10 free activities for children during the holidays.

10 free activities for children during the holidays.

10 free activities for children during the holiday

 

Keeping children busy during the holidays can be so hard. So, I thought I would share a list of 10 free activities for children during the holidays, that I have loved to do with my own.

Children tend to get bored because they don’t know what is available for them to do. As an adult, how many times have you sat doing an activity with your children, they then walk away and you’re still sat there doing it? I know I do.

The following activties can be done with any age group, if they’re bored and you join in with them they will enjoy it.

1. Visit Tilgate Park 

Now, anyone that knows me knows I love to visit Tilgate Park and Nature Reserve because it has so much do. You can walk round the lake, visit the animals, play in the park, go boating on the lake, fishing, cycling, Go Ape and more. The list goes on. Parking is available but it does fill up fast in the summer. There are plenty of toilets plus a cafe in the walled garden and Smith & Western restaurant.

2.  Sleep out on the trampoline 

I’m not sure who loves this more me or my children. Some parents leave their children to it but this is where I used to get my best nights sleep. Fill the trampoline with blankets, putting some underneath you because it can get chilly in the middle of the night.  Add some duvets, pillows and fairy lights then lay back and relax. Eventually, we turn off the fairy lights to enjoy the stars and maybe even a comet or shooting star. In the morning my children then get up and play in the garden, leaving me to sleep! (This never normally happens!)

3.  Watch a sunset or star gazing

 There are some fantastic places to go in West Sussex for star gazing. It can be done anywhere near your house, as long as there are no lights to stop your night vision. The perfect time is during the no moon phase, as the sky will be at its darkest. It takes about 30 minutes for your night vision to work so keep torches to a minimum but if you do need one try to use one with a red filter. A great website is Go Star Gazing as you can view on a map which local places are good for viewing the stars plus it will tell you which phase the moon is in.

4.  The beach

There are so many gorgeous beaches in Sussex. I think my favourite is Goring. It has free parking, two amazing cafes right on the beach (Sea Lane Cafe and the Bluebird Cafe, the latter allows dogs) which are perfect for walking between and has beautiful sunsets.

5.  Lancing Sea Front 

We love to head over to Lancing in the evenings, as it’s normally quiet and is a great place to take scooters. There is plenty of parking, plus a large green for playing rounders or having a picnic. The The Perch Restaurant is lovely for food or there is a small kiosk next door. The beach itself is stony and there are also toilets nearby.

6.  Pond Dipping 

This is such a simple activity but one that can entertain children for ages. It doesn’t need to be a large just big enough for a child to use their to see what they can find.  Don’t forget to take a tray or bucket to see what you can catch.  Please be safe around the water and take care of your children.

7.  Cycling along the South Downs Link Path

This is a, mostly, flat route than goes from Guildford to Shoreham. Click the link HERE to view the West Sussex guide to cycling the Path and the various cafes, car parks and local amenities.

8.  Den Building

There are so many places to go Den Building. Firstly it can be done indoors or outside. My children love to build a den in the living room and then have a movie and sleepover in it. Great places for den building outside include: Box Hill, St Leonards Forest or Leechpool Woods

9.  Shaving foam painting

This is such a fun activity. On a piece of paper, spread some shaving foam across it then add dollops of paint. With a tooth pick you can then draw patterns in the shaving foam and leave it to dry.

10.  Fire Pit & S’Mores 

What better way to end the day than with a fire pit and S’mores. If you don’t know what S’mores are let me explain. These are originally from America and are made by roasting a marshmallow over the fire then sandwiching it between two Graham Crackers and adding a piece of Hersheys chocolate. A quick way to make them in England is to use marshmallows but then put them between chocolate digestives biscuits. They are so tasty but please take lots of care around the fire.

 

If you like any of the ideas I have added please let me know, or even tell me if you have any of you own.

 

For others ideas please visit my other blogs:

Things to do in West Sussex 2

Where to visit in West Sussex in the Autumn

Things to do in West Sussex

Walking along the Wey and Arun Canal

 

I hope you liked my 10 free ideas for children during the holiday.

Have a great summer.

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Thank you

 

Outdoor Family Photo Sessions

Outdoor Family Photo Sessions

Outdoor Family Photo sessions Horsham

I have known this family for a long time and we talked often about booking an outdoor family photo session.  They knew it their beautiful daughters were growing up fast and these would make lovely gifts for the grandparents. However, life got in the way and time passed.

But then lockdown happened and we all suddenly had lots of time on our hands, to reflect and decide what is important in our lives.

