Category Archives: Summer Sandpit

Summer Sandpit 1/9/14

It’s our final week of Summer Sandpit…

dens in the woodsOur very last Summer Sandpit is all about dens. I think most children enjoying den-building don’t they? Whether it’s in the woods with sticks and branches, in the garden under the trampoline or in the dining room with blankets over the table.

dens inside
What about your children? Is this something they’ve done this Summer? If so, we’d love you to link up your posts or share your images with the #SummerSandpit.

Summer Sandpit 25/8/14

Days out. How many have you had? Where have you been? How have they gone?

It’s difficult to keep the children occupied during the holidays. Days out can be expensive, and sandpit_zpse4b97af5need a lot of planning. But, they give our children great new experiences, allow us to learn, play and be together, and just have fun!

We appreciate that for many, security is an important issue, so of course, don’t disclose your location if you don’t want to. However, if you have reviewed somewhere, then please add your post, and do add your general trips to beaches, parks, exciting attraction and any other days out you feel happy sharing.

Summer Sandpit 18/8/14

Another week of the Summer Holidays has flown by – how’s it been in your house?
This week Sarah and I are looking forward to meeting up again and introducing our children to each other, as we head up to The Open Nest. Don’t worry – we’ll tell you all about it.

But back to Summer Sandpit. We have another great guest blogger for you this week – Mudpie Mama from Mud Mud Marvellous Mud is writing about this week’s theme ‘Active and Outside Play’…

Active and outdoor play is what Little Man does best. The garden is his favourite place and whenever or wherever he is, he is a busy little bee. Snail and spider hunting is his current snailsfavourite pastime closely followed by bike riding and hunting for the combine harvester which can sometimes be glimpsed in the fields opposite and behind our house. However, he chooses to play though being outdoors is an integral part of it for him. He loves to feel the wind on his skin and watch the changes in the light; he is fascinated by the way the ground changes when it rains and how insects hide under leaves to avoid getting wet. The outdoors offers Little Man a sensory experience completely unmatched by indoor play. He doesn’t care if it is windy or rainy, sunny or hot, all these variables just add to the experience.

The other week we had been out hunting for tractors in the local fields and as we got home the heavens opened. I rushed to unlock the back door thinking he would want to run indoors and as I walked back round to see where he was I saw him just stood on the driveway, face to the sky watching, feeling and tasting the rain as it hit his face. It was then that I knew there was no way he wanted to go inside and there was no way I did either. I wanted to experience the moment just as fully as he was, so there we were just stood in the driveway as the sky poured down buckets right over our heads. Before long we were dancing to the beat of raindrops hitting the floor and then riding our bikes through the wet grass, Little Man practicing his skidding skills. It was the best morning we had had together in ages.

Outdoor play has a habit of providing unexpected scenarios like this one. You never know what the weather will do, what little hands will discover or if you are headed somewhere new where you might end up. It offers the chance for children to build on fine and gross motor skills in equal measure and in the right environment encourages and invites children to move outside of their comfort zone, learn their limits and understand how to manage risk. With uneven ground, hidden nooks and crannies and a world of miniature creatures to explore this ever changing environment rarely gets boring, at least not for my Little Man.

Here are some of the ways we enjoy the outdoors, we hope some of the posts will inspire you to get outside and get active too or to share your own outdoor play ideas with the fabulous girls getting muddyfrom The Adoption Social.

Mud play is one of our favourite ways to play. In this post I share the benefits of getting muddy and some links to some fabulous mud play ideas.

tyre play


You don’t need expensive toys to encourage the kids to get outdoors. In this post Little Man enjoyed some simple tyre play, cheap and easy.

How about a whole holiday based around the outdoors. We first went camping when Little Man was 18 months old and he absolutely loved it. We would definitely recommend it.

Why not try a simple nature walk. These are a brilliant way to get started playing outdoors and can easily be adapted if your little ones are past the toddler stage.

