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  • The Summer Holiday 'I'm Bored' Jar

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 17 Jul 2014 at 04:28 PM

    I'm bored collage

    As Charles Caleb Colton once wrote, "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"... or in other words, I've totally nicked this idea from someone.  

    Yes, a month or so ago a friend shared a link to the Somewhat Simple website and its 'Mom I'm Bored' Jar.  I've since found these all over the place in various different guises but the core of the notion is the same: stockpile a load of ideas to keep the children entertained when bordeom sets in, add these to a container and then throw in a few chores just to create a sense of jeopardy when they venture to dip in their hand


  • How to plant a lettuce ball

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 01 Jul 2014 at 01:41 PM

    Lettuce ball with front cover
    My veg growing this year has taken something of a Darwinian turn.  Forget carefully chosen produce and well planned beds, it has been much more a case of 'survival of the fittest'.

    This is all thanks to those pesky slugs and snails (I have many more appropriate adjectives I could use there, but I shall resist).  They have demolished almost every crop - and sadly seem particularly fond of lettuce which is making our salads a little bare


  • Blackboard plant pots and Yellow Book openings

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 04 Jun 2014 at 08:09 PM


    For such relatively small people, children really do have enormous egos.  I mean they can be incredibly cute, winning and sweet-natured but, let's face it there's a lot of "Me, me, me, me MEEEE" about them.

    This often manifests itself in them writing their name on everything, at all possible opportunities - in the sand, on misty windows, in permanent marker on playroom walls (which is also the point where they realise the downside of putting their own name down rather than forging the signature of an annoying sibling)


  • Snail racing

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 17 Apr 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Snail race2
    My eldest son is a real wildlife lover.

    This is mostly a good thing.  It means he's always keen to get outdoors to check on his pond or insect shelter and he can identify far more birds and butterflies than I can manage


  • 101 Things For Kids To Do Outside

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 28 Mar 2014 at 08:44 PM

    This has been quite a momentous week.  Not just because we now know who is in the semi final for The Great British Sewing Bee (poor David - so near and yet so far) but also because my new book was officially published.

    It is borne of years of persuading my kids to join me in the garden. And no, it's not just about gardening (although you know me - I've managed to slip in everything from home brewed plant tonics and edible flowers, to mini rockeries and pumpkin autographs).  This is because I think we can't sell pure gardening to kids before we've sold them on something bigger - being outside


  • Look! Pretty flowers! It must be a blog post all about pretty flowers...

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 25 Mar 2014 at 07:53 PM

    See what I did there?  That's right, I lured you in with a pretty picture of flowers when really what I want to talk about is MULCH!  But, you know, it doesn't look that pretty - or sound particularly attractive - hence the subterfuge.

    However as unappealing as it may sound, mulch is quite simply the most important element of a successful family garden


  • Christmas trees: the makeover

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 13 Mar 2014 at 04:03 PM


    Three years ago I bought a potted Christmas tree.  It had a price tag that made me audibly suck in air and quickly calculate how many bottles of wine could be purchased for the same amount (a perfectly reasonable exchange rate mechanism to my mind).  However, it was Christmas, and I really wanted the tree, so I bought it anyway


  • February gardening… in March

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 03 Mar 2014 at 03:00 PM

    Pesky February - it's only gone and finished already, which makes my blog posts for that month a rather unimpressive... one.  In my defence I really have done gardening - even some with the kids - I just never quite got round to mentioning it here.

    Thankfully, I have some evidence to back me up.  


  • Apple tree pruning for kids

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 05 Feb 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Apple tree collage

    Four years ago my eldest two children planted apple trees in their garden.  Or to be more accurate they planted some unpromising looking sticks that I assured them were going to grow into apple trees.  


  • Five years on

    Posted by Dawn Isaac on 28 Jan 2014 at 05:30 PM

    Plant spots 016007Pre-school 166

    I am declaring a breakthrough