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A birthday party in lockdown

It was my little brother’s 5th birthday earlier this month, with everything else going on it wasn’t quite the day we had planned. This year was the first year he had been excited about having a party and has been talking about it for months. He was very good when he realised he couldn’t have one and asked if we could have an at home party instead so we decided that was what we would do.

It was a bit difficult because my Mum is shielded so no one could go to the shops but fortunately she had already got a few presents and we had ordered ink for our school work so we had some things to use.

Sam spent a few days before his birthday planning a party playlist on Alexa of his favourite songs, he has loved dancing to them ever since.

I made some Happy Birthday signs using his favourite Star Wars characters to go with each letter and we wrapped up the bottom half of the living room door for him to burst through which he thought was really funny.

Normally our birthday cakes are a surprise, sometimes we order them from a lady we know and sometimes Mum makes them but we never know what we are having until the day, this year Sam asked if he could help make his. He asked to have a chocolate cake and he absolutely loved being involved with making it and decorating it. His favourite bit was covering it with Easter sweets and treats that we had left over. It was a bit wonky but he said it was the best cake ever. We did surprise him by adding a Star Wars cake decoration that we had ordered before lockdown started.

sam birthday 4

During the day we played outside and I helped to build his birthday LEGO space set and then in the afternoon we had his ‘At home party’. We arranged a Zoom call with two other families who each have two children, one is Sam’s best friend and one is Lottie’s but they all play really nicely together and I organised a scavenger hunt for them. It worked really well because Sam and his friend are a bit little for video calls but this stopped them from being too shy and had everyone running around laughing.

Once we said goodbye to their friends we played some games together with Mum and Dad including a game of pass the parcel. Sam was amazed that he was allowed to win because we aren’t normally at our own parties. We then played the chocolate game- you have to take turns to roll the dice and when someone gets a 6 they have to quickly put on a scarf, hat and sometimes gloves and then cut up a chocolate bar with a knife and fork, they can then eat as much as they are able before the next person rolls a six. Sometimes you get loads and sometimes you don’t even get the hat on before it is the next person’s turn and it is very funny.

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After that Sam spoke to some of our family on the phone and we made him a party tea with sausage rolls, mini sausages, pizza and lots of yummy treats.

We watched a film that Sam picked out and then sang happy birthday to him and had cake. We has also planned to have a campfire and toast marshmallows but we ran out of time so we did that at the weekend as an extra birthday treat.

It wasn’t what we planned but Sam had a great day- he said his favourite thing was blowing out the candles on his cake!

 

Sam birthday 2

 

 

 

 

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Life during lockdown

It’s been a strange few weeks since the schools closed and lockdown started. I was looking forward to not having to go to school every day and the first week we were really busy and active at home but it soon got a bit boring.

I know we are lucky that we are all safe and are able to stay home but my Mum is on the shielding list and it seems to have been a very long time since we left the house.

We have had a few arguments and each of us have had days of feeling a bit fed up. We are just trying to make sure we enjoy the time as much as we can. Mum made us all write a diary from the beginning of lockdown which although it is a bit of a pain and I keep forgetting to do, it will be interesting to read back on once we are able to go back to normal life.

I am missing seeing my friends and be able to do proper sports. It is really strange doing school work at home, the teachers are setting us normal lessons, some are fine but some are really difficult to do at home.

We have found lots of things to keep us busy though so thought I would share some of our favourite things that we have been getting up to.

Cooking and baking

We have been taking turns each day to make something or help cook. I have made lots of proper meals like spaghetti bolognaise, shepherds pie and Belgium stew, Lottie has made pizza dough, cakes and cookies and Sam has made pastries and cornflake cakes. Lottie even made a ration cake without egg or fat to go with her topic of WW2, which was actually really nice.

Today I made peanut butter cookies which I think is one of my favourite things I have made and were really easy to do by myself. I will post the recipe when I get chance.

Lottie’s ration cake

 

Games

We have been revisiting some of our favourite games and have restarted our family game nights,. Some of the games we have enjoyed the most have been scrabble, monopoly, battleships, Villainous, Othello, Lexicon Go and Randomise.

Xbox

I have been teaching my little brother how to play some of the games that he isn’t too young for. My Mum says she would never have let me play on the xbox when I was only five but this is a bit different from normal and she is happy that he and I are doing something together. Lottie and Sam have been enjoying playing Crayola Scoot on there a bit. It’s also been good to be able to play with some of my friends online too.

Apps

I’ve been learning French on Duolingo which is pretty good as it is quite straightforward to use and you can do it in short bursts. I have also been playing Lexulous against my Aunt which is a word game that you can play over as long as you like. I am now trying out some stop motion picture apps to see which ones are any good.

In the Garden

At the start of lockdown we were busy with lots of jobs in the garden because we had a shed to dismantle and wanted to build a vegetable patch but now we have done that we haven’t got much more we can do until we can buy some plants and materials but we have had a go at planting seeds and things so will see how they go.

Otherwise Lottie has been spending most of her time either on the trampoline or cartwheeling up and down the garden and I have been teaching Sam to play catch and football and playing Swingball. We got a badminton set a while back that we finally set up the other day- none of us are any good at it but it’s quite funny. I have also been making up obstacle courses for them to run round and to practise my hockey skills on. I don’t think my Rebound Net has ever had so much use!

We took Sam on a minibeast hunt the other day as part of his school work which he really loved doing.

YouTube and Facebook

We have found some good things to watch and explore online. Lottie and Mum have been really enjoying the Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals on a Friday night and Sam has loved the zoo’s and Aquariums that are doing videos on Facebook, some of them are really interesting.

Lottie has been doing PE with Joe every day which she loves, Sam has been doing the exercise with Andy from Andy’s Wild Adventures. Lottie has absolutely loved doing ballet with The Ballet Coach on YouTube and does the sessions for both the younger and older age groups, she would now like to start ballet lessons again when we can go out.

All three of us have all been doing some of the art classes and really like Harptoons which is really easy to follow to draw cartoons.

We all really enjoying the Northern Lights tour which worked well on just a phone but was really good on my VR headset- this is definitely worth a look when you have a few minutes.

Reading

I have run out of things to read now so am going to have to ask my parents to order me some e-books until we can buy some or go to the library but I have been rereading a lot of my old books. We had a few review copies to read which we have been doing (and will review soon!) has now Lottie also gone back to reread  some of her old favourites including the Wimpy Kid Books and our set of Roald Dahl books- she is especially enjoying Boy. We have probably read more this last few weeks that we have in a long time and it is always good to go back to some old favourites. Sam got a new Supertato book for his birthday so has been asking for that to be read on repeat since!

Woodwork

My Dad got me some pallets from work and I have some plans of what I might make with them- hoping to have a look this week so if I do something interesting I will share it!

Otherwise my days are basically filled with school work and scrolling through the internet but we aren’t too bored and aren’t arguing too much! I am really looking forward to when things start to feel a bit more normal though.

We would love to hear what you are doing to keep busy?

 

Our lettuces- not much else is growing yet though!

 

 

 

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