So there’s a whole host of ideas from the Mudpie Mama – what outdoors play have you been encouraging? Trips to the park? Paddling Pool? or perhaps mudpies and tree climbing?

Please link up all your outdoor and active play posts, and take a look at the others that link up if you need any inspiration. Oh, and make sure you check out Mud Mud, Marvellous Mud too!

Summer Sandpit 11/8/14

Welcome back to our third week of Summer Sandpit. We’re really enjoying seeing what you’re getting up to, and taking inspiration to create our own activities too.

This week – with our theme of cooking – I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from Raisie Bay

blogbadge photo badge_zpsf0b88074.jpgI’m Anne, the author of the blog and I love cooking with my kids. I started a link­up weekly on my blog called Kids in the Kitchen to encourage others to share their easy recipes to make with the kids. I have three children, Star aged 8 years, Boo aged 7 years and the Little Man who is nearly 4. We have lots of fun and make lots of mess. Cooking with kids is not for the faint hearted, you have to let them get on with it and clean up afterwards…or better still get them to help you clean up! It’s never to early to learn how.

Sometimes we all cook together and sometimes I have just one or two helpers, I just ask and see who wants to help.

I want to encourage my children to cook more not only because it’s fun but to help them learn all about food preparation and what we eat. I don’t have a complete ban on junk food, and I’ll admit I’m the first to grab the chicken dippers or fish fingers after a busy day, but teaching my children about food will help them to choose healthier eating habits in the future. It’s also a great way of getting your children to eat things they wouldn’t normally eat. We all want them to eat more fruit and vegetables don’t we? Well, I’ve found that they are more likely to eat them if they have been put into food they have made themselves. Cooking also offers other learning activities like weighing and numbers, and the science of what happens to food when its mixed or cooked.

By sharing our journey of cooking together with other parents I’m hoping we can encourage them to have a go themselves. Also, it’s a great way of sharing recipes.

We have made lots of things together, like very simple but tasty mushroom quesadillas which are a favourite at lunch time in our house. You can see how we got on and find our recipe here.

We were really happy when we were sent some lovely Bahlsen biscuits to make things with, this post has a lovely video of the Little Man making delicious Chocolate Shortbread.

At Easter we made some lovely Hot Cross Buns which turned out really well.

As you can see, we have lots of fun and the children are learning all the time. We currently make more sweet things than savoury but we are working towards a more mixed menu. I’ll have them cooking Sunday lunch in no time!

It sounds like Anne and her family have loads of fun in the kitchen – many thanks for writing a post for us! And now it’s over to you – what cooking do you and your kids do? Does your child have a favourite recipe?  Do they help every day or just for specific recipes? Add your link below…

Summer Sandpit 4/8/14

Week 2 of our special summer linky – Summer Sandpit!

This week we’re very pleased to welcome Crafts on Sea as our guest blogger. She’s writing about crafts which is our optional theme this the way, we’re keeping each of these Summer Sandpit links open ALL SUMMER – so if you don’t do crafts this week, don’t worry, you can still come back and link up at the end of the holidays.

Thank you so much to Vicki and Sarah for inviting me to share some craft ideas with you! Before I start I’m going to say that I am not a super amazing crafty person that leaps out of bed every morning thinking about gross motor skills and ways to develop learning. I’m very much a normal, permanently tired parent just trying to think up some stuff to do with the kids that they will enjoy and that will help to keep them away from too much tv! These are some of the things that have kept my son entertained so hopefully they will help you too. I also share a lot of tutorials for crafts and activities for kids and grown ups on my Facebook page so do come and take a look!

Decorating Mugs

These mugs make a great gift and are fun to make too. Despite what you might read on Pinterest Sharpie pens won’t work but I’ve found a pen that does. My son cake-case-flowers1loves to draw super heroes or the directions to the local soft play on these!

Cake Case Flowers

This is such an easy craft to do and best of all you’re likely to already have everything you need!Seashell-craft-ideas1

Sea Shell Wall Hanging

My son and I made this cute wall hanging together, it makes a great reminder of days out that you have together.

