Summer challenge – Mini BEEast Hunt!

Our summer challenge is going well

One of our latest activities to be completed was the mini-beast hunt   it took a while to complete this challenge as you can see by clicking on the link.

Sammy really enjoyed looking for mini-beasts

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unfortunately things did not end well

Yesterday we were sat in the garden watching a new species of beast that has arrived in our garden since Daddy’s birthday


The boys were enjoying watching the helicopter, running around the garden and generally having fun. Then things went wrong, I was sat on the grass ‘playing’ with our new (well new to us!) camera seeing if I could get a half decent picture of a close up flower

Then I thought I would be more ambitious and got these photos

It was these little mini beasts that went on to cause us problems.

Initially we thought Sammy had been very lucky when he stood on one with nothing on his feet.

Then he wasn’t so lucky.

I was sitting on the grass minding my own business, then as Sammy crawled along the grass the conversation went along the lines of

leave the bee alone

don’t touch the bees

the bee doesn’t want to make friends with you



that one was from Sammy, waving his hand in the air with a bee still attached.

Have you tried telling a 2 year old with a bee stuck in his finger to stand still, don’t move his hand, we have to get it out etc?

Sammy luckily is a very brave little man, but this was hurting and his finger was starting to swell, which meant that we also had to remove his wristband that he was still wearing from his swimming challenge, this caused more tears.


As you will see from the picture we were able to get the sting out in one piece.

I am not here to give any medical advice and will be adding links for anyone who wants to read more, but I will just remind people whatever you do DO NOT squeeze the sting when removing as you can put more venom in.

We dosed him up with chlorpheniramine liquid and Anthisan cream, then called the doctor to be on the safe side.

As allergies run in the family and there had already been swelling she decided she wanted to see him, so within less than half an hour of it happening we were being seen by our doctor, I know everyone likes to moan about doctors and waiting times etc, but when it is an emergency they are always there!

She checked him from head to toe, looking for any other signs or symptoms of an allergic reaction sending him away with some hydrocortisone cream and advised putting his finger in ice to bring down the swelling.

Sammy didn’t like the idea of putting it in ice, but seemed ok with the thought of a cold bath, so at bedtime there we were running a bath, he slowly lowered himself into it, holding his had gingerly and putting it in a millimeter at a time, because in his words

the doctor told me to mummy

it did the trick and reduced the swelling, by the time he got out of the bath he was even starting to use his hand, and by morning it was back to normal.

I hope that anyone else taking part in the mini-beast hunt hasn’t had any mishaps, if you do want to know more about how to treat bee stings click the links below

nhs choices

patient uk


What mini-beast has your little one liked looking at most?


Summer Challenge – looking for mini beasts

This post is going to take quite a while to write as we didn’t manage to complete anywhere near as much of it as I had hoped to today.

I decided that Sam and I were going to have a go at the mini beast hunt in his Summer Challenge pack

So we got ourselves organised,

  • mini beast hunt worksheet
  • clipboard
  • pen

and of we went into the garden.

we have to look for 10 different things and tick them off when we find them, so although I knew we wouldn’t find them all today I thought we should manage a few.


This one (well quite a few more than one!) was really easy to do, unfortunately the photos are taken just outside our patio doors, but then you could pick any part of our grass and find more. I think we must just live on a huge ant nest.

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Now that Sam has discovered we have ants I think we are going to have to keep a closer eye on him as he kept trying to pick them up and bring them into the house, a couple of years ago we were constantly trying to get them out of the house and really don’t need them bring back in.


I knew that we often have several of the other things on the list around our vegetable patch, well I lie, a couple of years back it was our vegetable patch, but it has got a bit out of hand and really needs a lot of attention as all we are growing in it is weeds at the moment and all the vegetables we are growing are in pots next to it!

Just next to the ‘vegetable’ patch Sammy was very proud of himself when he found this

snail shellI’m not sure whether this really counts as it’s owner has moved out, but he was really excited to have found it himself.

