Our Tropical World

Recently we visited Tropical World. Our trip really captured Little Mr’s imagination and he was keen to create somewhere to live for the insects that he bought from the gift shop.
 
 
 
Together we planned what he wanted to include. He thought of most of the ideas himself as he could recall what we had seen the previous day. Though he was adament we had seen cows and pigs, I must have missed those. He was also very keen to have a car, not very tropical but he wanted to be able to drive around his small world scene.
 
We have a large round tray, which we have used for many small world play themes. It is perfect as can be easily moved around. We then began to collect the other items we needed.

 
Little Mr eager as ever to start headed outside to collect some sand to start his Tropical play scene.



 

We have already had lots of play generated from such a small collection of objects. From track making in the sand, to insects hiding an needing to be found. I am sure that we can eek out a few more days of play before changing it over.

Some of the activities we will do with this small world play scene are:

Scientific Knowledge & Understanding – Identifying the names of the toy insects, looking after plants, naming parts of a plant.

Literacy – Role play opportunities & story telling

Numeracy – Counting insects, ordering insects by length, counting legs and simple problem solving.

We have lots of fun making small world play scenes. Have you made any? I would love to find out about yours.

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First Pre-School Trip

This week was momentous in such a simple and ordinary way. It was my little Mr’s first re-school trip. Now as a teacher I am very much used to the whole school trip routine, but this was very different as each child took their own adult along plus I was far more excited about it (oh and much less stressed, two children is much easier than 30).

Little Mr had been taking about his trip for weeks and was getting excited about his excursion. We woke early, got dressed and had a leisurely breakfast since Daddy was home too. I made up a little pic-nic to take to. We arrived at playgroup amid the hustle and bustle of excitement as we waited for the coach to arrive. I must admit this did make me miss being at work a little. Now it turns out a pre-school trip involves a whole lot of equipment compared to a school one. We had a flurry of car seats, buggy’s, toddler bags, mummy bags oh and picnic to descend onto the bus.  Once on we made our way to Tropical world and Roundhay Park. First stop was the play park whilst we waited for our time slot at Tropical world. It was a fab park filled with lots of interesting and exciting equipment but most of the boys were happier running about on the hill with sticks. Boys will be boys hey!

We had a great day, below are some pictures of Little Mr.

Once we escaped the gift shop we headed to the gardens for our pic-nic. After our lovely food Little Mr had an accident, he was happily running around when he stumbled over his own feet. He fell without even putting his hands in front of him an so his head took the full force of his fall leaving him with a cut on is forehead. Now at the time it looked horrendous, especially with all of the blood. So panic followed, along with lots of cuddles, kisses oh and a stolen Calipo to use as an ice pack. Luckily the staff were fab and helped Little Mr out, plus they let me off for pinching the ice lolly. I felt terrible for what had happened and really blamed myself. I wanted to get him checked as it was quite a cut so I wanted to be sure he didn’t need it gluing together. So we headed back towards the coach picking up an ice-cream along the way. He is all well now and it certainly didn’t put him off, he was asking to return.


Little Miss at 7 Months

Dear Little Miss,

We can hardly believe that yet another month has passed us by. This month you have made us smile more than ever, in fact you hardly ever stop smiling. You make us so proud when you flash your smile, such a beautiful face and so happy to spread your joy. People cant help but comment, you are a definite hit with old ladies. This month has seen your two bottom front teeth firmly in place, they seem to have grown so quickly. You are also sitting extremely well and beginning to reach out to grab your brothers toys. You look so beautiful sitting in your crib in the living room each morning as the morning light surrounds you. I know soon we will have to pack it away as you are getting bigger and stronger, you have already tried to pull yourself using the side bars. We are still attending a baby group each Monday whilst Little Mr is at preschool. It is our special time together, just us. You have made a special little friend their and last week reached out to cuddle each other and give kisses. It left both mummies with a lump in our throats. So innocent and so caring and sheltered from the world and its happenings. This month we had a lot of family gatherings, for Birthday celebrations and another wedding. You wowed at them all. Such a content and happy baby just like your big brother. We also celebrated your Daddy’s first Fathers Day with a daughter. He gave you lots of cuddles and kisses. You still adore your big brother. He loves to make you laugh and entertain you playing dizzy ducks or peek-a-boo. It is great to see your bond developing together and as bossy as Little Mr is sometimes I think that your will give him a run for his money as you get older. We can already see a cheeky glint in your eyes.
 
