Jurassic Kingdom

We were joking earlier today that maybe the dinosaurs would come alive and chase us. My son advised us not to wear red or the dinosaurs might think we were meat and try to eat us!

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We spent the day at the Botanical Gardens in Birmingham where the dinosaurs from Jurassic Kingdom have come to spend a couple of weeks. They are touring round the UK so there’s plenty of opportunities to see them.

I thought I’d share small selection ​​of pictures and video from our day. I don’t want to spoil all the fun, just give you a taster.

​​​These animatronic dinosaurs are very clever and seem very life like. Each dinosaur has an information board with interesting information… Sadly no information of how to phonetically say all of the crazy dinosaur names.​​

​It’s always lovely to spend the day with friends, though the Botanical Gardens was super busy.

Little Missy spent a long time on excavating dinosaur bones and making a sandman. All in all a good day. Well worth visiting the dinosaurs! 

Magic Lantern Festival

Looking back on these photos we took in November makes me smile 🙂

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..




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?



DSC02887About a week ago I took Nashe and his best mate to the fire station. We had a fantastic time.


They showed all the really fab stuff they keep in the fire engine, they really have thought of everything! They have massive tools to break into houses and cut the tops of cars. Lots of different size blocks to steady vehicles when they need to cut people out of them, many many hoses.

DSC02871They have different fire engines for different situations, one with a massive crane. We looked for the white glow of peoples heat, through the awesome thermal camera.

We had a tour of the station. This is the machine where all the information regarding the 999 call comes in, with a whole lot of noise too…


Nashe’s mate really wanted to slide down the firemans pole! We didn’t to, but we did find it 🙂DSC02882We learnt a load of really interesting and useful facts and information. Here’s some of them…

Did you know firefighters can only spend 20 minutes in a burning building before they get too hot?

It only takes two breaths of smoke before you will be unconscious. If you are in a room that’s filling up with smoke then your best chance is to get down low.

Keeping your bedroom doors closed at night means that if there is a fire less smoke will get into your room, giving you more time to escape/get help.

If you are on fire. STOP. DROP and ROLL.

Have at least 2 fire alarms in your house. One in the hall way downstairs and one at the top of the stairs.

Testing fire alarms once a week. (Testing Tuesdays) or (put the bins out and test the alarm)

Plan your escape route and would you be able to find your keys?

More vital information about fire safety can be found on the Fire Safe website.

Firefighters do some really amazing work. Sharing all about fire safety with families and children is just as important as the actual work of fighting fires. It really made me think of what I need to teach my children so that they are safe and also so they know what to do in an emergency. Simple things like knowing how to phone 999 and knowing what their address is. I say simple but remembering your address and knowing how to phone 999 and having the confidence to speak on the phone is not so straightforward for a four year old. Though I hope my children wont have the need to use these skills.

On a lighter note, Munashe’s favorite part of the Fire Station adventure was definitely using the fire hose.

DSC02890A big thank you to all at Highgate Fire Station for allowing us to visit.

30 Days Wild – Day 24 – Sunrise over Birmingham

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One of the ideas on our #30DaysWild list was to watch the sunrise and listen to the Dawn Chorus. Our little Munchkins are both owls, not larks. They probably would have been more suited to watching the sunset rather than the sunrise. However there is something very special about that moment when the first bit of sunlight pops over the horizon.

I checked the weather forecast late last night and it looked like actually seeing the sunrise could be a possibility. I set the alarm for 3.30am, which is utterly ridiculous. So after about just 2 hours sleep we were up. We dragged Nash and Zori out of their beds just before 4am and with bananas in hand we set out for Beacon Hill to watch the sun rise over Birmingham.DSC02475

The sun popped over the horizon and it was pretty spectacular.  This was a real treat for Munashe, he has been fascinated with space for nearly a year. “Wow, it’s bigger, it will soon be ginormous”


It then became so bright we were worried about our little munchkins looking directly into the sunlight. imageWe headed back to the little castle for some tea and bananas. 

And finished off with a family selfy! Then we were back home before 6.30am!DSC02498


30 Days Wild – Day 19 – Nature Mobile

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_19Today we took a visit to Deers Leap Wood. A lovely little woodland area about 2 miles from Birmingham City Centre.DSC02168

We spent a couple of minutes in silence in the middle of the woods. Silence is a rare commodity in our household! So those two minutes where we all tuned into the sounds of the birds were rather special.DSC02189

We enjoyed a good explore and then set to work to create a Nature Mobile.

We collected leaves, flowers, feathers and sticks. Zori got a big leaf.


Munashe got the sticks


And with a little bit of twine, this is what we created


These little munchkins do love water. We found some large puddles, in went the stones. If they can’t jump into them, they have to throw something into it. There was a log across the water. Zori held my hand and must have walked over this log about twenty times.


And of course Munashe got stuck in too!


Sarah x

30 Days Wild – Day 12 – A two year old up a tree

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_12Today we spent sometime with some friends paddling in the River Rea.


DSC01899It was really encouraging to see Munashe’s confidence grow as he paddled in the river. He was working out how deep the water was and if the water wouldn’t go over his wellies.

DSC01909“I washed my hands in the river and I nearly fell in. I just pushed myself back and I didn’t fall”

I love spending time with friends and their children. It really encourages mine to do things they would never usually do. Just yesterday we were at the swimming pool. Usually Munashe refuses to go under the shower afterwards, but he quickly joined his best friend. There are certain foods they will never eat when prepared by me. These will be gladly munched down in another home!!

