Tobu Zoo Park

Note: Japanese zoos are generally not the best place regarding animal welfare. Most of the zoos, I have visited have a few cages where my heart breaks for the welfare of the animals. That said, I believe zoos do have a role to play in educating people, protecting the animals and inspiring the next generation. Steve Backshall summed it up beautifully in This article in the Huffington Post. I take my children to zoos, to generate a greater love for animals, educate them about the animals and their plight in the wild and I use the opportunity to discuss animal welfare. 

Tobu Zoo Park came recommended by a friend who was telling me about the white tiger cubs that had recently arrived at the park. So we headed up during the October 1/2 term to visit it. Wow- There was so much more than just a zoo!

As we walked through the entrance, the first animals that we saw were Japanese animals. We had been recently watching the BBC series on Japan (well worth watching!) and J was so excited to see the animals in real life that he had just seen on TV!


The zoo has over 120 different species of animals with more than 1200 animals in total. some of them were in some lovely cages, but there were the usual heartbreaking moments. The children loved the watching the white tigers and the sea lion show.


What we hadn’t realised when we set out for the zoo is that it is more than just a zoo. it has a petting zoo, amusement rides, gardens and in the summer a water park. I think another visit in the summer will be well worth it.
We only bought the admission tickets (¥1700 for an adult, ¥700 for a child) so I only allowed the children one ride on a rollercoaster. There was a vending machine where I could buy single tickets.

Access to the zoo is relatively straight forward by car. That said, we were driving along a small road and I was convinced we were lost, when we suddenly came across the entrance! There is a train station right at the one entrance and as the journey only takes 70 minutes from Shibuya, it would be very tempting to head up there by train next time.


For more information visit their website:

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Mood Tracking in 2018

I’ve started a bullet journal!

Like I truly have the time to add yet another activity onto my to do list! But having researched the bullet journals, I’ve learnt that they are effectively a journal, planner and organiser rolled into one, so I think it could work for me given that I previously have used my mobile, a calendar, my fridge as a Control Center, (though I still might!) and paper/ post it notes. Only time will tell if it will make me more efficient, or it becomes another time stresser….

The one (of the many) area that I am planning on tracking in my bullet journal is my mood. I’ve come off my antidepressants and while I’ve noticed that I’m a lot more short tempered with my children, I think I’m ok… but I want to be sure, otherwise, I’ll head back on.

This article from Buzzfeed is very interesting and informative about tracking moods, but I don’t want to do something that is going to take hours of time. I like the idea of this tracker that the article shares:

as it would assist me in seeing whether my caffeine and alcohol intake have an impact as well as any lack of sleep, but it looks like it’s rather time consuming and I’d rather be focusing on other things at the moment.

Initially I like the Year in Pixels idea, but as my mood on the eve of the 1st January was very different to my mood in the morning, I thought I would head for something that covered both.

So inspired by this mandala version by @livejoyfulandhealthy on Instagram , I got researching…

I liked this tree, adjusted it and created my own. Using the ideas from the mandala, I went for monitoring my mood over 3 sessions- am, pm and evening. Which in everyday terms is more like: schooltime, after school, evening (when kids are in bed!)

What do you think?

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Goals? Perhaps…perhaps not…

I spent the last few weeks of 2017, reviewing my goals, looking at previous goals I’d made over the years and creating a new set of goals for this year. Looking at the goals that I set, I might as well have copied my goals from 2015.

I had the usual: the weight loss, the reading challenge (50 books!), faith matters… as I said, the usual! 6 categories- Faith, Health, Relationships, Mind, World and Hobbies, with 3 goals in each and a few habits to learn thrown in for luck.

But then we received news that turned everything around. It got me thinking and as we were away skiing, I had plenty of opportunity to digest the news and mull it over. Something that “A” said: ‘We will all die one day, we just have to appreciate what we have.’

