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out and about

Last camp of the year

This weekend we decided to squeeze in a final camping trip before the season is officially over, and it becomes too cold for my delicate toes to cope with the chilly nights. Typically the weather turned almost the day we left and Autumn appears to have officially arrived. Surprisingly though it’s not spoilt it. I have managed to surprise myself with what a hardened camper I have obviously turned into. The kids have not moaned once about the cold (hubby says it’s not that bad) and they have had so much fun playing with the other children on the site. I have enjoyed sitting by the camp fire and keeping my toes toasty whilst reading trashy magazines about the strange things that some celebrities get up to and argue about, as well as discovering which celebrity showed the most cellulite in their bikini this summer, lucky I’m not a celebrity 😂
So many people say they would never go camping, I get that I do but if your even slightly tempted to try it, don’t delay, go for it. I’m so pleased I did. Camping has proved to be such a rewarding experience for me and my family, it’s taught me and the kids patients… As the tent and all the bits are put together and taken apart. Team work as me and my husband along with the kids help keep the tent tidy, cook together, clean up together and have fun together. We have learnt to relax which I’m not good at. We have been to some beautiful places and stayed at some fabulous sites. The children have made hundreds of new friends teaching them social understanding as they learn to share and compromise with new children… All in all camping has been a wonderful experience and we can not wait to start our 2017 season. I’m already researching where we can go so any recommendations most welcome.
Happy autumn everyone xxx

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Free and cheap days out with the kids-Barton Sping Hills

As I began my summer challenge of trying to find as many cheap and free days out as possible I stumbled across a friends photographs on Facebook. She had been to this beautiful place with a group of mums and children.  Her photographs were full of smiling children splashing around in the water and having a whale of a time… ‘Where was this place?’  I asked, it looked amazing! BARTON SPRING HILLS was the answer so a plan was made and we were off.

The postcode (MK45 4LA) takes you to St Nicholas Church in Barton le Clay, Bedfordshire. We parked along the road by the church which was fairly quiet. We continued to walk down the road to the end and through a kissing gate which was the start of this fabulous walk. From here the views of the hills are extremely delightful, it gave us a real sense of the adventure to come as we made our way down the tracks. Only a few hundred yards into our walk and we saw a map, from here the little walk we took was to the right over a little footbridge then left through the grassy meadow and trees on up to the base of the hills.

Along our walk the children were able to splash in the stream created by the natural springs, at the first part we came to it was muddy, which was great fun and then as we went further it was more clay like so they had great fun covering themselves in grey streaks of clay. Between the two areas was a lovely wild meadow and woodland walk where we hunted for bugs and wishes.

The hills themselves were beautiful and we had great fun running up to the top and down again.

By the time we went home both adults and children were covered in mud and smiling but extreamly worn out after a fabulous fun day in this beautiful place.

TOP TIP:

1. wear old clothes

2. wellies or water shoes are a must although mine were happy in flip flops as long as weather is hot this is ok.

3. Buggies may have to be lifted over as kissing gates are a little tight

4. Take a towel

 

 

Stickman @ High Lodge Thetford

If I ask my children where they want to go on a Sunday this is ALWAYS in the list of destinations they suggest. This wonderful place is always filled with smiles all day long. The children are so excited to get through the woods from one play area to the next, around every tree corner and down every woodland trail you will find another set of play equipment often shaped as a bug or bird or like  “a slide pyramid” as my kids call it. A sand play area and a musical trail along with building dens, climbing walls, ball games, a picnic area, a cafe, a bike hire centre oh and the option to have a go at segweys and GoApe climbing fun if you want, or if you have time after all this…we haven’t yet! All in all its a wonderful place to have an adventure, currently the adventure is based on the much loved story Stick Man by Julia Donaldson following the signs around the park to find each character, on the trail you will also see a sleeping Graffalo child… Be careful not to wake him, and if you keep your eyes peeled you may even see the Gruffalo.

