How to make a simple bird bath!

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This weekend is RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch and it’s time to prepare.

M loves birds, especially robins and swans. It’s highly unlikely a swan will pop by our garden this weekend, though we may well spot ‘Peck’ our resident robin.

We bought M this Robin Bird Feeder for Christmas. It’s designed specifically for robins who don’t usually visit hanging feeders, they prefer a flat surface to eat from rather than a pole to perch onto. This feeder has a tray they can sit on which makes it perfect for robins.

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We’ve been very impressed with this feeder. The small umbrella roof means the food stays nice and dry. This has proved true even in heavy rain and strong winds. The robins have come, which when something actually does what it says on the tin, it gets my vote. Though maybe that was because of the robin bird seed and insect mix, well whatever the case, the combination worked. You can find out the link to where we got the robin bird feeder from here and the bird food here.

As part of our bird feeding station (sounds grand but at present is just two bird feeders hanging from a buddleia plant) M wanted to make sure the birds had something to drink. We followed instructions from the RSPB’s activity ‘Build a bird bath’.

First M found 3 bricks and placed them on the ground in a triangle. He rested a large plant pot saucer (about 30cm diameter) on the bricks.

He placed some stones, and half a terracotta plant pot in the saucer and filled it up with rainwater.

M is really pleased with the result and now we just need to sit back and watch.

The RSPB run a wild challenge. In their words, “It’s a challenge for you to connect with the natural world in brave new ways – to reach out and touch it and meet it head-on, up-close and personal.”

The birdbath activity is one of their ‘Helping Nature’ activities. Children complete activities to receive their bronze, silver and gold awards. Well worth doing if you have nature-loving children. Now I just need to get organised and sign my two up!

Having our bird feeding station is going to be a great way to see if M is ready to have his own pet! Can he make sure the birds always have food and clean water?!!

Do you/your children have a pet? Who looks after it?

It’s Giveaway Time

Every year the lovely Leo (aka LeoTheXplorer) illustrates and designs an academic wall planner. This years one is now out. We hope you like it…

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We are running a giveaway to win one of our planners. All you need to do is comment on this blog post and you will automatically be entered. One person will be chosen at random when the giveaway closes on the 31st July.

We are also offering 20% off on our ETSY store with the code BLOGGING2017

Have a fabulous day. šŸ™‚

Sarah

Magic Lantern Festival

Looking back on these photos we took in November makes me smile šŸ™‚

img_0367Going to the Magic Lantern Festival at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham really was magical. Seeing the joy on the children’s faces makes everything special. There’s really not much to say, just some pretty pictures of some pretty lights.

At the time of writing the last day of the festival was actually yesterday!! doh, teach me to be so disorganised with timely blog posts! However…there is a Magic Lantern Festival at Chiswick House Gardens in London till the end of February! I’m guessing they’ve just transported the lanterns.img_0365

There was absolutely loads to see and this small collection of photographs really is just a snippet. There were flowers and trees, penguins and ants, reindeers and unicorns, fish and frogs, clowns and angels…the list could go on.

And a couple more pics..

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Ribbit

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And if you do go…be prepared to spend a lot on food…or just take some treats with you!

Have you ever been to anything like this? How was it for you?

 

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 šŸ˜¦

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 carabinersĀ 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 hugeĀ responsibility for the children as in a sense they were responsible for their own safety.

PenguinĀ 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 andĀ 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,Ā 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.Ā 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.Ā 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 ApeĀ 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 Ā£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!, Ā that are both a physical and mental challenge? Please comment below šŸ™‚

Happy Little Season Box

Processed with VSCO with s1 presetDon’t you just love the seasons? Each one being so different and bringing fresh new wonders. Having young children I find this is easy to appreciate as I see the joy each season brings to them. After all, our daughter has only experienced four Autumns! Crispy leaves and collecting conkers are definite favourites!

This Autumn we have been overjoyed to receive a Happy Little Season Box from Ruth over at read create and love me too. I received this box free of charge, however all views are my own.

The happy little season box is an activity box for children inspired by the season, this autumn’s box was full of crafty stuff some fun added extras (snowdrops to plant & leaf cutters). The happy little season box is so beautifully packaged, its certainly delightful. It fits through your letter box so you don’t have to worry about not being at home when it arrives.

Our childrenĀ have tried a couple of other craft boxes but they have been very prescriptive and quite uninspiring. I totally love the way the Happy little season box is open ended, it’s inspired by the season which fuels creativity . We have opened it up on a few occasions and our son has decided what to create. It really does stimulateĀ hours of creativity and activity.

Here’s what Penguin got up to. A birthday card for his best mate

A peg doll for his sister

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A painting of connecting trees

Natural play dough leaf cutting fun

There were so many possibilities with this box even Little Missy got to create a birthday card for her Granny.

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All that is left now is to wonder what the winter box will hold! Actually I don’t think we need to wait. Ruth is selling the winter happy little season box over at folksy.

Have you ever received a craft box or an activity box through your door, was it any good? I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below Ā šŸ™‚

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 šŸ˜€ 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 Ā£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.

 

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 Ā 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 Ā£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?