We’ve hit the second week of the school holidays in Victoria and it got me wondering; are you looking (frantically) for things to do with the kids? Have you run out of ideas, or did you not realise just how awesome the weather was going to be here this week? Well never fear, I’ve got your back with a list of of last minute school holiday activities that cover the gamut of free to not so free, DIY to out and about.
With the Grand Final happening this Saturday, the AFL are putting on a Footy Festival, starting Wednesday and going through to Saturday. It’s free entry and there is a heap of things to do there. The kids zone includes Aus Kick activities, kicking competitions, free face painting (winner!) and a whole lot more. There is also a section where parents can get free coffee, snacks and mini massages whilst the kids are participating in some Auskick. Sweet! Check out the site – the trams are free from Wednesday through to Saturday and service the area of the Footy Festival, which is Yarra Park, right next to the mighty MCG.
The Gallery has a range of activities and exhibitions on for the school holidays for under 4’s to teenagers. Some activities/exhibitions are free, some have entry and booking requirements. I am planning on taking the kids to the Open House Tromarama For Kids exhibition. It’s free and located at the NGV International. It’s interactive, and is set up like a real house, allowing kids to move from room to room, experimenting with stop-motion apps and making films. It looks cool! I know a few kids who would just love it.
Have you been here yet? Have you?! If you don’t mind a bit of chocolate, you should probably check it out. The chocolaterie is well set up for kids, with space to run the sugar high off outside, and kid friendly menus (of course) and activities. It’s in a beautiful spot in the Yarra Valley, an hour from Melbourne. There is no entry fee, and free tastings, but the fun comes in the cafe and the store, where all sorts of chocolatey goodies can be purchased. Currently, they are hosting Hop For Hope, an outdoor exhibition raising funds for the wonderful Alannah and Madeline Foundation. Check out their website for more information, including classes, menus and activities.
I’ve perused Pinterest for you (no need to thank me, I’ll take one for the team), and found a couple of cool things that we will be trying over the next week. Check out this easy volcano eruption you can do in the back yard, and will have the younger kids entertained, no doubt for hours.
Another fun activity, for the backyard or around the neighbourhood park is this scavenger hunt for kids. The post includes free printables! Awesome. And timely, given Ms 4 burst in this afternoon after talking to the kids over the back fence asking for a treasure hunt.
So what do you think? Will you try any of these or are you all sorted for activities? If you have some ideas, share them here, or over on facebook for everyone to enjoy 🙂
I’ve written before about why we chose to use modern cloth nappies with our babies. I thought I would write a little about washing, drying and maintaining the nappies, for anyone out there interested in trying them with their bubs.
We mainly use baby behinds hemp one size fits all, and itti bitti snap in styles. There are a couple of other types floating in the mix, but these are the main types. They are all washed in the same way. We also use face washers/cloths instead of disposable wipes.
So after a nappy change, I rinse any solids (or not so solid when they were pre-solid food) straight into the toilet. I have a very handy partner who loves to DIY and he attached a hose to the toilet that helps no end with this process! Once the nappy is rinsed I place it straight into a bucket in the laundry, put the lid on and leave it. I dry pail – which simply means I don’t soak the nappies, but I wash at least every second day. If you leave it longer, the urine can wreck the elastic in the nappies, and the stink increases also. Also, this past year I’ve had two in nappies, so it has often meant I’ve washed every day.
Once the bucket is full, I place them all in the washing machine and do a rinse cycle. I put the nappies and the covers all in together, along with the cloths and nappy liners (if I’ve remembered to use them!). Nappy liners are great – you can purchase eco disposable ones, but I prefer to use reusable ones. Super easy to make – strips of fleece material, you know, that jumpers are made from. The solids come off the liner a lot easier than the nappy.
After the rinse, I usually choose the 30-40 degree setting and an intensive rinse. Most of the manufacturers seem to recommend no higher than 60 degrees (Celsius) for the nappies, to look after the elastic. There seem to be differing opinions about using cold or warm wash, and on using washing powder/liquid. I use whatever washing liquid we have in the laundry, although sometimes I manage to score some Rockin’ Green, which is designed for use with modern cloth nappies, but is often really hard to get. We always have eco/green washing liquid in the cupboard. Less is definitely more when it comes to MCNs – too much detergent will build up in the nappies, and they become stinky and less absorbent, and you’ll have to do a strip wash.
The nappies do well when you can dry them in the sunlight – the UV helps whiten them and is good for getting rid of bacteria also. However, if you need to use a dryer no problem. I find our hemp nappies soften up really well after a tumble in the dryer. Just don’t put the PUL covers in. They dry so quickly anyway, just whack them on the clothes horse. We didn’t have a dryer until our second one came along, and they were both in nappies. Couldn’t keep up!
I mentioned a strip wash above. This is for when the nappies become a bit stinky and aren’t absorbing very well. Wash them as normal and then put them through a couple of washes with no detergent. Some people recommend using a small amount of dish washing liquid in the first wash. I sometimes use the Canesten Laundry Rinse also, particularly if the kids haven’t been well.
We don’t use cloth 100% of the time – if the kids are sick, if I’m sick – we do use disposables. But we do our best to use cloth most of the time. How about you? Any tips on washing and drying your cloth nappies that aren’t mentioned here?
So we all love Pinterest, right? Well, here is a little DIY project we recently completed, inspired by Pinterest. And when I say we completed, I mean I had the idea, I pinned some inspiration and sourced the products and the Mister actually did the DIY part. With the help of Ms 2.
I’ve been wanting to set up a reading corner for her for some time. With her resisting the big bed though, her room has been rather crowded with the cot in there as well. However, we’ve had a win in that department and the cot is gone – hurrah! So now we had space to do a bit more. When she was born, we were gifted with a beautiful vintage, child size armchair. It was given to us by my mother’s cousin, and it was her chair when she was a small child. It is gorgeous and perfect for a reading nook. So I knew I wanted that in the corner and then saw some super simple book shelf ideas on Pinterest. Ikea spice racks. Awesome. Simple. And cheap! $2.99 each, and are solid untreated wood. So you can go ahead and paint/stain them any colour you want!
We used a good old spray paint – a lovely bright yellow. The Mister applied two coats and attached them to the wall. Apparently, we need to use some different wall mounts, in case too much weight is placed on them (ie our 8 month old pulling the) so we are going to change those asap, but otherwise, it turned out just as I had wanted!
The first night, Ms 2 spent quite some time rearranging the books on the shelves and also decided that it meant we were going to read ALL of the books on the shelves at bedtime. Ahhh, no.
I have also spied her sitting on the chair and reading a book to her dolly – melt! So there you go, a simple, quick and cheap little DIY project that actually worked. Love Pinterest! Are you on Pinterest? Have you completed any projects or recipes that you have pinned? Or do you just love to pin and dream?! Leave your pinterest profile in the comments, and I’ll follow you!