Monday, 1 September 2014

The Summer of Our Content

And what a splendid summer it was...

We managed to cram a lot in six weeks of holidays, with a staycation in Cornwall, trips to the local farms, museums and pick your own centres. Our week in Perranutnoe was the highlight of the summer, made even more special this year because we took my Mum and niece with us. Children frolicked on the beach, built the sandcastles, climbed in the rock pools, played football, ran away from the waves, got soaked from head to toes in rather cold water and ate numerous cones of ice cream.

On rainy days we baked and played indoor games like Skittles, did puzzles, built Lego and created mosaics from Hama beads, painted and crafted.

You might remember me telling you that I was one of the lucky bloggers invited to take part in Kids in the Kitchen project put together by Betta Living, a well known fitted kitchen retailer. We received a big box of goodies for a Summer holiday bucket list as well as an activity pack of things to do with children during summer holidays.
Now looking back at the list of things suggested, what did we manage to complete and what we haven't done yet?
1. Create a kitchen garden
Yes, we have grown herbs in the kitchen, and also tomatoes and cucumelons in the greenhouse. In fact, tomatoes are still in their full glory, and we pick fresh tomatoes every day. This year I have tried a new variety of a tomato called the Black Russian, and very tasty it was too. But mostly we grow yellow and orange cherry-type tomatoes, which Eddie loves the best.

Black Russian tomato

2. Create Weetabix friends and faces: yes, and it was great fun.
3. Play the memory game: absolutely!
4. Teddy Bear tea party: not exactly a teddy bear tea party but we had a birthday party for Eddie who turned 4 last July. He loved having a picnic in the garden with his friends, and everyone enjoyed a Spiderman cake.

5. Weetabix Jenga (not done)
6. Cut out and decorate paper dolls or robots - this summer was all about Superheroes in the Varese household, so we cut out Spiderman masks.
7. E for experiment, be a kitchen scientist: something we'll do another time.
8. Create wooden spoon characters: tick the box off, we did and we enjoyed it.

9. Create a saucepan band: and very noisy it was.
10. Play dress up and put up a play. This summer Eddie is obsessed with Superheroes. For his birthday he got several Superman, Spiderman outfits and even a Batman t-shirt. Together we did a lot of pretend-play of flying like a Superman and webbing like Spidey.

11. Set up shop and become a kitchen retailer: sounds good, and we could try it on a rainy day in autumn.
12. Make some papier-mache mini-beasts: another project for a rainy day for the future.
13. Play some outdoor games indoor. We did put a tent indoors. Also Eddie couldn't part with his new scooter, and raced indoors. Given a chance, he would have taken it to bed with him.

14. Cool down with homemade ice lollies: Yes, we did, and the lollies were a great success. We made them with Strawberry Ribena, apple juice and cream (separately, not mixed together).

15. Make your own bunting: nobody was over-enthusiastic when I suggested it.
16. Hold your own wacky races: did we, or didn't we?! Can't remember now.
17. Make your own dough: we baked a lot, from cakes to cupcakes, from bread to pizza. To find out our recipe for Banana cupcakes and read what we did at the start of the project, see my post Kids in the Kitchen.
18. Time to scrub and do the washing up: Nope, that was only Mama's job.
19. Build a marshmallow tower: the marshmallows didn't stay long enough untouched, so there wasn't much left for a tower, oups.
20. Make a junk model: we had quite a lot of empty Lego boxes which ended up as models. Big boxes were turned into houses, boats and cars. It never ceases to amaze me, how with all the toys that we have the boxes are usually the most attractive.

We made a full use of our Family pass at Cogges manor farm, and visited it as often as we could. Both boys love the playground there, especially the big slide and the zip wire. Just yesterday we went there again to feed the lovely piggies and jump on the wobbly bridge. It was a sunny, even hot day, a perfect ending to a great summer.

How did you spend your summer?


  1. Wow it sounds like you had an action packed summer. We didn't do half as much as that, in fact looking back we could have done a lot more x

  2. Your family have been busy enjoying the sun! Thanks for sharing your summer =) #magicmoments

  3. Great times and I like the mix of traditional and more modern ideas too.