Adventure Wonderland

At the beginning of September Adventure Wonderland had an offer on entry price so, as the children had been asking to visit, we went along for the day. Daddy was a little reluctant as he’s not a big theme park person but he was glad we went as the children had a fantastic day.

pirate boat

R must have gone on the pirate boat ride at least a dozen times, she loved it so much! I think we managed to go on just about every ride between us. (We even got Daddy on some rides too.) There was the giant bouncy slide, the flying elephants, the Yo-Yo’s, the teacups, and the runaway train. We had lunch by the outdoor adventure playground where the children enjoyed having a run around and a play on the swings.

Flying elephants

After lunch we went to explore the maze, the girls all ran off in different directions and we all managed to get thoroughly lost trying to find each other again. It felt like we would never get out and we kept meeting other families who were all lost too! It was R who finally managed to guide us out.

After getting lost in the Adventure Wonderland maze we needed a rest so we went indoors to the soft play area. Little S loved loading the canons and firing them. Next it was time for a well deserved ice cream and a few more rides. R once again went in search of  the pirate boat.

The heavens opened at this point and as we were already wet we went to try the water boats. E, not being keen on getting wet, didn’t want to go on the boats. Instead he went back on the Yo-yo’s by himself! I was so proud of him, it was the ride just next to where I was queuing with S, but it’s a big thing for him to do something like that.

Myself and the 4 children on the teacup ride taking a funny face selfie

After the boat ride we were all soaked to our knickers and getting quite chilly so we called it a day and went home to warm up with a hot chocolate.

 

 

August bank holiday weekend

Steam fair

August bank holiday weekend, and what a busy weekend it was! It started with a visit to the Great Dorset Steam Fair on Friday evening with friends. The children were all very excited to go on the rides. We started with the dodgems, but they were a little fierce and very noisy. We were lucky that we were able to find something suitable for each child, from 3 to 12. Little S enjoyed the “hook a duck” and won a little prize, she also found two little rides that were perfect for her.

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The older ones went on the helter skelter, trampolines, a scary spinning ride and the high swings. I got dragged onto the fun house which was a little embarrassing at the end when a gust of wind was blown up from under me, sending my skirt up to my ears and attracting a few looks from passers by!! It was a good evening but by the end E was struggling with the noise, lights and busyness.

Rides

Saturday was spent at Nanny and Granddad’s with the cousins. Lots of playing, some cooking, puzzles, time at the park and a dog walk. Nanny treated all the children to a cheeky McDonald’s for dinner too. S, Little S and Little cousin E went with Nanny to help collect the food and keep Nanny company.

Sunday was a day at home playing with friends, gaming and gardening. We also helped some friends to rearrange their bedrooms, dismantling, moving and building beds. S stayed over at her friends house that night and E had two friends stay over. It was the first time he had had friends to stay overnight. 3 boys was quite an experience! Lots of silly talk and armpit farts at almost midnight before they finally fell asleep.

Beach

After a slow morning, the girls and I went off to the beach with a couple of friends. It was surprisingly quiet considering it was a nice bank holiday Monday. R was straight in the sea for a swim, she is such a water baby! The two little girls made sandcastles and collected shells, and I managed a little sunbathing. After a lovely couple of hours we packed up, said goodbye to our friends and went Granma and Granpa’s house for a BBQ.

Daddy, E and Poppy met us there. Poppy and Maisy the dogs had lots of fun playing together. There was lots of yummy food and lots to go around. We all left with full tummies and sleepy heads.

Summer Beach Fun

It’s quite rare for us to go to the beach (let alone twice in under a week) as we’re more forest and countryside kind of people. However the weather has been gorgeous and the children fancied a change. Our first trip to the beach was on a Friday evening, it was just the six of us and we had a wonderful time. S enjoyed collecting shells, and spent quite a while on her own hunting for the best ones.

waves

The older three all enjoyed playing in the waves but it was a bit cool to go in too far. We went rock pooling to see what we could find. By far our best find was the little crab, the children liked stroking it but were not brave enough to hold it. Little S thought it was fascinating how it walked.

On the way home we talked about the meteor shower, the difference between a meteor and a meteorite, how we call them shooting stars but that they are not really stars. We talked about gravity, the atmosphere and the planets. That night Daddy and I laid in bed watching the shooting stars out of the window.sea

Our second trip to the beach was last Tuesday afternoon, we met up with another home educating family so that the children could play together. It was very warm and much busier than our trip on Friday. E found it a little overwhelming and sought solitude in the pushchair with the hood pulled down over him. He did enjoy some playtime with his friend though, making sandcastles and tracks in the sand.

overwhelmed

Little S loved playing with some Octonauts that our friends brought along and had a good splash in the sea too. R took a body board into the sea and didn’t come back until she was turning blue! After two fun filled hours we decided to make our way home for dinner.

