Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Six Weeks of Summer Week 1: Minibeasties

The summer holidays have arrived, although to be honest you wouldn't think it from the Great British Weather. Infact I've renamed this month Julvember! I know this is a very different post to what is usually on the blog, but I figured we're having such a busy and fun-filled summer it would be nice to diarise it here! 

Two years ago I themed each of the six weeks, planned activities for the weeks topic every day and ended up having some great adventures with the boys with arts, craft, activities and daytrips all around each of our topics. We had a blast and not once did we feel bored at all all summer. It really helped keep the momentum of a long six weeks going, and although some days we needed a rest , having lots of themed plans definitely gave us a focus. 

Now last year we had a tiny newborn and I was recovering post third c-section so we had to wing summer a little. But this year I couldn't wait to plan our six weeks of summer again...you can take a teacher out of a classroom but you can't take the planning out of a teacher!! 

This week we've been exploring all things Minibeast; including stories, films, craft as well as out and about despite the weather.  

Saturday we visited the library and borrowed some minibeast stories. The Fly, The Beeman and Bee Makes Tea and I bought the boys Very Hungry Caterpillar to add to their collection as well as finding all the books in their bookcase all about buglife. We have a surprising number and the week has been filled with Minibeast bedtime stories each night. 

Monday (on our unrelated to Minibeast day out for Lucas's birthday) we found a spider at the rare breeds farm. Which meant Tuesday we decided to have a Spider day and created our own large art spider's web in the garden and did some spider paintings! 

Wednesday we had our 'Big boys only' day out and visited the Butterfly House at Symonds Yat. Both boys enjoyed being little butterfly explorers; however although Zachy liked watching the butterflies around their house he wasn't at all keen on them flying too close to him or indeed landing on him. Xander on the other hand loved the butterflies landing on him and they definitely seemed to like landing on him too.

We spent Wednesday afternoon getting soaked through at Tredegar House, walking around the lake and through the woods to collect sticks to make our own bug hotel later in the week. The boys thoroughly enjoyed puddle splashing and were not at all fazed by the weather. I should've remembered the puddlesuits as well as the wellies though, because of course is all ended in tears when Zachy stumbled and landed on his bottom in a big puddle of water! Ooops! 

Thursday was a much needed home and pyjama day, but we still continued our minibeast week by watching the Bug's Life Movie in the morning and being creative and messy with some paint in the afternoon. We used the boys feet to make butterfly prints and explore symmetry just like a butterflies wings. The boys loved painting only one side of the paper and then folding it over to make the same pattern on the opposite side! 

Friday was another dismal day,  so we watched cBeebies MiniBeast Adventures with Jess and managed to use the sticks we had collected Wednesday to make our very own Bug Hotel! Obviously this was an activity I had planned for the tuff spot in the garden, but beaten by the weather saw Xander emptying the sticks onto the kitchen table instead. Needless to say I hadn't really accounted for the bugs already living in the sticks that then escaped us! Argh! Bug Hotel now situated in our little front garden patch and I know Xander is keen for it to fill with bug life! 

Saturday morning the boys watched The Bee Movie and after going to the boys godmothers fun day we had planned to explore the local Nature Reserve to hunt for bugs. But the rain started again, it was getting late into the afternoon, and with three tired boys none of us had the energy to get soaked again. Yes we are fair weather bug hunters!

So instead today the boys bug hunted in their grandparents garden helped by their Bampi. And what a load of different bugs they managed to find. Today they have seen spiders, woodlice, a snail, a slug, a fly, bees, wasps and worms. They both really enjoyed themselves and Xander was even brave enough to hold the snail and the worms. 

Both Zachy and Xander have become more engaged as the week has gone on and they've both definitely got something out of and learnt something new about Minibeasts! Even Little Lucas enjoyed the painting and spider play in the garden. There was loads on the planning we didn't end up doing because I have a terrible habit of over-planning, so I'll bank those ideas now and save them for maybe another Minibeast week in another summer holiday time. 

So currently Big and Small are finishing their Minibeast week by camping in their ladybird tent in the playroom. Yes, both are still awake and I dread to think what time they will finally go to sleep; but as a one off treat we're allowing them to watch movies on the iPad in their tent. Lets hope we're not paying for the late night too much tomorrow! Haha! 

Starting tomorrow, Week 2: Pirate Week! 


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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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