Looking for things to do stuck in? A movie is a obvious choice but can you make it fun? Children are simple creatures, no offence to my child but if I cut his food slightly difference he’ll be fooled into eating the whole thing. So to make a movie special for the both of you is easily achieved.
So first of all choose snacks, favourite snacks. Im all for healthy snacks but when you go to the cinemas do you take a veg platter? No you take chocolate. Sugar and treats in moderation is not a issue so enjoy a treat. Once you’ve decided what you want to serve at your movie showing then work on presentation. Putting food in little bowls and displaying them nicely on a tray makes it feel like a little buffet. A buffet of your favourite naughty snacks. You can get popcorn containers for as little as a pound. If your feeling Christmassy then displaying on a load of Christmas platters and using Christmas themed cups can make it that little bit special.
Make the environment different. Do you sit on the sofa all day and have a cosy rug? set up a load of pillows and blankets on the floor with your snacks in the middle and spice it up. Change the lighting in your room shut the blinds and put fairy lights everywhere. The comfier the better. With young children you could ask them to invite their favourite toys so come sit and watch the film with them.
If your children are older you could make them or get them to make cinema tickets for the night. You could also play a game to decide who gets to pick the film! For younger children pick a film they’ll like that you don’t watch often. Musicals are great as children are free to dance and sing along unlike in the cinemas.
Ban phones. Put phones away like you would in the cinemas and wind down. Talk to your children about the film and what they like about it during the film.
Just remember to enjoy each other’s company and only pay attention to the film and eachother untill it’s done. Don’t worry about work or talking to people. It’s important to spend quality time with children and such a simple activity with no technology is perfect for this!
Hope your not forced to watch frozen or trolls for the millionth time like me!
Disclaimer I was gifted this day out to promote on my Instagram.
So i love going out for days out and i am always up for trying something new. Having been to clip n climb myself before i knew it was a fun challenging experience for all the family. When i went i absolutely loved it. I loved how it was this new cool, hip place to go. Something that sort of belonged in big cities like London not like a small town like ours. I felt lucky our small town had been given the opportunity to have one. Let alone the biggest climbing centre in Europe with so many challenges to complete.I went a while back with my friend and w had a blast, she is a bit more fit then me so climbed up like a spider and me a bit like a slow sloth. I am a bit afraid of heights so it was daunting at first but when i had jumped out back to the floor the first time i felt safe and wasn’t so afraid to climb higher. Not only was it fun but it was also a work out. It felt like i had been at the gym all day. Every single one of muscles felt like they had been worked out and i felt good. Unfortunately i don’t quite climb with as much ease as Edward Cullen running up that tree in twilight.
The question remains is it kid friendly? Well the answer in short is HELL YES! Not only do kids have wayyyyy more energy then us they also are a little less afraid of their fears like we are. We booked onto a toddler session which was fully booked. Lots of little ones excited and ready to go. The place is also visually exciting and as soon as Elijah walked in he shouted wow. Followed by a tantrum as he wanted to climb the second we walked in. There is also a children’s soft play area for little ones who do not wish to climb so when that re opens it will be super fun!
Is it safe? This was my personal concern the first time i came. As i suffer with anxiety i sit there and list every last thing that can go wrong with the safety equipment before i had even seen it. I want to put your mind at ease it is safe. When i went we sat through a safety briefing and had harnesses fitted and tested so i felt secure knowing i wasn’t to fall out my harness. Elijah’s toddler size one was a bit more extreme in safety and went over his shoulders too this put me more at ease as we all know how kids like to wiggle. Again they safety checked his fit and we had a brief safety meeting before the kids climbed. The holes in each climb are soft and not rugged so you don’t have to worry about scratching yourself up. You connect your harness to a clip which is attached to a mat hanging of the floor (or do this for your child). When youre clipped in the mat falls to the ground a orange colour to say this climb is in use do not walk underneath while the climb is in session. When dropping down you simply sit into harness and you go down slowly. The first times a bit scary but when you know you’re safe it’s quite a nice experience. There are also lot’s of staff walking around watching at all times and offering help when needed. If you are worried about your belongings do not worry there are lockers available!