As I skied down a particularly stunning slope, I realised that I needed a focus for 2018. Goals are good, habits are very good- but a word based round the goals will keep me focussed. 2017 Mountains proved that one!

And so my focus for 2018 is APPRECIATE- As life is short-be it 80 years, 40 years or 20 years or whatever time God has blessed us with we should appreciate it.

Appreciate our faith
Valuing the relationship we can enjoy with our creator
Worshiping Him,
Learning more about Him.

Appreciate our health-
Whatever stage our health is at.
Appreciating what our body can do,
Caring for our health and body through sleep, exercise, relaxation and so to enable it to take us furtherin our daily lives.

Appreciate our Family and Friends-
Spend time with them,
Keep in regular contact with them.
Create memories

Appreciate our Mind-
Keep the mind stimulated
Develop new skills

Appreciate our World-
Become a better steward of our world.
Explore this wonderful place and appreciate its diversity.

Appreciate our God Given Skills-
Enjoy doing our hobbies.
Use your skills to bless others

It is so easy to not appreciate what we have, especially when everyone else’s life looks picture perfect on Facebook or Instagram. I am hoping and praying that this focus word will help me to grow even more as a person, while still valuing and appreciating who and what I have around me.

Here’s to an appreciative 2018.

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2017 Mountains- a Year in Review.

I started this series primarily to have accountability in completing various tasks that I’m forever procrastinating. While I haven’t written a blog post in the last few months, I have nonetheless continued to work towards the mountains.

Well- I think I have…

Mountain 1: Physical Mountain

There hasn’t been much hiking this year. Disappointing, but I am chuffed that I have managed some. I managed a mountain in January, February and March, a hike in August in the UK, and hikes in September, October and November. The hikes in September and November were through Scouts- the precheck and actual hike. Admittedly we did climb a mount, but I couldn’t truly call it a mountain as it was only 800m above sea level!

October saw us in Okinawa, enjoying two hikes, one a 3km walk up a stream (actually in the stream in places!) and another up the highest mountain (500m) on Okinawa Island- which was a very muddy walk as it was the day after a typhoon had hit the island.

I have enjoyed the challenge of the hikes, and would like to continue, but after our last hike we have a very jaded view about getting out of Tokyo:
It was a beautiful Saturday in early November and we headed out to Okutama, for a day in the outdoors with 10 Cubs and Beavers and their families. There was some traffic and it took us about 100 minutes to travel the 85km. Japan had seen two typhoons (the same ones that we had in Okinawa!) come through the previous two weekends, resulting in the river being significantly fuller- but lots of fun was had by all as they walked up the “mountain” to the pagoda, and then built mini rafts and tested them.

But the trip home was something to remember. Or forget. 3 and a half hours to travel 85km. Bumper to bumper the whole way.

So now we think twice about whether we head out for the day:
Traffic jam vs train (with standing room only) vs staying local and walking round the neighbourhood.

Mountain 2: Mountain of Weight

This mountain is like Mt Everest- slowly growing each year. I plan to change that next year!

Mountain 3: Mountain of Paperwork

This has been significantly reduced this last year. From achieving my Wood Badge, and clearing through my admin pile, I have made wonderful in roads to this mountain and am rather proud of the achievements in this regard.

Mountain 4: Mountains of Photographs

I keep adding to this mountain as I love taking photographs! But they are becoming more consolidated with dud photos removed and batches renamed. So I’ll just keep plodding onwards and upwards!

Mountain 6: Mountains of Creative Projects
As my paperwork mountain has decreased, so my enthusiasm for being creative has increased! This has resulted in me doing a variety of creative projects.

:Scrap 1 double page.
I haven’t managed many more of these pages, but I have been very creative in the memory department. This year has seen me make three photo books, 9 calendars and an assortment of photo mugs.

: Knit 10cm of the second side of my jumper.
No- but I plan to have it finished in time for our sailing holiday at Easter.