We love you lots and lots, to the moon and back.
 
Mummy & Daddy
 
 

Messy Play

We love a bit of messy play here. The learning opportunities are endless and it is so much fun too. However I must admit since growing to a family of four we have done much less messy play. I mean who has the time to clean up after various activities each day in between the daily groups, meet ups oh and not to mention day to day chores too.  If you manage it you must let me know your tips?!

So having not done any messy play for around a week, which is a lifetime for us I made a batch of spaghetti. I chose to do an edible activity as Little Miss is just getting into the swing of weaning. If I was doing this activity just with Little Mr I would have coloured the pasta but Little Miss reacts to lots of different things so I didn’t want to chance colours.
I laid out an old sheet which is fab as it collected all of the mess and was easy to throw into the was. Little Mr was keen to use his play kitchen so we got out lots of pots and pans. He filled them with pasta and played chef. 
Little Miss had great fun exploring the texture of the pasta and of course the taste too.

After we had finished cooking, tasting, smearing and pulling the spaghetti it was time to wash up. For every messy activity I do I always have a bowl of soapy warm water at the ready. I hadn’t planned for them to wash up but they wanted to. We played with the containers and filled and emptied them. Little Mr extended his learning further by beginning to organise the pans in the order of which held the most water. Of course we ended up with lots of water on the floor but it was nothing an old bath sheet couldn’t solve. If it had been a nicer day it would have been ideal to do this outside. The best part of our messy play on this day was deffiinitely seeing Liitle Miss and Little Mr play together. It was simply adorable watching Little Miss giggle away as her brother splashed her. It is great to see their bond developing along with the love and care they show each other. 
Do you do messy play? I would love to hear what you get upto?

A Family Weekend!

We have had a super busy weekend. with a family wedding on the Saturday and a Birthday meal to celebrate Grandma’s ‘special’ Birthday.
 
 
 
 
 
 
of course each new wedding deserves a full set of new outfits. Here we are in our glad rags. Little Miss is wearing a fab super girly pink dress all the way from Macy’s in New York and a cardi from Ted Baker. Little Mr is wearing a next suit and a great navy tie with dogs on. He is in his socks in these picture as he was refusing to wear his shoes, he ended up going to the wedding in his red canvas shoes. They did look cute and though!
 
First stop was the church for the wedding ceromony. I didnt take any pictures outside as unfortunately it was throuwing it down so we were dashing to the car with toddler, baby and all the pariphanlia that acompanies them too.

 

The reception was held at a quaint village hall that had been decorated to perfection. It looked amazing and was a true testemant to all the hard work and attention to detail that had been put in.

 
 
What wedding is complete without your own Oscar Style family selfie.
 
 
 
We thought that the tash and eyebrows rather suited Uncle Ben and would be rather suited to 70’s ‘adult’ films!

 
 
Since Little Miss was asleep when we took the first selfie we did our own mini one with her.
 

 
 
We were also treated to a visit from an ice-cream van, it was delicious. Little Mr absolutely adored the photo booth too. I think he must have been on most peoples pictures. We had a few goes ourselves too.

 
 
 
The beautiful Bride and Groom during their first dance.
 
On the Sunday we headed to a lovely restaurant for a family meal.
 
 

 
If Carlsberg made weekends…

 
 

 


Our Visit to Alton Towers – Cbeebies Land

 
You may have read that recently we were lucky enough to recieve a Merlin Annual Family pass. Well last week we made the 2 hour drive to Alton Towers. Well it actually took us three and a half due to an accident but that is besides the point. We had one very excited Little Mr when we arrived. We parked up and headed to the monorail, we could have walked 20 minutes to the entrance but saved our legs.

