Saturday, 22 February 2014

Leave nothing but footprints

It feels like forever since we've had a nice clear day and I was only too happy to be able to put the dryer to rest and get my washing on the line early yesterday morning. Of course, although little man loves helping out with hanging out the washing, princess is older and wiser and that is certainly not her idea of a great family activity.  

Instead the teen princess decided that a great family activity would coincide with a way she could try and convince me to get her a puppy, so spending the afternoon strolling through Kelsey Park it was.  It's a place I've so far never regretted visiting and with the weather being such a welcome improvement we saw so many smiling faces, playful pups and wondering wildlife that this time was no exception.

There was time for adventure...

Time to walk, breath in the fresh air, think...

Time to learn new information and discover the world around them...

The information center where you can find things to explore, activities, nature trail booklets and questionnaires plus of course lots of information! 

Time to watch the birds sing, the squirrels play, the gulls fight for food, the mallard swim...

Time to explore the beauty of nature...

Time to play...

We were not the only ones who saw the sun come out this morning :)

And after leaving the park and heading to a little place closer to home, time for dessert :)

Although there is a cafe at the park, we fancied something different.

"Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures, kill nothing but time." - Unknown

Joining in with Fiona's Country Kids :)

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Sorry Seedlings!

Anyone who knows me will know that far from having green fingers, I have red fingers, they scream at any plants in my vicinity to pick up their roots and run as far away as possible.  Regardless of that, with the weather threatening to cause damage if we stayed out too long, we decided to bring the outdoors inside and do some planting.

We popped over to our local garden center where little man decided to take a little run around before stopping to choose his seedlings. Thankfully the staff in the center were brilliant and helped us choose everything we needed to grow our own 'money maker tomato'.  Little man was very excited to have his own box of treats ready to take home and "watch them grow".

When we got home it was pretty easy going, little man, unlike me, knew exactly what to do.  He counted out his pots and put in a little soil before adding his seedlings.  Unfortunately he was a little rough so one got broken but we planted it all the same.  He then topped up the soil and watered them.  Thank God for grandmothers, she taught him well and I could almost have sat down with a cuppa and let him get on with it!

Now all we have to do is keep our fingers crossed and watch them grow?  

Any tips for my red fingers would be much appreciated as I would hate to kill little mans seedlings before they bear fruit.  Fingers crossed for some good weather next week so we can at least take a stroll in the woods with teen princess in tow.

I'm joining in with Fiona's #CountryKids  Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

A Winter Adventure with Barny!

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."  Helen Keller

Last year when little man turned 2 we thought it would be perfect to take him on a little adventure to the farm, unfortunately him and farm animals did not mix!  So this year when we signed up to take part in BritMums Winter Little Adventures Linky Challenge sponsored by Barny, where better to take him than another farm; after all adventure is about challenging yourself, facing your fears, being daring, brave and having a wonderful time doing it,(cruel mother cackle).

With the weather here being awfully windy and rainy we waited for the first sight of a break in the rain, ran for the car and drove to our closest city farm (Deen City Farm).  What better excuse to put your warmest clothes and wellies on, than to go on a little adventure on a winters morning?

As well as making sure we were dressed for the occasion, little man was certain to pack his Barny snacks.  We were given two boxes, apple and strawberry, which are Barny's newest flavours.  These bear-shaped individually wrapped sponge snacks are perfect for carrying along on little adventures.

And what an awesome adventure it was!  Far from the scared 2 year old who wouldn't go near the animals even to look at them, my newly confident little man at the ripe old age of 2 and a half not only did this...

But he also did this...

And most adventurously impressive of all the things he did today, was this...

After all that adventure a proud mummy, having had her cruel plan to torture little man with farm animals foiled by his amazing sense of adventure, rewarded said toddler with his Barny snacks.  He made sure to keep a close eye on the turkey as there was no way he was going to share.

Although the snacks are delicious and little man and I both love them, the hidden fruit centre is not a winner when it comes to my supper fussy eater and his dislike of all things sticky.  He hands over any bits he can see to me and asks me to, "Clean it," and only when there is no trace to be seen will he finish off the rest!

If unlike me, you have 'normal' children, this will not be an issue!

This post is an entry for BritMums 'Winter Little Adventures Challenge' sponsored by Barny, individually wrapped bear-shaped sponges with a hidden filling.  Find out more about Barny here.

I'm also linking up with the lovely Fiona's Country Kids from Coombe Mill

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Food - The Gallery

I went back into the archives to find this photo it was taken as I was going through a phase of  making my dinner look pretty.  Nowadays the children are lucky if I serve dinner with a fork :)

Backed Salmon served with white rice and spiced tomatoes, baby sweetcorn and cabbage 

Head over to the Gallery for more mouth watering sights and some lovely recipes. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Jo Jingles - Music, singing and movement! (review)

One of the best things about only going back to work part time is I still get to spend lots of time doing fun things with the children.  Princess and I are attending a concert on Monday but today little man got to enjoy some music time of his own.  We were invited to attended a Jo Jingles workshop of our choice and as Beckenham was the nearest to us we chose this one and were not disappointed. 

The class is normally run at Gambados at the price of £5.75 with free entry to the soft play area afterwards (normally £9.00)  which is already great value for money if you were thinking of going to the soft play anyway.  Due to flooding they are currently at Beckenham Spa, which still gives you free access to the spa's soft play area after the class but does mean if you drive in you have to pay a small amount for parking.

The class is a nice sized group that allows for a maximum of 15 children and lasts for 45 minutes.  The children have the opportunity to sing songs, play percussion instruments, dance and interact with the many props Jo brings along with her.  

Getting up close and personal with the Jo Jingles mascot 

Today's class included songs which taught about animals, colours and numbers with lots of movement, fun and laughter.  There was a clear structure and the children were given simple instructions of when to put things away, stand up, freeze, dance or sit still.  It was great to see all of the children (all below five) getting involved for the duration of the class.

When I asked little man what he had done in the music class today he said, "I huggled Jo, I jumped, you jumped with me and I was hiding in the picture, I was shy, I did ribbit ribbit and chooo (elephant) noises and played with my friends and I was shaking and banging."  I then asked him if he had a good time and with a big smile on his face he said, "Yes!"

Not only does Jo Jingles music class get my approval, but it gets little mans hands in face, too shy for photos word of approval too.

Jo Youll, Little man and I after class

For more information on Jo Jingles and find a class near you visit their website here.

We were given free entry to the class for the purpose of this review.