All posts by Hayley Mackenzie

Let’s have some fun!

I think it’s safe to say I have needed a fair amount of inspiration over the last few weeks to help me amuse two very busy little boys! I have looked all over the place and made a point of saving anything I come across to help in the fight against boredom in this house. I thought it might be nice to share some of our favourites over this past while. It has not been all fun and games every day here by all means, life is very different at the moment but we are trying to remember to enjoy as much of this precious time together as a family as we can, whilst at the same time making sure we are looking after ourselves as well. After this blog I will be putting up regular posts on the Dunrossness facebook page, and if anyone would like to add to these that would be amazing. It is so important to remember that we are all in this together, to take every day as it comes and be there for each other always.


    Farm wash station. The fun of play ‘mud’ and some good old water play all rolled in to one!

    How to make the ‘mud’ –

    1 cup cornflour (also known as cornstarch)
    3 tablespoons cocoa powder
    ½ cup water

    Simply mix it all together in a bowl. If it is too runny add some more cornflour, and if you think it’s too thick add some water.

  • Cloud Dough – This was lots of fun for both of the boys, we used it with plastic ice cream cones and an ice-cream scoop.                                                                                                                                                                         How to make the cloud dough –                                                                           2 cups plain flour                                                                                                          1/4 cup vegetable oil/olive oil                                                                               oil based food colouring (we used colouring paste)

    Mix your ingredients in a ziplock bag. Knead and shake around until mixed as much as possible.


  • Barclay really enjoyed PE with Joe Wicks and we did this for quite a while together (it almost killed me!) We then found out about Andy’s Wild Workouts on BBC iPlayer, many parents and small people will know Andy from CBeebies, and Barclay enjoys these as well, there’s a certain amount of learning about animals and their habitats along with fun movements and its kept nice and short so he can actually pay attention to the whole thing!


Barclay now has his own construction desk, this was out of necessity as we have a small person around who would happily munch on any bits of lego given a chance. Barclay has lego, magformers, duplo and blocks up here so he can make away whenever he likes.


Ice blocks – we froze a few of Barclays little characters in small cups or tubs of water, you can do this really effectively with balloons but we were out that day! Put the ice block on a tray, found a few tools and put a small bowl of warm water and a little sponge next to the tray and let him chip and melt away. Both of my boys enjoyed this one and it kept them still for at least ten minutes! We are going to try and make some giant ice marbles ready tonight for tomorrow, using balloons, food colouring and a little lego man in the middle, filled up with water and tied very tight before going in the freezer.


Outside of our house we have countless bits of broken slabs, rocks, wood cut offs and old tires, we have made a ‘little world’ in one of our bigger ones, letting barclay build up stones and make little huts and caves or even swimming pools for his little people. The rest of the tires and old pipes are free for them to build up, use as a climbing frame, hideout, car slides and all sorts of other things, we don’t get rid of much around here cause it all gets used one way or another.




When i’m feeling particularly organised I have made up baskets containing bits and pieces to bring out when we need something new to do. This basket had a game we printed off and a few counters and dice I found from around the house.

Other baskets have contained –                                                                 – playdoh with cut up straws, lolly pop sticks and googly eyes for creating monsters.                                                                                                – drawn out faces with crazy hair for Barclay to colour in and chop up with his little scissors.                                                                                                   – bamboo scewers ( with the points removed) were stuck into little blobs of playdoh and then Barclay thread cheerios onto them, which he enjoyed eating plenty of at the same time!


We  have really enjoyed reading about Ooricks recently and have been on the odd Oorick hunt when out walking this past while, this definitely helps keep things a bit more exciting for my busy little guy and he loves lifting stones and hunting through tall grass trying to spot them!


Children have a brilliant way of keeping us in the moment, unable to think about the madness going on all around us. The only thing we have any real control of at the moment is focusing on our families and trying to make the most of this time together. It is not going to be easy at all, teachers should make millions in my opinion, but when a day gets to be a bit tough we enjoy putting on some music and dancing around the house like slightly crazy people, it’s good therapy I promise!



…and it’s a farewell from me

We hope you’ve been enjoying our Up Helly Aa season, window display as much as we have! Over the next few weeks we’ll be embracing all things SMUHA. Feel free to pop over and have a nosey at our creations  🙂

It’s a sad farewell from me (Ana) as I move onto a new role  with the Community Development team. I wish NOOSC all the best for the future.  Thank you for the lovely leaving gifts from the NOOSC regulars this afternoon!

Nights Drawing In…..

This season at NOOSC we are embracing a concept called Hygge (pronounced Hoo-Ga) Hygge is a feeling of contentment and coziness we are hoping will help us all feel more positive through these long winters nights!

The main ways we at NOOSC Hygge include –

  • keeping cozy – warm blankets, comfy jumpers etc.
  • Making special memories
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Getting outside – embracing those wild winter days
  • Enjoying treats – yes allowing yourself to indulge in hot chocolate, cakes and lots of cheese!
  • Switching off and feeling relaxed – try putting those screens off and reading a good book, taking up a loved hobby or having a good chat with someone you love.

We have been making a new display around this theme and getting up some ‘seasonal decorations ‘ to make the setting more cozy with these dark nights.