Once in the park we had our very own map reader who directed us to our first stop, Cbeebies Land. 

He was far too excited to pose here, and so were we really. We followed Little Mr into the park and he immediately spotted the Postman Pat ride. Now anyone who knows Little Mr knows he LOVES Pat. He has a play set at my Mums which he just adores. We headed to the queue and saw it said 60 minutes!!  Not great with little ones, but we queued anyway and found it actually took much less, it was around 30 minutes in the end.  It passed really quickly as there was lots to point out to Little Mr and some great games to play whilst queuing.

 

Little Mr had great fun  driving us around and delivering parcels along the way. We loved seeing his face light up each time he was greeted by another of his favourite characters along the track.
Next stop were the toilets. There were plenty of them so we didn’t have to queue,which I was a little worried about as when a toddler needs to go, they need to go quick.
Then we headed to the In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride which was very popular. The queue was stated as 60 minutes but again was less (around 40). There were plenty of games to play along the way plus I took some snacks to help pass the time, but was perhaps just that bit too long to wait with restless toddlers. *since our visit the queueing system for the ride has changed to a ticket system where you are allocated a time slot.*

We got to meet all of the characters along the way.

Central to Cbeebies Land is the Big Fun Show Time Arena. This is a great place to sit and have a picnic. It is also where the shows are. We caught the back end of Nina and the Nuerons, a science experiment show.  

You can also meet the characters too. When we went upto the tent it was Iggle Piggle, we didn’t have to queue as there was only one person in front of us. The main plus for this opportunity was there was no extra cost to take a picture. You just take your own which is great.

 
Next up was Mr Tumbles sensory garden. The garden actively encourages children to use their 5 senses to explore.  There were lots of plants which were great to smell and even Little Miss got in on the action.
 
As we wandered around the park we bumped into Pats van along with Jess. They were more than happy to pose with Little Mr for pictures.

 
We then headed to the Cbeebies Bugs ‘Get Set Go’ Tree top adventure. Little Mr loved this as you get a great view of Cbeebies Land.  We (well Mummy and Daddy) fancied a break from Cbeebies Land after a while so took a walk across the park towards Cloud Cuckoo Land.

 
Little Mr had great fun on the round about with his Daddy.

 
There was also the most amazing inflatable soft play that Little Mr had ever been on. They measure your child as they enter to determine whether they are suitable for the Little or Big Wobble. The Big Wobble really is huge and Little Mr was over the moon that he was tall enough to bounce around on it. Little Miss stuck to the Little Wobble with her Daddy whilst I watched Little Mr through the various viewing windows of the Larger inflatable.

 
Once we got back to the car Little Mr was fast asleep before we had even managed to get out of the carpark.
 
If you are planning a visit here are some of our top tips.
– Leave Plenty of time for your jouney there.
– Take £6 in change for the carpark
– In our case queue times were always shorted than stated.
-Take a picnic
-Take snacks for the queues.
– If you have an umberella style pushchair use that as you can get onto the monorail much more quickly. Our pushchair was too big so we had to wait for the larger carriage.
 
 
We had a great day visiting Alton Towers and Cbeebies Land. We cant wait to return.
 
 


 

 

Annual Merlin Family Pass

Some of you may know that recently we were lucky enough to receive a Merlin Annual Pass. A fabulous gift that is sure to give our family hours of enjoyment and many happy memories over the next year. Once the voucher for the pass arrived I looked into it a little more to begin to plan the different excursions we could make. It turns out it covers even more places than I first thought and we could visit places like Blackpool Tower and the London Eye.
You can find out more here.
We will start using our pass tomorrow with our first stop being Alton Towers. We are extremely excited about our visit especially as Little Mr is desperate to visit the newly opened Cebeebies Land.
If you are thinking about getting a pass or visiting one of the attractions covered by the pass keep checking back as we plan to blog about all the fun we have had.