Is it expensive? Tickets are around 10 pounds for a hour for toddlers and 15 for all other ages over 4 which isn’t to bad. But there are frequent deals and discounts too. A hour also feels a really long time too and you really get your moneys worth. This would be a perfect kids party too and there normally are deals and the birthday child goes free.
Is there food and drink? There is a cafe upstairs with lots of choices. The hot chocolate is really nice and their cakes are insane. There is quite alot of choice so you can try something new too. They are also doing the the eat out to help out scheme so even if you don’t want to climb the food and drink is well worth the visit.
How are they protecting you from corona-virus during your visit? As you que up there are stickers implementing social distancing. The till has protective screening and you have to book in advance anyway. The staff all have shields or face masks when next too public. As you walk in there is a big banner telling you to sanitise and plenty of sanitising and hand washing stations around. There are even pumps next to some climbs you are told to sanitise before the climbing session and after. There is also a one way system around the building. The cafe is also table service now so you don’t have to move. The toilets also have signs which remind you how long to wash your hands for. I felt a lot more safer here then i have on a weekly supply trip to supermarkets. Climbers can wear a mask if they wish but you do not have to as it is exercise.
How did Elijah find it? Elijah had a absolute blast before we came i shew him photos and asked if he would like to go he said he wanted to go climb like spider man. When we pulled up he was excited to see the big frames through the windows. When we got in he was very excited. He was also excited by the animals mural where he put his harness on. He stood very nicely while his harness was put on and was very energetic about getting to the climbing area. We sanitised which he does with no issue and got ready to climb. He took a little bit to decide on a climb to try so we started on the ladder he was nervous at first but when he found that he could basically float when dropping down by the harness he loved it. The Disney soundtracks where playing so Elijah was having a boogie and singing along as he climbed too. Elijah enjoyed the climb that looked like a climbing frame at soft play which was bit like walking a tight rope for him. After he got the hang of it with a little bit of encouragement there was no stopping him. WE tried quite a few of the climbs so he could see what he liked the best. I think the hexagons and maze ones where his favourites. I felt safe with Elijah climbing and it felt so nice to see him exercising and enjoying himself. With soft play being closed for so long i was happy to see Elijah enjoying some sort of exercise whilst also working his mind. The sensory aspects of each climb where great too and it was nice to see him working those fine and gross motor skills as he learned how to navigate each climb. The session was more than long enough and tired Elijah out. We headed up to the cafe where Elijah enjoyed a milkshake and some of our cake. He has a lovely time and it was the prefect rainy day activity. Being in a heat wave the air con was fab as well.
We will be back and James is already planning to go with his friend as he was jealous of Elijah being able to climb. Being a window cleaner i imagine he will do quite well! There are lots of clip n climbs around the uk and this one is our most local in Ipswich. It’s hidden a way so in a nice quiet place. The natural lighting from the big windows is lovely too! We can’t wait to go again and i may even go as a date night with James or bring Elijah to another session again!
So last week we took a trip to Roarr! Dinosaur adventures. After Elijah starting to show a mild obsession in dinosaurs I thought it was time we go. I was a bit anxious he would get scared of the dinosaurs so we’ve put it off for so long but we decided to give it a try.
We live a little drive away so decided we’d get lunch from them instead of having hot and sweaty sandwiches so checked before we went what was open due to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions and we where surprised quite a lot was open. So after looking we booked our tickets and time slot. You have to book before you come so they can operate staggered opening times.
When we arrived it was almost like driving into Jurassic park spotting the odd dinosaur in the car park before we went to enter . Once we arrived we realised Elijah was slightly shorter then 90cm so they refunded Elijahs ticket which was really good of them to do! Once we’d sanitised and checked our selfs In it was time to enter.
There where lots of dinosaur foot prints to show social distancing and wear to go and lots of pumps scattered around although as few where empty we carried our own anyway.
