Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 486

Packing Suitcases


Hello Everyone



Sandy Cove is the tourist beach next to Rocky Bay and it is a lovely place to be in the summer.  Many holidaymakers go there to swim and sunbathe.


Lots of children love to play on the beach.


Are you going on holiday this year?


Are you getting excited?


Holidays are lovely to look forward to beforehand, lovely to enjoy when you are on them and lovely to think about afterwards – so they can last a long time.


Are you thinking about all the things you want to take?  Have you even started packing some bits and pieces?


You might have your clothes in a family suitcase when you go on holiday or your might even have your own.


Some people lay out all the clothes they want to take on holiday and see whether what they take will mix and match well together – maybe on the top of a bed.  They may have a colour theme. 


When you can only take a few clothes away and need them to work together this is called a capsule wardrobe.


Some people write everything they want to pack on a long list.  They will write things down like teddy, swimming costume, bucket and spade, sun lotion, sandals, sunglasses, sun hat, dresses, shorts and T-shirts, etc.


They write the list well before they start packing so they can see if there is anything they need to buy.  After they have written the list something else that might pop into their head – something else they have to buy or pack.  Then they will have time to add it to their list.


Some people laminate their list and use it again and again.  Then they can save themselves some thinking time next time they go on holiday. 


They can take the list with them on holiday too and check that they have collected everything they brought and put around a hotel room to bring home again.


On one side they will have the things they always pack like toiletries and underwear and on the other a grid that they can write extra things on.


lf you were going on a beach holiday you would need different clothes from going on a skiing holiday, for example.


You would only need your passport if you were going abroad.


Using packing blocks makes life much easier too.  You have to try out using them to know how useful they are.


Putting underwear in one, beach clothes into another and so on, toiletries onto a leak-proof bag and shoes wrapped in polythene bags to stop them from wiping on clothes and getting them dirty.


Decanting toiletries like shampoo and sun lotion into small bottles is a good way to reduce weight.


You might have a very modern suitcase.  lt might have wheels; you might be able to sit on it.  lt might be very colourful, have a picture on it or be shaped like an animal.  When a suitcase looks really different it is easy to spot on a conveyer belt at an airport when it has been unloaded from a plane – a good plan when you are tired from travelling.


Some people put stickers on their cases or tie a patterned ribbon to the handle to individualize their case.


You might have a really up-to-date suitcase that is a cross between a bicycle and a case, or a motorized one than you can sit on and whizz around the vast expanses of an airport.  lt might expand and collapse into various sizes in an amazingly ingenious way and act as a little cupboard in a hotel room with shelves or hanging space.


Some robotic suitcases follow their owners like obedient little dogs because of the electronic gadgets they are fixed up with.


What ever kind of suitcase you have, it probably has wheels on it so that you don’t have to struggle with a heavy weight on your journey.


lf you go door to door in a car, it might not matter so much; but on trains and planes there is a lot of walking and carrying of luggage to be done cases on wheels are a boon (big help).


For a long time, you could see barristers in cities who had to carry huge piles of files around take them on little trolleys.  The trolleys are like mini market barrows.  The files were full of paper and wrapped up in ribbon.  Traditionally defence barristers (lawyers helping people who have been accused of a crime) use pink ribbon and barristers working for the Crown Prosecution Service use white ribbon – it is different in other countries where a lawyer could represent either side.


They had to lift the trolleys on and off trains and up and down steps but otherwise they could easily roll the heavy weight of the papers along the street or railway platform.


Then someone had the idea of putting wheels on suitcases.


Why did no-one think of it before!


But wait, apparently the first wheeled luggage was patented in the 1970s.


But it didn’t become popular because it looked too ‘girly’ for a male traveller to pull a suitcase rather than carry it. 


People got beyond this attitude and traditional suitcases without wheels were phased out by the end of the century and assigned to the attic to hold family mementoes and Christmas decorations.


The first rolling luggage had straps to pull it along and now we have the extendable (or telescopic) handles which are easier to use.  These cases are called strollers and are very convenient to use.


Some young people who go back-packing take back packs.  You might have a small back pack to take to school.


lt is easier to carry a heavy weight on your back than in one hand. 


At the beginning of human history, this is how people would have carried heavy things and if they wanted to carry a collection of things they would have wrapped them in animal skins and later leather pouches.  When weaving was invented, bags could be made from linen or wool fabric.


The first people to have suitcases were the Romans who travelled extensively through Europe as soldiers or in families.  Their trunks were made from leather-covered, wooden frames and loaded onto carts.


This way of manufacturing luggage was to be used for centuries to follow.  Later trunks could be made or reinforced with metal.


Soldiers going to the crusades used wheeled cases to transport their armour, weapons and supplies during the Middle Ages.  Otherwise, people could have saddle bags on their horse with them.


After that, when people travelled they used trunks or leather or fabric bags.


Sailors used tall, canvas duffle bags to carry their possessions on their travels or even a trunk.


Once steam ships and steams trains had been invented, travelling the world became something anyone could do.


People needed luggage to carry their possessions whether they were emigrating to the colonies, touring Europe or going on a safari adventure in Africa.


