Well that, as they say, is a wrap.
School is finished for the year and we head into the Christmas holidays. But for us, it’s bigger than that. As we walked away from school for the last time, it was the end of an era. It was the last time I’d ever pick up my daughter from those gates. The gates my mum picked me up from all those years ago. Because next term, they will be in a brand new school.
The long Winter holiday
As we walked away from school, I had mixed feelings. Sadness for the old building we’d grown so fond of. Joy at the idea of spending more time with my children over the next couple of weeks. But mostly, trepidation. Because this year, the Christmas holiday is going to last for nearly a month.
And I’ll let you into a secret. I’m dreadful at being stuck at home with my children. Summer holidays were bearable. We were up and out every day. Meeting friends, going to the park and making the most of the warm weather. At home, the girls were out on the trampoline or on their bikes. But Winter is different.
Like most children, the girls want to do things that are messy. Crafts, baking and painting. And me? Well, I’m trying to fit in work around looking after them. The last thing I need is extra cleaning. So, we’ve come to a compromise. Painting is fine, as long as they use their Little Brian Paint Sticks.
Paint without mess with Little Brian Paint Sticks
I discovered these when I reviewed them earlier in the year. They look a lot like glue sticks, but they come in loads of different colours. You paint with the stick itself and twist it up and down like a glue stick. It dries quickly, but you can also create effects with it such as printing and watercolour by brushing water onto it. But don’t tell my children.
Because for them, this is just the perfect way to paint without me interfering and telling them to be careful, don’t spill it, don’t make a mess. And for me, it’s the ideal activity for them to get on with while I snatch a few minutes to work. Better still, there’s no extra cleaning to fit in. Perfect.
Wrapping gifts the easy way
I’m not sure if it’s just my children, but they do seem to have an unhealthy obsession with ‘helping’ to wrap presents. And it doesn’t help, does it? Their version of helping goes something like this:
- Grab the sellotape
- Stick it to your fingers, the door, your hair, the wrapping paper, the television, the carpet and the dog.
- Sellotape roll is now empty so a trip to the shop is required. Have a tantrum about going to the shop.
- Continue until you return home with another roll of sellotape.
But this year, Colour and Fun have sent us a tape dispenser that the children can use.
At a glance, it looks like rather complicated machine. But in fact, it couldn’t be easier. The two rolls of tape in the main area of the dispenser are operated by turning a handle. It automatically cuts small pieces of tape that can be easily removed, even by little hands.
There is another roll of tape that can be cut to whatever length you want. This operates in the same way as a standard dispenser. Its base is non-slip and all three rolls of tape are included when you purchase the dispenser. At last, they really can be helpful when we’re wrapping presents.