Octonauts

I think that we’ve had our fill of the beach for a while now, but it was good fun.

sandplay

New Shoes

Buying new shoes for your child can be stressful. Finding something they like, that are comfortable, durable and within budget sometimes feels impossible. Add in a child that dislikes any change can be very challenging. E had his last pair of shoes for over 18 months, by the end there was barely any sole left, there were holes in the fabric on top and the Velcro fastening was falling apart. If you had seen my son walking around in these tatty, too small, and falling apart shoes you’d probably have thought me a bad mother!

But all was not lost, I was given the opportunity to try out Brantano’s website. Browsing online took the stress out and we were able to find that perfect pair of shoes. I was impressed by the great selection of boys sandals online as often boys designs can be a bit limited.  (They have a lovely range of girls sandals online too.)

He chose these gorgeous Mountain Peak sandals. I love the bright orange.

New shoes

They arrived quickly and we were both really impressed with the shoes. What’s most important for me is that he finds them really comfortable and he is happy wearing them. After almost 3 weeks we’ve no complaints about them, an active boy using them as brakes on his bike, climbing, running, jumping and they’ve not worn at all.

Although we didn’t need his feet measuring this time as they had been done recently its worth noting that Brantano do run a free fitting service.  We have used this service in the past and always found staff very friendly and accommodating especially with E’s needs.

 

Summer 2016

We have been so busy this summer, having so many adventures. Daddy and I have dusted off our bikes and together with the children we have cycled to Moors Valley a couple of times. Once meeting up with good friends and once just the six of us. It has been great to get out together away from screens and into the outdoors. The three older children all did so well riding all that way, Little S has a seat on the back of my bike that she loves as she get to sight see. When we went yesterday we parked our bikes at the train station and caught the train to the park, then we went off and did some of the adventure trail and had some ice cream. Later we caught the train back to our bikes and cycled home, all very tired.
Train ride
There has been lots of time spent in the garden, harvesting veggies, rearranging the play area, planting new plants, exploring the pond, jumping on the trampoline, playing football and playing in the fort. We were even able to watch the combine harvester collecting wheat from the field behind our garden.
harvest
R planned a new venture for this week, she ran a lemonade and cake stall from our front garden on today. She designed and made posters, putting them up around the village. She planned what she was going to make to sell, decided on a price list and thought about when she needed to make everything. We had lovely weather after a chilly start and plenty of customers. S and their friend M helped at the stall and they made an impressive £12.
lemonade
S has been learning lots about money over the last few weeks, saving her pennies, counting them, deciding how she’d like to spend them and using them in shops. When we went grocery shopping the other day she asked if she could get some raspberries. I was already loading the checkout so, as they were nearby, I said she could go and get some herself. She came back with 2 packets as she’d seen they were on special offer! The lady at the checkout next to us told her how clever she was. She is very switched on for a 5 year old.
art
We looked after the girls friend last week and they spent hours doing craft together, painting, sticking, and gluing. They iced biscuits and made cakes and jelly, as well as spending lots of time playing outside together too.
sisters
On Thursday R had her piano lesson, then after lunch with Granma and Granpa we headed off to Bradbury Rings to meet up with some home ed friends. The children all went off exploring and chasing Pokemon and the mums had the chance to sit and catch up. After a while thick dark clouds appeared and we felt the pitter patter of little rain drops so we all made our way down the hill and home.
We still have lots more to do over the rest of the summer and lots of ideas.

End of term

So it is now officially the summer holidays, our past week has been filled with end of term activities. Trips to the park, picnics and parties. We’ve met with lots of other home educating families and the children have made new friends as well as playing with old ones.

A few of us playing pass the parcel
A few of us playing pass the parcel

At our last home ed group of the school year on Tuesday, we had an end of term party with pass the parcel, musical chairs and pin the tail on the donkey. We enjoyed some party food together and had a water fight at the park. All the children received a party bag too.

Bubbles in the park
Bubbles in the park

Yesterday a very young baby bird fell from it’s nest landing behind us. The nest was too high to return the bird, and the bird was too young to leave so we took it home in the hope of hand-rearing it. We made it a nest out of hay and feathers, and with some advice managed to feed it but sadly it didn’t survive. Little S was devastated, although in many ways it was a great learning experience for all


the children.

R feeding the baby bird
R feeding the baby bird

Today we spent time at Granma’s having lunch and playing, afterwards we went food shopping. I genuinely enjoy shopping with the children (most of the time) they like to help read the shopping list, look for items, and hunt for bargains and special offers. They like to add up the value of various products and work out the savings on offers. We also enjoy looking for new foods to try and new ideas of ways to cook our favourite foods.

We’re looking forward to spending lots of time with schooled friends, exploring new places and trying new things over the next few weeks.

 

 

Sports Day Anarchy

Tuesday was Sports Day at home ed group. We started the session with some free play, and some medal painting for those that missed out last week. Once everyone had arrived we headed out to the field to our sporty activities. We had a beanbag toss, skipping race, egg and spoon race, football and Rounders.

The egg and spoon race was particularly funny, we started with 6 hard-boiled eggs and finished with one! There was plenty of cheating, running too far,  and dropping of eggs. Of course once the shells were broken it was only right that the eggs be consumed, I saw Little S eating at least one!

