a mile circuit across the fields and rivers around our house. Arrows were drawn using sticks, stones, flour and old lentils that had been rattling around the house for the past five years. Clues were hung from bridges, suspended above deep river pools and tied to the local tractor muck spreading machine.






We also tied little tell-tale ribbons to plants and trees along the way, to give the kids encouragement that they were going the right way.






























The favourite clue was the one that was hung from the bridge, only to be spotted when you threw the pooh sticks and raced to the other side to see who had won.













The last clue led the kids back to the garden where the stash had been buried in a box in the ground. The kids had to dig it out.....












.... before loading the wheelbarrow and heading home with their chocolate load. Happy kids, happy days.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Toddler Jousting


OK so it looks a bit dangerous but what's life without an element of risk every now and again. Toddler Jousting, as the name might suggest, is jousting with the toddlers mounted on your shoulders.







To be honest it's more of a game of chicken than one of risk. Parents (or other sensible grown up) charge towards each other with their toddler mounted on shoulders only to swerve away from each other at the last minute. As might be expected, kids find the whole thing hilarious. Thanks to Ms Elinor Burns for her fantastic pictures from last weekend's Devonshire fun.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A garden hideaway for the kids


Who'd have thought it? Barely a leaf on the trees and we're basking in 65 F sunshine with not a wisp of cloud sullying the Devonshire skies. It's been like a scene from Disney's Bambi in the West Country this week; all twinkly rivers, twittering birds and deer and rabbits bouncing around the garden.




This early summer weather is an ideal time to get outside with the kids. So yesterday to fill an afternoon in the sun we decided to pop up a simple garden tent. It gives Kitty some shade to play and Herbie somewhere new to run in and out of screaming - nothing like the peace and quite of the country.

To give this a go, simply tie a length of rope at shoulder height and then hang an old large double duvet or a couple of rugs over the top with an equal amount hanging on both sides. If like us you don't have any trees at the right height, you can of course prop it up with whatever you have to hand. I used the kid's blackboard and a stick. Next stretch out both sides to create a tent like shape and weigh them down to keep them in place. Finally, arm the kids with blankets and other house making paraphernalia and leave them to enjoy.