: Sew all badges onto the camp blankets.
I changed it to a picnic blanket and it looks stunning. However- I have given myself repetitive strain injury in my elbow (tennis elbow) after sitting for 90 minutes and hand sewing the badges onto the blanket.


I have also merged two Ikea bedding sets into one for my daughter’s room. Personally I think they look much better and she does too!

Mountain 1: Mountains of Books
This is a mountain that I feel is improving as the years have gone on. If I look back at my posts about reading, I can see that I am achieving more reading albeit that most of them I have been listening too!

Books I have read this year:

Never Say Goodbye by Susan Lewis
She’s still there by Chrystal Evans Hurst (I used the study guide too which I would highly recommend)
Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin
Sunday Basket by Lisa Woodruff

Books I’ve listened to this year: (using my Audible credits)

If I Run and
If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock.
The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes.
Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense NovelsBook 1, Book 2, Book 3 and Book 4 by Alana Terry
No Angel by Penny Vincenzi
Dead to Me by Lesley Pearse

IMG_0813.JPGLast year I hit the big 4-0 and in the 21 months since that day, I feel like I’ve grown in many ways, older yes, wider (I mean wiser) yes (to both!) and generally a greater empathy and understanding. The conquering or near conquering of this year’s mountains is reflected the growth that I have done.

Here’s to 2018.

This post contains affiliate links. By buying through my website, you are supporting and encouraging me along my journey at no extra cost to yourself. 
Thank you for your support. 

Previous posts in the series:

Mountains of Goals…

January’s Mountains

February’s Mountain

March’s Mountains

May’s Mountains

June’s Mountains

Resources that have helped me:

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The Parable of the Talents (see below) is a well known Parable told by Jesus and is a story about investment. Most versions, talk about talents as a form of currency and biblical scholars talk about it as a gift or actual talent that we have. But what if we view the story in a different way? Not about talents, money or skills that God has given us, but people in our lives. People that we as adults have an influence over. Our children. 
God has given us the gift of children and calls us to invest in them, in their lives and most importantly in their characters. He is trusting us to build them, to help the grow, to work at it so they may bloom. Just like the first two servants do in the Parable. 

I’ve started to read:  30 ways in 30 days to strengthen your family and the very first chapter is a challenge. A challenge to be the best that I can, do invest in my children despite the fact that they’re 24, 12, 11 and 7. Do develop a moral compass that will lead them into the future to be well like respected members of the community. 

As we head into the new school year, I thought I would challenge myself to work through the book. To invest in the talents that I have been given so I may become a better parent and so my children grow into adults with a strong moral compass. 
Realistically, I can’t commit to doing this daily. I also want to have time to incorporate the ideas into my lifestyle. Some I imagine I can do daily, but others might need more investment. Like anything of value, growth takes time. 

I would love it if you could join me on this journey. I will post my thoughts and views as I work my way through the book and I would love your feedback. 
Note: The book is available on Amazon and if you purchase it through my site (click on the image), you will be supporting me on my journey at no extra cost to yourself. Should you do that, a very big thank you from me. 

The Story About Investment 

14-18 “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.

19-21 “After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

22-23 “The servant with the two thousand showed how he also had doubled his master’s investment. His master commended him: ‘Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner.’

24-25 “The servant given one thousand said, ‘Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent.’

26-27 “The master was furious. ‘That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.

28-30 “‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’

Matthew 25:14-30

The Message (MSG)

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Orbi Science Museum

“We are heading out to Orbi on Tuesday, fancy joining us?” A friend invited. 

“Sure” I replied not knowing what I was signing up for. 

It turns out that Orbi is a collaboration between Sega and BBC Earth. It is a multisensory venue (museum just feels so wrong) where there are a variety of exhibits about animals. 

I wouldn’t say that the children learnt lots, but it was a wonderful way to escape the Tokyo heat and the children had a super time and would happily go back!

Entering Orbi, you walk into a large hall. There is a huge screen with animals on it, and when you put your hands up, your bracelet activates the screen in front of you. (Like a Wii), where you can interact and learn about the various animals. 

