Your pub­lic hol­i­day plan

Use all the ex­tra days off in March and April to have some fun and stay on top of your home or­gan­is­ing

Your Baby & Toddler - - Contents -

✱ Spend a morn­ing sort­ing out your chil­dren’s books. If there are spe­cial books that they’ve out­grown, pack them away safely for the grand­chil­dren. If there are books you can let go of, donate them to char­ity or a friend with younger chil­dren.

✱ Wash all your chil­dren’s soft toys on a sunny day. Run them through a gen­tle cy­cle in your ma­chine, and then hang them up to dry. Your chil­dren will love help­ing with this. More del­i­cate toys can be washed by hand.

✱ Iden­tify a door or wall in your house that you can paint with black­board paint. It’s avail­able at most hard­ware stores. Paint it while the lit­tle ones sleep, and the next morn­ing they will be de­lighted when you in­vite them to draw and dec­o­rate with chalk. You can also leave mes­sages there for your part­ner, or notes about things you need to re­mem­ber. The black­board wall will also make a great back­drop for pho­to­graphs.

✱ Col­lect all the pens, pen­cils, crayons and khokis from all the rooms in the house, and set up a sharp­en­ing and sort­ing sta­tion at your din­ing- room ta­ble. Throw away all the dry and bro­ken pens, or the pen­cils and crayons that are too short. Or­gan­ise the rest into sets.

✱ Ask your lit­tle ones to help you sort out the plas­tics cup­board. Try to find a lid for ev­ery con­tainer, and repack that sec­tion of your kitchen, so that it makes your life eas­ier.

✱ Go for a walk in the park to look at au­tumn leaves. Take some old bread along to feed the ducks. Ask your chil­dren to pick up one green leaf, one yel­low leaf, one or­ange leaf and one brown leaf.

✱ Make a sim­ple bird feeder for the gar­den. Make a hole in the bot­tom of a small yo­ghurt con­tainer, and thread a piece of string through it, knot­ting it on the in­side. Mix some fat with wild- bird seed, and smear this in the con­tainer. Place in the fridge overnight. Next morn­ing, cut the con­tainer away to ex­pose the seed mix­ture. Hang in a tree, and en­joy watch­ing the birds feast on the treat.

✱ Tell your chil­dren about April Fool’s Day, and come up with some prac­ti­cal jokes to play on Dad.

✱ Go for an out­ing to a sec­ond- hand book­store, and buy a book for each mem­ber of the fam­ily.

✱ Sit in your gar­den at dusk, and sip on a mug of some­thing warm and sooth­ing such as Milo or Hor­licks.

✱ As the evenings get longer, get out the puz­zles. How about a fam­ily chal­lenge? Buy a 500- piece puz­zle, and build it to­gether. Make it a rule that ev­ery fam­ily mem­ber must build at least one piece a day. Once you get started, you won’t want to stop.

✱ Make the most of the last warm days by swim­ming as much as you still can. And when the cooler days roll around, don’t be­come house­bound just yet. Put on a jer­sey, and go play out­side. Climb trees, go fly a kite or kick a ball.

✱ Have you joined the slime- mak­ing craze yet? Watch a tu­to­rial on Youtube, and do it with your chil­dren. You’ll be mom of the year!

✱ Col­lect a stone when­ever you go on an out­ing, and then, at the end of the month, see if your chil­dren can still re­mem­ber where each stone came from.

✱ Plant broad beans, beet­root, radish and spinach now for a won­der­ful win­ter crop in a few months’ time.

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