There is so much fun that can be had with bubbles. Children just love them!
They can have hours of fun blowing, chasing and popping them and then doing it all over again. Playing with bubbles are definitely one of our favourite past times.
We decided to step it up and take bubble blowing to a whole other level and try out making giant bubbles.
Lia got a bubble science kit for her birthday so we thought we would give it a try. The kit has loads of interesting things that you can do with bubbles and shows you the science behind them. The main attraction of the kit for my girls was the giant bubbles.
The kit comes with 2 sticks, a length of string and a large pot to put the bubbles in. It is a simple piece of equipment that I am sure you could make yourself if you didn’t have the kit.
My girls had so much fun making huge bubbles. Once they had got the knack of how to make the bubbles there was no stopping them. Unlike regular bubbles you can’t just blow them you have to open up the sticks wide and walk back slowly to create a bubble then close the sticks together to close the bubble off and release it.
We were all stunned at just how big we could make the bubbles they were huge and seeing the excitement on the girls faces was priceless.
Beware though if you are standing underneath one of the gigantic bubbles when they pop you do get a bit of a shower of bubble mixture.
The bubble kit turned out to be an amazing birthday present and one that will be used over and over again. I just need to make sure that I am stocked up on bubble mixture or washing up liquid.
I think it is so important for kids to be kids, to explore, get messy, discover nature and what is around them. I am always on the lookout for new exciting ways to get the children into nature and the great outdoors.
A great inexpensive way for this is pond dipping. We are lucky to have a beautiful river running through are local park that is teaming with pond life. The nets themselves are very cheap, I got two of them from Amazon and the other we picked up last year at the beach.
This time that we went pond dipping we couldn’t even find our bucket so I used an old takeaway tub that I had cleaned out but if you do have a bucket it would be better. We normally use a crab bucket as they are clear so children can easily peer through and see what is inside the bucket.
My girls had an amazing time, we were fishing for ages and found all sorts of creatures. The excitement on their faces every time they pulled the net up from the river and found something inside of it. After about 30 mins we had caught two fish, a few caddis fly larvae, a great pond snail, a slug and a pond skater.
We also fished out two bees that fell into the water, my girls were please that they had saved their lives. It was great for the girls to get so close to the bees and have a real good look at them.
They could see that as long as the bees are left alone they are harmless to us. The bees were actually mid mating which is probably the reason they landed in the water in the first place, but to the eyes of the innocent child it was a mother bee and her baby.
It was amazing to get so close to them and one of the bees was the biggest bee I had ever seen. As you can see from the picture the bee at the back is an average size bee but looks small in comparison.
The girls also fished out a butterfly that fell in but unfortunately it wasn’t so lucky. Alexa also pointed out a really big dragonfly she had spotted and as we were all watching it fly around it swooped above our heads and caught a butterfly and flew off with it.
It’s amazing what you can see just from being by the river and taking a good look around. The fun didn’t stop there as on the way back to the car the girls were chasing the butterflies with the fishing nets trying to catch them. We only managed to catch one but the girls had great fun trying. Not to mention the exercise they got from running backwards and forwards chasing after them.
The girls then decided to use the nets to go on a bug hunt. They heard the grasshoppers in the long grass and discovered if they used the nets they could catch them. It was the first time they had actually seen a grasshopper and enjoyed watching how far they can jump and listening to the noise they make.
Pond dipping is a great day out that is inexpensive and provides so many learning opportunities for children and adults. It kept my girls amused and interested for hours and gave them a hands on learning experience that they will remember a lot longer than seeing pictures in a book.
Me and the girls all gave pond dipping a big thumbs up and will definitely be returning again during the holidays and I recommend to any parent looking for activities to do with children over the summer to give pond dipping a try.
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Blackberry picking is one of our favourite past times. My children are normally the first to notice the ripened blackberries on the bushes and start asking when we can go blackberry picking.
We grab empty carrier bags or sandwich bags and head off in search of blackberry bushes. Living in Somerset we are lucky that there are lots of wild blackberry bushes around. Even if you live in the city I am sure you won’t have to look too far to find some blackberry bushes.
The children get so excited when they spot the nice ones and when the bags start to fill up they feel proud of how many they have picked. We have learnt from experience that the best blackberries are nearly always hidden so it is worth moving the leaves and brambles around to try and find the ones hiding out of sight. Be really careful to avoid the thorns I found the best way was to use my foot on the lower branches and gently move the brambles down to expose the blackberries behind.
You should always look for the blackberries that are completely black and look squishy. When you pick them they should come easily away from the stalk. If you have to struggle to pull them off then they are not quite ready and will taste a bit sour. The plumper the blackberry looks the sweeter it will be.
After a while when we have half filled a carrier bag we head off back home, so we could get stuck into our blackberries.
For us the best way to do this and to get to really enjoy all the hard work we put into picking them is by making a crumble. There is nothing better than a good old fashioned homemade crumble our favourite is blackberry and apple which goes down a treat with a little vanilla ice cream.
My children love to cook and help out in the kitchen whenever possible they can bake quite a few dishes now with minimal help from me so they took over making the crumble with me just keeping a watchful eye.
Once ready we all sat down and enjoyed the fruits of our labour and it was well worth it. Not only was it a delicious crumble but it was made all the greater by the fact that we had handpicked the blackberries and made the whole thing from scratch. I know from the picture it is not the best looking crumble as the blackberry juice bubbled over but we are no Mary Berry. It tasted amazing and that is what counts, hopefully with more days like these our crumble will turn out perfect with the practice.
A cup full of blackberries
One large Bramley cooking apple
tablespoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of honey
120g plain flour
60g of demerara sugar + extra for sprinkling on top
Put the oven on to 180c
Wash the blackberries and apple then place the blackberries into a saucepan
Cut the bramley apple into small pieces and put in the saucepan with the blackberries
Add in 2 tablespoons of honey and a tablespoon of cinnamon
Add the pan to the heat and stir constantly for 5 minutes until the blackberries have released some of their juices and the apples have softened