We found a fantastic tree. It branched out so close to the ground that it made for a super doopa first tree climbing experience for Zori, my two year old.


Munashe is enjoying drawing while out in the wild. He is documenting his experiences through pictures. His friend was enjoying to throw pebbles (or rocks) into the river. So here we have a picture of lots of pebbles, the river and Munashe’s friend.

DSC01911We had a bit more time for Wild Fun when Daddy returned home. The rain had arrived so we popped into the garden to see what Wildlife we could find. When we were about to return indoors Munashe shouted ‘look, its a frog’. He was extremely excited as he can now tick of FROG on his Mini-beast list. He was very brave and touched a frog for the first time “It was a bit slimy and wet and slippy”


30 Days Wild – Day 9 – Who’s the King of the Bog?

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I love the summer. The long evenings that we are getting almost seem to be giving us more time. We have been off exploring quite a few different spots this month with #30DaysWild. It seems to take about three hours per explore. Ok, so there are other things that aren’t getting done, mainly housework and spending hours in the kitchen! But being outdoors as a family is certainly enriching our lives in some very important ways.

So today we explored MOSELEY BOG


We arrived just as a bunch of Wildlife Trust volunteers were leaving. Those amazing guys who upkeep Moseley Bog and Joy’s Wood are doing some valuable work. Here’s the link if there’s any of you out there interested in volunteering with The Wildlife Trust.

One of the first comments from Munashe on arrival was “Look at that stick!” Check this picture out and see what you make to that stick…


The little Munchkins enjoyed the boggy waters. Zori walked around saying “Bog, Bog, Bog, Bog” which I found rather amusing. I love watching them experience things for the first time. It gives me a new appreciation for being outdoors.


This is the place JRR Tolkien and his brother played as children. Moseley Bog is said to have been some of the inspiration for where the hobbits lived. Watching my little munchkins explore I could see why.

After a whole load of exploring we set out collecting leaves to make some awesome LEAF CROWNS. These are really simple to make and bring a lot of joy.

– Get a strip of card, long enough to go around child’s head

– Collect a bunch of leaves

– Staple leaves onto card

– Put around child’s head and staple card together. Simple!



Munashe and Zori really enjoyed wearing their crowns, singing ‘I am a Prince, I am a Princess’


So back to the original question…Who’s King of the Bog? If Munashe and Zori are Prince and Princess. Logically that would make Leo King of the Bog! Ha Ha! To get a better view of Moseley Bog have a look at leothexplorer‘s vlog.


Day 4 – 30 Days Wild – Why it took over 2 hours to walk home from Nursery

TWT 30 Days Wild_countdown_04I was very pleased with myself, this morning as I made these…

Homemade firelighters

They are firelighters for this weekends trip to a tree house. They are made from corrugated card rolled up, stuffed in a toilet roll and a bit of cotton wool stuffed in the middle. I’ve heard lint from the tumble dryer is very effective but not having a tumble dryer, hopefully the cotton wool will work just as well.

I’m hoping Munashe doesn’t see that I’ve finished the supply of toilet rolls. This morning he was telling me he wanted to make them into houses! Maybe when the supply has increased we will make them into something WILD. Any ideas?

Our trek back from nursery (which takes 40 minutes on a good day) took us two and a half hours!!


The detour wasn’t to go through unexplored wild terrain but to the local Coop for some chocolate. I’d been having craving all day and since going WILD all this week we just haven’t done grocery shopping!

After the chocolate stop it was back into the woods on our usual route home, but instead of me focused on getting home we stopped off for a spot of bark rubbing.


And then found a long stick.


There’s a great book called ‘The Stick Book’ (fiona danks and jo schofield) which has lots of different ideas of what you can do with a stick. The photos are great too. Great for kids.

Zori examining a tree trunk!

My young sprogs do get distracted easily on the walk home, so when I am encouraging them in their distractions time certainly does fly away. Zori then found some bars and did a spot of exercising.


Then I can see our house and I’m desperate to get inside for a cup of tea. Zori turns round, points and shouts ‘Cat’ and runs in the opposite direction. ‘Your going the wrong way’ I shout as I chase after her. To her she’s not running the wrong way, she’s running the right way towards the cat. Agghhh!

Finally we get home, Munashe goes to find his Minibeast spotting chart (unprompted) and crosses off the three finds of the day. A spider, an ant and a ladybird. Now where to find that snake???


Munashe said today “Zori really likes being outside”. I think they are really enjoying all this WILDNESS and long may they have the opportunity to experience the great outdoors.


30 Days Wild – Day 3 – When things don’t go as planned!

So today was MINIBEASTS day….We were going on a hunt or at least that’s what I thought. The children were enthusiastic and well prepared with their clipboards, thank you http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/ for the fantastic printouts.


We had found a beeDSC01220

but then something happened….


We found these amazing trees, they were pink and winding all around and soooo much fun. So we abandoned our minibeast hunt for the day (to be continued) and played! I love the freedom of having something planned but then if the little munchkins find something else they are interested in then we can just go with the flow and that’s ok.

Playing hide and seek, Munashe has just been found!
Zori found it fantastic fun to duck under all the lovely winding branches. She then continued to use her new found skill, ducking under many other things, for the rest of the day.

So not only did they find fun exciting trees and squirrels to chase and ducks to feed but they also spotted the ice cream van!!

Sharin!g at last
Sharing at last!

So that was DAY 3 of 30 DAYS WILD at Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham.

Sarah 🙂