It's that time of the year when we have a couple of Bank Holiday Mondays in quick succession, so as parents we are looking around for ideas to entertain our little ones, without having to grab for the nearest plastic toys if at all possible!
As a single parent to a 3 year old boy, I find that filling three days just the two of us (and the dog!) can be quite a tall order, particularly with the current social restrictions in place, so I always find that writing a little list of "could do" things for the long weekend is reassuring and can also lead to unplanned adventures too.
Here's my list of plastic-free "could do" activities for you and your little ones this coming Bank Holiday weekend.
Plastic-free "could do" Bank Holiday activities:
- GO OUTSIDE... It's National Gardening Week, the country’s biggest annual celebration of gardening, up to Sunday 2nd May, so that seems like a ruddy good excuse to make the most of whatever outdoor spaces you (or friend, with current restrictions having lifted slightly) have, and to sew a seed or two with your little ones. Try zero waste plant growing, by just sowing the seeds from some of your little one's favourite fruits and veg - for example, sow an apple seed or cucumber seeds in a little bit of earth. Children can see the whole cycle of growth in front of their eyes. And ever more evidence shows how important gardens and plants are for our physical, mental, and social wellbeing, so it's really important to get out there with our children. When I go outside, I always have a handy stash of plastic-free plasters and plastic-free cuts and scrapes balm in our shed (and in my bag when we are on the move), because even if you are really careful, the odd blackberry bush graze or tumble over a weed can happen!
- READ TOGETHER... That extra time together means some cosy time to snuggle up in bed together, perhaps on a lazy Sunday morning, and to spend time reading together. We have a lot of books, that we've either inherited from family, bought from charity shops, or have bought new on a special occasion. Our current favourite is Nelson's Dangerous Dive, as well as my son's collection of books about Space, which he is currently fascinated by.
- START POTTY TRAINING... A bit of down time together at home, without the distraction of nursery or school runs, could be just the thing to kick start potty training! Of course, your child has to be ready first, but if they are already showing signs of wanting (in my son's words) to wear "big boy pants" then go for it! We use this plastic-free biodegradable potty and these cute little colourful undies (you'll need thousands of pairs of pants!!).
- BOND WITH BABY... There seem to be a lot of 'Lockdown Babies' currently being born, with older siblings, so if this is your family then the extra Bank Holiday weekend time can be spent bonding baby with their older sibling(s). A lovely way to do this is through gentle play, and I really recommend the organic cotton fruit rattle for this, which is lovely and soft for baby, and a good size for a toddler's hand to hold it to explore with their new sister or brother.
- PLAY!... Some days there doesn't seen to be enough time for silliness and play. Build it in to the Bank Holiday weekends! My son loves it when I play with him, and so often as a single parent I am distracted necessarily by all of the demands that lifestyle brings (I try to explain to him that if I don't make the dinner, nobody else will, but as yet that is lost on him!)... so I plan to build in PLAYTIME this weekend. We'll be playing with a best-seller in my shop, the plastic-free natural rubber dinosaurs and natural rubber farmyard animal set. He'll no doubt be combining this with his massive second-hand toy car collection, and create a BIG mess. And that's half the fun!
- RELAX... I'm a major offender when it comes to trying to do too many things in one day! So this particular "could do" on the list, is a real 'note to self' to take things a little slower and relax together with my son, rather than rushing around and not taking things in. I plan to put some child-safe essential oils into my essential oil aromatherapy stone and my plastic free flower aroma diffuser, and sit reading books with my son snuggled next to me.
Have a great Bank Holiday weekend. What do you have planned with your little ones?
Here's a little more about the products I mentioned above....
Nelson’s Dangerous Dive - signed by the author, Ellie Jackson. It is a useful book that your child will likely have fun reading. Nelson’s Dangerous Dive goes deep underwater with Nelson the Whale where he discovers a hidden shipwreck and learns that what lurks below may not let you go. As he desperately signals for help, luck is on his side as a group of brave tourists give him the break he needs! This imaginative story will inspire your kids and make them more aware of environmental issues, in a gentle way.
Patch biodegradable bamboo plasters for kids (coconut) which has a cute panda design. It is a comfy plaster that is made from 100% organic bamboo fibre, enriched with coconut oil in the gauze to help soothe minor abrasions and provide long lasting support for sensitive skin. Patch biodegradable bamboo plasters would fit all ages and it contains coconut oil, aloe vera and activated charcoal and it is Earth friendly!
After a long day of running and playing, don’t forget to remind your child to wash their hands and face. Teaching your child about washing routine with a gentle soap will protect your baby from microbes and germs. Why not try Chamomile Flower & Oatmeal Castile Vegan Mummy & Baby Soap which suits all types of skin especially sensitive skin. It will moisturize your skin and your babies skin. Chamomile Flower & Oatmeal Castile Vegan Mummy & Baby Soap is vegan, Dairy free and gluten free and 100% plant based, natural, biodegradable, cruelty free.
Green Rubber Toys Natural Rubber Farmyard Animals comes in a set of 8 which will be perfect for an imaginary picnic during small world play. The set includes a cow and calf, horse and foal, a sheep and lamb and a pig and piglet. The farmyard animals are 100% natural rubber and hand painted using natural paints by skilled craftsmen in Sri Lanka, where manufacturing of natural rubber toys is a long lasting tradition for many generations. These plastic-free farmyard animals are safe for your little and for the environment!
Green Rubber Toys Natural Rubber Dinosaurs come in a set of 3 that include the fierce T-Rex, spiky Stegosaurus and gentle Triceratops. These toys are manufactured using 100% natural rubber/ latex that contain no harmful ingredients, either for people or for the environment, harvested from rubber trees by tapping trees in Sri Lanka This process is completely natural and does not affect the growth of hevea trees. Also, they are the perfect size for your little and safe weight. They are brilliant and safe alternative to the most common plastic dinosaurs toys.
Biodegradable potty - in 3 colours - Use this bank holiday to start teaching your baby potty training! Almost every potty you see on the market is made of plastic so finding an eco-friendly baby, we have a wonderful biodegradable potty made of renewable raw materials such as corn, beetroot and switchgrass. It looks almost identical to traditional plastic, the only difference being the chemical composition and it 100% non-toxic! This eKoala potty is a best seller on our website and for good reason, buy one today and find out why!
Fruit Rattle - Recycled Organic Cotton Offcut - Another great idea is to get your little one to bond with their siblings, cousins and friends. This 100% organic cotton fruit rattles are a must-have, made from leftover fabric from Fabelab's organic swaddles and muslin cloths, massively reducing their textiles waste and thus creates a completely unique rattle for your baby to play with, each one has a bell sound inside.
Plastic Free Natural Aroma Diffuser Flower - Similar to the aromatherapy stone, this plastic free “flower” diffuses your favourite essential oils around your home, just pop them into a bottle with an oil and enjoy as the fragrance is drawn up the stem of the flower and into the room. I love using these as a permanent display in my home, unlike cut flowers which are so often wrapped in single use plastic and have to be put on your home compost or binned within a week. These roses will live a long beautiful and fragrant life!
This essential oil diffuser is superb for relaxation for you and your baby, it requires no flame or electricity, just a few drops of your favourite (baby-safe) essential oil. This stone is great for soothing your baby after a busy day of fun long weekend activities! It comes in a small, plastic free recyclable tin for easy transportation and storage. This is quintessential for your house and is perfect for some downtime for any mummy and their baby!
Warm wishes, and have a great Bank Holiday!