Elijah was very excited and kept telling us all the names of the dinosaurs and jumping with excitement. We did come across one dinosaur that moved and roared and this made Elijah really scared as he thought it was real and he immediately asked to go home and back to the car and repeatedly said it was time to go after some encouragement and avoiding that dinosaur he became calmer. We then went on the trials and Elijah got excited again and pointed out all the dinosaurs he could see. He had a absolute blast.
It was a cold day so we didn’t do the splash water park but a few children seemed to not mind the cold and looked like they where having fun getting soaked. We had ago at the escivation dog where children can play in sand and find dinosaur fossils! We then went for a walk round the petting zoo and saw some farmyard friends and a few snakes and lizards. Elijah quite enjoyed seeing the animals but loved the dinosaurs so much he wanted to go see them again.
The dinosaurs all looked realistic and it was a fun day out. I was sceptical at just looking at statues but I guess it’s what you do in a Museum and we all used our imaginations. There where information boards at every display and you could climb for photos if you wanted. There was noise boxes with some of the dinosaurs too! We may return one day for the treetop climbing!
After we had finished walking we stoped by the takeaway snacks and got a large pizza and chips and drinks each to share and it wasn’t to expensive the food was really nice. There where lots of play equipment to play with and play park to play on so there was no shortage of ways to burn your kids energy off.
We where disappointed that the gift shop was shut till 1 so we didn’t want to wait half hour to go and Elijah was quite sad as we promised him a toy but we went to a toy shop on way home and he still got his dinosaur! We where lucky when we left as it rained so heavy as we got in the car it was like a monsoon. On the way out we grabbed a medal as there was no stamps to collect we picked up a medal instead.
Being a somewhat dry day in suffolk we decided to go strawberry picking before the heavens opened on our way home. What is strawberry picking? Well the answer is basically in the name itself. You basically pick strawberries and get to take them home. The good thing about strawberry picking is you get to choose your own fruit so you can be sure you get the best quality strawberries. At this farm you could also pick blackcurrants, redcurrants and blackberries.
So safety wise its quite a safe activity to do at the moment all you do is pick your own basket and then you have a whole farm to social distance. It was very easy to keep away from others. When we needed to pay we just went into shop and paid. I also brought some fresh fruit and veg and other little bits from the farms shop. There is something about things that don’t come prepacked in plastic that gives a much better taste and experience.
Elijah is just over two and a half so i was a bit worried he wouldn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t of been more wrong. When we got to the strawberry field and told him what we where going to do he told us he was “excited” and launched himself towards the giant strawberry on the farm. He enjoyed picking a basket and running around. As we where on a farm he was interested in the vehicles on the farm. He liked looking at the tractor and asked for a photo in front of some big yellow digger. We then went to pick the fruit he was excited when he could spot the strawberries. He picked his favourites at first he grabbed as many as he could see then we explained we needed to look for the reddest ones and he got very particular on his choice. He enjoyed running around and picking the strawberries too he did eat quite a few despite us explaining we had to pay first eventually stopped scoffing them down. (we told the shop hes eaten about 6 and they didn’t care).
Overall it was quite a fun family experience we all enjoyed selecting what we like the look of and knowing it was ours to eat. It felt quite nice completly picking our food completly fresh. The strawberries taste amazing and we have plenty to last. We will defo be going again! Hopefully before it’s time to go pumpkin picking!
As Elijah has gotten older we have tried to incorporate sensory play into our day to day lives. We have started using the outdoors as our play ground more and using natural supplies for both learning and fun. We enjoy going for walks and collecting plants and pebbles for arts and crafts or play.
We enjoy going to the beach and playing with the rocks. We like to build towers with the pebbles, we like to practise writing in the sand with our fingers or sticks. We like to build sandcastles and to dig holes. We like to throw rocks as far as we can in the water. This is Elijah’s favourite activity. We do this all year long even in the winter. We like to collect pebbles to take home with us to paint and then hide on future walks.
