Weekend adventure #8: Godstone Farm

(Technically not a weekend adventure as we went on a Wednesday but…)

Our little one goes to nursery for most of the week and recently the nursery did a trip to Godstone Farm for the children and parents. I had heard good things from a friend but it suppassed what I had imagined it would be like and it’s a great family day out!   I had though it might be a larger version of Mudchute Farm, with more land and animals, but there was so much more to it than that! There was a huge indoor play barn with a jungle gym and little cafe, a tractor ride, a dinosaur train with models and sound effects around a little lake, a petting area, large outdoor adventure playground and a great variety of animals large and small. (oh, and a shop of course!)

I was particularly impressed with the petting area as the animals were in raised areas at a height the children could reach and of course, with a little boy obsessed with dinosaurs, the dino trail was a particular favourite of ours (I think we went round at least 4 times!)  The farm is clearly geared up for lots of visitors and schools groups. There are a whole series of sheds for each pre-booked group/class to have as a base which was great and well thought through – even if ours did seam to be the furthest away! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The only downside for us is that we don’t have a car, which you certainly need to get there, but we can’t wait to go back! 

godstonefarm.co.uk 

Turning two! ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰

A few weeks ago our little one man turned two. As I’m sure a lot of parents feel, it seems to have gone so quickly, yet we can’t remember life before him! Some of our friends are onto number two and seeing the recently arrived newborns really reminds you just how much they grow, change and develop in those first two years!

From feeding and sleeping constantly (more feeding than sleeping I seam to remember!) to chatting and running all over the place it’s been a really full on but great two years.

With the best intentions is really hard to keep a track of their development so I thought I’d do a quick snap shot of what being two looks like in our house!

A day in the life with our 2 year old

We usually get up,thanks to the mini human alarm, sometime between 6-7am. First things first is a bottle of milk accompanied by pip ahoy on Chanel 5 (mon-fri) or CBeebies at the weekend! 

We have breakfast (usually Cheerios or wheetabix) – pausing Andy’s dinosaur adventures to get some self-delivered spoonfuls eaten (!) – and try to protect the pain au chocolat I’m rather partial too from having all the chocolate pinched out of them ๐Ÿ˜€  We usually play for a bit with the many dinosaurs and trains that have pride of place in our living room before going for a morning nap. Most of the time we are still doing two naps at the weekend but starting to go down to one (like he does at nursery). We usually get a good two hours which is time spent cleaning, washing up and sorting the next load of never ending washing! Once up, we head out and about and have lunch. If the weather is nice we usually head to the park for a go in the playground and a good run around or head to soft play or swimming.

(If we are going for two naps we are usually back by about 3/3.30 and we catch up on Game of Thrones during nap time.)

Back at home the toys and books come out and we play until dinner time. We might do some drawing or painting and then it’s bathtime.

Bedtime is at 7 with a bottle of milk and a CBeebies bedtime story then a book and an attempt at teeth brushing before a few more books and twinkle twinkle little star. 

Our day usually includes:

Running, climbing and he has just started to jump with two feet off the ground.

Lots of chat – mostly around dinosaurs – he can identify quite a few now. Favourite TV shows: Andy’s dinosaur adventure, Dino Paws, Chuggington, Thomas and Hey Duggee (or at least those are the ones that don’t drive us mad and we can bear to watch on repeat!!)We are finally starting to use mega blocks to build and not just destroy and we do like a game of match the mummy animal to the baby animal! 

If we ask for a kiss he will grab our face with both hands and pull it towards him for a big wet one! 

We sing twinkle twinkle before bed and if I stop he will fill in the gaps! Aww!

Looking forward to the next year ๐Ÿ˜€

Weekend adventure #7: Dulwich Park Fair

This weekend we headed over to Dulwich to check out the Dulwich Park Fair. 

Heading to Dulwich is nice and easy for us as it’s just a 20min bus ride away. The sunshine was out so once the little man woke up from his morning nap we headed straight over to Dulwich to meet some friends in the park.They had Punch and Judy, magic show, petting zoo, May pole, lots of stalls and a fair ground (and that’s just the stuff we found!) The park was very busy, but not uncomfortably so, and the sunshine was a very welcome addition to the event! Pimms stalls too – another very welcome addition! 

Little man loved the petting area (as always) and went on a carousel for the first time ๐Ÿ˜ƒ We spent most of the day walking up and running down mounds of grass with our pull along bee, that’s the toy of the moment. Even when he was in the pram, bee was being pulled alongside! 

It was a really nice family event and a great mix of activities on offer. The park itself is lovely too with a lake and pedalos to hire. Lordship lane and Dulwich village and both close by and worth a visit. 

Before we headed home we went to The Plough pub, by the library. It’s a good pub with lots of space, and big garden and great food. Lots of high chairs and space for the little ones to wander around too.

