The Railway House

Today was our last day in Devon, at least for a few weeks, so we spent the morning on the beach making the most of our final few hours. 

Our best days are the ones that unravel by themselves; where the activities are generated by the imaginations of the children without too much planning from me. This was another one of those days.

It was all inspired by three very uninspiring plastic chairs. They had clearly been left there by someone for some purpose but in Jenson's mind that purpose was clearly one meant for us! Very quickly each had become a home for one of us and our coats and other belongings had been laid out by Jenson accordingly.

He next constructed a wall built from sandcastles. This activity alone lasted for a good hour as we each took it in turns to try and outdo the other at making the best sandcastle. I must admit to being pretty rubbish; frequently mine either lacked a turret or wall. Jenson on the other hand clearly takes after his Dad when it comes to building things. Somehow he managed to choose just the right sand, knew instinctively how hard to pat the bucket with the spade and even made sure each castle had a smooth and even surface to be erected upon.  

As well as being a good lesson in engineering, his maths got tested a bit too. He built ten sandcastles but decided he needed five more in order to complete the wall. We did some addition and he correctly added ten and five together. We then had a little sandcastle competition where we judged the best one. Needless to say one of Jenson's won, with two of his others coming second and third! He easily drew the numbers in the sand.  

The children then got to work on the rest of the house. Jenson dubbed himself the architect and Wren the garden designer! Together the pair of them made a beautiful house that their Dad would have been really proud of. Here they are working in their two roles: Jenson is building the door out of a spade and a piece of wood and Wren is planting a tree using an old branch. 

We scavenged the beach for curios and found an old welly, which made an excellent flower pot, and feathers and shells which Wren planted as flowers. We also collected strands of seaweed to form the windows and path and used slate stones to create a cobble effect. Old sticks and branches created an established looking garden while an old piece of decking made an excellent table for the BBQ area.

Jenson tested the door and it worked perfectly!

Ever the professionals, they even watered the garden after planting everything up! 

They were so pleased with their achievement they gave each other a big hug!

This activity had taken all morning and we had attracted a few glances from passers by, however there was some serious rock climbing to be done and so the children enjoyed spending time scaling the cliffs. 

All of a sudden Jenson declared a storm was coming so it was back to the house as fast as you could to take shelter from the 'rain'. 

The reason we named our creation The Railway House was because there was an old chap working just a few feet away. He was preparing pieces of track for a fairground ride that lives on the beach during the Summer. While Wren and I had been scouring the beach earlier he had actually come over and taken back his plastic chairs that we had acquired! He was ever so nice as it turns out. It's a shame he didn't get the track connected before we left as it would have looked lovely laid out with our little house sitting next to it. 

Despite the many ups and downs, we were sad to leave Devon. We are back in just a few weeks though so not long to wait!