Originally posted June 2014 and updated July 2017
Sunshine, warmth, blue skies... beautiful weather for fun in the outdoors. Enjoying the outdoors with kids doesn't have to be a daunting all-day activity. But sometimes it's difficult to encourage the kids outside and away from the screens. Or maybe you're looking for inspiration for handling those "I'm bored!" complaints.
What you need is something that will turn outdoor activities into an adventure.
Encourage even the most reticent nature walker outdoors with the thrill of a nature scavenger hunt.
It won't take much preparation time for you but will definitely provide loads of fun for your grandkids.
Start with a scavenger hunt list. You can always create your own but why reinvent the wheel when there are great ideas already done for you?
Make a list
Take this list from Chrissy Taylor, for example. Print the list, laminate it for durability and so that you can reuse it. If you have small children, your list might have to be in picture-form.
Ideas for pre-readers
If you do have pre-readers, there are plenty of options and ideas readily available. It's a wonderful way to explore the senses and encourage them to locate things that feel or smell. Check out this scavenger hunt for little ones- it includes a simple printable list to download and use.
Teams or individuals
Decide whether to run your scavenger hunt as a team contest or individuals. This will probably be determined by the number of kids you have and whether they've included their friends.
Don't forget the prizes
These don't need to be difficult or costly but, since most kids are fiercely competitive, it will add another level of excitement if they're striving for the prize at the end of the hunt. Don't forget consolation prizes for those who miss out.. especially with little ones.
It's also a good finish to any scavenger hunt if you conclude with a special snack or treat. Something as simple as an ice-cream for everyone to conclude the scavenger hunt can turn a fun adventure into a memory-making event, a simple moment that matters.
Leaf shape scavenger hunt
A simple option for younger ones, is something like a leaf shape hunt. Give each child a list of leaf shapes to look for and a bag to collect the leaves in once they find them. Design your own checklist of leaf shapes or download a ready-made one.
Try a photo scavenger hunt
If your kids are older and complain, "Oh, we've done this," be ready for them. Hand out a photo adventure scavenger hunt. Not only do they have to find the item on the list but take a photo. It's amazing how the addition of a camera or smartphone can change the interest level from ho-hum to extreme.
Alphabet Photo Scavenger Hunt
How about an Alphabet Photo Scavenger hunt? It's nice and easy. The kids will need to find and photograph items for all the letters of the alphabet, or as many as they can find.
Backyard, beach or bush
Your scavenger hunt can be held in your own backyard, at the beach, at a park or, if you're very adventurous, you could take them all for a bushwalk.
Hand each child: a bag to collect the found items, the laminated list, a whiteboard marker (use on the laminated list) and a rations pack. (They're always hungry and a trail mix should keep them happy. Don't forget some water.)
The fun needn't end once you're home again. Create a beautiful nature light with the kids as a colourful reminder of your day out in the great outdoors.
Create a nature light
* glass jar or container
* small battery operated tea light
* items collected from your scavenger hunt and walk
* small stickers
1. Carefully arrange all the items from your adventures outdoors in the glass jar.
2. Nestle the tea light amongst the items in the jar.
3. Add some small stickers or decorative tape to the outside of the glass container... and you're done.
The nature light jar looks equally attractive whether it's filled with leaves, pebbles, sticks and flowers or with items from the beach- shells, sand, seaweed and driftwood.
Use the day's activities to generate some discussion and to talk about God's creation, made for us to enjoy.
And, every time you or the kids look at the nature light, they'll remember the fun adventure you all had together as a family.
Seriously.... it helps a lot with the growth of this blog.
I know most people don't share because they feel that we bloggers don't need their 'tiny' share. But believe me... you matter! Each and every reader is important and appreciated.
I've built this blog piece by piece, one small share at a time. So thank you so much for your support.
Halloween - I have a love/hate relationship with this holiday. It’s the beginning of the ‘sweet’ season and that means trick or treat and a growing number of sugar-highs. Those of you desperately trying to stick to a diet will be worried how you’ll cope with all those tempting treats. Don’t panic. There are plenty of ways to have lots of fun this Halloween so try some of these spooky yet delicious ways to scare your diet woes away:
Party At Home
Having the Halloween party at your place means you can control the food on the table. If you have children, it will also mean they’re not out trick or treating for shop-bought sweets. Throwing a party may sound like an expensive prospect. But if you’re making all the treats, you can save a fortune. Love baking, then this could definitely be the right option for you. You could try my Pete the Pumpkin recipe, or one of your own for a cool presentation delight.
You could use low fat alternatives for your cakes and sponges. Vegetables like courgette can provide all the moisture you need. And it means the kids are getting one of their five a day in too! Use a natural sweetener like miracle berry tablets to reduce the sugar content too. Then you can use cookie cutters or rough knife some scary ghost, cat, and witch shapes.