On walks we like to gather flowers, we like to gather sticks and leafs. We use the leafs and flowers for arts and craft activities such as sticking them to paper and painting. We often collect pine cones and conkers and use them for sensory play or counting. We also use the conkers to paint with as well sometimes. I like to fill a bowl or tray with flowers and natural things and incorporate Elijah’s toys to them. For example i have often put flowers in water in a tray and filled with some paint so its coloured and got Elijah to explore it. I like to use elijahs tuff tray and pick a theme and add natural items to compliment the play. I.e if i was choosing woodland animals id find all his toys that relate to that so id choose bears, squirrels and deer toys and add sticks, leaves and pine cones.
I like to use water in play. I like to set up a car wash or animal washing stations where i fill bowl with washing up liquid and water and Elijah sits there with a cloth cleaning his toys for ages! We also have a water table which he adores and a sandpit in the garden. He also uses his water and sand table which i often replace the filling to sensory items instead. We like to freeze toys in water and i love to watch Elijah’s mind working trying to get toys out with spoons or by smashing on the ground. You can also freeze flowers also!
We like using sand pits to hide toys or practice scooping or playing with his diggers in. We like using a brush and looking for bigger dinosaurs in the sand. We like hiding toys like a easter egg hunt around the house or in the garden and looking for them and collecting them all up.
You can also give your child a patch of dirt to garden in where they can dig, water and rake. Get them to help watering plants with a watering can. Get them to help plant their plants and seeds. Artificial plants are great for the child who loves to over watering and it teaches them to care for their planet at the same time.
I sometimes use flashcards and books to teach at the same time. I like hiding things in the trays to and instructing him to look for them. He likes digging for dinosaurs in his sandpit and fishing for fish in water with his net. We also hide flowers amongst leaves and fake insects to find.
I really want to get a mud kitchen for the garden for Elijah as i know he’d love it! But i think i’ll wait till hes bored of his kitchen being indoors. Until then we like to use plastic bowls to make mud cakes using dirt and water or we make potions with flowers and water and a little bit of glitter. When hes older i will make perfumes with him like i did with my nan. We used to pick flowers grind them up and place in water to make perfumes. We also look for bugs with our magnifying glass.
I hope you enjoyed my little using nature for sensory play blog post. Comment if you would like more! stay safe, Charlie x
We recently took a trip to build a bear factory so we could build Elijah a bear for his birthday. Build a bear do a promotion where if you sign up to their bonus club you can build your very own bear on your child’s birthday and you pay their age. The bear cost us 2 pounds as Elijah is turning two. The deal is valid for their whole birthday month. It includes just the birthday bear and you pay anything extra you want like clothes, scents, sounds and more.
When we went in Elijah was so excited he ran and fell over running to the shop when we said we where going in. He ran straight in looking around and pointing very excited jumping up and down. We had a lovely staff member who was very helpful and cheerful. We told her we where building a bear for Elijah for his birthday on the 15th and she helped us make the bear. Elijah wanted a sound which we paid extra for and was dancing and cheering to the music and chose the lion king song i just cant wait to be king to be his sound. Elijah is obsessed with the lion king so it was a clear one of the songs would be his choice. He helped push the peddle to fill the bear and put a wish in his teddy. We chose a smell and he chose a cake because you know it’s for his birthday and who doesn’t love the smell of cake. We then chose a hat and top and as we have some clothes at home already we decided to choose birthday items ready for his birthday. You can also make a birth certificate for the bear. We went over to the bath for teddies and he washed his teddy and brushed his hair. Elijah chose a box instead of a bag so he got to take home a little home for his bear and held on to him very tightly looking after him.
Elijah really enjoyed his experience and is at a age he can really enjoy the store and making of the bear now. Its a great activity to do for a birthday and also just a day out. Elijah has took his little bear to bed and keeps cuddling him. Its also affordable as its from when a child is one they pay their age.