Unfortunately this put an end to our mini beast hunt for the day as it seems the little area of the vegetable patch I had been using had turned into some animals toilet, meaning that until I sort it out I cannot let Sammy look for worms and things for himself, so I guess that will be my job tomorrow.


Ok, so anyone else working on the summer challenge will now be confused and trying to find the spider on their mini-beast hunt worksheet.

I’m afraid there isn’t one, unless you draw your own.

But it seems that since I have told Sammy we are looking for mini-beasts he wants to see how many we can find, this was while out looking for floor tiles


Flies and Worms

I would insert a picture of the flies that we have managed to find as there were lots flying and landing around the same place as this spider, unfortunately they were obviously camera shy and flew away each time the camera came out!

I could give lots of photos of ones that have landed, but they would be sat on the reason that Sammy couldn’t look at the vegetable patch yesterday!

Same goes for the worms, we always have a lot in our vegetable patch.


Sammy has been spotting lots of the cabbage white butterfly, but again they move too fast for me and the camera.


We often have a lot of these in the garden, but I’m not convinced this is the best time of year to find them

According to

ladybird    Ladybird adults spend the cold winter months in a dormant state. As the weather warms up in late February and March the adults begin to get active and search for early aphids to eat. The adults mate in the spring and the females lay eggs during the spring and early summer. This generation of adults then dies as the new generation hatches out.

So I suspect we are waiting for the new ones to hatch at the moment.


Although we have spotted beetles outside, unfortunately we have also seen a lot inside, yesterday there was one in the doctors waiting room, today it was in or bathroom.



We have been struggling to find honeybees specifically as list on our hunt, but we have succeeded in finding lots of bees, the finding of the bees warrants a post all of its own. see here to read more

So it has taken a long while to complete this challenge but we are there at last, unfortunately although Sammy enjoyed hunting for most of them it did not end so well. See the post on Bees.

Making a treasure basket with just one item!

As you will know by now we have been taking part in the Hinckley Summer Challenge

Our latest challenge from this has been making a treasure basket, for anyone who doesn’t know what a treasure basket is, it is a collection of everyday items that your child can explore, it is important to ensure that all the items are safe for your child as if a baby is going to use it, there is a very strong chance that most of it is going to end up in their mouth at somepoint.

We decided to put together a very simple one using just one item, this probably doesn’t sound quite right as for anyone who has seen treasure baskets before they will know that they come with all sorts of different shaped objects in them normally.

So why did we choose to use just one item?

Well we thought that what we chose was good for Tim as there were all sorts of different textures for him to investigate, but would also be good for Sam as discussions could be taken a lot further as you will see.


So as you can see we have 8 different balls, there are different sizes for Tim to investigate, some that he can hold in one hand, some that he needs 2, others that he struggles to pick-up.

And for Sammy we have already been able to spend time putting them into different orders, smallest to largest (and vice versa) heaviest to lightest, which then leads to discussions on the fact that one of the lightest is definitely the biggest one. We have discussed colours and textures, and we have had to talk about NOT throwing them around in the house!

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Have you made a treasure basket?

or are you planning to make one?

Why not comment below with your suggestions and ideas, maybe someone who doesn’t know where to start will be able to get some good ideas.

Making shaker bottles

We are really enjoying taking part in the summer challenge

This time we have been making shaker bottles. It was a really easy, cheap activity to do, but I was definitely glad with a Tim around that we were doing it outside.

I found a selection of empty plastic bottles, then raided the cupboards for some bits and pieces that hadn’t been used in a while, I’m sure you’ve all got them, some rice, beans, pasta, pulses that were bought some while ago with all good intention of trying a new recipe which just never happened.

So I took my tray with bottles, spaghetti, pulses, stickers and sellotape (a very important part of the make!) all out into the garden.

The boys began to chose what they wanted to put in to their bottle.