You only pay to park which can be up to about £11 for the whole day, we payed around £6 for 4hours on our last visit… Worth every penny! Another place I reccomend to everyone! ❤️❤️❤️

Family fun day out at Bewilderwood

For several years now I have heard people saying what a wonderful time they had at Bewilderwood in Norfolk. For several years now I have wanted to go but was waiting for my babies to be old enough to enjoy it… Didn’t think I could get away with going on my own hehe!

Well, last weekend that time finally arrived. I’m actually not sure who was more excited about our little adventure… Ok ok it was me!

The fairytale adventure began from the moment we pulled onto the drive, the brightly coloured clashing signage of lime green purple and pink got our excitement levels raised, then as we drove towards the car park in the distance we could see a fabulous turret poking through the trees… The entrance to this magical adventure had began!

imageThe turrets are like something you see in a Harry Potter movie, wonky buildings with wonky doors, mystical and fun filled places to open your mind to magic!

After going through the main entrance the first thing the children can go on is the boats (it is possible to go through to main park without going on them) my children and I felt as if it was a magical land only reachable by the boat ride. We even came back via boat at the end of the day which made it extra special. The imaginations of my children were kicked off on that ride “welcome to Bewilderwood…” The boatman said as he introduced us to the amazing stories that make the magic begin.

Im not going to give away the whole day but it’s one big fun adventure playground with a few hidden treasures that make this a fun filled family day nobody should miss. The name of the park says it all, to bewilder, to baffle mysterfy and perplex the imagination on this wild day out.

If you get to go say hello to the Bogglecroc for me, she’s usually seen with her tiara and handbag having fun somewhere 😜 please do x

letthembechildren… This place lets adults be children to!

 

An afternoon of musical fun!

This afternoon I took my three children aged 1,4 and 6 to see the highly recommended Nick Cope. He is a wonderfully talented ‘Family Songs’  Writter and singer. For a whole hour he had my three singing, dancing and laughing along with his fabulous concert. His songs are brilliantly unique and quirky, my youngest enjoyed the fabulous acoustic music as he played the guitar and I believe a Ukulele to. Both Children and adults seemed captivated by his songs and quick whit.

Each of his songs had an educational element. Growing, body parts, feelings and more. I was so entranced by his music and as my children sang his songs ALL the way home, what else could I do but download his latest album, ‘The Pirate’s Breakfast’ as soon as we got home.

If you get the chance to see him, please do.

His website link is below http://www.nickcope.co.uk

 

 

 

10 ways to make car journeys with kids more enjoyable

Car journeys with children can be an absolute ball ache! Without fail, one will be bored, another may need a wee, one will be annoying the other… Etc. Keeping them occupied is without doubt the best thing you can do and these are some of the best things that work, well for me they do anyway.

