Turn on the tennis

Now I know TV doesn’t feature highly on the slow parenting list of suitable activities but I do think there’s a time and a place for it and surely Wimbledon fortnight is one of those times!!! My kids love watching the tennis and before long they have the foam balls out and are using their hand as rackets or as the case may be, using their rackets as rackets  (eek , watch the lampshade !!) . Yup, tennis is a great slowie and there’s nothing like the real thing to get them inspired. “Come on Andy !!”

Get the kids to read things for you

Don’t just get them to do your writing, get them to do your reading too!!!! This dawned on me today as I was organising myself to read out the bingo clues for the umpteenth time. I suddenly thought ‘Why am I doing this?’, when my girl is perfectly capable of reading out the cards herself. She loved it, loved the role reversal, loved running the game and really loved calling out all the complicated bug names as her brother and I matched up the cards. (We were playing Bug bingo, you should try it! ) Now things have clicked into place with her reading and writing there are so many ways my daughter can take part. From reading out game rules to reading ingredients, recipes, texts, signs, leaflets, letters. The world is her oyster offering so much to read!!!

Make some mud pies

Well it was more like sand pit pies but same concept really!  My two spent the best part of an hour in pursuit of this goal the other day pouring water into the sand pit and then moulding and crafting their pies in delight. When they finished they then moved on to forming interesting mountains and ravines with the remaining sand and when this was all finished they decorated their newly finished landscape feature with little twigs and flowers. Brilliant. Sand is such a great ‘slowie’ and they get as mucky as anything which they all love!! Happy days  :-))

Give them a measuring tape

I was out in the shops this afternoon anxiously trying to choose a new tap whilst Mr Whirlwind was racing round and round and out of sight. I was desperate to have a look and a good measure but wasn’t getting even the smallest chance when suddenly it dawned on me!!!  I realised exactly what I had to do to keep my boy busy. I grabbed my measuring tape, thrust it in my son’s hand and asked him to measure the taps for me. He jumped at the chance and was soon measuring taps, towel rails, sinks, baths the lot !!!  He was ever so busy and most importantly he wasn’t bothering me, I could have a look around. Hurrah !!! Mummy heaven. Think that measuring tape might become a bit of a handbag essential for me from now on. Get one in there !!

A good quote

Picked up a wonderful quote tonight from my son’s first parents evening ( he starts in September – sob, sob !)

PARENTS WHO HELP CHILDREN PLAY ARE PARENTS WHO HELP CHILDREN LEARN

I think that’s what I’ve been trying to achieve with my slow(er) parenting this last year. Learning through play. Good, old-fashioned, simple play 🙂

Mini beasts challenge

Inspired by a school trip this idea would be easy to do in your back garden or beyond. Basically the children are given a yoghurt pot and a spoon and are sent off to scrape around under logs, roots and in leaf litter to find as many mini beasts as they can. They then bring their beasts back to a central place and sort them onto trays as to whether they have 8 legs, 6 legs, multiple legs or no legs. What fun as the fast little wigglers made a dash for it !!!We found spiders, beetles, millipedes and snails to name but a few and because there were several children taking part, everybody could admire what each other had found. Brilliant and so simple !

Ride a local bike trail together

It’s so lovely now they’re older we can finally go for family bike rides together.  My son is still on his balance bike but come this Summer hopefully we will be ‘stabiliser free’ and ready to roll. I’m so looking forward to it. A bike ride is such an adventure and such a classic slowie! Out in the great outdoors, fresh air, free to talk, free to roam and most importantly free from the trappings of TV. With this in mind, I’ve started researching and putting together lists of local bike routes and cor did I come up with  a smasher at the weekend. I went on the Forestry Commission website and was directed to our closest site at Thetford forest. What a cracking day out , a sculpture trail, lots of slides and play areas but the best by far was the ‘Superworm trail’ that we cycled together. Inspired by the Julia Donaldson book it was journey of discovery and fun with ‘wormy’ challenges en route !!Great stuff. Who knows where our cycles will take us next !!