Sports Day

Skipping can be a little tricky at the best of times, but skipping and moving forward at the same time, well… We enjoyed playing Rounders , although I must admit that I am not the best bowler. R hit some great shots, her hand-eye coordination is impressive. After our sports day, which by all accounts was complete anarchy but a great deal of fun, we went to the park to play before finishing for lunch.

tennis

The older two girls had their tennis lesson in the afternoon and received a brand new tennis racket each. They practised their volley’s, both front and backhanded, and did really well. We also learned the names of all the lines of the tennis court, something I didn’t know before hand either.

It was a really great, chaotic, fun and sporty day.

 

Our Wild Challenge

So our Wildlife Trust 30 days wild challenge has come to end, but what a 30 days we’ve had! We’ve had wild times in the garden, pond dipping, bug hunting, feeding the birds, playing in the fort and planting plants.

garden

We’ve tried wild cooking and foraging, making elderflower cordial, and gooseberry jam. We’re growing our own foods with potatoes, tomatoes, strawberries, loganberries, beans, squash, radishes, onions and herbs all doing well.

food

There have been all sorts of wild animals from frogs and birds in the garden, to reptiles and birds of prey at Liberty’s Owl, Raptor and Reptile centre. There have even monkeys, hippos, sea lions and tarantulas on a trip to Longleat. And of course our very own Ant World farm.

birds

Longleat

We have finished our challenge today with a walk to a local forest where we looked for bugs, played with sticks and stones, and appreciated wild flowers. We found an impressive beetle with bright purple stripes down its body and bright blue stripes on its head. There was an active bee hive in a tree too which was interesting to watch.

forest walk

We have loved being wild and hope to continue with the #stillwild hashtag on Instagram from time to time, so please keep following. Have you been doing the 30 days wild challenge? Let us know what you’ve been up to in the comments.

A really wild adventure

We finished our third week of 30 days wild with a really wild adventure, but before I talk about that let me tell you what else we did last week. Tuesday was home ed group, we made pasties with different veggies, cheese, ham and spices. The children enjoyed all the messy fun and tasting them afterwards. At the end of club we enjoyed playing together and some time at the park.

Baking

After group we headed home for a quick rest before the older girls had their tennis lessons. R is really enjoying the lessons and is getting quite good, learning her backhand this week. S is slowly relaxing and having fun, she too, hand a go at backhand this week.

Fort

Little S and I spent lots of time in the garden on Wednesday, playing in the fort, pond dipping and hunting for bugs. Thursday R had her piano lesson and learnt a new song, after lunch I went food shopping and left the children with Daddy.

Tegu

Friday a friend had organised a trip to Longleat Safari Park with some other home ed families too. The children were all super excited, all with their favourite activities planned. Our first stop when we arrived was the train, we were all pleased to see the hippo’s swimming in the lake. After the train we went to look around some of the animals, seeing a skunk, ferrets and butterflies. S asked to hold her favourite guinea pig, Elsa, who she’d held the last time we were there. We also had the opportunity to meet a Tegu Lizard and hold a Chilean Rose tarantula.

tarantula

The children had lots of time to play both inside and out. I love seeing them laugh together, enjoying their childhoods.

playtime

We fed the Parakeets, walked amongst the penguins, fed the sea lions and got up close to the Fruit bats. We took a walk around Longleat House, enjoying the history and the grandeur. We even bumped into the Marquess of Bath himself and petted his two dogs. (Still with his iconic dress sense!) We came home exhausted after a wonderfully busy day.

penguinsWe’re wondering what our last week of our 30 days challenge will bring.

parakeets

 

Ant World

We love all things creepy, crawly and wild. Bug hunting is often a big part of how we learn about the world. To be given the opportunity to learn about ants, see how they build their underground house and live their lives, when normally it is unseen, is amazing.
The Ant World arrived in the post for the children to unpack and assemble. The set included everything we needed, I particularly liked that it came with a little magnifier so we could a good look at the ants. Putting the world together was nice and simple, adding the sand, though, was very messy! We ended up with sand all over the kitchen. Releasing the ants into their new home was even more tricky, no matter which way we tried.ant world messAnts, it would seem, are great escape artists. No matter how many we put into the world more seemed to appear, scurrying about the table. We had them running up our arms, down the outside of the ant world, in every direction possible.
After many attempts and lots of giggling we managed to get all, or at least, most of the ants into their new home. (I have a feeling that one or two may still be roaming around my house!)
We are feeding them a small piece of fruit once a week, as per the instructions, we have found that even the smallest bit of fruit goes mouldy very quickly and can look unsightly. Watching the ants slowly build their little tunnels is really interesting, we expected the tunnels to appear quickly, but after 2 weeks there are still only a couple of small ones.

ant world tunnelWe are enjoying watching the ants working, they are never still, always scampering about, busy. If ever your children (or you) want a few new pets that are low maintenance, then Ant World could be the way to go.

 

*I was sent Ant World free to review, all thoughts are my own*

Our adventures as a home educating family