Let Them Be Little Project

IMG_5223eIMG_5216eIMG_5200eIMG_5229eI love how it is sometimes the small everyday moments that develop into clear and lasting memories. Birthdays, Christmases and summer holidays can sometimes blur into a combined remembered moment, or more of a feeling…that English beach holidays were somehow always sunny, or that Christmas was always freezing cold!

Some of my earliest memories are very specific…picking forget-me-nots in the garden, eating chocolate biscuits with hot chocolate at my grandparent’s house, playing in newly dug foundations of a house extension! Strange things to remember maybe, but these were obviously things that mattered to my four or five year old self. I often think about which moments will form as memories for Mia and Joe. Sometimes I wish I could help them to remember  particularly happy points in time.

Whilst Joe is probably too young at 21 months to form long-term memories, I try to find new activities for him to experience, and hopefully enjoy! On Tuesday we made the most of the gorgeous sunshine and I set up some water play in the garden. A tub of water, a plastic tea set, some stones and collected grass, twigs and flowers from around the garden, kept him happily playing for hours. He served me cups of tea, warned me that they were ‘warm’ and encouraged me to slurp them loudly!

I am excited to be joining in with a new project – Let Them Be Little. The project is hosted by Natalie at Little Jam Pot Life and is a weekly collection capturing and cherishing moments and memories in childhood. Natalie explains the idea behind the project here. Do join in and link up if you would like to!

Little Jam Pot Life

Thinking about screen time

20140922_170545-1-1-1So, for me screen time is quite a new concept to be thinking of. This seems really strange as it is so widely discussed in the media, especially when it comes to little ones. Only last week I saw something crazy on tv where mums were testing how long babies would actually watch screens for before becoming unhappy…turns out, not very long, especially at 7 in the evening!

But back to my little family, and Mia in particular. At six years old, she is as familiar with most screen-based tech as adults. She has grown up with smart phones, tablets and Netflix and in some ways this is great. However, I have noticed in the last few months, maybe even since Joe was born, that her daily screen time has crept up. Whilst the handy screen-babysitter is occasionally necessary, I think both her and I had become far too reliant on it.

Having tried an outright screen ban, with a detox type approach in mind, and failed horribly, I thought quite carefully about what to introduce. What we are trying at the moment is a maximum of an hour’s screen time in the morning, and no more than two hours after school. The same applies for weekends, which I have to admit is a little more difficult. We are all following the same principle, although I do have to confess to a tiny bit of extra phone screen time for *essential* email, Instagram, Pinterest checking. So far, so good…and we have more free time which is lovely.

I would love to hear how you manage screen time in your family. Any tips or handy ideas would be so appreciated!

Enchanted Woodlands

IMG_4709eI have to admit that I was pretty happy when I found out that Mia’s homework for the school holiday was to visit the woods and take some photographs. As you might have spotted, this is what we do most weekends anyway! Hooray!

IMG_4715We went to explore some local woods that I had not visited before. We are so spoiled for choice when it comes to lovely walks in Oxfordshire. We visited woods only a couple of miles outside Oxford, but it felt like the middle of nowhere!

I am really glad to have packed wellies, it was so muddy! Mia insisted on wearing white tights though, arghh!

IMG_4719Lots of these sweet woodland flowers, but no bluebells yet.

IMG_4696eJoe got stuck in the mud and I had to pull him out!

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IMG_4698Some tree rubbings with wax crayons

IMG_4759A stack of old logs perfect for climbing

IMG_4775IMG_4739Gorgeous wild primroses

IMG_4787More muddy puddles!

IMG_4693eMia chasing Joe through the forest. I love how they just feel free to run and explore.

PS. Enchanted Woodlands is the title of Mia’s school project this term. There’s going to be lots of forest school time, mud and mini beasts!