Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Meeting the Animals at Tring Museum

After an early wake-up call from Little Miss A one morning recently, by 9am I was ready to get out of the house!

I decided to take her to the Natural History Museum at Tring as we haven't been for a while. I thought it would be fun to see how many animals she can now name herself as her vocabulary is growing all the time.

We first visited this museum in May 2013 when Little Miss A was just 2 months old. We were with some of Mr MoaB's family and I must admit I personally didn't have the best experience that time although the family did. It was a wet day in half term when we visited and therefore was incredibly busy. It's pretty difficult to get a pram around and unfortunately I didn't have a sling with me. I spent most of the time in the cafe downstairs trying to breastfeed Little Miss A whilst the family looked around. There is only one lift in the Museum so on a busy day, it can take a long time to get between floors if you have got a pram or pushchair. It's so much better now that Little Miss A can walk around by herself!

Our second visit was in November 2014 with Mr MoaB and his Mum. This time around the Museum was really quiet as it was during term time. We had a really good time and it was so nice to be able to just let Little Miss A wander around the cabinets as there were very few people around.

We often call Little Miss A 'Dora The Explorer' and she definitely looked like an intrepid explorer in this hat! And of course, Mummy had to wear it too!

The visit today was just Little Miss A and I. We did have trouble parking. Unfortunately the new car park they've created was closed due to the conditions (not really great that you can only use it in good weather, given the British weather!). We got there just as two coaches full of school children arrived so it was initially quite noisy in the Museum but the kids soon spread out over the different floors so it didn't feel over-run as we made our way around!

Here's Little Miss A deep in conversation with the Monkeys!

It really is great to have this Museum so closeby. And like so many of the London Museums, it's free to enter. You can make a donation or buy the Museum Guide, but it's not compulsory.

The Museum organises various family activities throughout the year so it's worth keeping an eye on their website and Twitter account for details.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

My Sunday Photo 22-2-2015

This is my favourite picture of this week. Unusually it doesn't contain any people, it's a scenic shot.

I was out walking the dog that we're looking after. Our path ahead was blocked by all this water but I was struck by the reflection of the trees. I'm really pleased with this picture particularly as it was just taken as a quick snap on my Iphone!


Saturday, 21 February 2015

Becoming a Dragon Slayer at Waddesdon Manor

We had a fantastic afternoon in the winter sunshine today at Waddesdon Manor.

This is our third visit this year so we're definitely taking advantage of our National Trust membership!

Our first port of call today was to visit The Aviary to see the variety of different birds. There are some really beautiful birds to spot!

This week, for half term, it has been Knights and Princesses Week. So after the Aviary, we headed to Miss Alice's Drive for the special Trail. Our mission was to find the keys hidden along the way to unlock the door to a cave.

We had great fun along the Trail - Little Miss A particularly enjoyed the muddy puddles and jumping on the log stumps with a little help from Mummy!

At the end of the Trail we stopped at the Stables to get the last sticker for our Trail book. For older children there were some arts & crafts but we headed to the dressing up area and Little Miss A became a great dragon slayer! 

We are really lucky to have this on our doorstep so we can just pop down the road for a few hours. 

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Snow Sensory Play

The snow may have been and gone within a day recently, but that didn't stop us having a bit of indoor snow fun!

Whilst Little Miss A was napping, I decided to create her an indoor snow scene to play with.

I got our large tub that we use out in the garden for water play etc. On the bottom I put some shiny silver wrapping paper as it catches the light really nicely. Then I used some polystyrene packaging as the main 'snow'. I filled a couple of small pots - one with white rice, the other with the bits you get when you hole-punch paper. I also added the strips of paper that I'd hole-punched and some strands of irridescent scatter thread. The last addition was some pom-pom snowmen that I bought reduced after Christmas.

Little Miss A was straight in there picking the snowmen out. Then we made snow fall by sprinkling the rice and hole-punched dots between our fingers.

Part 2 of our snowy fun was a bit more messy! We emptied the tub out of all the dry materials and I used some Snow Spray (again bought after Christmas when it was reduced).

Little Miss A wasn't entirely sure at first but once I got my hands in, she was making handprints. Then it was on to footprints! We obviously made sure that we had a good wash afterwards!

We had a lot of fun with our snowy activity. There's still a chance we may get some more snow this year, you never know! Until then, why not try bring the snow fun indoors!

Sunday, 15 February 2015

My Sunday Photo 15-2-2015

My favourite picture of this week is a close-up of Little Miss A. I just love her eyelashes!

We don't have a lot of close-up shots of her so I'm really pleased with this one. I only managed to get it as she fell asleep on me - a very rare thing!


Sunday, 8 February 2015

My Sunday Photo 08-2-2015

My favourite picture of this week was taken on the one day (well morning) of snow that we had on Tuesday.

Little Miss A has not had any real experience of snow. I don't think the snow in the Snowglobe at Christmas counts!

She really wasn't sure about the snow at first and definitely didn't like touching it. She did like the crunching noise it made as she stomped about in her snow boots though.

I'm so glad that we got bundled up and went out into the garden early before Little Miss A went to nursery as the snow had all melted by mid-afternoon.

I think she was quite disappointed when there wasn't more snow when we opened the curtains the next day.


Lynx Gym - Review - Part 2

Just under a year ago we went to our first PlayGym session at Lynx Gym in Aylesbury. What a difference a year makes!

You can read the Review of the Lynx Gymnastics Centre that I wrote back in February 2014 from that first visit when Little Miss A was still a 'Crawler'. I thought I would write a quick update now that Little Miss A is definitely a 'Walker'!

We've been to the PlayGym several times over the course of the year. Often to the Sunday morning session which starts at 8.30am. This is great when Little Miss A has awoken us all early and Mr MoaB has gone to work. Today was the prime example. We'd been up since just before 6am and needed to get out of the house and use up some energy!

It's good to get to the Sunday session early as it soon gets really busy. To start with I was actually the only Mum and all the rest were Dads with their little ones. 

With so many mats and soft padding around, it's a great environment to just let Little Miss A roam around. 

Little Miss A loves to jump and bounce so the trampolines were a huge hit and we had several races up and down the full length! Thankfully this time she only wanted to go up the big inflatable slide once. It's really hard to get up when you're trying to hoist a toddler up with you!

Previously she's never really liked the big pit filled with foam cubes but today she was happy to be thrown in a few times and climb her way out.

I think she pretty much explored every corner of the room. The challenge for me is to keep up with her. Very different to a year ago, when I had to walk her around and I dictated what she went on. Now she doesn't need any encouragement to try things out, she's straight on to things and today this included a balance beam. 

It's definitely a great place to go to tire your little ones out. At £4.50 for a couple of hours, it's pretty good value for money. The bonus for us is it's literally on our doorstep so we don't need to take the car. 

There are PlayGym sessions for the under 5s nearly every day of the week at various times so it's worth checking the Lynx Gym website for details.