Thursday, 28 June 2012

How to keep your children entertained for the whole* of the holidays

I had a shock on Tuesday.

It was the end of term.

Yes, readers South of the Border, you did read that right.  The END OF TERM.  On TUESDAY.  It's not even the last week in June and I have all of my children all of the time.

Until, even more weirdly to someone raised on English terms, the 12th of August.

As I said.  Weird. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but nonetheless, and I say this as someone whose children are still only in school/nursery half days, it has caught me unprepared.

Still, we have survived the first two days, unscathed, thanks mostly to the Toucan Box.

I was sent the Toucan Box about a month ago, and I foolishly started it then, but it is, genuinely, not only one of those "ideas I wish I'd had" but also one of the very few freebie/testy/bloggy things I've been sent that I will, honestly, be spending my hard earned cash on again.

It's a box which arrives at your door with no fewer than four (yes, four... if you eke them out, that's one a week, so 2/3 of the holidays done) crafty activities, a story book (Dazzle Duckling - I thought it was quite annoying, but that might just be because I have read it approximately fifty times in the last three weeks), colouring pictures, instructions, inspiration, and, and here's the impressive bit, all the stuff you need:  all the glue, the glitter, the paper, the funny little matchsticky things, the card, the sequins, even the bird seed. The whole bang lot.  All you provide is scissors.  For the distinctly craftily challenged, this is priceless.

Here's a little gallery of us making our stuff over the past four weeks.  Stupidly, as I've said, we started it pre-holidays, so now we've finished it and are going to have to get another one.  You, if you are five miles South of me, have three weeks to prepare. You have been warned....

How it arrived....

 We started with the peacock collage... (each of them had a different colour)


We did the colouring in, too

 Next up, the bird feeder.

Quite a lot of audience participation required here

In situ. Although if the truth be told, it didn't survive the combined onslaught of heavy rain and even heavier pigeons.  RIP bird feeder.

Next up, the toucan family.  This was our favourite.  I liked the very gloopy paint that didn't go everywhere when knocked over

and they liked the toucans (actually I'm quite proud of these too, although they are a little fragile for the amount of loving they've been getting):

And last but not least, we had the bird glider.

It doesn't glide:

But we enjoyed colouring it in:

The Toucan Box isn't cheap (if you sign up for one a month for a year it's £16.95 a month, and it's more expensive than that if you sign up for a shorter period of time), but it is absolutely, totally, from the bottom of my heart, worth it.   If you know me and have small children, these are your presents...


Full disclosure alert - they sent it to me for free.  But I honestly will be buying them in future.

*ish... but you could definitely call it 2/3...

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