Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 473



Hello Everyone



Did you know that some children are having their lives so scheduled in order to prepare then for the adult world that some doctors are now prescribing play for them?


Playing is letting your feet wander and letting your mind wander. 


lt is inventing situations with your imagination, interacting with other children and being spontaneous.  Being spontaneous means doing things on the spur of the moment without rigid plans.


Even adults need to play sometimes so that they can unwind.


Playing with your children is a really good idea!


Working all the time is unhealthy.  Everyone has to relax from time to time to relieve pressure and stress.


Last weekend, l went for a walk with Bill and Bob and at the edge of the woodland there had been left a pile of huge logs.


Bob went tearing up them trying to climb to the top.


l quickly shouted at him to get off.


Climbing up piles of logs can be dangerous.  At you walk on them they can dislodge, roll and tumble.  They can fall onto you and crush you.  Not only will you be badly injured but you will not be able to pull the heavy logs off yourself and escape from under them.


Deforestation for Roads, Wood Harvesting, Wood As a Renewable ...


Bob was upset that l had shouted at him but it was necessary in the moment to act quickly.  He didn’t realize what he was doing was wrong.


l explained to him why l needed him to get down quickly.


Luckily, nobody was hurt.


Sometimes adults can see danger more easily than children.


l told him that we would go to the children’s playground in the Rocky Bay Park where he could play more safely.


When you get stressed the quickest way to calm down is to take a deep breath.


You can do this through your mouth to get air into your lungs really quickly.


You need to push the air down as far as it will go down so it feels as though it is even going into your tummy.


Even just doing it three times can help; but you can do it for ten times to help even more.  Just concentrate on counting your breaths and nothing else for the moment.


The best way to not let stress build up over the long term is to take time to relax. 


A lot of people think that working hard is a noble thing to do, something to be very proud of, but working all the time is an unhealthy thing to do!  


When over-working catches up with you, you will get ill.


Sometimes, finding time to relax is not easy if you are going through a period of taking exams or moving house and settling into a new school and there are lots of things to do.


Organizing yourself on a calendar is a good idea – or in a planner where you have boxes or whole pages to write your plans down. 


Start with writing down things that are already scheduled like the dates of exams and work backwards from those times.  What do you have to do to prepare?  When will you revise for each exam?  What will you need to pack in your school bag?  Will you need to buy more pens?


When you run out of time to do things, forget to do things, do things in the wrong order, things can go wrong for you and you can get stressed about it.


lf you plan early, start tasks in plenty of time to get them done and work ahead of yourself, you can save yourself a lot of stress.


Writing ‘to do lists’ are good; but writing them onto a calendar or into a diary is better to get yourself really well-organized. 


Leave ‘buffer days’, this means leaving spare time for things that turn up unexpectedly or giving yourself extra time to finish things that take longer to do than you expected they would.


Be flexible and move things around if you need to.


lt can save you a lot of stress in the long run if you sit and think for a while and make plans and get straight in your head what it is exactly you are going to do and how you are going to do it when you have a project to tackle.


Sit and relax to have time to think – after all, we are human beings not human doings.


lf you write in pencil, it will be easy to rub notes out and move them around without them getting your calendar or planner all messy.


Writing your troubles down on paper, in a journal or telling them to someone can diffuse them – that means weaken them. 


Write down what you are frightened about and unhappy about.  Do a ‘brain dump’ onto the paper!  You will feel better.


A trouble shared, is a trouble halved, the saying goes.


lf you are worrying about changes in your life, this is normal.  Adults will feel the same emotions – it is to do with fear of the unknown, a disruption to what you are used to, an uncomfortable feeling of things being different and you can’t be quite sure how.


Some people are nesters and some people are nomads.  Some families move house quite a lot.  Changes can happen in your life at any age but they will happen a lot when you are young.


Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the centre of it. Write your problems down the left side and what you are going to do about them on the right side – be creative and be determined to find solutions.


lt is amazing how you can find solutions when you force yourself to write everything down.  But you have to be clear about what is upsetting you before you start trying to think up a plan to help yourself.


Talking through everything with someone can help a lot too.  Adults sometimes don’t realize that a child is getting stressed about something unless they say what it is. Sometimes adults need help to understand what a child is thinking.


Walking out in the fresh air, being with nature, watching comedies, playing with animals, warm baths and getting away from screens all help you to relax.  lt is good to do these things on a regular basis to keep healthy.


Not everyone has a forest or beach nearby, but everyone has a park of some sort.  Going there as a family is a good bonding strategy – even an hour is better than nothing.


