Let them be children


messy play activities

Free and cheap days out with the kids-Barton Sping Hills

As I began my summer challenge of trying to find as many cheap and free days out as possible I stumbled across a friends photographs on Facebook. She had been to this beautiful place with a group of mums and children.  Her photographs were full of smiling children splashing around in the water and having a whale of a time… ‘Where was this place?’  I asked, it looked amazing! BARTON SPRING HILLS was the answer so a plan was made and we were off.

The postcode (MK45 4LA) takes you to St Nicholas Church in Barton le Clay, Bedfordshire. We parked along the road by the church which was fairly quiet. We continued to walk down the road to the end and through a kissing gate which was the start of this fabulous walk. From here the views of the hills are extremely delightful, it gave us a real sense of the adventure to come as we made our way down the tracks. Only a few hundred yards into our walk and we saw a map, from here the little walk we took was to the right over a little footbridge then left through the grassy meadow and trees on up to the base of the hills.

Along our walk the children were able to splash in the stream created by the natural springs, at the first part we came to it was muddy, which was great fun and then as we went further it was more clay like so they had great fun covering themselves in grey streaks of clay. Between the two areas was a lovely wild meadow and woodland walk where we hunted for bugs and wishes.

The hills themselves were beautiful and we had great fun running up to the top and down again.

By the time we went home both adults and children were covered in mud and smiling but extreamly worn out after a fabulous fun day in this beautiful place.


1. wear old clothes

2. wellies or water shoes are a must although mine were happy in flip flops as long as weather is hot this is ok.

3. Buggies may have to be lifted over as kissing gates are a little tight

4. Take a towel




Fingerpaints- fab!


My LO received some finger paints for Christmas, not something I have used with the others as I felt it was just as easy to squeeze a little poster paint onto a plate! Turns out that actually they are REALLY quite good. They are much thicker than other paints meaning it’s not running down their hands. The way it comes out in lumps means it is much more versatile for little hands as it didn’t move around so much. LO was able to paint his car wheels and hands with ease and had approximately half an hour of fun, creating his two paintings. He was very impressed with his creations and can’t wait to show daddy.

This activity helps do develop fine motor skills and helps children discover creativity in a fun way. What other use would you have for a Jaguar? 😜


Making spellings fun!

I love to use different methods when encouraging the children to learn words, I believe they get so much more out of the experience if it’s a fun one. This simple method of using a tub of play dough is a firm favourite in our house. Simply make your own or or just buy some. (Recipe below for those that fancy going homemade)

The method can be adapted to the child’s individual age and ability, some may need help and some may enjoy the independence of doing it by themselves. Either way it’s a fabulous activity to do.

This first photo shows my youngest I wrote the words on a piece of paper so she could make up the words all the time chatting about the sounds, we read each word before she made it from the play dough, then she had a go at making the words herself.

The second photo is of my eldest daughter, she made up the words herself and then the second time round she used the LOOK, COVER, WRITE method to see if she could remember the spelling.

Quote from my eldest ‘I love doing this mummy’!

So if your looking for a new way to encourage your LO to have fun whilst learning or your STUGGLING to get them to do spellings. Have a go, I hope they have fun.

Please let me know how it goes, messages can be left in the comments box below. Thanks


Basic ingredient ratios:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar (optional for improved elasticity)

food coloring
scented oils

mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and warm through on a low heat, keep staring and eventually you will have your dough, remove from head and spoon onto a safe surface to cool before using.

1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
food dye (any color, be creative!)
newspaper to cover the surface you’re working on

It only takes about 10 minutes to make just mix it all up and kneed it together!


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