It’s throwing it down with rain outside and the kids want ice cream but our house is out of stock.
I vaguely recalled a way of making ice cream using salt and ice cubes so we thought we’d give it a try. It passes as an educational activity (just) so double win!
1. Put 1/2 a cup of semi skimmed milk in a zip lock sandwich bag.
2. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla and 1 tablespoon of sugar.
3. Zip the bag shut trying to get as much air out the bag as possible.
4. Put that bag inside another zip lock bag and seal tightly removing the air again.
5. Place the ice cream bag into a larger zip lock bag and fill with ice.
6. Put 2 tablespoons of salt into the large bag and seal tightly.
7. Shake the bag for approx. 8 minutes. You’ll notice the liquid start to go slushy in consistancy.
8. Take the ice cream bag out the larger bag and serve immediately.
The kids got bored shaking the bag and we did spring a leak but, we got a small amount of slightly melted ice cream which the kids loved and made it all worthwhile (to them anyway).
The boys were fascinated by the chemical reaction between the salt and the ice and how it turned the milk into ice cream.
Definitely a great activity to waste 20 minutes on a wet day.
The summer holidays are upon us and with it, 6 long weeks of entertaining bored kids! Although I’m now back at work, I still have more than 50% of the week to find some way of avoiding boredom.
Cambridgeshire has so many amazing places to visit (some of which are free which is an added bonus) and this is how we are intending to spend our summer (providing the rain goes away!)
Here’s my list of local places that are great to visit with under 5’s.
1. Sacrewell Farm
With tractors to climb all over and have rides on, animals to feed and an amazing soft play area, this makes a great day out. It’s not too expensive and has indoor options should the heavens open. They also have additional activities on during school holidays.
2. Hinchingbrooke Park
Apart from a small car parking charge, it’s free to visit. There are miles of lovely walks, plenty of open space for running around and lots of play equipment for children. Also, if the kids stay quiet enough, there’s lots of wildlife to be seen. They usually have additional activities such as pond dipping in the school holidays.
3. Johnsons Farm
This is about 5 minutes in the car from us a definitely a great way to kill a morning. The kids love visiting the animals. They have all sorts there but their favourites are always the alligators. Although it’s free to visit, I always get stung for the amazing food in their cafe and farm shop!
4. Anglesey Abbey
A beautiful National Trust house and gardens. Lots of outdoor space for the kids to run around and amazing for a game of hide and seek! We all learn something new here as well look at the array of flowers and find out what they are.
5. Sedgwick Museum
There are plenty of museums in Cambridge to choose from but this is my favourite. I love all things earth science related and with dinosaurs involved the boys tolerate it too! Always plenty of activities going on to amuse all ages. There’s also a great geology trail that takes you on a walk around Cambridge centre after you’ve finished in the museum. Totally geeky but we love it!
Last night we had an enormous storm! It was kind of inevitable given all the hot, humid weather we’ve had recently. It was the kind of storm that brewed silently with lots of lightning and built to almighty, house shaking thunder and lightning.
I saw it brewing about 1.30 am with almost constant lightning. It wasn’t long after, that a small face appeared at our bedroom door claiming he was frightened.
Normally, no child invades my bed during the night but a terrified 4 year old during a rare thunderstorm is an exception.
We tried to sleep but the lure of watching the storm was too great. We don’t get too many storms in The Fens as it’s a bit too flat and boring! So, we sat at the window watching for a while but the surrounding trees were blocking our view so we all piled back into bed and found a great website to watch the storm on instead.
This real time lightning map was great. We could see the flash of lightning and then it would appear on the map and show us the approximate track of the thunder. The boy was fascinated and it definitely took his mind off the fear of the storm. He was following the thunder ‘bubble’ to our village and was so impressed when he heard the thunder at the right time. Check this map out next time there’s a storm. It’s great fun!
The storm lasted nearly 2 hours and we were exhausted when we finally got the boy back to bed. Thankfully, none of the other children even stirred. Anymore than 3 in our bed is becoming a squeeze these days! How they sleep through storms like that I will never know!
Have you been disturbed by the Great British Summer storms this week? What do you do to pass the time with frightened children?
