A Winter Road-Trip

Monday, July 1, 2013

Next week is the start of the July school holidays (hoorah!) so we are heading north for a bit of warmth and chill-out time. We will be spending a week at a remote little beachside community about 600kms from our home where there is nothing but the beach and an itty-bitty General Store. The only thing for us to do will revolve around the beach and relaxing. A real escape. The perfect opportunity to do nothing. To just be. I like the sound of that.

I am trying to pack very lightly and to not take too much stuff for the kids. I figure they'll be at the beach or outside for the majority of the time anyway - but for those times they need some quiet, inside time (and Mummy needs a quiet coffee - yes, I'm taking my coffee machine with me!), or if the weather outside isn't fantastic, I have put together just three little boxes of amusement.

The first one - MAKE - is a "jewellery making kit". I bought about 5 packets of beads from Spotlight, plus some I already had in our craft box, and bought a variety of twine, stretchy thread and silicone bangles so they can put together whatever type of jewellery they feel like. They may even collect some shells and make up their own.

The second one - CREATE - is just a random selection of paper cut-outs for the kids to glue on paper. I was given a beautiful company profile last week at work from a Graphic Design company and the illustrations were so lovely I brought it home and cut it up for the kids to use. I'm quite sure that's not really what he had in mind for his professional publication!

The third one - PLAY - is my absolute favourite and so beautifully old-fashioned in my mind. It's Paper Dolls!!! I haven't played with Paper Dolls since I was a kid and haven't really noticed them "out there" so when I stumbled across The Toymaker website, I was so excited. It really is a beautiful, whimsical site where you can find lots and lots of free downloadable paper toys to make, as well as free bedtime stories and other wonderful things. The owner of the site, Marilyn Scott-Waters, does all of the illustrating herself (such a clever lady) and her goal is "to help grownups and kids spend time together making things". Love it. Old fashioned, original, beautiful and free. What a find. And, because there are both boy and girl dolls and clothes, I think my son will have a fun time with it. I'm hoping my daughter will too but she's two and, well, not the gentlest little lady when it comes to delicate paper things. I hoping her big brother will show her how it's done!

So that's about the size of the "craft station" for our week away. If it gets used, great, but if not it will always come in handy back here at home.

The car-ride to our holiday destination is going to be a rather long one but I'm not overpacking or overthinking that either (thinking "pack-lightly, pack-lightly"). For the first time ever we will be using DVD players - a lovely friend is lending us her double DVD player so the kids will both have a screen at the back of their seat. It's going to be such a novelty for them, the problem will be turning it off! They will also have their "drawing boards" (Etch-a-Sketch thingies) which are permanently in our car, their own notebooks and colour pencils and some activity books, plus their regular toys in the Car-Seat Catch-Alls I made last year. I may also take the DIY Magnetic Games from last year but it will depend on how much room we have.
And last but not least (and this was a brilliant idea from my sister which I am extremely grateful for), I have bought two Stable Tables so the kids have a nice steady spot on their laps to draw, eat and play. We can also use the tables while we're away to eat in front of the TV ... 'cause we're on holiday and you're allowed to do stuff like that on holiday!!

This is totally not the Stable Table I bought but it was so super cute I had to pop it here instead of the red and blue K-mart versions I bought! Source

So, it's time. Time to relax, time to do not much at all, time to switch off and time to be with my little family. I hope you enjoy your break (if it's school holidays where you are) and get to spend some quality down-time with your "babies" and loved ones. Take care and I'll "see you" when we return! x

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