The following is a guest post written by Josephine Barlow. Josephine is a mother of three. When the kids have gone to bed, she likes to unwind with a glass of wine and a good novel. Here she shares some great ideas of how to keep the kids amused and make the most of the upcoming spring sunshine…
I spend most of my time at my desk in the office, so when I’m home with the family at the weekend, I like to get outside as much as possible. If I can’t go far, or if budgets don’t quite stretch to a trip to the zoo or the cinema, I’m desperate to get the kids out in the fresh air whilst I spend some time in the garden. That can be relaxing with a glass of wine and a good book or getting my hands dirty in the potting shed.
Growing fruit and vegetables
Spring is my favourite time of year, not just because of the lighter nights and sunny, crisp days, but because it’s the time of year when I get to grow some vegetables. The kids love getting involved.
March to May is the perfect time to grow purple sprouting broccoli, sweet potatoes and spring onions. The kids can help out by putting on some old clothes and really mucking in. It’s a learning experience too, as they get to know different vegetables, how they grow and where they come from — they’re also less reluctant to eat them when they’ve proudly grown them themselves!
Making a den
My children love to make little hideouts in the garden, especially when the sun is shining — I can get so much done knowing that they are totally content, they can play all day!
For minimum budget busting (and effort), take an old bed sheet and hang it over the washing line with the same amount of fabric hanging over each side. Secure it with clothes pegs and hold each end down with large stones from the garden or even plant pots, if you have them. Finally, stick an old picnic blanket on the ground to create a ground sheet.
They can take all their toys inside to play and it’s quick to dissemble if it starts to rain. You could also pack up a picnic for dinner, with sandwiches, chopped fruit and cartons of juice and serve it to them outside, to add to the camping atmosphere!
Outdoor chalk is really cheap and easy to use. Better still it will wash away in the rain, wash out of clothes and off of faces and hands (most importantly!) There are plenty of games you can play which don’t cost a penny and will keep the kids occupied for hours. Why not try some Olympic-themed games or create a hopscotch grid that runs from the front entrance to the garden gates at the back?
If you’re keen to take part, they’re good for encouraging younger children when they’re learning to spell or read. Simply draw some circles on the ground in different colours and fill out invariable letters to make words.
Once playtime is over your can put your feet up and get some peace and quiet knowing that all this outdoor activity will have tired them out. Time to enjoy that glass of wine — or that book!
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in association with Tesco.com. Images by woodleywonderwooks and Foilman, used under Creative Commons licence