It’s Fathers day today and time to spoil Daddy and show him how much we all love him. We do this every day of the week anyway but, convention dictates that you must buy a card on this one day of the year!
We’re taking Daddy on a surprise day out as chosen by the boys. They are going through an obsession with steam trains and love the local narrow gauge railway so of course have chosen that as their destination. I’ve written about it before here as we go quite frequently.
The boys have been working hard and have made their own cards for Daddy. They are so proud of their cards that the eldest asked if I could “show the world” his card on my blog!
An alien family from B.
Inspector Gadget from O
The girls are far too small to be doing crafts and I quite honestly can’t deal with the mess so they had to make do with a shop bought card.
It’s very true though and sums up how we all feel about him. He really is our superhero!
I can’t believe it’s June already! May has been a very busy and exciting month. We had lots of time with Daddy at home and we all had a holiday. The kids went off to their grandparents and we took a trip to Alton Towers.
June is looking much, much quieter thankfully.
1. Trip To London
We have family coming to visit from Italy and the only way to get everyone together is to meet in Central London. Not ideal with 4 small children but with my parents help and 2 slings we can hopefully do it without pushchairs and without losing any children!
2. Parents Evening
It’s introduction evening at B’s new school. We’ll get the opportunity to meet his teacher and the new headteacher plus order his uniform. I’ve been warned to take my tissues as they show a tearjerker of a video!
3. First School Visit
Following on from parents evening, B has his first visit to his new school to meet his new classmates. He’s very excited!
4. A Catch Up With My Bestie
We’ve known each other since we were 2 and used to live just 10 doors apart but since I moved from London and we both had kids, we don’t get to spend as much time together. Our catch ups usually involve lots of wine and chatting (plus the odd husband moan). I miss her so much but I know she’s always on the end of the phone if I need her.
5. Tour Of Cambridgeshire Cycle Race
Although a massive inconvenience to us if we want to travel anywhere, the cycle race is coming through our village. We thought the boys would like to go and watch all the cyclists coming through and see what’s going on. It’s not very often something like this comes to our sleepy village.
I had some alone time with the smallest boy this week and as the weather was nice we decided to have a play in the garden. As it was so nice we had an ice lolly break and O just had to copy my lounge in the garden pose.
Not sure why he insisted on wearing his helmet!
Our boys are having a mini holiday at their Grandparents while we go away to celebrate my 30th birthday. This meant we had to take the kids to the in-laws to deliver them safely into their care.
Usually, we get to their house and don’t really do too much but, as the weather was so lovely, we decided to head off to the local garden centre. Van Hages is not your average garden centre (although they do sell some really amazing stuff). They have a fantastic pets corner and a miniature railway.
The boys loved looking at the animals and trying to convince Daddy that we need a pet. I need no convincing (as if 4 children isn’t enough!).
They have a huge array of animals including goats, sheep, rabbits, birds and some strange exotic named creatures!
After a visit to the animals we headed over to the miniature railway. Run by the East Herts Miniature Railway, this ride on train goes on a journey around a small section of the garden centre. A ride is £1 for anybody over 2 years old which I thought was really good value for money.
The boys had a ride with their Grumps who didn’t complain when we suggested he take the kids on! The boys were so excited about their train ride.
We were only there just over an hour but could quite easily have spent much longer. It’s definitely a great place to go to pass a few hours without spending huge amounts of money.
We spent some time in the beautiful sunshine today. After a few games of hide and seek plus, some climbing of trees, we decided to collect some leaves to do some craft with.
We did some leaf rubbing. This totally blew the boys minds! They were amazed that I created a copy of the leaf with a crayon. It’s been absolutely years since I’ve done this but it was still excellent fun.
We also drew around the outline of the leaf with every intention of making a colourful picture but B decided to let Spiderman in on the action!
The boys loved searching for the best leaves and I think a scavenger hunt may be a great idea for them in the next few weeks.
It’s not very often that we manage to make it to the park and the babies are still awake. Today was a first and this was the result.
Twin swinging! Perfectly held in place so they can’t flop backwards and not separated from each other.
They loved it. Can’t wait for more fun in the sunshine this summer.