Spring has finally sprung here and the garden is enjoying all the rain it brings. Me, not so much. Mostly because picking up children from kindergarten or school in the rain isn’t fun. I wish it would stop, just for the 30 minutes I need to walk the few streets between the two, then start again when we get home. I am excited to see my raspberry canes sprouting and my Vietnamese mint, that I thought had died, thriving, and even my coriander is still growing. Flowers are blooming and in between rain showers we are spending more time outside.
Speaking of rain, as I write this it is spitting outside. I can hear the cars nearby driving through the wet, and the drizzle is sprinkling on the window. It’s not enough to stop the gardener mowing the neighbours’ lawn, but it is enough to make me glad I am dry and warm inside. I can also see my sons’ trike on the paving getting wet. It reminds me of a German exchange student we once hosted. My mum still calls him number three son. He told us a story about when he was younger and had to keep his bike inside for a while. That if it rained it would get damaged, because the water that fell was affected by the Chornobyl nuclear disaster. I know, crazy to think about right!?
He told us that story in about 1994, but I just looked it up and the disaster happened 31 years ago. As you can imagine, we were horrified and shocked at the time. To think of the implications so far away from the site. We only knew what we had read in the paper, or heard or seen on the news. In fact I have just done an internet search and there are some fascinating images showing the ‘radioactive cloud over Europe’. Eh, it’s so scary to think of the damage this did to our wonderful planet. Of all the disasters that happened before and after this tragedy and those that continue to happen.
Depressing isn’t it!?
Well these thoughts also motivate me and help me to focus on my little family and my own community. I want to teach my children to love our planet, to make informed choices, to be positive and to know that it’s not all doom and gloom. That it can be fun and we can do it together.
This brings me back to my original plan for this post, school holiday fun. Children really are so grounding and I love their honesty and openness. They are also like sponges and thrive on learning new things and opportunities to use their imaginations in different ways.
In the lead up to each school holiday I love planning some special activities and surprises for them. Mostly to keep me sane, and them from fighting constantly. In the past we have made goo from items we found in the cupboard including Metamucil and corn flour. We have made plaster dinosaurs using silicone cake moulds and painted them, more than once. We always have a few playdates and love catching up with their cousins. In fact often the first day of holidays we can be found ‘spreading out’ all over the house.
These holidays we have some tomato seeds waiting to sprout that we hope to plant. They should be ready to enjoy in summer. I have some beeswax, given to us by a friend, so we can make some food wraps. I’ll let you know how we go with them. It’ll be trial and error. I also like to make sure the boys have some new art and craft to enjoy when they’re feeling creative. In fact I was recently contacted by Education.com who enjoyed one of my blog posts. They wanted to know if I’d like a worksheet to give to my readers. I had a quick look at the site and found a lot of others that my boys will enjoy. In fact I’m going to make each one of them a little workbook with activities suitable for their ages and interests.
I chose a creepy crawly themed crossword puzzle which you can print out or work through, just click on the link. I thought it was simple enough to talk young children through and for bigger children to complete. The clues even teach them a little about each critter and it comes with answers. Maybe you can find some of them in your garden?
No doubt these holidays we will spend lots of time in our garden having mini adventures. We’ll be playing basketball with our second hand ring, chasing our neighbours’ dog that we are minding, and making potions out of anything we can find. Sure, the boys will fight, I’ll get sick of them constantly wanting to eat and the house will be messy, but most of the time we’ll have fun breaking from routine.