Nowadays, ‘designer’ bags can be enormously expensive to buy.  One of the famous designer names associated with bags is Louis Vuitton.


Louis Vuitton was a man who was a trunk-maker in Paris.  He first started his own fashion brand in the 1830s.  The company had a reputation for making very secure locks on its luggage.  You may see a little padlock on a handbag today and wonder why it is there when it is not doing anything; it is just a symbol.


The women of the 1800s wore dresses with a lot of fabric in them and these dresses needed a lot of space to be packed away in. 


There were always porters with trolleys at ports and stations to help move luggage and there were left-luggage offices too where luggage could be left for days or weeks.  A person on reception would issue a receipt for the items then store them away securely and take responsibility for them.


The suitcase was invented at the beginning of last century.  lt was lighter to carry than a trunk but rigid enough to protect its contents.  From the 1920s, women’s dresses became more lightweight.  Clothes could be folded and laid in a suitcase and not get too wrinkled.  People with money had cars with space to store suitcases.  At first, the suitcases may have been tied on but later cars had boots to keep the luggage dry.


lf you holiday in a tent, a suitcase can double up as a low table to make a makeshift dressing table or shelf to place things like a radio or pair of sunglasses.


From the 1950s onwards, air travel became more commonplace and passenger aeroplanes became bigger. 


Passengers are limited to the amount of weight they can bring aboard an aircraft and they also need small bags that they can keep with them in the cabin that will fit into overhead luggage compartments.


ln recent decades, suitcases have evolved to be made with sturdier, modern materials to ensure they can withstand the bashing and squashing they get on aeroplanes and coaches when stacked into a pile. 


Now you can even get suitcases than can be stomped on and crushed and still bounce back out to retain their shape.


Whatever your suitcase looks like, l hope you have a lovely holiday.



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 why aliens don’t visit this planet?


Bob:  Yes, it is because it has very bad ratings.


Bill:  Really?


Bob:  Yes, it only has one star!



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




Old trunks could be locked


Trunks with curved tops were designed to let rainwater run off

but they were no good for stacking


Trunks could be used as travelling wardrobes


Early suitcases


20th century suitcase



Suitcases are now used as attractive storage containers


Getting help in a hotel


When you go camping you need to have a long packing list


Packing blocks can be fabric boxes or bags









This week, I thought I would give you an update on Auntie Alice’s bee hives.

She has fifteen now and they are all doing well.  She is collecting lots of honey from them.

And her whole garden is buzzing with little honey bees!

There are lots of flowers for them to visit.  Bees like flowers with bright colours and mild scents so Auntie Alice makes sure that she has plenty of those.

Bees see in a different way from us.  They see different wavelengths of light.  They can see the Sun through the clouds.  They see blue, purple, violet and yellow the best, and are drawn to these colours.

They can see ultraviolet light; and as flower petals reflect ultra violet light, the bee sees flowers very easily.

Can you believe that a bee has 5 eyes?  They have 3 to detect colour and light and movement and 2 more for navigating.

Look at the top of a bee’s head and you will see three black dots.  These are eyes that will see any predator approaching from above.  Then there are two large eyes on the side of their head which are more obvious.  These eyes are made up of lots of little lenses.  This kind of eye is called a compound eye.  Other flying insects have compound eyes too.

These two large eyes have tiny hairs growing on them which scientist think may detect wind direction and helps them to navigate on windy days.

The main function of a bee’s antennae is to smell; they can detect odour and which direction it is coming from.



Honey bees need to collect nectar from 2 million flowers to make a 1 pound of honey.  In other words enough to fill a medium-sized jar; which weighs 454g.

Scientists have found that honey is very good medicine for coughs.

They can visit a flower more than once because a flower will recharge itself with nectar and tell the bee when it is ready to be visited again. 

When you watch a bee in the garden, you will notice how a bee will avoid some flowers and visit others.  They will not want to waste their time visiting flowers that are empty of nectar because another bee has just been there.

The honey is made and stored in the hive all spring and summer so that the colony will have a store of food over the winter.  Auntie Alice doesn’t take all the bees’ honey.  They will have enough for the winter and she gives them sugar to eat too.

The average bee makes one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime – bees really do work very hard.

If you watch them, you will see that they are constantly working. 

They fly at an average speed of 15 miles per hour. Bees’ wings beat at about 230 beats a second to create the buzzing sound you hear when you are out in your garden on a summer’s day.

The bees collect nectar in a special chamber inside their bodies and pollen on what are called pollen baskets on their back legs. 

They are like their own little built-in suitcases!

A bee’s hair gets charged with static electricity while it is flying which is how pollen gets stuck to the hairs on its body. 

Auntie Alice puts her hives near a hedge so that when the bees come out of their front door they have to launch themselves high into the air before they start foraging.

She also puts water near the hives for the bees to drink.  It is very important for bees to have drinking water. 

If people want to help bees beyond planting flowers for them, they can put drinking water out in a dish with large stones in the water so that the bees can edge down to the water and drink – without falling in!  Deep water can be dangerous for bees.

