With Persil Wild Explorers app…!

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My children don’t like clean, it’s just not a state that they are happy with. Give them food, and there is sheer jubilation in 90% of it going on their faces and clothes. Give them felt tips, and their favourite canvas is themselves. Get them outside, and mudpies, mud angels (like snow angels, but with mud,) and embracing their inner Peppa for even the tiniest of puddles, is the order of the day. They are much happier for it! I probably shouldn’t mention that I’ve also embraced the dirt, having totally given up on housework-I’m building up their immune systems, right?!

Anyway, Persil have teamed up with The Woodland Trust, The Wildlife Trust, and The National Trust, with a mission to ‘re-wild childhood,’ and we have been testing it out! And I have to say, I’m quite hard to please when it comes to apps that entertain the children, especially as they largely prefer to be outdoors and most apps are for indoor activities, but this has proved invaluable since we downloaded it, with the children regularly asking ‘look on the app mummy!!’ When we go to the park-it’s an app designed to get you out!

You can download the app for free, from The Apple Store and Google Play. You will first be greeted with this page:

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Where you choose where you want to do the activity, how long you want to spend doing it, and the age of your children-easy! Then you are given a list of appropriate activities!

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Then choose what you want to do! The activities can be as simple as ‘hugging a tree,’ where the children touch, feel, and talk about the colours, textures, and names of the trees around you, to ‘hunting for cobwebs,’ I was looking for large, perfectly formed cobwebs, but the children found them in less obvious places…!

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  Tree Huggers…

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The eldest loved making letters from his name out of sticks (gathering precisely the right ones was massively important…!
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But, the absolute favourite activity, the one I get asked to do every time, was ‘mud volcanoes,’ an awesome activity, involving vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, mud, and squeals of delight!

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The children really have had fun with this, and it doesn’t just provide fun things to do outside, but encourages learning, and interaction between everyone. And anything that brings home the message of getting out, and relearning the dirt of my own long gone childhood, is always a winner in my eyes!

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This was a collaborative post, in partnership with Persil.

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My eldest was a very quiet baby in the evenings-he wouldn’t go to sleep, but if there was a chest available, he’d quite happily snuggle into it quietly, rummaging around for milk every now and again. Baby number two inevitably had to make up for what we’d lost out on the first time. He was on a mission to make us as crazy empathetic to others going through the same madness, by screaming non stop, from 6pm sharp, till 11pm, for the first 8 weeks. Big Ben and the talking clock actually were set by the start of his shrieking.

To amuse myself, and make myself feel better through the, quite frankly pointless, shushing, patting, feeding attempts, changes of scenery, numerous rubbish ‘remedies’ suggested to help him, I’d listen to music on my headphones and dance around a bit. My husband would be busy playing the baby soothing music, which of course did naff all, but made him feel like he was at least contributing to the cause.
Whenever I hear the songs that I used to listen to during that time, it reminds me that, as a lover of dance and movement, there is a song and a dance that sums up every part of my day…

The Morning: ‘Where did you sleep last night?’ (Nirvana.)
A question that is frequently asked in our house of a morning. One night recently, I went to sleep on the sofa because of my husband’s snoring, the smallest got into bed with the husband, who came to swap with me because he couldn’t cope with the smallest kicking him, and the eldest had at some point fallen out of bed, rolled underneath it, and slept there. ‘Morning everyone! Where did you sleep last night?’ A question I didn’t think I’d be asking my children until they were teenagers…!

When Everyone Is Up: Sleeping Bunnies (probably made up by a well meaning leader of a playgroup somewhere, many moons ago…) I like the first part of this song. The children lay down and pretend to be asleep. In our house, we like to drag this part out as long as possible, especially if it’s really early, and we are rubbing our bleary eyes and drinking our bodyweight in coffee. And also because once they start ‘hop little bunnies hop hop hop, hop little bunnies hop hop hop,’ you know that they will basically be running around for the rest of the day like deranged rabbits until they drop.

Trying To Get Out Of The Door: Crazy (Knarls Barkley.)
‘I remember when, I remember when I lost my mind…’ That’s me, after socks and shoes that have been put on one child, are taken off, while I’m putting them on the other, and while tandem pooing is taking place (always when we are trying to leave the house-everyone knows this is the primary law of sod.) It invariably ends with trying to bend two planking children, to try and get them into the pushchair.

While We Are Out: The Conga. Or the Buggyboard Conga.
You know when you’re doing a conga, and you are awkwardly bent in the middle, because you don’t really want your hips (or bits,) touching the person in front of you. And you know when nobody’s feet are actually in sync when doing it, and you end up kicking the person in front (while maintaining adequate distance from each other’s bits.) Well, pushing a pushchair with a buggy board, is like doing a permanent conga. You have a person between you and the pushchair handle, so you’re awkwardly bent in the middle trying to reach it. The board also constantly gets in the way of your feet, and you spend the whole…time… you are out, kicking the damn thing. It’s like a constant party, but with less people and nowhere near enough alcohol. ‘Na na na na, and we can do the (buggy board) conga!’

Throughout The Entire Day: The cha cha. Or the pelvic floor cha cha.
In the cha cha, there is a step called the lock step, where you find yourself with your legs locked, like you would if you were ya know, crossing your legs to stop you peeing yourself while you sneeze or cough. I add this little move in frequently to my day. Walk along, feel a sneeze, lock step, and carry on. I walk around doing the conga and cha cha, like a regular Flavia Cacace.

Any Mealtime: The Hokey Cokey.
We play the mealtime Hokey Cokey at every single meal, it goes like this: ‘You put the whole spoonful in, you take the whole spoonful out. In, out, in, out, f**k it, I’ll spit it on the floor…’ And repeat.

Bath Time: The Final Countdown (Europe.)
Ok, so after numerous songs that could potentially be all about bath time (Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head, Umbrella, I Will Survive) because my children always get more water on the floor than they keep in the bath, bath time always symbolises the Final Countdown to me. That final push until wine time, until Netflix time, until…quiet!

Bed Time: Wide Awake (Katy Perry.)
Of course they are. Having yawned through the afternoon, being prodded by me to keep them awake through the CBeebies bedtime hour, now it is time for them to actually sleep-THEY’RE WIDE AWAKE!!!!!! Time to bring out the big guns-‘there will be NO kinder egg tomorrow if you don’t go to sleep NOW! (Usually a winner in our house.)

When They’re Asleep: Survivor (Destiny’s Child.)
I definitely like to congratulate myself for surviving another day. And dragging out some noughties fashion, channelling Beyonce (and trying to get my husband to be Kelly or Michelle,) and banging out ‘I’m a survivor, I’m gonna make it, I will survive, keep on survivin’ is the ultimate way to do this, followed of course by…

Gin and Juice (Snoop Dogg)
A song title, and exactly what I want to do once the day is over, usually with the dulcet tones of Coldplay reminding me ‘nobody said this was easaaaaaaay….!

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