Rhubarb and Wren

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Rhubarb and Wren is a parenting blog full of play ideas, tutorials, recipes, reviews, and articles.


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#DressingUp - not just for the little kids! Both of mine love a bit of dressing up, and over the last few years we’ve amassed a collection of #fancydress #costumes #masks and #props . I wish I could say they were all handmade originals, but sometimes the shop bought stuff is so good - and inexpensive - that I can’t resist it! Like this great #ikeauk #birdcostume that was a Christmas present last year. Mind you, if we’d waited for me to make it, they may still have been waiting this year - and look at all the fun that’s been had! #loveourbigkids #imaginativeplay #creativeplay #pretendplay #mummyshot
Throwback to the IF: MK International Festival last year, where the kids were completely absorbed by one of the exhibitors - the fabulous #tocdefusta ( #friendsofcrusoe ), a Catalan woodworking collective who create the most amazing automata, puzzles and games. Looking forward already to IF:MK 2018... though summer seems a very, very, long way away!
A close encounter of the squirrel kind - today at #forestschool the woods were full of #greysquirrels paying very little attention to the awestruck kids around them as they performed some amazing treetop gymnastics in their hunt for food. We also found a toad burying into the leaf mulch, but it was decidedly less photogenic and much more shy! 
These encounters are a great reminder to the kids that we are not the only ones to use the woods, and that we are just visitors in these wild things’ home.
We... erm, I mean the kids... have been having THE BEST time playing with this rather gorgeous marble run that the kindly elves at @haba.de sent us to review. Head over to the blog (link in profile) to read up on what has fast become my all-time favourite toy. The kids quite like it too ! 😉 
#habatoys #habamarblerun #woodenmarblerun #playmatters #learningthroughplay 
This ‘bringing home sticks we find while out and about’ phase may have gotten out of hand... I must admit, though, that this old, dry, smooth and twisty and long, long branch called to both of us - it didn’t take much to persuade me to bring it home with us! Carrying it between us made for a fun journey (really!) and now we have to decide how to use it. First a quick sand to clean it up, then maybe we’ll paint it or wrap it in a rainbow of wool or make it into a hanger, or all of the above! What would you do? 
#foragedsticks #stickart #longstick #forestfun #natureart #naturalmaterials #naturekids #makingthings #mummyshot #foundobjects
It seems entirely appropriate to be making little clay pot candles at #forestschool now that the days are getting shorter, darker, and colder. Such a simple and timeless activity - shaping and decorating a lump of clay, trimming and dipping a wick, then carefully spooning hot wax into the pot, and adding a few drops of scent to finish. The only negative is that after all that work, the artist is utterly against lighting it! #candlemaking #forestschools #autumnkids #mummyshot
Tying ribbons onto the #ForestSchool wish tree. This simple task has been a favourite of late - ever since I showed her how to knot a strand of grass in the summer, she’s been looking for opportunities to practice! This #wishtree is just perfect for that, and she gets to make a wish too - bonus!
Happy #5thNovember ! #BonfireNight is my favourite night of the year - a (hopefully) crisp and clear autumn evening filled with #bonfires , #fireworks , #roastedchestnuts #sparklers - and these days it also seems to include hideously expensive spinny or pointy LED light wands/swords/lightsabers... And I just love that smell of gunpowder in the air.

As I cunningly managed to give birth to one of the kids on this day, it’s a double celebration for our family, so we also get cake and lots of family and friends to celebrate with us. One of our family traditions is to read this vintage Topsy and Tim book with the kids - it’s an absolute classic; beautifully illustrated and written with gentle wit and warmth. Check out the blog for a sneaky peak inside!
Time to bring in our friendly neighbourhood #skeleton and stow him away for another year. Think my choice of theme hit a generation gap this time - I got some very startled looks from parents when I introduced them to our #OneEyedWillie 
#gooniesneversaydie #goonies #halloweenprop #halloweenfun #80smovies #80sKids #thegoonies #theartofchildhood #80skidsrule
Chilling’ with Mr #Funnybones - #halloweenbaby shot from a few years ago, given I currently only have a pile of uncarved pumpkins for an up to date picture today! Some years I feel like I’m on top of this organisation lark, but this year is definitely it one of them! #gettingreadyforeaster #whatdoyoumeantodayshalloween 
#magicofchildhood #skeleton
He might be a bit battered and tatty now, but I still love our old #rockinghorse, Dobby. My youngest is at the perfect age and size to enjoy him now, and makes a beeline for him every time we visit Granny’s. Thank goodness she still has him - so many things from childhood get lost along the way, and yet that continuity in passing things on from generation to generation can mean so much. #heritagetoys #vintagetoy #rockinghorses #handmedown #oldtoy #toyhorse
I was clearing out some old photos and came across this snapshot of my youngest jammin’ like a pro. I love how the look on her face shows how totally into it she was - the music might not have quite equalled Hendrix, but, as is so often the case with kids, what mattered was the experience of making it rather than the end result. We often talk about the importance of process art when it comes to painting and other forms of creating physical artwork, but of course it is just as true for other forms of expression too. So whether she’s the next Joan Jett or not, I’m going to encourage her to play with all that passion and enthusiasm for as long and often as she likes! 
#theartofchildhood #wildchild #girlguitarist #kidsplayingguitar #minimusician #girlrocker