Thursday, April 7, 2011

Some fun ideas for playing in the rain!!

Fun in the Rain!!


Don't be sad, don't look outside and wince when you see the rain! Head outside and play! As long as there is no thunder and lightning, don't let kids stay cooped up in the house during a downpour. They can toss on raincoats, hats, and boots for easy outdoor activities for kids (and grownups!) They'll be surprised how different the world is when the raining is pouring down!
As parents, we usually discourage kids from jumping in puddles for so many 'grown up' reasons, so kidlets will be surprised and excited when you start a carefree splash contest! Gear up in raincoats and gumboots to head outside and stomp through pools of water! See who can create the biggest splash of water!
There is little to no excuse for not playing in the rain.  Whether you are in the cold rain of Spring or the warm rain of summer, we’ve put together a great list of ideas for having fun on a rainy day!

1: Smell the rain
Once you're outside splashing through the rain, take a big whiff of the air. Do you notice a difference in the smell of rainy-day air?

2: Bugz Abound
Look around, and see if you can spot any animals or insects that you don't normally see when the sun is out.  Watch your step. Chances are you'll see plenty of earthworms wiggling about in the rain.

4: Look at the trees to see how they handle the rain. Some leaves are made so that the rain glides off them. Check to see what else you can discover around your house that looks different in the rain than when the sun is out.

5:  Colour Yourselves
Put on bathing suits and then colour all over yourselves with bathtub crayons or other washable colours (we recommend that whatever you use washes off easily). Draw silly faces on your stomachs or write funny messages. Go wild. Then get out in the rain and wash yourselves off. It's nature's shower! Ready for more? Dry off and start all over again.

6: Wet and Wild Relay Race
Don't let a little drizzle keep the kids cooped up. Use waterproof toys to create the ultimate obstacle course for a fun family race. Split into teams (so what, if there's only two of you — compete against each other) and take turns kicking a beach ball around cones, hula hooping, spinning in circles while resting your forehead on a plastic bat, and competing in a water- balloon toss. In this race, laughing at the goofy challenges is more important than rewarding a winner.

7: Document the Day
Give your young photographers disposable waterproof cameras so they can capture the stormy weather on film. Spring showers provide a perfect opportunity to capture rare images of water droplets, colourful cloud formations, reflections in puddles, and beautiful rainbows. Shoot away, then drop off the cameras at a same-day photo processing centre and send your shutterbugs home with the prints for lasting memories.

8: Camp Out
Pitch a tent in your backyard when the clouds start to gather. You'll stay nice and dry when the rain starts, but the change in scenery will make it feel like an adventure, brightening up a dreary day. Once inside, enjoy the soothing rhythm of the raindrops hitting the tent as you tell ghost stories and create flashlight shapes on the walls. Or play a board game until the rain lets up.

9: Make Like Gene Kelly
Leave the great indoors for an invigorating walk around the block. To keep spirits high, sing classic wet-weather songs like "Singing in the Rain," "The Itsy-Bitsy Spider," "It's Raining, It's Pouring," and "Rain, Rain, Go Away." Your family's song styling’s may even bring a smile to a waterlogged neighbour’s face.

Go to a pond and feed the ducks
11.   Listen to the sound of the rain on your rooftop
12.   Play soccer or baseball in the rain –slide tackles!
13.  Play twister (indoors or outdoors)
14.  Make a mud pie
15.  Catch rain in a cup
16.  Walk to the library with a bright coloured umbrella
17.  Twirl around a lamp pole and sing “Raindrops keep falling on my Head”
18.  Sail a boat in a puddle
19.  Draw a picture on the sidewalk in chalk and watch the rain wash it away
20.  Build a shelter for a squirrel
21.  Plant spring bulbs
22.  Set out a bird bath
23.  Put out a rainbarrel
24.  Drop food colouring in a puddle and stir it with a stick
25.  Take photos of the rain
26.  Build a water theme park for your “Littlest Petshops” or other small figures
27.  Ride your bike through mud puddles
28.  Wash your bike with soap and water
29.  Wash the family car (mum and dad will be happy!!)
30.  Create a watercolour painting
31.  Build a rain shelter fort in the yard
32.  Sing “Rain, Rain Go Away”
33.  Drink a big mug of warm hot cocoa
34.  Dig for worms then…
35.  Go fishing – everyone knows they bite better when it’s raining!
36.  Catch frogs – if you can!
37.  Play “Rain Tag”
38.  Tilt your head to the sky and let the raindrops fill your face with “tears”
39.  Have a waterballoon war – who cares if you get hit – because you’re already wet!!!
40.  Bring out the slip and slide
41.  Skip stones in a pond
42.  Build a bug shelter to protect them from the rain.
43.  Put a leaf in a stream and see where it goes
44.  Do a rain dance
45.  Look for rainbows – when you find one follow the rainbow to the end to find a pot of gold!
46.  Play basketball – extra points for dribbling through puddles
47.  Sit near a window and watch the rain fall on it
48.  Put a few drops of food colouring on a paper plate and let the rain fall on it – you’ll love the effect!
49.  Slide in the grass and see who has the biggest grass stain!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Keeping in touch whilst you travel just got easier...and more exciting!