Once they learn to walk there is nothing mote toddlers love to do more than explore. If you’re noticing your child getting increasingly more grouchy sometimes a trip out can be fun for everyone. One thing i find my toddler loves to do is explore. He loves to now pick up sticks and throw them and look for and point out all the animals. He also loves kicking around and throwing leaves in the air under a tree which has started to loose their leaves ready for the winter. Autumn is definitely my favourite time of the year and not just because of the return of gingerbread syrups and eating lots of comfort food. No i love autumn because of the temperature its cool enough you’re not hot or cold when going for a walk. You enjoy having a cup of tea after to enjoy where you’re warmed up and have that cosy warm inside feeling instead of being a hot sweaty mess. You get to wear cosy boots and wellies where you don’t get dirt under your toes of the sandels that look great on but have no practicality at all.
I always like to take my little boy for walks because that’s what me and his dad do. We always have loved walks and i want to teach him to love the world we are in. I like to go out and show him trees and wildlife. I like to point out pretty plants and views and tell him what they are. I want him to have a active life where we can instead of sitting around which we sometimes have no choice to do. I like to go to different places so we don’t get bored off the same view all the time.
Elijah loves running so we like to go and take him somewhere he can run loose and of course we chase as fast as we can to keep up with him. We normally take his trike with us so that if he is tired we can push him in his trike which he loves. We are quite lucky for where we live as there are lots of parks, nature walks, lakes, meadows and beaches short drives or walks away so we get to travel to new exciting places.
Walks are good for the well being and mind. Not only will you destress you’ll also feel more healthy. Its a activity of exercise for your toddler and you wont even know it! Talking toddlers through walks and pointing out things and chatting as you walk through is a great chance to learn. They’ll learn what things are and also chat to you as they go through with no distractions. It’s the perfect place for learning and taking in the full magnitude of the worlds beauty.
Sometimes we like going for walks to parks or places with play areas as there is nothing more our little guy likes more than completely going nuts. He loves climbing and going down the slide shouting “WEE” as loud as he possibly can. He giggles at high he goes on a slide and does a lot of exciting faces as he gets too excited using a toy stearing wheel on a model bike/ car or boat. We have one behind our house we try to go to regularly when hes good to have a run about and yes i mean behind my house i could jump my fence and be on the park. We like to spice things up tho we like to go to different parks so its different and the adventure is new. We like to try new places so it feels more like a day out and we will go with friends or weekends with daddy. The best thing about going for a walk is its a great bonding experience and memory making activity. Something ill always remember from my childhood is spending time in parks going for walks with friends and family. The fact that its free is just a plus!
We’re quite lucky to leave in a countryside town. They’re no shortages of beautiful countryside walks, farms and animals if you have a look about nature. We’re also very lucky to live quite near by (ten minute drive) to Jimmy’s farm! If you live in the uk it’s probably one of the most famous little farms there is. Jimmy the owner is friends with Jamie Oliver and has had a few tv shows.
It’s a lovely little farm that’s spread out. The animals all seem as happy as they can be at a farm and there is plenty to see and do. I would rate this probably one of the most toddler friendly places to go as there is so much for them and children to do. It’s not overly expensive either and there’s plenty of homey shops and cafes. The restaurant sells the best sausage and mash I have ever had! The pens are quite spaced out so lots of room to run around and no crowding on busy days. There’s lots of different pens with different animals. You can tell the farmers really look after their animals and clean up constantly as it doesn’t have that horrible farm smell you get when you go to a farm and you’re not having to watch your feet for animal poop!
The play areas are quite nice there’s a sandpit with a pirateship, sandcastle equipment, tires and a massive bouncy pillow for kids to jump on aswell as little slides. There’s also a really big play frame for kids too and more play equipment. There’s a little snack shed next door to play bits so can buy little bits for sitting round watching kiddos play. There’s also a little animal trail where you look for statues of animals and make dens with sticks. There’s a hobbit house complete with toy utensils perfect for little ones. The place is very inclusive aswell and has BSL signs for each animal to teach children the signs too aswell as hell those who are deaf! Plenty of space to run round too! There’s a little picnic area with pretend cars and tractors kids can get in and pretend to drive.
Some of the animals that we could see!
Overall a lovely day out and somewhere we go again and again. If you’re ever in Suffolk and want to see a farm this is for you!