The children then moved into the main hall, where they had great fun giving themselves animal skins, creating fish and seeing how they’d look if the had a set of horns on. I’m not sure how the machines work, but they were good fun!

There are various exhibition halls leading off the main hall including some 4D movies. J didn’t enjoy the gorilla one as he found it rather scary, so he and I sat out of the elephant one.
If you’ve never been into a 4D movie, the basic breakdown is as follows: the movie is filmed in 3D, so you are given a set of 3D glasses so the characters are right in front of you, which in itself is quite a surreal experience. The fourth dimension is the sense of touch- so there will be wind blowing in flying scenes, a light spray of water when a gorilla sneezes (YUCK!) or a wire flicking your leg as the gorilla runs passed you grabbing a branch. The sound, of course, is also surround sound which adds to the whole experience. 

So while the others went into the Elephant 4D movie, J and I went and played with the photo creator. Here you choose your pose and then pose with a green screen behind you. Once the photo is taken the computer superimposes you onto various characters. This room provided huge amounts of entertainment for the children.

Other exhibits included an aerial view a route from Canada to South America- I presume the route a bird would take as it migrates for the winter, a meerkat movie, under the sea and the most unforgettable- the cold room, as my three call it. Mount Kenya apparently has a variety of temperatures as you ascend it, so the first room you enter is 10 deg C, which is what you would experience as you would ascend the peak. As you near the summit the temperature drops to zero (room 2), where there is a chance of gale force winds creating a feels like factor of -20deg C. (Room 3). It was quite an experience! 

Once we had visited all the exhibits on the main floor, we headed up to the second floor for the animal studio.

Every half hour, they open the doors to the studio, where you can hold, stroke or admire various animals and birds. My children were a little disappointed as they weren’t able to hold some of the animals. We couldn’t fathom the reason, other than the fact that it seemed that the guides seemed nervous of the animals. (We were given a demonstration of the rabbit being grumpy- by the guide sticking his fingers in front of the rabbit and saying- see he’ll bite. Admittedly I didn’t take much heed to his advice… I’ve handled plenty of rabbits in my life, our stick your finger in front of any animal, it is going to move closer to you and sniff it, and a rodent will most likely nibble as part of its investigation. ). We did get to handle some of the animals and the children had a ball in that room. 

Orbi is a wonderful place and the children thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Exit is through the shop so there is plenty of opportunities to bring home a souvenir of the trip- be it a soft toy, trinket, or photographs from the various activities that you’ve participate in. 

We caught the train to Orbi, alighting at Minatomirai station which is only a 3 minute walk from the building. It is located on the fifth floor of the MARK IS building, which apparently has parking where you get your parking ticket price back when you pay for your entrance ticket. 
Have you been to Orbi? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

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Legoland Discovery Center

Over the summer break, the only thing ‘J’ wanted to do was head out to Legoland Discovery Center in Odaiba. 

So on a hot Friday morning, we headed out. 

LDC- has a couple of rides, but it is more… of a…. discovery Center where there are a variety of activities. 

The first room (Lego Factory) introduces how Lego is made. There are opportunities here for the children to turn dials and press out some Lego shapes, before moving onto the rides, models and making. 

Room 2, is the Kingdom Quest Ride- a ride where we had to shoot the ‘baddies’ with a laser gun for points. I managed knight status, J hunter status. 

We whizzed through Mini World- an amazingly lifelike Tokyo built entirely out of Lego bricks. Having visited twice before, J knew exactly where he wanted to go! I find the city fascinating, so I dawdled a bit. They show it in day and night mode, and the lighting of Tokyo is SO realistic. 

Just before you enter the main hall, there is an opportunity to sign up for the Creative Workshop. This is basically an opportunity for the children to build something following a set of instructions shown on a screen. J found it a touch slow, but he enjoyed it and was happy to receive a certificate and a copy of the instructions at the end.

