We are now in the second week of the school holidays. Long days stretch out before us, and we are desperatly trying to fill them with fun activities that come under one of two catergorys. CHEAP or FREE! I personally prefer the second option. I dont count picnic food in the cost of days out, as my lot will eat that stuff at home or in a field iyswim, so its just packing a normal lunch/tea plus drinks.
So yesterday was National Playday. At our local lakes they had loads of free activities between 10am-3.30pm. We didnt get there till 2pm as I wanted to spend the late afternoon at the river with the children and to have our tea down there.
Getting out of the door itself is a mission. I decided to leave Ralph (the labradoodle) at home this time due to the crowds and his still playful nature. I didnt want to upset other playday people or picnicing families by his playfullness and occasional jumping.
The first thing to do is get the double buggy out of the house. As it doesnt fit through the front or back door, it has to be folded inside, then taken out and unfolded, the seats adjusted etc. Once thats done, i put the drinks in the basket to help balence it out later on.
i then strap the two little ones in, send the big three outside as well to keep an eye on the little ones and to 'KEEP THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY'.
Place the big changing bag on the handles, check its full stocked with changes of clothes and nappies, but various childrens inhalers and anti-histimes and the vital epi-pen and mobile phone.
Put the picnic cool bag on top of the hood.
Yell at the children to keep their hats on. or I'll unpack and we wont go...
Clip the picnic blanket and bucket to the handles with a clip from the DIY shop (baby stockists have cottoned onto this and sell something called 'my buggy buddy' at about 3times the price i pay for my clips from QD).
Chuck a fishing net at the 3 big ones.
Check i have keys etc, and all the children have their hats on.
The walk to the lakes takes about 30mins and it takes us on a cycle route which is thankfully pretty shaded most of the way. The trees either side create a lovely green tunnel for us to walk through. The only downside of this route is the vast amount of dog poo everywhere. I have become a master poo-steerer and weave the beast in and out without getting muck on the wheels.
We decided to investiagte the playday events. The girls painted some bags, went on a big inflatable slide, watched some drumming workshops and ran away from me.
They got bored and hot very quickly out in the open space, so we decided to head to the woods and river. It was very busy there as well, but not as busy as out by the main park.
The girls were straight in the river, fishing and paddling with their friends from school who were also there.
Another family there decided to start building a dam out of rocvks from the riverbed. My girls decided to carry on building once the other family had left.
We had a lovely picnic tea in the woods, Steven stole a biscuit of Sophies and made a right mess, and also tried to eat his weight in mud.
We headed home about 6.30pm, stopping by the park, everyone filthy, exhausted and still hungry as usual.
Once we got home, we had to do the whole unloading in reverse.