Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our beloved Catherine fled the fairest cape for the bright lights of Jo'burg city at the end of August. Megan and I have been overcome with grief and have spent the last few weeks crying in the fetal position. This is why we have been so quiet on the crafts front.

Also, Megan has been busy with a little "make and bake" project of her own, and created this masterpiece.

However, last week we managed to surface from our sadness/breast feeding to do an actual activity with the left over kids (missed you Ari and Erin). We will post about this as soon as we have completed said activity (it needs some drying time).

But for now Megan and Liv and the new little Ruth Margot Jamie (big name for a little girl) are off on a jet plane to the big city to see how Cath and the girls are settling in - and what fun adventures await in the big city! Anybody have some suggestions, let us know!

Contributed by Lucy's mommy, Lauren

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

sunshine and seashells

Rain, snow, hail and south easters.  Cape Town winters.  Snuggling under the covers with a good book. Hot chocolates and toasted marshmallows.  Constantly brainstorming activities to keep kids from just watching television and generally driving you crazy.  

And then one morning, instead of the grey gloomy sky, sunshine peeks through your curtains and the heavens are blue. Windows and doors are swung open allowing the fresh air and sun in.  Roundabouts creek to life and giggling children run wild.

We grabbed the opportunity to get the girls out in the sun and do some shell activities we never got round to in the summer days (mostly because it was so warm and they would always gun straight for the water).

Down to Queens Beach with some twine and scissors.  Hunting for shells with holes to string and make necklaces.

Frolicking in the shallow waters till everyone was in their knickers splashing away... and of course: we didn't pack in any towels....  but hey, these memories are priceless.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

monster marshmallows

Those clouds are going to drizzle and drip and pour all day. The wood is piled up high.  As soon as the kids get home it will get lit for a day of puzzles, drawing, reading and hopefully a little marshmallow toasting.  And yes Lauren, you are more than welcome to pop by!

The girls used wiltons food colouring pens to draw freaky face on their marshmallows.  You can buy these at any baking store.   You could also dilute some food colouring and paint on faces or designs with a fine paintbrush:  check out our inspiration and rather more professional attempt!

We then braved the cold and hunted for long sticks to toast our monster marshmallows at the fireplace.

Sticky, toasted marshmallows: YUM!

If you have a fireplace place near by, even if it is that awkward neighbours, I suggest you start making friends so that you can toast your toes and some monster marshmallows this winter!  And who knows, maybe even make some great new friends.  Hey Lauren and Cath?

ps this is also kinda fun for big people....

Friday, June 13, 2014

big in Japan


With Father's day just around the corner and Cath returning from her adventures in Japan with the funkiest origami paper in hand, we attempted a little folding for cards this father's day.

First the girls drew portraits of their dads on a card made of plain white cardboard.  And after a little bit of practice we made origami bowties to stick on our cards.

Step 1:  Go to Japan and buy origami paper.  Or you can cut out squares of plain paper or wrapping paper.

Step 2: download some of these awesome (FREE) origami apps.

Kids Origami for iPhone
How to make origami

Step 3:  choose a couple of designs.  start off with easy folding and then something a little more tricky (We chose the heart, because we love our dads and then a cat, because cat's are cute) before doing the tie or bowtie which are a little more advanced.

Step 4: take a deep breath, and channel that inner patient parent.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Blinged fridge magnet pegs

A quick rainy day activity, just using bits and bobs you have lying around the house.  You may have to raid the peg bag and try remember to replace these on your next shopping trip. Oh, and the magnets?  Well I always have these lying around- but I have a sneaky suspicion that I am just weird like that..  If you don't- I get mine from ABC Wholesalers on Sir Lowry Road... It's right at the beginning, close to the castle, so not such a big schlep.

As you may have noticed: glitter was the hero of the day, much to Lauren, Lucy's moms delight!  All it takes is a little bit of glue and sprinkling.  I popped the magnet on with a glue gun... but use superglue if that's what you have.  And there you go:  you have blinged your fridge!

Lesson learnt:  Newspaper is your friend.  Glitter is NOT fun to clean.  My kitchen table will be glitter infected for a while to come still...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Hunting for tadpoles

We are so fortunate that our city sits at the feet of the most beautiful mountains and lies on the curves of our sensuous ocean  allowing us to escape to nature and lose ourselves in fresh air and wilderness whenever the moment seizes us.

As you enter Deer Park Nature Reserve  at the edge of vredehoek the smell of pine trees eliminates any memory of a bustling city just meters away, replacing towering skyscrapers with majestic trees. 

Martin and I had discovered this little spot the previous weekend and the treasures to be  found in the stream that ran through.

It took a little organisation and prep work for this little outing to teach the girls about tadpoles and frogs.  And learn big words like: METAMORPHOSIS and CAMOUFLAG and AMPHIBIAN.


We found a colouring in page at Art Room 104.  Click here for download.
When the girls arrived the got to do a little colouring in and have an introduction to the life of a tadpole.

First you will have to find a pond with tadpoles that aren't too shy.  Then a couple of nets and buckets.  The girls had a blast fishing and once we had quite a good selection, we studied them and discovered which were smaller, which had legs and whose tails were disappearing the most.
For the record: all tadpoles were released and no tadpoles were harmed.

everyone then got some glue and a packet with 4 ice lolly sticks numbered 1 to 4 with a picture of each stage of a frogs growth.  they had to stick it on the correct stick and put them in order.  I can't find the original but I found this free download at Learn, Create, Love, which is even nicer and has 5 stages... and flashcard

First we all wiggled our bottoms and shuffled around like tadpoles...
Then tried to get everyone to stand in a row.  Roll up into a rock. And let the person at the back leap over each 'rock' like a hopping frog.  Now we might all be familiar with this, but we all had to learn somewhere... took a couple of tries!   The best part was when Megan and Lucy's mom Lauren tried to show everyone how it to do it!

And you can't  go out and about and not just run and discover!

Friday, April 18, 2014

egg painting time of year!

Painting Easter eggs is a must every Easter holiday.  An easy, fun and messy activity to be shared amongst friends and family.  And I must confess this is one of those parenthood things I was looking forward to... through rose tinted glasses... now there is the reality of the sugar high and bickering that comes with the package, but heck it's still fun.

a box (big box!) of white coated chocolate eggs
food colouring diluted in a bit of water 
paint brushes
old toothbrushes for splattered paint effects
clean water for rinsing brushes
and some keen kids... and adults!

 go crazy!

A little tip: To get the worst of the food colouring off little hands, try a little squeeze of lemon juice.


When all was done and and our chocolate eggs a little dry we had a good old egg and spoon race..

PS don't tell Sophie... she slept through...