The main hall has a variety of areas, a Ninjago soft play area, duplo soft play area, 4D Theatre, Sorcerers Apprentice ride, cafe and a Build and test. 

Heading downstairs was the primary purpose for our trip. The Train World. It here that J spent an hour pushing trains along the tracks, while I composed this post!

This was a fun few hours for J and I. With the building fully air conditioned, it was a great escape from the summer heat! 
Legoland is found in Decks, Odaiba and is easy to get to by train (2 minute walk from the Odaiba-Kaihin Koen station), or by car (there is a car park as part of the Decks complex and if you spent over ¥5000, you can get 4 hours free parking. 

The opening hours are from 10am and ticket prices are from ¥2400. 

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50 Summer Activities for Older Children Part 4

Today sees the final post of my Summer Series- 50 Activities for older children. I have been working through the list alphabetically and have come to the final three sections.


Go Geocaching
I love this activity as it can be played wherever you are. Once, when we were exploring Hakone with friends, we logged on as we were walking between two tourist spots and discovered a cache nearby. Yoyogi park has 2 inside it and 2 just outside. (Though the one inside we couldn’t find!)

Go for a hike.
A River, a mountain, a coastline, through a valley. The options of getting out are limited by your imagination and physical ability.

Take a trip to the beach

Always a great hit!

Make a fairy garden
This seems to be all the rage at the moment. I’ve yet to try it.

Create a herb pot
Buy little pots of herbs and plant them up into larger pots. You could have just your favourites or round a theme. How about a ‘pizza’ pot with basil, tomato, garlic and oregano?

Make a scarecrow
My children loved making this. They can work as a group, or individually. I’ve seen some fantastic ideas at Garden Shows and on Pinterest.

Make a bird scarer using cds
The reflection of the light as the cds move is what supposedly chases the bird away.
I love this idea, but I’ve yet to try it!

This book has some awesome gardening project ideas for children. 

I often get accused of being restless, that I’m always wanting to head out. Perhaps there is some truth to that, but planning some trips out is always fun!

Visit a museum
Most museums are free or a nominal fee, so it a good budget trip out. (Especially if you have a ‘no spend’ rule in place)
Most cities and towns have something available.

Visit an art gallery
I headed out recently to the Eric Carle exhibition recently and I was surprised how much I enjoyed it and how inspired I was to get creating in his style. The children were unimpressed, until we gave them a notebook and a pencil and suggested they copy one of the artwork. They definitely became more engaged.

Head out to a local outdoor poolEdit

Outdoor pools in Tokyo are only open from early July until mid September, and they have a variety of rules that are required to be followed. It does remove a fair about of the fun involved, but it’s still great to be able to go and cool off.

Go for a picnic
Pick a park, patch of grass, or a beach. Perhaps even get the children to create their own picnic. Or learn how to make scotch eggs or wraps or such like.

Photography challenge of local buildings/ greenery/ ……
This is limited by your imagination. The children could even then take their photographs and create a collage of the photos. (Mine love Pic Collage)


Learn to touch type
I’ve used Keyboard classroom which I really like, particularly the finger guide. A friend is doing this challenge with her children over the summer and she is using the BBC bitesize Dance Mat Typing and is very happy with it. 

This is a life skill that isn’t taught in many schools, yet is should be as it’s a skill that is becoming more and more valuable. 

Cook a meal

It can be basic- scrambled egg and toast, to a full on 3 course meal. Depends on your child’s skill level. Of course the vital skill to learn alongside is to tidy as you go along and wash up afterwards.

Learn to sail

Or scuba dive, or throw a pot or play a new sport. The possibilities are endless.
What do you want to do? What are you passionate about? Perhaps your children are too. Perhaps you learn the new skill together…
Hopefully this list will help you to feel like the summer isn’t so daunting or scary.
Please do let me know what you have tried. What was your children favourite? Have you any other suggestions? Leave a comment and I will send you a copy of my printable list.

