Tag Archives: kids

Swinging around

This last weekend we had little time for getting the deck pergola started. But the kids got lucky with a 15 minute project that we easily found time for.

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Master W has long since outgrown the swing that we all love, and Miss E is finding it a tight squeeze to get in and out now too.

So while I was out and about last week I stopped by a repair shop and asked about getting a tyre. As it turns out, they have to pay to dispose of them, so it was no problem for me to just help myself to one.

A quick scrub with some soapy water and a brush, and it was ready and waiting for a man with a plan. My plan was to tie some rope around and hang it in a tree, but Andre had a better idea. Maybe he just wanted to involve fire and power tools? I don’t know, but it’s a good thing he did, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.

So, first up. Get out the drill. After drilling the first hole, we got a tape measure and then marked up two more drill holes all equal distance apart.

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We used some rope we had in the garage, and on the previous crate swing so this was a no cost project for us. We like those!
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A simple knot on the end, and repeat another two times…0325_0063

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To keep things clean and dry Andre also drilled a few holes around the bottom side to let any rain water drain right on out.

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And with that it was all ready to hang in the tree.0325_0098

These are the two eye bolts we fixed into the tree for the first swing. You can see how (as per our research that time) the tree has just grown around the bolt, and is much happier than if we’d just tied a rope around and ring-barked it.0325_0062We only need one hanging point for this swing, but it’s nice to leave the other bolt in for swing 1.3 at some point in the future!

So with all three ropes threaded through the eye of the bolt, the hardest part of the whole project was getting them tied off with the swing sitting level. Kids keen to jump on already and wife calling out “that’s not level!” were no help apparently!
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But before things got too grumpy it was all done and has hardly stopped swinging since!0325_0112 0325_0122

Now here’s why this way up is much better for our (younger) kids than my idea of hanging it vertically with a single rope tied around it (like this one, which is maybe better for older kids).

1. Multiple kids can sit on it at once (we’ve only tested it so far with two, but I can see three times that number having a ball on it!)

2. It’s a more comfy seat than wedged over the inner gap

3. Having ropes to hold is easier for littlies than trying to hold the tyre itself

4. This is the biggie… the kids can climb on it and push it themselves with their feet, then tuck them up on the inside to swing – even Miss E!

Their favourite way to “swing” is to twist it around and around then shriek madly that they want to hop off as it unwinds and spins them back the other way!

With this, the sandpit, and the gorgeous warm weather holding, the kids are spending lots of time outside, which is always a good thing!

Have a lovely week…

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Our DIY Kids Play Kitchen

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As promised, I’m back with the big play kitchen reveal! Today I’ll stick with lots of pictures and a few words, all about the finished project, and next up I’ll be back with the big lowdown on how we got it made, and what it cost us in time and money. I need some more time to get my brain back into a higher gear for that one!

I’ve been sketching plans for this little kitchen for over a year now, and have had dibs on the bedside cabinets (which Andre built many years ago) in our master bedroom for conversion purposes.

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Initially my plans were rather grand, and included everything a kitchen needs, using both the cabinets. But thankfully Andre was able to talk me down and we eventually settled on a mini kitchen, using just one of the cabinets.

We flipped it on it’s side, see?

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There was a lot of sanding, painting, trawling second hand shops and Bunnings, cajoling of the husband, and admittedly, lying to Master W. “Oh Daddy is just working on my shelves again. They’re taking a long time aren’t they?” But by 1am on Christmas morning, we threw the towel in on and called it done!

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And here it is:

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From that very first grin on taking the towel away (top photo) to today, the blood, sweat and tears were worth it. They love it! And we all dined on pretend omelette on Christmas morning!

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I’ll be back with details real soon… just off to grab another spoonful of the “tuna yoghurt” Miss E whipped up last night. Mmm mmmm!

Pin of the day: Wishy washi dishes

I may have mentioned making a play kitchen for the kids for Christmas? Well… this idea just made it a bit easier:

washi tape dolls house by Frida Ramstedt

Take some simple shelves and add washi tape to fancy it up. Done!

As soon as I can find some replacements for our master bedroom bedside cabinets, they’ll be hacked a little to accommodate a play oven, fridge and kitchen storage.

I’m not one for big investment (money or otherwise) into kids toys so I plan to keep it super simple and go crazy with washi tape for the fancy bits. Then, if it’s a hit I can turn the fancy bits more permanent perhaps?!

Image from my Kids Room Pinterest board.

Shopping fun at Tea Pea

In a world of endless options and a whole lot of sameness in a zillion online shops I do tend to get just a bit excited about little boutique stores who have something really unique, yet still keep their prices reasonable.