Then came the slow laborious job of filling, Sammy decided that he wanted to see how much he could fit in one bottle, putting lots of ‘sticks’ in, he tried saying spaghetti, but gave up getting the ‘p’ and ‘s’ all muddled.


Lids were firmly fastened, then came the fun job of decorating, this is where the ‘important sellotape’ come in, if you have ever tried putting stickers onto plastic bottles you will know it just doesn’t work, hence the sellotape


Once they were all filled and decorated they had to be tested


we even had some singing, which I will upload if I can work out how another day.


I hope everyone else taking part in this challenge is enjoying it as much as we are, feel free to comment and let me know how it’s going.


Visiting Grandma and and Poppa


Tim has completed his first Summer challenge

15 – Go to visit family or friends

with a visit to Grandma and Poppas in Bedfordshire.


As the weather was rather on the warm side, most of the weekend was spent outside in the garden.


Although there was plenty of time for some indoor fun and games with Grandma


And Poppa didn’t want to be left out, blowing bubbles for everyone




When things began to get a bit much for us all in the heat, we sat back and just listened to some music1004785_10151497294042478_1397614095_n

We all had a great time and can’t wait to see them again soon.

Lets see what our next exciting Summer Challenge will be.

How many Summer Challenges activities have we completed today?

Today has been a busy day as far as the summer challenge goes.

The day began even before I was out of bed with a little voice from the other room shouting


so OK by the time he shouted this Daddy had left his room, but I was so proud that he had remembered me telling him the night before that it would be Daddy’s birthday, and then a short while later he came into our bedroom with a present almost as tall as he was, again all with no prompting.

So what have we completed today?

Today we visited Upton House and Gardens


Leaf collage

We haven’t completed this yet, but have spent the day collecting leaves ready to do this soon

Make a treasure basket

Again not completed, but we have spent the day going around a National Trust house with treasure baskets in various rooms, giving us an opportunity to explain that we will be making our own soon.

These pictures show the fun we had with the dressing up box

Go on a nature walk

We have definitely covered  this one today,

We walked in the countryside


and in the woods

Feed the ducks

I’m hoping to be allowed to cheat on this one (or find someone to take the boys to do it) as I have a phobia of anything that flies, however big or small.

So instead of ducks we have been feeding some very big fish today

Playing with different materials

Tim has definitely had the opportunity to feel all sorts of different materials today with some of the furs in the dressing up as well as the other clothing. He also loved feeling some of the different plants, flowers and leaves in the garden.

Make a milkshake/smoothie/juice

Another activity not completed yet, but we picked up a leaflet in Upton House kitchen, with lots of ideas that we are looking forward to trying out.

Send a postcard to the local children’s centre

Today we bought postcards to be able to write and send

Look for mini beasts

This one is taking us a while to complete, I am writing about it in another post, I’ll link to it when we have finally found everything on the list


Learn how to do something new

This is a challenge specifically for Tim, he has been waving for a while now, although he doesn’t do it very reliably and often waits until we have left a room to wave goodbye, he is much better with hello


and today he has learnt how to point, thanks to Daddy’s birthday present, a new helicopter

Bake a cake

When better to do this than for a birthday

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and one final challenge for the day, always great fun after a very busy day

Have a bath with a sibling

Are you doing a summer challenge?

I am really excited to have just collected 2 summer challenge packs for my boys.

If you live in Hinckley and Bosworth with a child under 5, why not give it a go, it’s free and there are prizes just for joining in.

summer challenge

I know at the moment I am more excited by it than them, but maybe the next picture will explain why!

sammy sleep

I know I am really looking forward to visiting a local attraction with both of them,

doing hand/footprints with Tim as we haven’t really done any of these yet and getting my car washed (Sam’s list)

I know that Tim will love making the drum kit from his list and Sam will love cooking or any outdoor activity.

If you are joining in, what activities are you and your children looking forward to?