This post contains affiliate links. By buying through my website, you are supporting and encouraging me along my journey at no extra cost to yourself. 

Thank you for your support. 


Related posts:

50 Summer Activities for Older Children
50 Summer Activities for Older Children; Part 2
50 Summer Activities for Older Children Part 3
Exploring, Exploring: My 5 Favourite Beaches near Tokyo
Exploring, exploring: My 5 favourite places in Tokyo on a rainy day.

Category- Tokyo with kids!

Some useful items:

Posted in Creative days, Fun Days, Parenting, Tokyo with kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

50 Summer Activities for Older Children Part 3

We are halfway through the  series and a third of the way through our summer holidays. I hope you’re finding this series useful, and have found activities to do with your brood. We’ve headed out on a few adventures- some pricier than others, some free and I believe my three are having a great time. (I won’t ask them in case they prove me otherwise!)

So what else is on the Activity list?


I love travelling and exploring, so this chapter is close to my heart!

( I even have an entire category for exploring Tokyo with kids!)

Be a tourist in your locality
Trip Advisor is a great starting point to find out what there is to do in the local area. I also just google ‘Things to do in….’ when I’m heading out about what there is to do in a locality. It is how I’m creating my Japan bucket list and I have found some pretty cool things so far.

Learn about the history/ geography of your local area
Tourist information sites, Trip Advisor, Google are all great places to start. In the U.K., the local library might have information about the history of the village. (Which is another way of teaching our children about local services!)

Create a map of an area- locality, stream, woods 
Give them a clipboard, paper and pencil and head on out. It could be as detailed/ basic as to your child’s ability. You can compare it to the Google maps afterwards too should you fancy.


Playing games is always a winner.

Have a board game evening
My children are currently enjoying Catan junior, though the adult game Settlers of Catan is perfectly manageable for older children.

Learn a new card game
UNO is the go to card game at the moment, but knowing an arsenal of card games to play with an ordinary pack of cards is definitely worthwhile. Kidspot has a 12 games that are suitable for children.

Have a square game challenge 
Simple, yet a great pastime if at a restaurant or somewhere ‘boring’

Create your own categories game
There is a board game of this game, but we used to play our own version in the car. Take an A4 paper (landscape) (1 per player) and draw a table with any number of columns, 5-7 is usually good. Create a heading for each column, suggestions being: boys names, girls names, food, car types, animal, city, rivers, countries, famous person and the final column labelled total.
On another sheet write out the alphabet- perhaps omitting Q,X and Z.

To play, a person shuts his eyes and randomly picks a letter. On start, everyone tries to write down their categories for the letter (1 in each column) as quickly as they can. The first person to finish shouts stop. (Or you can use a timer for 1 minute). Read out the answers- each unique answer scores 10, each duplicated answer is worth 5.
Record the individual total and play the next round.


Create a movie using movie making app
My older children love using iMovie, while J loves making movies on Lego Movie App.

Perform a concert
Dance, acrobatics, musical instruments, write/ perform a skit, performing poetry… the list can seem endless and there are always ‘willing’ parents to watch the performance!

Write a book
‘E’ loves Story Bird website. This website is a great spot to encourage writers of all ages. Poetry, stories or theme related writing challenges are just some of the activities available.

Create a comic strip

There are plenty of blank templates available, yet if your children are older they can create their own grid. With my Cubs and Beavers, I gave them the outline of a person (think gingerbread man) and got them to draw a Super hero, asking them about the super hero qualities, the uniform, who the villain was and how he was defeated. The Cubs (ages 8-10) then wrote a comic for their super hero. They truly enjoyed it.

Do a lego challenge
For anything Lego, I have to hand that honour over to Sarah and her family at Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls. They’ve even written a book on Lego ideas.

Problem solving challenge using cups, blocks and popsicle sticks. 