  1. Audio books– one of the best discoveries I made was audio books, obviously I knew they existed but I had just never thought to buy one. Best money I have spent EVER! a four hour car journey was broken up nicely by Enid Blytons ‘The Naughtiest Girl‘ other stories obviously available! Simply download or CD’s are widely available.
  2. Sing– this may sound simple but whether it’s nursery rhymes, teaching them the national anthem, rap (always makes my LO’s laugh when I attempt rap) or the latest to hit the charts most kids love some music and a half hour sing song is sure to brake up the journey.
  3. The Story game, one of our family favourites we play time and time again, made up but so much fun! I’m sure you can remember the game we all played at school, where you wrote a bit of a story the folded the paper and passed it to the next person. This is a little like that, we always start by each choosing a character, the weirder the better (but normal can work to start with) each person must name and discribe their character to everyone else. Then you take it in turns to tell the story a line each, normally twice round the car is plenty but if the story gets really interesting it can go round a few more times. Certain to end with laughter!
  4. Eye spy, or a variation of it has been played for years, adapt it a little and help LO’s to learn, for example I spy something green, helping them discover colours. Or for older ones make it a describing game, I spy something pink that likes lots of mud… This classic game is sure to be played by most on long journeys!
  5. Book bags, make up a book bag for each child that you can hand to them when you could do with some quiet time, We all need it! Choose books you know are favourites or even simply buy them a new one, charity shops are often full of kids books at a cheap price.
  6. Tick list, it’s a little like shopping, give them a tick sheet of a dozen things they need to spot between the start of your journey and the destination. These could be as simple as a yellow car, a white fence, a pond… Or as they get older, challenge them a little more with things like shop logos, landmarks, signs or road numbers. Challenging them in new ways can help them learn concentration. Why not give them a little incentive with a prize at the end!
  7. Snack pots a fabulous way to break up a journey is to plan the meals, have snack pots to give them at intervals, especially if a very long distance, this will be a welcome distraction for them.
  8. Colouring packs, I have some wonderfully talented friends who make crayon rolls from gorgeous fabric (search on-line) and these are perfect for travelling and even when eating in restaurants (the colours they give you are normally not great!) print off some of their favourite characters for them to colour in the Internet is full of free colouring pages.
  9. Count! My kids have learnt counting through play and what better time then in the car. Simply ask them a question how many red cars can you see in 60 seconds? Etc. the options are endless and as they get older, get them to estimate how many and see how close they were.
  10. And finally the last thing I will say is STOP journeys with children can be a nightmare and are often made worse by the temptation to just drive that little bit further. Plan your journey and stick to it so that children know when the breaks are coming, let them stretch their legs have a quick play, go to the loo etc. it’s important to include stops as part of your journey and allow children to recharge before the next leg of the journey.

I hope these ideas help to make your travelling a little more enjoyable play one or play them all but please let me know how you get on, I’m always happy to hear what makes your journey with the kids more relaxed.

Charity Welly walks

A few years ago, when my eldest daughter was only three years old, she asked me why the children on the tele were so sad? She was referring to those sad charity driven adverts asking for regular donations to children’s charities all over the world. I thought about it and said ‘those children are sad for lots of reasons some may be  because they don’t have lovely comfortable clothes or a bed to sleep in or food to eat every day, some children are very poorly and may not get better and some need help to get better. You could see it made her sad, she was thinking hard about this. Then she said ‘why are they on the tele?’. ‘So that people know about them and may decide to help them by sending them money, clothes or other things they need’I said. ‘Can we send them money?’ She asked. ‘You could raise money for them by doing a sponsored event maybe?’ I suggested. And the decision was made, for a few days we discussed possible ways of making money and finally decided on a welly walk. The Welly Walks were born…!

It was something we did a lot with our friends, walking in the local woods, down to the river or along the canal and always in wellies of course! So we asked a few of them to join in and help us by each putting some money in a pot to take part. I spoke to the local nature reserve (RSPB The Lodge, Sandy) who said we could do it there. A few people made cakes and off we went. The walk was mentioned on Facebook, a few people asked if others could come and on our first Welly Walk, twenty-five families came along to support us making a fabulous £108.00 for the charity we chose (one close to my heart) the ‘Make a Wish Foundation’. We were over the moon with this and everyone said how wonderful it was and how much they enjoyed the event. So now we are about to do welly walk 7!!! And this is our final Walk at the current venue. We hope to find a new venue and that people will continue to come along and support this wonderful charity.

My children have learnt so much from taking part in these events and have since helped in other events to raise money for charities. I am very proud of them!

our events are full of fun and if you want to attend the final event please find us on Facebook ‘ Charity Welly Walks ‘ we are in Sandy Bedfordshire.

 

 

 

Let them walk

Nothing more enjoyable than going for a walk, my kids love just walking, anywhere, they love finding things, exploring, discussing, playing games, pretending and simply being outside. We are so lucky to have so many beautiful places to go walking in this country and if it includes a little stop to feed some ducks it’s even better!
Where do your LO’s like going for a walk?

with three children and only two hands this backpack I purchased from Jojomamabebe is the best purchase EVER, thank you to the wonderfully helpful ladies in store that assisted making my shopping day more enjoyable by selling me this dinosaurs! X

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