As the rules of Lockdown were relaxed we decided it was finally time to have that session.

Why book a session?

Lockdown has made us realise that life is short.  We continue everyday thinking “I’m going to do that” but then time passes and we don’t get things done.

My dad passed away with me never having photos of my family with him.  Back then I dabbled with photography but I never even thought about booking a photo session. I would love to have some photos of us all, with him messing around and making my children laugh. 

It’s so easy to capture some of our phones but the quality will never be good enough to put on the wall and most often it doesn’t include the whole family.

 

I was so pleased to be able capture some photos for the family because it’s about creating memories to look back on. 

 

the session

 

Outdoor family photo sessions are great because they give children more freedom to run around and be themselves.  Being older girls though, this is no longer what you do so for these were happy to sit.

Mum was nervous about the session so it was very important to make her feel comfortable.  Like most of us mums, she wasn’t used to having her photo taken and “posing”, so it was all about making her relaxed and offering a couple of tips.

Being a super smiley family it was easy for them all to relax and interact well with each.  I absolutely love the end result and it really does show the true relationship that this family has.  

The area we used was a gorgeous little space in Southwater and made the perfect backdrop.  Outdoor sessions can even be set up in your garden so if this the kind of session you would like please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can do this by cicking HERE and contacting me via my contact form.  The page will also provide you with prices and more information about the session.

Can you imagine having this collection of wall art taking pride of place on your wall for years to.  It will also be a beautiful pice of art for your children to treasure for years to come.

I can offer gift vouchers in full or towards a session.

Family Photography after lockdown… back open and taking bookings

Family Photography after lockdown… back open and taking bookings

Family photography after lockdown.. sessions now available as lockdown eases in Southwater, Sussex

Family photography after lockdown is more important than ever. Having been through such a tough few weeks as a family, why not celebrate and book a photo session?  We have all come to realise our families are extremely important and sadly during Covid 19 many people lost family members and wished they’d booked that last photo session.

 

Now that lockdown has eased slightly, I am available for outdoor family photo sessions around Horsham, West Sussex.

 

My studio space is not suitable for adhering to social distancing safely.  So, unless you have a large enough indoor space any session will need to be done outside.

 

It is still possible however to use backdrop.  The headshots below were all taken outside, on the same day, using various backdrops.  

Outdoor session venues

There are so many beautiful areas in Sussex!  I am happy to travel to your favourite area or can choose a suitable place for you.

Being outside is ideal for families because it enables your children to be free.  They are able to be themselves and play during the photo sessions.

Having a long lens means I am able to stay further back from your family.  Keeping you safe, at all times.  Also allowing you to interact with your children without me getting in the way.

 

If you would like to know more about a family session please click HERE to be taken to my family photo page.  If you would like to know more about head shots and personal branding please email me at clairewildersphotography@gmail.com

Can I book for later in the year?

Yes, I am taking bookings for later in the year, including Christmas and Autumn sessions.  I believe Claire Wilders Photography will get extremely busy as families update their photos, so it is important to book sessions as soon as possible.  If you are pregnant and wish to book your newborn session, we can discuss the options, so please do get in touch.  You will find more information on my newborn photography page HERE

How do we keep safe and are you following guidelines?

 

I will take all the necessary precautions when taking bookings and during sessions.  At the moment only 6 people from different families are allowed to meet so I will adhere to these rules too.  You as clients are extremely important to me and I intend to keep you safe.  As the numbers ease and we can meet in larger groups, I too will work to this.  

DIY Photography Backdrop

DIY Photography Backdrop

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DIY CANVAS PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROP

Being on lockdown and having watched many photography training videos I decided to attempt to paint my own DIY canvas photography backdrop.

WHY?

Photography requires lots of equipment to keep photos current but none of this equipment is cheap. However, there are lots of ways that props can be made on a budget so I thought I would have a go at one. A new backdrop.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED:

Paint of your choice – being on lockdown I couldn’t get to the shops and because I wanted it beige or brown I used some old fence paint. I used Ronseal One Coat in dark oak matt because that is all I had. I also used some old white matt emulsion.

A 12ft x9ft canvas backdrop. Click HERE to visit Amazon where I bought the backdrop

A fluffy roller. Click HERE to see which roller I bought.

Old trampoline cover to lay on the floor to stop it staining the grass. Tarpaulin or plastic sheets could also be used.