This activity (from Sarah at Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls) was a great hit with my Cubs and Beavers. I loved the designs that the various children came up with.

Indoor obstacle course
There are some great ideas on Pinterest. I personally love this one: Indoor obstacle course

Indoor camping
If you have the room- pitch a tent indoors, otherwise get the children to build a fort and then fill it with duvets and cushions.

And if all else fails, check out this post- 87 Energy busting indoor activities for kids.

Friday, will see the last post in this series. I hope that you are enjoying it so far. Have you tried anything so far? What do you want to try? Leave a comment and I will send you a copy of my printable list.

This post contains affiliate links. By buying through my website, you are supporting and encouraging me along my journey at no extra cost to yourself. 

Thank you for your support. 


Related posts:

50 Summer Activities for Older Children
50 Summer Activities for Older Children; Part 2
Exploring, Exploring: My 5 Favourite Beaches near Tokyo
Exploring, exploring: My 5 favourite places in Tokyo on a rainy day.

Some useful items:

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50 Summer Activities for Older Children; Part 2

Keeping children entertained so there’s less fighting, limited amounts of time saying- ‘I’m bored’ or getting up to mischief due to boredom. That’s the aim of the list. Hopefully some of these activities are not too adult intensive and I’ve also tried to find a variety of activities at a variety of prices.
So Part 2:

Arts n Crafts

Create a masterpiece in the style of an artist.

This was inspired by our visit to the Eric Carle exhibition at the Setagaya Art Museum. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed to take photographs inside- not even when J sat down and drew E.C’s porqupine. Eric Carle’s website does have instructions how to do the art his style, so it’s definitely something on our summer bucket list.

Paper mache bowl
This is something I’ve always wanted to do with the children. It’s great for their fine motor skills and tactile/ sensory aspect. Creating paper mache material is simple and you can find the instructions here:

To make a bowl, find instructions here: Watermelon Paper mache bowl

Mosaic art
I found this awesome idea on Pinterest for a mosaic bird bath and I think it looked lovely. I wonder whether I can add this onto the paper mache bowl- I’ll keep you posted.

Knit a toy
There are many basic patterns out there and why should a child’s first knitting project be a scarf? ‘K’ loves this book: Crafty Creatures by Jane Bull

Pebble creatures 
Surely my children aren’t the only ones who return from the beach with pockets filled with pebbles? Pinterest has a great selection of ideas. But otherwise, provide your darlings with glue, paint, markers and googly eyes and see what they come up with.

Make an origami card
We’ve made an origami thank you card and on the whole it’s very easy to do:

Take your favourite origami shape (after our visit to Hiroshima, K can turn out cranes with phenomenal ease.), stick it onto some backing card/ paper with double sided tape, stick that card onto an A5 card that has been folded in half. Voila!

This List has 29 Fun crafts which is also worth a visit if you’re in need of more ideas!


Litter pick up

Cubs and Beavers collecting litter at Enoshima beach

This one is easy. Arm each child with a rubbish bag and a pair of gloves. Head out to your chosen destination and collect the rubbish. You can create it into a competition as to who can fill their bag the quickest/ fill the most bags or such like.

Visit a old age home
Please check this one beforehand with your chosen home. Arm your children with a board game, and some suggestions for them to talk about with the elderly.

Volunteer at a soup kitchen/ Volunteer at an animal rescue Center
Again, these will need permission beforehand and some preparation of the children as to what to expect. If you don’t want another pet in the house, then that had better be something you make very clear too!

Organise a Street Store 
I love this concept- hosting a pop up store foe homeless people to come and choose their own clothes. This is charity that started in South Africa and has now spread worldwide. Do take a look at their website and see whether it is something that a family could organise.
So part 2 complete.

Which activity would you like most to do with your children, which one do they want to do the most? Let me now in the comments and I will email you a printable version of the list.

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Related posts:

50 Summer Activities for Older Children

Origami Santa

Thank You Cards

Some useful items:

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