I started recording our Simple Things last week, this week our Stuff Which Costs Nothing But Is Actually Priceless has included playing with packaging, looking closely at the everyday and doing a bit of plotting.

I think that most people know that to a toddler a big pile of wrapping paper is much more fun than the plastic toy it contained and that cardboard boxes provide children with hours of creative and imaginative fun; this week Bonus Boy spent quite some time exploring the (noisy) joys of bubble wrap. He rolled on it, walked on it, stomped on it and jumped on it!

free family fun, bubble wrap, bubble wrap games

Bubble Wrap Games, free family fun

Bubble Wrap Play

My oldest boy’s girlfriend gave him a bubble wrap suit for Christmas – how fab is that?! I tried to persuade him to pop it on and pose for blogging purposes but he was concerned that bubbles would be popped and that the suit would not then be pristine for its debut at a summer festival!

When I was a little girl and visited my Gran on the Isle-of-Man she didn’t have a box of toys for us to explore or things lined up for us to do but I remember spending hours weighing out lentils, rice and beans on her old balance scales. I remember letting the pulses and grains run through my fingers and burying my hands in the jars, I remember lifting up a handful and watching it rain back down – now Bonus Boy does the same!

On rainy Saturday he helped himself to a jar of split peas and one of puy lentils and shoved his hand down inside. We talked about how much they might weigh and whether a cup full of split peas would be heavier than one of lentils. He looked closely at the colours in a puy lentil; greens and browns and oranges, like fish scales. When I wandered off to do something Grown Up and Important in the kitchen I could hear him chattering away to himself and playing for some considerable time. When I cleared up later on I found this

lego and lentils

It seemed a good idea to have puy lentil Bolognese for tea so I removed all the Lego pieces and asked him to check all were present and correct before the boiling began.

‘Argh, no! Mum!’ came a cry from the dining room ‘Gandalf has lost his beard!’

Can you imagine? – Gandalf’s beard, boiled in a Bolognese?

As I poured a long stream of lentils into the pan, out popped an Orc weapon buried at the bottom – I think we were very lucky to escape!

One of my favourite things to do in January is to pour over seed catalogues, gardening magazines and last year’s photos. This week my personal simple thing has been to revist my memories of the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show last summer and to begin dreaming some garden dreams! I realised as I looked back that I haven’t written everything I wanted to write about the show so I’ve made some notes and there are a couple of gardening posts in the blog schedule very soon!

upcycled garden

family gardens

Sunday was kind, the sun came out, we donned our wellies and our gardening gloves and began to prepare our plot. We have primroses already showing their sunny faces and brave bulbs bursting through the earth – it lifts my heart.

What simple things have you been enjoying this week?

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