Games And Prizes
Kids are just as happy doing fun things as they are eating cakes and sweets. Give them all plenty of games to play, like a spooky treasure hunt. Why not offer prizes that can be fun at this time of year, like mini glow wands? Setting up your home with decorations can be done quite easily. There are plenty on offer in the stores right now. But you can also make your own if you’re quite arty.
You can also stream or download some spooky music tracks to set the atmosphere. A ball pool can become a scary way to hunt for prizes. Add a couple of toy skulls and slime in there, and you’re in for some screams. When they’re finished, opt for some savoury treats if you prefer to keep the sugar to a minimum. Sausage rolls and cheesy crackers can be just as popular. Why not use spooky shape cutters on some sandwiches to keep the theme going?
Knock At The Door
Of course, there will be plenty of trick or treaters to keep satisfied at your door this year. Parents appreciate smaller quantities of treats if you are going to hand them out. Fun bags are OK, but why not break down a bigger bag into smaller quantities and wrap them up in a spooky paper? There are sugar-free sweets in the stores, but they can prove more expensive. Perhaps you can make enough of your home-made treats to share?
Halloween can be lots of fun without too much sugar. Treats have become customary, but you don’t have to join in if you don’t feel it is appropriate. Have fun, and take care of those teeth.
Where are you now? Reading this in front of the TV? Enjoying your first cup of coffee for the day? Glancing through the sub-headings before flicking over to Facebook?
Wherever you are and whatever you're doing right now, it's important for you to know that, starting today, your tomorrow can be better.
In ten easy ways your days can grow into a life full of possibilities, meaning and purpose.... not just backward glances and memories of the past.
Don't believe me? Check out the following list of actions you can take right now to leave the past behind and look ahead to enriching your life and building in lasting satisfaction and enjoyment.
(Yep... affiliate links are included which means, if you buy through me, I get some coffee money ...though not enough for the raisin toast, as well.) Full disclosure listed below.
So... are you ready to accept the challenge? Choose one of the above options today to get started. Extract, develop and use your hidden strengths. Let go of the past and look ahead.
'We only get one life, and the urgency of getting on with what we are meant to do increases every day. The clock is ticking.' -Bob Buford
DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend or link to. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. In fact, I ofttimes am able to negotiate a lower rate (or bonuses) not available elsewhere.
Plus, when you order thought my links, it helps me to continue to offer you lots of free stuff.
Thank you, in advance, for your support.
... an incredibly easy method that works for anyone.
"This post contains affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. This is how we help to make money so we can continue to bring you amazing content"
Wondering how to make your table decorations rock? Now, you can have the decor of your dreams- cheaper and faster than you ever imagined.
One of my earliest memories growing up involved flowers. Mum loved to have fresh flowers on the table and she would often ask one of us to nip outside and see what was flowering in the garden. There were usually a couple of blooms- some fallen fresh frangipani, one or two hibiscus, maybe even a couple of daisies. We'd happily dance inside, fill the little shallow container on the table with water and add the flowers. There was no skill involved but Mum thought it looked lovely.
There are many wonderful ways to create beautiful designs and dinner table decor. But there is nothing quite like fresh flowers on the table. But many are intimidated by the thought of arranging an attractive fresh display. Yet it doesn't have to be that difficult.
It's easiest, as in most things, to start small. In this case, we're using a small teacup to create the floral display.
This quick and easy fix for your table also needs very few supplies.
Find a list of them below:
What will you need to make this arrangement?
Don't feel intimidated by this new project. You'll find it is much easier than you think. And remember to enjoy yourself and have fun while you're making your table decor.
Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.
You'll find a step-by-step instruction video to help you create this sweet arrangement below.
There is also an instruction sheet that you can download and use as reference when you make this table decor.
Once you've created one arrangement, you'll find that you'll be making them very quickly.
You'll find the file below....
It's also a lovely gift to present to someone.
Similar sized floral arrangements cost quite amazing prices and so a gift like this teacup arrangement will really be appreciated. Plus, the recipient will have the teacup as a reminder of a memorable gift.
If you're looking for other ideas for creating simple but beautiful floral arrangements for your dinner table, please check my Pinterest board. Start making some beautiful table decor and building lasting memories for your family and friends.
Buying gifts for children can be tricky. You might spend a long time trying to get the perfect gift for a niece or grandchild. Then they just look at it and are more interested in someone else's gift or the box that the gift came in. Then it just puts you off wanting to buy more in the future, doesn’t it? Here are some tips for buying gifts for children.
Buy Them Online
Toy shops can be overwhelming. Have you ever been looking around in toy shops and just had no idea where to start? If you don’t have children yourself or don’t have children the age you’re looking for, there is so much choice. So it can be easier to buy the gifts online. Somewhere like Bubbalove sell kids toys online, and you can narrow down your search to certain age groups and genders. Then you don’t need to search through lots of different aisles of toys. You will just be given a smaller selection to choose from. It saves time and your sanity!
