When Okido meets Skittles

 I love our Okido Magazine that pops through the door every month. I shouldn’t really say I love it as it’s aimed at 3-8 year olds, but I do! And so does our son (who definitely does fall in correct age bracket).

This months magazine had a fabulous experiment that our children really wanted to try. We got together some skittles, a plate, a bowl and a jug of water.

After arranging the skittles around the upturned bowl, we removed the bowl and poured a small amount of water in the middle of the circle.img_0934We then watched and enjoyed the colour from the skittles dissolving in the water creating this beautiful pattern. It was fun to watch the colours mixing and inevitably turning into a brown mushy colour!

We were interested to see that when we turned over the skittles there were small dots of colour where the skittles were resting on the plate and the water didn’t come into contact with the skittle and therefore the colour didn’t dissolve away.

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Nice one OKIDO!

Whats your favourite kids magazine?

 

Look I made some Chalk!

Little Missy was recently given a chalk making kit. The little ones got straight to it and made some fabulous looking chalks. Check out our instragram feed to see them.

I then thought how about using what we have around the house to make some super chunky chalks.img_0572We collected together some toilet rolls, plaster of paris, plastic tubs. plastic spoons, gel food colouring, masking tape and paper.

We put a couple of small pieces of paper over the end of the toilet rolls and secured it with masking tape. We made up some plaster of paris mixture and added some gel food colouring. We used guesswork for the amount of water and the amount of plaster of paris, alternatively if you hate guesswork then use two parts plaster of paris to every one part water. After a good mix little man poured the mixture into the toilet rolls.

Processed with VSCO with s1 presetWe waited for a couple of days for the mixture to completely dry, it may not need this long. We then peeled off the cardboard tubes and here revealed were our super chunky chalks. 🙂

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Look I made a Magnet!

We have a bunch of different magnets in the house but on the whole none that were super powerful. They weren’t strong enough to do the experiments that we wanted to do.

So, we bought some really strong magnets. Now these magnets are definitely not the type to leave around the house for little people to play with at will!! There would be disastorous concequences of non-functioning phones and kurput electrical equipment. So, beware if you decide to do this at home! The packaging was full of strong warnings!

We used these super strong magnets to make…..another magnet!

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Little Man stroked a large needle a few times with one side of the magnet and hey presto….the needle became magnetic. The amazing thing was that the magnet stayed magnetic for ages! I though maybe it would be magnetic for a few minutes and we’d have to go through the process again. However, the needle picked up the paper clips and even they became magnetic, I found them sticking to some electrical devise the next day!!

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We also used the magnetic needle to create a compass. We laid the needle on some cardboard which we placed in a bowl of water and hey presto. We spun the card around and it would always settle with the needle pointing north! How very cool.

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Have you done any magnetic experiments? Did you get the results you imagined?

You need to find something like this near to you.

Jungle Parc… I was really impressed and gutted that is soooo far from where we live 😦

Jungle Parc is a tree top adventure course that starts for children as young as 4. I loved the way the course started low to the ground and steady and progressively got higher and more challenging.

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Each participant is strapped into a harness which is has two straps attached that have a carabiner clip on the end. The idea is that they are always attached on to a wire with at least one of the carabiners so they won’t fall to the ground.

On this course it was the parent/guardians responsibility to ensure the child is always clipped onto the wire. However it’s the child that has to clip themselves in and out as they more around the course. This was a huge responsibility for the children as in a sense they were responsible for their own safety.

Penguin is generally very safety conscious and the harness gave him the confidence to try parts of the course he would otherwise not have tried. I could really see him concentrating over each section, some were a huge challenge, though he knew it was all up to him and did himself proud.

Jungle Parc really encourages perseverance, concentration and physical agility. It really is a mental challenge as well as a physical one. Penguin was so proud of himself for completing three of the courses. I really can’t rate this place high enough. Its just a shame we don’t live locally as I would certainly be frequenting this parc.

Jungle Parc does a fantastic job of keeping their course adventurous and exciting with lots of different elements. Penguins favourite bit was the rocket!

The staff were very good, initially helping the children into their harness and then showing them how to use the carabiners, giving them safety advice and ensuring each child was confident to use the equipment. They were on hand throughout the course when Penguin needed some extra help with reaching the wire.

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There was a small practise course where all newcomers start out. This is just about 4 feet off the ground, high enough to be challenging but manageable for learning how to use the equipment. Penguin completed two green courses and one blue course within the allotted time. There are even higher and more challenging courses for older and taller children and adults. The blue course got up to about 8 or 9 feet high.

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I am guessing Jungle Parc is very similar to Go Ape’s tree top adventures, though jungle parc has courses starting from children as young as 4. Do be aware it is based on height as well as age. You have to be at least 105cm to participate. For Go Ape their junior course is aimed at 6-12 year olds.

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Jungle Parc has centres in Liverpool, Swindon and Northampton with prices starting from £14. It takes about 1 hr 1/2 to complete the courses, be prepared for a tired child at the end of it!

What activities would you recommend for children, or adults!,  that are both a physical and mental challenge? Please comment below 🙂

Estuary Fun!

We recently visited the beautiful country of Wales. We stayed in Pembrokeshire, close to Poppit Sands where the Teifi River becomes a river estuary and meets the sea. Our son loves geography so this was fab.

Our little munchkins were both interested to see the boats floating in the estuary at one time of the day and then stuck in the sand at another time of the day. We got to see the estuary from many different angles and at different times of day.

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Our little ones are definitely explorers, loving to visit different places every day.