Painted Garland

My son had some issues around going to playgroup and making this garland together to showcase the art he had made there really helped remind him that he had fun there!! 

DIY Kids Moustache T Shirt

I made this simple printed T Shirt with my son looking on but toddlers or older kids could easily join in, it’s a great way to get them creating something for themselves. 

A big thank you to Crafts on Sea for her post, and for sharing some of her wonderful craft activities. Over to you now, add up your posts about the crafty things that you and your children have been up to…

Summer Sandpit 28/7/14

Hello and welcome to the first week of our new Summer Sandpit linky – a place for you to share your summer memories and activities, and perhaps give some inspiration to others.sandpit_zpse4b97af5

Our weeks are themed, but as with all our linkys – the themes are optional. This first week is ‘Nature’ and to kick us off, Vicki from The Boy’s Behaviour is sharing some activities that you might like to do with your children…

barny the woodsTruth be told, I’m not an outdoorsy person. I don’t like hot weather, despise wasps and buzzy insects, and see no point in sunbathing. However, I do like nature – I love the smells and colour of the flowers, homegrown fruits and vegetables taste far sweeter than bought ones, and even as an adult, I’m fascinated by seed pods, crunchy autumnal leaves, knobbly twigs and live in hope I may one day see fairies at the bottom of the garden.

With this in mind, I like activities that encourage the children to think about nature, and allow them to bring the outside in – not worms and stuff, but those seed pods, seeds, dried flowers, petals, feathers and such.

Here are a few of the posts I’ve published in the past that explore and encourage thoughts Dirt cupsabout nature:
Dirt Cup Puddings (with jelly snakes, worms or bugs)
Rice Maze and Story Maker (easily adaptable to only include natural objects)
Grape Caterpillars
Nature Paper

And I have a pinterest board full of other nature-type crafts and activities

how to get kids offline

I also recently reviewed a fantastic book called ‘How to Get Kids Offline, Outdoors and Connecting With Nature’ – click through and you’ll see a photo of the Fairy House that Dollop and I made together. And I’ve made a list of other activities from the book that I’d like to try this Summer.


We’ll definitely be heading out to explore nature – fruit picking, scavenger hunts, gardening, geocaching, and even painting our own rock bugs, link your post up below so we can see how you’ve been getting nature into your lives…

As usual, no rules, just add your link below. All welcome to link in – no connection to adoption needed, but great summer activity posts only please. Do share your favourites, and comment on posts where you can.

Exciting new link-up on it’s way…

With the Summer nearly upon us, we know you’ll all be busy keeping the children occupied. So instead of our usual #Memory Box Mondays, we’re bringing you a new link-up for the Summer holidays where we’ll invite you to add posts about your Summer activities.


Some of you are so creative and come up with amazing activities and opportunities for Sandpit siblingsyour children, some of you need a little inspiration at times, so by sharing your summer fun on ‘Summer Sandpit‘ you get to show us what you’ve been up to, and get ideas from other bloggers too. We want all your posts on what you’ve been doing with the children – fun times, rainy day activities, crafts, cooking, day trips, outside play, any anything else that you do over the summer.


Each linky will be open from Monday morning to Sunday evening, and we’ll share as many posts as we can on Facebook and Twitter. We’re also creating a Pinterest board where we’ll add all your summer activity posts.


And we’re going to give you a bit of inspiration too, with our optional themes:

28 July – Nature

4 August – Crafts

11 August – Cooking

18 August – Active play

25 August – Den building

1 September – Days Out


If you’re stuck for ideas to get you going, then you could check out our review of Getting Your Children Offline, Outdoors and Back to Nature, that we’re publishing tomorrow, and of course there is always Pinterest for some great ideas too.

So watch out for Summer Sandpit starting on 28 July.

And as always we have a lovely badge you can add to your post or website to let everyone know you’re part of our Summer Sandpit.

The Adoption Social