The Method

Being impatient when it comes to DIY I decided to just wing it! I laid the canvas on an old trampoline cover, so that the paint didn’t wreck the grass. I had heard of people priming the canvas or buying a primed one but I didn’t do either. Others had also pinned their canvas to the ground but I didn’t do this either. I wanted to use the texture and bumpiness of the grass to help me when adding texture to the canvas.

DIY Canvas Photography Backdrop
The start of the canvas

With the paint, I didn’t have a plan because again I wanted it to be random. Using a roller was easier because you could add a decent amount of paint to the canvas and then spread it around at random.

Mixing The Paint

To start off I added white emulsion to the paint tray and then added a small amount of fence paint so that its wasn’t too dark, as I wanted the centre to be lighter than the outsides. I also added a small amount of water to thin the paint down a bit. A few people have added fabric softer to the paint, so that the canvas is more supple at the end. I forgot to do this but the crustier feel doesn’t bother me. To paint the canvas I started in the middle but just slapped the paint on and continued all over the place until I emptied the tray.

DIY Canvas Painted Backdrop

Each time I filled the tray, the mixture got darker plus the paint wasn’t always mix it properly. Meaning there was bits of dark and light paint all over the canvas, to add to the texture. As it dried I did make certain areas a bit darker, as the white came through as it dried. Although this is better than the canvas coming out too dark. This day was also really warm so the canvas did dry quickly.

The Finished Product

As a first attempt I was really pleased with this canvas, especially as it only cost me the price of a backdrop. Which was £21. I did cut the backdrop down a bit as it was rather large for my space but the length is brilliant. There is a seem in the middle but with a wide aperture you can’t see it. Plus if you cut it down to make smaller backdrops, this won’t be an issue. TOP TIP… make sure you have the seam underneath.. you’ll notice mine is on the backdrop side! Something I didn’t think about in my haste to start painting.

THE VERDICT

I’m really pleased with the finished product. It cost me a day out of my time and was pretty easy to do. Both emulsion and fence paint seemed to work okay and I really like the texture it gives in both colour and black and white. Neither of these photos were taken with studio lights, the canvas was hung up and I took a quick photo of my son looking out of the window. Am I going to paint more? YES! Watch this space!!

If you’d like to see this backdrop in use during your photo session please visit my Families session to view details.

DIY Canvas Photography Backdrop
Visiting Sheffield Park Sussex

Visiting Sheffield Park Sussex

Visit SHEFFIELD Park Gardens, Sussex

Leaves, Autumn Colours, Sheffield Park in the Autumn


Things to do with children in Sussex, Sussex Photography,

First of all, it’s no secret that I LOVE Autumn and that I love the idea of moving away from Sussex and back to the mountains and the sea.

Leaves and feet, autumn leaves, Sheffield Park, Sussex Photographer

However, there is a place in Sussex that ALWAYS makes me happy when I visit … and that’s

The National Trusts Sheffield Park, Sheffield Park and Garden

Nan and Grandaughter in the Autumn, family photo sessions in sussexLast weekend I decided to drag my two children and mum out for some lovely Autumn photos and to enjoy a beautiful walk around the gardens. This only happened because I promised them a go on the big swing and a play in the den building area afterwards. Family Photo Sessions, Sussex photo sessions, Autumn family Photo SessionsLast year I made the mistake of going there first and NEVER actually making it into the gardens because the swing is absolutely awesome!  The children also spend hours building dens too.

Nan and grandson in the Autumn, Photo sessions in Sussex

Sometimes, however children don’t want to play and decide they don’t want their photo taken… children of photographers included.

Grumpy children with nanny

Autumn photo sessions with grandparents, nan and grandchildren family photo shoot ideas, susses photography

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Taking a break along the Wey and Arun Canal

Taking a break along the Wey and Arun Canal

Walking the dog along the Wey and Arun Canal

 

 

 

I love Autumn and today was feeling too lazy to tidy the house.  My springer was looking at me longingly so I decided to head out with my camera and take a break.  The Wey and Arun canal is beautiful and the colours are really starting to come out.

Dog walk along Wey and Arun Canal

 

I parked at The Onslow Arms Pub   http://onslowarmsloxwood.com/ car park in Loxwood  because I could head straight out onto the tow path and when I came back I could pop in a grab a quick drink.  It also does great food but today I just enjoyed their beer garden after my walk.The colours didn’t disappoint and the oranges were really starting to come out.

Walks in Sussex

The recently renovated locks are looking great and you can tell that the canal is really looked after.  I didn’t walk far today but you can walk all the way to Guildford which is also very beautiful.

 

loxwood

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