Dulwich Festival website

The Plough pub website 

Weekend adventure #6: Mrs H & the Singalong Band

We first discovered Mrs H and the sing along band at the Imagine festival at Southbank in February. Instantly loving their mix of toddler and child friendly music / actions / interaction / puppets / props /dancing I quickly hunted down their website and Twitter account to make sure I knew when I could see them again! Thankfully we didn’t have to wait long and last Sunday we went to see them at the Aversham Arms pub in New Cross. We hadn’t been to the pub before and were pleasantly surprised by their great gig/stage area and bar where the event took place. 

They have a really good set up – which I guess is more used to rock and metal that toddler antics – but the space worked really well… And it was the first thing the little man has been to that had a bouncer on the door!! Ha! 

Mrs H and all the band were wonderful once again. Our little man sat transfixed before getting stuck in and jumping up and down with manic excitement (which had nothing to do with letting him have some of my coke! Whoops! ๐Ÿ˜Š) The band had all the kids and adults alike captivated and joining in.

  
I really love the way they interact with everyone and bring the props and puppets down into the audience. It’s such a fun and upbeat experience. If you get the chance to go and see them I thoroughly recommend it! There was also some painting and playdough set up for those who were a little shy to get stuck in / easily distracted / fancied doing something different. It was a great and well thought through set up and I hope the Aversham Arms will have them back.We certainly will be! 

Find out more: http://www.singalongsongs.co.uk

Or you can follow them on Twitter: @singalongband

Little moments #2

One of the reasons I wanted to start up the blog again was to help me remember those little moments that make you smile (or cringe!)

This week…  #1 – We were watching Kung Fu Panda and the adults were evidently taking too loudly as we were ‘shhh-ed’ with finger action too! Hmmm!!   

#2 -While reading one of the Elmer books the elephants all laugh – so LM did a fake ‘ha ha ha’ laugh to mimic us. Brilliant. 

#3 – Trying to jump! This is hilarious. You can literally see the cogs turning in an effort to get both feet off the ground at the same time! 

Are there any little moments you would like to share? Leave a comment below๐Ÿ˜€

Monday outing #2: Toddler World at the Greenwich Centre

I kept meaning to go and try one of the Toddler World sessions at the Greenwich leisure centres. It’s a soft play session – rather than a permanent soft play facility – and as our toddler loves to climb every table, chair, box, parent in sight I wanted to give him the opportunity to climb without constantly being told to get down (most of what he climbs at home is precarious to say the least!)  So…We finally managed to get there this week. We went to the one at the Greenwich Centre, though the company that runs the Greenwich leisure services (Better) run it at other centres too including Eltham. It was just under ยฃ5, so in line with lots of London based stuff. The session is drop in and runs for two hours so you can get your money’s worth if you get there for when it starts.

It’s set up in one of the studios with a bouncy castle and a range of large foam shapes to climb up and slide down. There were some rocking / bouncy things to sit on and a really thick foam floor matting that made it all feel very safe and bouncy! There was a nursery rhyme cd playing in the background and lots of benches along the side for adults who didn’t fancy braving the sprung floor (or who had younger children to look after ๐Ÿ˜‰) 

Overall it’s a good set up with plenty for the little ones to do and space for them to use up some of that boundless energy. Everything felt very safe and clean and if you stay the full two hours you can get the most out of your ยฃ5.

It took us a good half an hour to get there so we might look for somewhere closer to home next time, but I’m sure we will try it at one of the other centres too. 

Greenwich Centre website 

Weekend adventure #5: British Museum

This weekend we headed across the river to the British Museum.

I’d taken the little man to one of their under 5’s little feet sessions about a year ago but we hadn’t ever taken him for a good old fashioned wander! 

Given that it was a weekend it wasn’t too rediculously busy but we were glad for the monkey reins backpack as the LM does love to run!๐Ÿ™‚

 We just did a few of the galleries and quite quickly embarked on a ‘roar’ hunt. Lots of great roars (and some meows and neighs too) helped us navigate the galleries! 

It’s a funny experience letting the LM dictate how we moved around the gallery. There is no point trying to tell him where to go and conform to the ‘usual’ path – exploring via a toddler is random and much more fun. Going round and round the same bit and then charging off in another direction, usually against the flow of traffic!

 There are quite a few things not to be touched at touching height which is a bit tricky but we didn’t do too badly! 

It’s a great place to take the little one as there is so much to see and so much space to run around. You do have to have sharp eyes (or reigns!) to stop them disappearing into the crowds though and practice the don’t touch a bit but there are soo many things we don’t see day to day that we had lots of oohs and ahhs as we wandered around.  The museum cafe in the great hall was a bit busy so we decided to head out and get some food instead and joined in the protest that was heading through the west end. Never too young to participate!