We found some fantastic flat stones that will be great to paint on! Have you checked out Our Pebble Family? We also found this incredibly large anchor, not sure it will fit in the boot! We will leave it for you to sit on.

We haven’t yet understood why seaweed likes to stick to stones, or exactly how the moon creates the tides, or why we found some zebra rocks, but we are having fun with it!

It’s so inspiring to be in beautiful places, couldn’t we just stay on holiday!!?

Making Rain

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Ok, so we didn’t make real rain. We made blue rain, green rain,  red rain and orange rain.

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We saw this ‘experiment’ on Pinterest and thought we’d try. I’m not sure what we were experimenting, we were more creating something that looked like a clouds and rain and having fun with it.

We got shaving foam (the extremely cheap stuff for the supermarket-bought specifically for this!), some glass jars, food colouring (we used food colouring gels mixed with water), water and a couple of pipettes.

we filled the jars with water, squirted shaving foam on the top in an extremely cloud like fashion and then used the pipettes to drop colours through the foam.

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Our little ones loved this and kept asking for more. I love the patterns created in the water.

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Do you know any fabulous weather experiments? Please comment below.

Possibly the best beach in Wales!

Don’t you just love a good beach? I just love the sea but living so far from it means I don’t see it very often. This probably means I think all beaches are awesomely amazing. To me this one was, take a peek and see what you think.

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Mwnt is on the west coast of Wales, on the Ceredigion coast. As far as I can tell it consists of the beach, shop, church, sheep and carpark. What a delightful little place.

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I loved that it felt so isolated, having the whole beach pretty much to ourselves 😀 We did meet a very confident little boy who quickly joined in playing with our son. Please bear in mind that we did visit mid week during late September. I imagine in the summer months this beach is very popular.

There’s a very cute little shop at the top of the steps leading from the beach, very handy for buckets and spades, snacks, postcards and ice creams. There are some toilets attached to the shop, all maintained by the national trust, that and the £3 a day carpark.

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Bottle nosed dolphins can also be spotted from Mwnt, either from the beach or from the costal path. We sadly didn’t catch a glimpse but it can be done!

Little Missy flew her first kite here, this made me rather jealous. I am extremely bad at flying kites however would really love to be great. One day!

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Do you have a favourite beach in Wales? I’d love to include it in our itinerary for our next Wales trip.

 

Nature Playdough

We love playing in nature and playing with nature. Our children are always collecting pinecones, sticks, conkers etc… We currently have a boot full of some rather large sticks!

We recently experimented with creating different coloured play dough with natural colours. A friend mentioned that beetroot powder creates a fantastic colour, I managed to get some from Amazon for a decent price.

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We made a brown (cinnamon powder – it smells great), a bright reddy pink (beetroot powder), orange (paprika) and yellow (turmeric)

We used a basic play dough recipe (see below) and added the following amounts for the different colours.

Yellow – 2tbs turmeric
Orange – 2tsp paprika
Reddy pink – 2tbs beetroot powder
Brown – 3tbs cinnamon

Basic Playdough Recipe
2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of salt
2tbs cream of tartar
1tsp glycerin (this makes playdoh more elasticy – can be omitted)
2tbs oil (we used olive oil – baby oil or vegetable oil will work too)
1 1/2 cups boiling water

Method
Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar and desired colour in a large bowl. Add oil, glycerin and boiling water, mix with a wooden spoon. Wait for dough to cool a little and then kneed. Your dough is ready for play 😀

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To carry on the nature and sensory themes we included pinecones, different coloured beans and fresh rosemary on the table. We had fun using our imagination and creating!

What’s your favourite play dough? I’m thinking coco, I need to try coco next!

Stompee Balance Bike Review

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When we were on the look out for a bike for Penguin I had already decided I would like him to have a balance bike so he could master the art of balancing. He hasn’t really had any experience of peddling, so that will have to be mastered at a later stage. I’d read alot about bikes and researched which would be the best balance bike to get. As Penguin was going to be 5 when he got his first bike I needed to make sure he wouldn’t out grow it within a few weeks. Most of the balance bikes on the market are quite small, I measured his inside leg and  looked at which bikes would allow him space to grow. You can buy some really light balance bikes, which are great for younger children. As Penguin was on the older side I wasn’t too worried about having a heavier bike.

We settled on a Stompee Balance Bike, which is 4.2kg. Penguin got the hang of it really quickly. I love the fact that he is so in control of it so when he is cycling, the risk of him falling into the road/water is mimimal!

Penguin has been riding this bike for a year (soon to progress to a pedal bike- which will come with a new set of challenges) and it has been a brilliant choice. I wanted him to have a bike that he enjoyed to ride and wanted ride. I don’t think I can remember a time when he didn’t want to go out on his bike.

This bike is fun and easy to ride. It has a back break which has been really useful when going fast downhill and a good skill to master early on. Though the Stompees I’ve seen recently for sale don’t have this feature, I’m not sure why. Penguins confidence has grown and I am hoping the tranistion to a pedal bike will be smooth. Though I am a little nervous!

Penguin asked me the other day, ‘After I get a bike with gears will I get a motorbike?’ I’m not quite sure what I think about that!

Penguin’s favorite colour for the past year has been red, so he was very pleased with the colour. The Stompee also comes in black, blue and pink. It has a strong steel frame with lovely fat tyres that have a clever bent valve, making them easy to pump up. The Stompee reminds me of a BMX bike.

The Stompee sells for about £50, which I think is quite reasonable. It’s a very durable bike, it’s been used for a year and still in great condition, ready to be handed down to a very excited Little Missy!

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Have your little ones had a balance bike? What was the transition to a regular pedal bike like?