Choose Toys for the Right Age Group
There is one reason why the child will be bored of the toy you get them; they can’t understand it. If the toy is too complex to understand and aimed at children older than they are, they won’t play with it. Simple as that. Many toys and games have age guidance on it. So play attention to that, as they are there for a reason.
Choose Toys That Are Child Led
Another reason why your child might be bored of a toy is that they don’t enjoy it. A lot of toys these days are electric ones. They just want the children to press buttons or do certain things. When a child can’t be creative, it makes them bored of the toy. The novelty of the toy will wear off quite soon, and that is not a good choice. So look for toys that allow creativity and allow them to stretch their imagination. Think about things like building sets or a tea set. If they can use the gift for imaginary play, then you will be making a good choice.
Choose Crafty Gifts
Children love crafts and love to get messy. So you can’t go too far wrong with a craft or art set. Think of things like play-doh, markers, glitter, paper, and glue. Again, make sure that the craft set is suitable for their age. Glitter wouldn’t be a good idea for a toddler, but it would be better suited for a child that is school age. Chalk is always a good idea and works for a variety of ages.
Avoid Complex Gifts
You aren’t going to be any of the parent’s friends if you get complicated and complex gifts. So avoid things that require lots of batteries or need lots of supervision. It then might be a gift that hardly gets used if they have to buy new batteries regularly. So think about the longevity of a gift when you buy it.
Does any of this sound familiar?
"My life is so busy- I seem to be juggling 20 balls and it never seems to stop!"
"I usually find I've left it to the last minute and have to pay extra postage for next-day delivery."
"There is so much to do! No matter how much I rush around, I can't seem to get it all done."
If so, it's time to transform your chaos into calm and enjoy a better life.
And a simple weekly and daily planner is part of the solution. You'll find that you can relax, find balance, develop some positive habits and find time to focus on those things that are really important to you.
So, how can you find more time in your days and particularly, time for those things that you enjoy? And, just how can a planner help?
One of the first things to do to achieve anything meaningful in your life is to sit down and create realistic and doable goals. This involves doing a number of important things.
Write It Down – When you put something down in writing, it makes it more concrete and real.
Break It Down – When you know the goal, take it apart and make it into small steps that are easier to accomplish.
Prioritize – Put the steps in order. There is always a logical way to do something. For example, you can’t run the dishwasher until it’s been loaded. You can’t load the dishes until they’ve been rinsed.
Set Milestones – You want to check up periodically on whether or not you’re on track to reach your goals. If you set deadlines for each milestone, you will have a realistic expectation of when you will reach your goal.
Be Specific – When you write your goals down, be very specific and detailed. You’ll have much better results if there are no gray areas.
Track Actions – Using a spreadsheet or other app on a computer, or a paper calendar, keep track of the actions you are taking to reach your goals.
Measure Progress – Is your plan, and the steps you’ve set up, working to get you closer to your goal?
One Thing at a Time – When you set up your steps, it’s important to understand that you can only do one thing at a time.
And yes, a simple way to do all this, is to use a monthly, weekly, daily planner. You can find a beautiful planner pack here ready to download, print, write down your tasks and achieve your goals. Always, keep your planner open and beside you so that you can check it and track your progress.
This gorgeous weekly overview and daily planner with coverpage features a watercolour flower design with quaint birds. You can easily schedule and review your tasks and priorities for the week. The A5 daily planner allows you to list your daily tasks and includes added features such as daily water intake, top priorities, appointments,dinner planning and more. Now, you can have all you need to pause, refocus and achieve all that you set yourself to accomplish for the week.
Download, print and present as a beautiful set
Once you have downloaded and printed copies of this weekly and daily planner, you can hold the sheets together with a clipboard. I printed an extra copy of the planner cover-page and used it to cover the front of the clipboard. Then I added a small ribbon bow to the top of the clip.
Alternatively, you can print off the required number of pages for your planner and take it to a printer to be bound. (Officeworks bound mine into a tear-off pad and charged only $0.75. Or, you could use a spiral binding.)
Do you need to take your planner with you?
How about storing your weekly/daily planner in a slimline document case. All your planning is kept together and you can take it with you, along with pens and other stationery items for easy-to-access planning. I added the cover-page to the front of my slimline document, too. (Included in the download.)
Clipboard folders come in all sizes and covers, too, so search around for something you like and add some ribbon and trim for an individual touch.
Make more planner sets to use as gifts
As this planned pack is downloadable, you can print extra copies and package them up as gifts. Not only will you be creating an attractively packaged gift, you will be providing the means for others to achieve simplicity, clarity and peace of mind with their own personal planners.
Life as a grandma.. it's no 'quiet, restful days in the rocking-chair'. It's filled with activity, excitement and lots of family fun. Please share it with me.