Watching water is a good way to relax.  You can watch the waves on the sea or the ripples on a lake. 


ln modern life, our senses are bombarded with stimulus and sometimes it is good to just do things slowly for a change.  This is healthy for your brain.


Strengthening your body with good food and plenty of sleep is necessary for you to do well in a fast-paced world.


When people try to go without sleep for long periods of time it is bad for their brain health.  Scientists have found that toxins that build up in the brain during the day are released during sleep at night.


Doing mundane tasks are good for relaxing like: washing up, dusting your shelves or vacuuming.


Listening to music, painting or doing a craft like knitting are really good ways of relaxing. 


Busy hands, quite mind, as the saying goes.


Keeping your hands warm is important too apparently.  Scientists have found that the brain is more relaxed when your hands are nice and warm.


Gardening is a good stress-buster and scientific research has shown that having houseplants or bunches of flowers in your room reduces stress.


Strike a balance between being alone and contemplating and being with other people and communicating.


Take time to celebrate your achievements is always a good idea.  Rushing on to the next thing to do is a bit sad when you have done something really well and you don’t give yourself the credit you deserve.


Next weekend, instead of going for a long walk in the woods, l think l will take the children cloud watching instead.


We like to see what faces and animals we can see in the clouds.


That is a good way to relax!



lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  Do you know where rude doctors see their patients?


Bob:  No?


Bill:  ln their insulting rooms!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery


Getting away from it all

 Breaking the daily routine and seeing new places







For the News Desk this week, we have another of Bill and Bob’s quizzes for you.  

They said they made it up when they were relaxing last Sunday afternoon.



Draw a column of boxes 3 across and 10 down.

Answer the questions and the first letters of the answers should spell out another word.


  1. Something you use to hold pieces of fabric together
  2. Something you screw to the top of a jar
  3. Something used to chop wood
  4. The noise a little dog makes
  5. The space between two things
  6. A word that means to take things that don’t belong to you from a place
  7. The opposite of in
  8. A word you say when you are disgusted
  9. We say there is one of these in the air when it is cold
  10. An animal that aids a policeman or soldier on duty


Lots of people find gardening relaxing.  They say is it grown-ups going outside to play!

Children like gardening too of course.

But it is not very relaxing if pigeons or rabbits eat one of your crops in its entirety while you are away at school one day!  Insect damage can be bad too.

Birds and frogs can help a lot in keeping slug numbers down, so can hedgehogs but they will suffer greatly if the slugs have eaten slug pellets first.

The poison from these will move down the food chain to larger animals.

Children who are now in the process of sowing seeds for the growing season this year might want to think about companion planting.

Some flowers can keep damaging bugs away or draw them away from crops that people want to eat – these are called sacrificial species.

Nasturtiums draw black fly away from crops like broad beans.


Angelica Botanical Illustration, Archangelica Medicinal Plant, Abstract ...


Achillea and alchemilla mollis are flowers which will bring a kind of small black wasp into your garden that eat greenfly.  These are not the black and yellow striped wasps that sting you.



A lot of people plant marigolds near tomatoes and rosemary and thyme near carrots for protection.

But if you don’t want to encourage carrot fly, do not thin out your young carrot plants.  Plant them thinly in the first place so thinning will not be necessary.









Quick Quiz


Can you fill the gaps in this serenity prayer?


God grant me the    _    to accept the things l cannot change

The    _    to change the things l can

And the    _    to know the difference






lt’s the Weekend!



Knitting is very relaxing after a hard day in the classroom.

This is a very stylish scarf for a chilly day.



Using 4mm knitting needles and red dk yarn cast on 5 stitches

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 70 rows of moss stitch

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off


Moss stitch is as follows:

Slip 1 (knit 1, purl 1) repeat the last 2 stitches to the end of the row



Use the ends of the yarn to sew a bead onto each end



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand

Answers to the News Desk Quiz


  1. Something you use to hold pieces of fabric together – pin
  2. Something you screw to the top of a jar – lid
  3. Something used to chop wood – axe
  4. The noise a little dog makes – yap
  5. The space between two things – gap
  6. A word that means to take things that don’t belong to you from a place – rob
  7. The opposite of in – out
  8. A word you say when you are disgusted – ugh
  9. We say there is one of these in the air when it is cold – nip
  10. An animal that aids a policeman or soldier on duty – dog


Answer = playground



Quick Quiz Answers


God grant me the serenity to accept the things l cannot change

The courage to change the things l can

And the wisdom to know the difference