When I am on holiday, I am one of those people that will send a group email to my loved ones to let them know how we are going, or just rely on Facebook (status updates) to let them know all is well!  Im lucky if this is done once during a holiday, as lets face it, there is just so much to do, explore and conquer when your away with your bambinos!

So... when I found out about this iphone/ipad/android app that allows you to actually convert a holiday snap in to an actual postcard that is then printed and mailed I was VERY excited!  This could also work as a way to announce a new baby's arrival, an engagement, moving house, the list is endless!

Simply Postcards mails your photos and images as real postcards!  It seems pretty easy to use as well

1)  Choose your photo and select from a number of border options

2) Add a personal message

3)  Choose an address from your contacts list

....and hit send!

You purchase postcard credits from within the app, and your first postcard is free. You can send them from anywhere in the world, to anywhere in the world. Reviews are positive!

I am really looking forward to testing this out during our trip to Bali later in the year! I could do my postcards whilst sipping a Margherita watching the bambinos play in the pool!

And lets face it....everyone LOVES getting snail mail!

Child Free Flights?! What next...?

Ryanair announced on April Fools Day (1/4/11) that it will introduce child-free flights from October. The airline has said in its media release that the adult-only flights would be on selected high frequency flights. It refused to disclose more details.

The news has been met with some speculation from the industry and the media, particularly in light of the timing of the announcement. This makes me wonder if it is all just a well planned publicity stunt, or is it for real? It can be said that this 'announcement' has received a LOT of media coverage, with forums alight discussing this.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said:

“When it comes to children we all love our own but would clearly prefer to avoid other people’s little monsters when travelling. While half our passengers would like us to divide our cabins up into ‘adult’ and ‘family’ areas it is not operationally possible due to our free seating policy, with optional priority boarding. However, with clear demand for ‘child free’ flights Ryanair will introduce child free flights on high frequency routes from the start of our winter schedule in October.”

Earlier this week, the airline also announced it would be charging a €2 per passenger fee to cover the costs of delays and cancellations outside of its control - so maybe they are just crazy enough to do this!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Trade Shows

Well the last month has just flown by! Spruced Goose (and my girls) have been keeping me so busy I haven't had time to sit and write! My oldest daughter has started school, my youngest has started getting up before 6am and my hubby has changed jobs so our household has been in chaos!

I spent two days in Sydney with mum attending Kids In Style and the Reed Gift Fair and have found some fantastic new products for Spruced Goose! Winter is sure going to be stylish!  It was awesome to meet so many people as well.  For so long I have been emailing these lovely people nearly daily whilst we 'conduct business' but had no idea who was at the end of that @address!  Its great to meet others who are as passionate about children's wear as I am (and love for it to be stylish!!).

Today I received our first box of Pickle & Pop Gumboots for our upcoming Winter season and I felt like a kid at Christmas!!  These are just divine and look so stylish on my girls feet! Will post some pictures soon!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nearly time to launch Spruced Goose!!

Things are getting very exciting now!!  It is nearly time to launch Spruced Goose!!  I have been handed the 'keys' to the website, have been busy uploading information and stock, and only have a small amount left to get up before we are right to go!!

I can't believe this has come about so quickly!  Its like watching another baby grow up before my eyes!  I just had my daughter's 5th birthday party last weekend (her 'real' birthday is two days before Christmas), my youngest daughter's birthday is on Sunday - and next year at this time we will also (hopefully!!) be celebrating Spruced Goose's first birthday!! December seems to be the month that it all happens for the Hart family! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Honky Tonk arrives!!!

Honky Tonk swimwear has arrived!! It is beautiful!! There are so many gorgeous designs and styles that are going to turn heads when the girls and boys hit the beach in them! All UV 50+, so will keep precious skin safe in a stylish way!  Honkey Tonk is made in Australia, so is designed for our hot, summer conditions.  

I feel like a kid at Christmas at the moment - going through all the swimwear, oohing and ahhing over each individual piece!  This is an exciting time for Spruced Goose - it is all becoming 'real' now that stock has started to arrive!  Sun Emporium should arrive tomorrow, and then begins the process of photographing and uploading on to the website so I can show you all how beautiful it all is - rather than just raving about it!  

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spruced Goose opening November 2010!

Spruced Goose is an online children's store specialising in children's beachwear and rainwear!  Our vision is to create a store that will provide all that is needed for children to get outside and have fun in style, no matter the weather!

My best memories of childhood are of being outside, immersing myself completely in the envionrment - chasing butterflies in spring, building sandcastles and pretending to be a mermaid in Summer, splashing in puddles and diong 'rain dances' in winter!  Spruced Goose aims to get children's outside - having fun - in style by providing a store that provides all that is needed, whether it be bathers, sunscreen, hats, raincoats, umbrellas or boots!  Our first season of swimwear is from Australian designers - and takes into account our strong Australian sun coupled with the Australian sense of style and fun.