Pumpkin carving

Enough said really! And we grew them from seed. A top slow mum activity and shouldn’t just be saved for the 31st October I am now thinking. Fabulous slow fun! Note one of our pumpkins wasn’t feeling well!!! Our trick or treaters were highly amused as were our kids!!

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Walking on walls…………..

…………….is definitely up there as a great childhood activity. You’re spoiled for choice here in Cambridge and my two can easily walk into town from ‘The Backs’ on various low walls and ledges (whether they’re supposed to is another matter but we haven’t been stopped yet!!) It’s great to see the children challenging themselves, sometimes holding our hands, other times hardly at all. And the concentration on their faces. Bless em! I remember so vividly doing this as a child, often challenging myself to balance on a kerb or master a ledge. I think it’s the ‘achievement factor’ which is at the heart of it. My two regularly cheer if they make it across their piece of wall. It’s the simple things in life hey!! Great fun, free and one of our favourites!!

Slow daddy has landed!!

I was having a wonderful lie in this morning (it’s half term week in Cambridge and my husband is off work to spend some time with his kids and me I think!!) and as I woke up I could hear all sorts of merriment from the lounge downstairs. I couldn’t quite make out what the kids were saying or doing but it did sound a little bit like they were building a train track or something. I couldn’t have been more wrong. When I got downstairs I was actually quite surprised to find that they were building a piece of furniture of all things.  An ikea special – a children’s storage unit no less. You wouldn’t think that this sort of activity could lead to such excitement but it did, and they were all very busy and all very much ‘on task’!! Both children were pulling their weight, putting screws in and dowls and handing daddy the parts he needed. They were in the zone and as I wandered in, my husband’s first utterance was, ‘Look, slow daddy has landed’ and he really had!! Hats off to him. He was doing a fabulous job, the children were learning and cooperating and very entertained. Not a sniff of telly to be seen and two happy contented little children. They spent over an hour on their project together. Nice work ‘slow daddy’ – watch this space  for some more ‘slow’dad’ activities coming soon!!!

Make a paper fortune teller

I had to look the name of this one up. I’ve been making them for yonks but have never actually known what they’re called!!!!! We call it ‘the paper foldy game’ in this house but with a little ‘googling’ ( I googled ‘folded game with numbers and colours and dares’) I came up with the answer, a ‘paper fortune teller’ or cootie catcher, chatterbox, salt cellar or whirlybird I learned.  I had no idea!!!  Basically it’s a children’s game that is made by folding paper (a form of origami I suppose) and involves firstly making the device and then finding someone to play it with you. The only way I can describe it, is that it looks a little bit like a bird’s beak and the beak is labelled with colours and numbers and inside are secret flaps with messages or dares written on them. Two people play the game, one is manipulating the paper shape and the other is the player. Confused? Yes I would be from that explanation. I think the only thing for it is to have a go yourself. Here’s how:

http://www.ehow.com/how_2053986_make-paper-fortune-teller.html

http://uk.ask.com/youtube?q=YouTube+paper+fortune+teller&v=rbA29zfEAZk&qsrc=472

If you need ideas for messages or mini dares to go under your flaps, in this house we do things like rub your tummy and tap your head, or sing a song or kiss someone, that sort of thing. Depends on the age of the people playing really. I guarantee this is a great ‘slowie’. First and foremost you have to make it and then find your willing victims!!! Have fun x

It’s all about semantics!!

Today I had a revelation! It really is how you ‘sell’ the dinner to your little ones that works. A ‘fruit platter’ for example is much more exciting sounding than say a banana or an apple. Offer a ‘breakfast muffin’ and they wont blink an eye. Mine are stuffed full of tomatoes and mushrooms which they would normally scoff at but once you describe something as a cake, they’ll eat the lot. Making something sound very fancy is also a winner. For example ‘spaghetti primavera’ (Italian accent included!) – sounds very tantalizing (which it is) but I’m simply serving them with strips of carrot and courgette mixed in with spaghetti and creme fraiche, Yum. Conclusion, it really is all about the words that you use! Here’s the recipe for my top seller, mummy’s ‘top secret’ pasta sauce (stolen from Anabel Karmel) which causes extreme excitement in this household and because the recipe’s a secret , it’s deemed to be even more special still. It’s literally a vast vat of veggies whizzed together in the blender and served with bow tie pasta but I wont be telling the kids that!!! Recipe below. Ooo and before I forget anything on a cocktail stick, in miniature or served in an interesting dish is also a winner. Happy cooking everyone and get ‘selling’!!!! As a famous Irish comedian once said ‘It’s the way you tell ’em!!!

http://www.annabelkarmel.com/recipes/vegetable-sauce

Take a walk down memory lane

Children are fascinated about what we did as children. What we did, where we went, what our bedrooms were like, what we used to do with our parents. A lovely ‘slow’ activity to do if you are ever in your old neck of the woods is to take the children for a ‘walk down memory lane’ to see some of the places you used to go to as a child. Today my husband took our little ones to a very beautiful place not far from the Peak District National Park where my husband and I spent many happy hours walking our dogs and picking bilberries. The children loved walking in our old footsteps and hearing of our adventures and of how we would roam through the woods and climb to the the top of the heather-covered hill to take in the stunning views. You could see the children were really thinking about it all and trying to piece together what mummy and daddy used to do. Just to be standing where mummy and daddy once stood was so exciting for them!!  What a memorable day. Why don’t you think about taking a trip down memory lane sometime soon, it really is lovely thing to do and I can guarantee the children will be fascinated !