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Tea Pea is one such store. I’ve done much browsing of their goodies over the years since I discovered them – back when Master W turned my world into a whimsical one of kid-sized treasures. Although so many of Tea Pea’s whimsical kid-sized treasures would be just fine in an adult world too. I would be well tempted by all this cuteness even without kids in the house. There is definitely nothing wrong with a bambi light in the master bedroom!

My picks, clockwise from top left:
The parade cushion – I’ve been coveting this since Master W was born, wondering if one day I would have a wee girl. Yes! Now I can add it to the shopping cart…
Cloud coathangers – the best kind of clouds!
Wire mag holder – I’m just trying to decide which colours and where to use them…
Bambi light – sweetness and light!
Wire baskets – as per the mag holder… I want them all, every colour, everywhere!

It’s no wonder I’m a bit in love with Tea Pea’s product range… it seems Mr & Mrs Tea Pea have a bit in common with Mr & Mrs Duck Egg Blue.  Adorable small children, and a mid-century house currently under renovation. These two things add up to an entire world… Do go and have a look at some pictures of their house – I love their style!

And their logo… I just wish I was the designer – mmm!

Note: Tea Pea don’t know me from a bar of soap… I just love their style and product range and couldn’t help sharing!

Ferns for fresh air

I’m already appreciating the warm fuzzies coming from our underfloor and ceiling space, but (it’s a small one… no capitals!) I’ve noticed the lack of fresh air blowing through the gaps in the floorboards!

In the kids bedroom, now that there are two of them sleeping in there together, it’s just felt like the room needs some help in keeping it fresh. With the sunshine still warming our little part of the planet I’ve been throwing the windows open every chance I get, but the cold is coming… I can feel it in toes that need socks in the morning, and the blankets are making way for duvets.

We all know greenery is key to keeping a home healthy, and after a few minutes of browsing around for some ideas I learned that ferns are very efficient at helping to get rid of the toxins that make their way into our homes.

I hinted at this project last Friday – it’s a quick one which involves the kids and costs no more than the little ferns I bought at Palmers.

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I had some cans saved from the previous few days of cooking, and some craft paper sitting around from another project that didn’t eventuate. A bit of double-sided tape made short work of fixing the craft paper around the can.

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Thinking ahead to watering, I wondered if washi tape might hold up better than craft paper so I tried that for the next ones. I ripped it off after taping each round, rather than trying to wind it continuously around the can… that can lead to creases.

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One of the cans took a short walk with the kids out the front gate to fossick for some loose stones on this little access road to the neighbours houses.

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There couldn’t be a more perfect project for little ones to help out with!

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With a good layer of stones in the bottom of each can for drainage, they were ready for planting. I bought three different ferns by “Wee Cuties” which were the perfect size for these cans. One is a Hare’s Foot, one a Brazil Tree and the other a Wing fern. I was hoping for a Maidenhair, but these were the only kinds available. Nevermind – I’ll probably kill them and need to replant in a short time anyway!

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I didn’t worry about potting mix, but instead used the soil from our vege garden, which is pretty healthy and recently composted and fertilised so should help to give these little ferns a good start.

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Just a short fifteen minutes later we walked them into the kids bedroom to sit on top of the manrobe, where they are least likely to get mauled by curious children.

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Now, I must go and water them…

Room for two

Well… we’ve done it. For better or for worse.

I’m not talking marriage – that was a while ago.

I’m talking two small children sharing a bedroom. At the moment it is definitely “for worse” but I still have hopes we will get to “for better”. We are tired and cranky – don’t come and visit this week…

On Friday afternoon while some men were lurking under the floorboards, I was yet again rearranging the furniture! This is progress:

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For anyone who also has a rearranging furniture thing, and hates waiting for help to arrive – here’s how you do it all by yourself… without scratching furniture, floors or walls!

1. Take one old blanket
2. Lay it on the floor next to furniture destined for a new location
3. Lift one side of furniture item while sliding blanket under (feet are good for this)
4. Repeat with the other side
5. Push, pull, shove furniture to new location
6. Remove blanket one side at a time (again, use your feet)

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See!

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Here’s Miss E’s new corner.0305_6455

And here’s Master W’s big boy corner. 0305_6456

And a few more corners and details… just because I love this room!

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In sleep mode: 0305_6465

And wake mode: 0305_6467

Now if only it was that simple… switch modes for blissful peace and quiet and well rested children (and mama’s and dada’s).

If you have any tips for little ones sharing a bedroom they’ll be welcomed with open arms!