In Auntie Alice’s garden, there are lots of garden flowers that the bees can feed from and this means that they do not have to travel very far away from their hive.  They can make more honey when the food sources are near.  They don’t have to spend time and energy foraging further away.

There are flowers in the grass too, some of them big and easy to see like clover and dandelions but others that are really tiny.

The trees are full of flowers in early spring.  The flowers are green and not obvious amongst the emerging leaves.  Then in mid-spring the fruit blossom gives the bees lots to eat too.  The pear blossom is usually finished by the time the apple blossom comes out. There is plum blossom, crab apple blossom, damson blossom and more besides; so there are quite a few weeks of blossom in the garden.

The bees also visit Farmer Jenkins’ farm where they pollinate his crops too – and he is very grateful to them!

They pollinate the trees in the woods and the blackberries in the hedgerows.

Bees are one of the world’s smallest organisms but one of the most critical we have.  Bees are what scientists call a keystone species. Whole ecosystems depend on them for survival – from plants in our back gardens to plants in the massive tropical rainforests. 

There are about 20,000 species of bee world-wide.  Only a small number of those are honey bees that humans keep in hives.

Bees pollinate two thirds of the world’s crops. About one third of the food we eat every day depends on bee pollination.  Not all pollination is done by hive bees; a lot is done by wild bees.

Other animals pollinate plants too, other insects like hoverflies and even animals like bats.  In hot countries, humming birds pollinated flowers too.  But unlike other pollinators, bees seek flowers for pollen as well as nectar.

We know that bees have been around for about 100 million years because of fossils found in pieces of amber found in a mine in Myanmar.  Amber is fossilized tree resin. 

The question is how will bees fare in the future?

Lots of children are helping them.



Each honey bee colony has three types of adult bees.  They are a queen, drones and lots of workers who are all females. 

The workers clean and tidy the hive, look after the babies and make honeycomb.  Honeycomb is always shaped into hexagons because a hexagon is a shape that holds the most weight with least amount of material.  Bees are clever to know this.

When the workers are older they go out of the hive and look for food. 

Bees go foraging at a premature age if they need to – or go back into the hive to work if they need to.  Every member of the colony does what it has to do for the good of all.

The foraging bees collect pollen in the pollen baskets on their back legs and also nectar for food.  The pollen baskets look orange or yellow.

The male bees are called drones.  They don’t do much work in the hive but they do fan their wings to help regulate the temperature in there.

The queen lays eggs and produces chemical scents which regulate the colony.  The other bees respond to her chemical messages.

We cannot underestimate the importance of bees to the planet and how we all need to understand that – and them.



Every year, the children have a sunflower growing competition.  This year they thought that they would do things a little differently.  Instead of growing one sunflower each and hoping it would be the tallest, they thought they would each grown five sunflowers and then find the average height of all of them. 

Auntie Alice is going to be the judge.  She will measure all of the flowers and add the five height measurements together.  Then she will divide the total by five to find the average height for each competitor. 

All of the sunflowers have been planted near to a hedge.  Nobody wants one of their sunflowers to be blown over by the wind!

Sunflowers attract pollinators because their central discs contain may little flowers. 

The bees will be visiting the sunflowers often I am sure!



Just an additional note for when you are going out to the beach for picnics and holidays this summer:

Under section 18 of the Coast Protection Act, it is considered ‘unlawful’ in the UK to take natural materials, including sand, shells and pebbles from public beaches. 

You could be liable for a fine. This is if the law is being strictly enforced in certain areas. 








Quick Quiz


Do you know what these idioms, words, and phrases to do with the sea mean?


  1. going through stormy weather
  2. any port in a storm
  3. between the devil and the deep blue sea
  4. a fathom
  5. a league
  6. a safe passage
  7. a trade wind







lt’s the Weekend!




This is a lovely summer dress for you to make if you know how to do the purl stitch as well as the knit stitch.  You will need two colours of yarn of your choice to make the dress.



Using 4mm knitting needles and white dk yarn cast on 20 stitches


Knit 4 rows of garter stitch


Change to pink dk yarn

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch


Change to white

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch


Repeat the last 6 rows 3 times


Change to pink

Knit 2 rows of stocking stitch


Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 2 rows of stocking stitch


Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch


Knit 10 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using over-sew stitching with right sides together, sew shoulder and sides seams.



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



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. going through stormy weather – an idiom meaning going through a time full of problems
  2. any port in a storm – an idiom meaning that any solution to a problem is better than none at all
  3. between the devil and the deep blue sea – an idiom meaning having two equally bad choices – the term comes from sailors working on ships in the 16oos who sometimes had to try to seal a seam (called a devil) around a ship’s hull near the top of the waterline to prevent water seeping into the ship.  lt was a dangerous job in stormy seas because they could fall off the ship and drown.
  4. a fathom – 6 feet (6 x 12 inches)
  5. a league – 4 kilometres
  6. a safe passage – a ship having a safe trip and a safe arrival at its destination
  7. a trade wind – our winds come mainly from the west but around the Equator the winds blow mostly from the east – these winds were important to the ships trading with the New World


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