Summer holidays are normally jam-packed with days out, meeting up with friends, weekends away, trips to see family and lots of other plans. This summer is a much quieter one than we’re used to. We’re staying close to home; keeping mostly in our own little bubble where we feel safest. Spending most of out time outdoors in the garden. I miss the social side of summer that we normally enjoy but it is nice in some ways to take life a little more slowly.
The tuff tray has certainly been getting plenty of use. It’s brilliant for keeping messy play contained and makes a perfect sand tray. We’ve also filled it with Duplo bricks to make a mini brick pit.
It’s also been great for helping us rotate toys. If I’m not setting up the tuff-tray for messy play, I’ll choose a selection of toys (mostly small-world toys) to put in it for the children to play with outside. The next time I set it up, I’ll choose different toys. They do often end up scattered around the garden. They’re easy enough to find, though, given that they’re all toddler-friendly toys and don’t have tiny pieces.
Water play has been great for helping keep the children cool in the hot weather. We bought Thomas an AquaPlay lockbox for his birthday. It’s a little fiddly to put together but he and Sophie love playing with the boat and little lock gates, pump and swing bridge that comes with it. Admittedly Sophie does get a little frustrated when she wants to play ‘properly’ and Thomas just wants to splash!
Needless to say, the paddling pool has been a hit in the hot weather. Thomas often gets cold quite quickly in the water but with the hot weather, he’s lasted quite a while in the paddling pool. He and Sophie love having a few of their bath toys in the pool. We bought a bigger paddling pool for this year. It just about has enough room for me to be able to join in!
Getting the paddling pool out is fun, but getting my old birth pool out is even better! There’s plenty of room for all four of us in there.
We’ve had our big event shelter up in the garden for the last few months which has helped give us shade on sunny days and shelter on rainy ones. The garden feels like just an extension of the house most days; the French doors leading outside stay open and the children come in and out as they please. If I’m working, I’ll sit outside with the laptop while Sophie and Thomas play. Every now and then, we might venture out somewhere for a few hours, but we’re enjoying just being together and making the most of having time together. I’m going to miss these days when Sophie is back at school again.