Days out that are fun and educational

Days Out That Are Fun And Educational For The Family Rossall School
 

Days out that are fun and educational

Some days you can’t just sit around watching TV, you’ve got to get out, and take the kids for days out. It’s not hard finding fun things to do, but what about keeping their brain invested too? Rossall School have a few ideas that should tick both boxes as being fun, educational days out.

Days Out That Are Fun And Educational For The Family Rossall School

Zoo/Aquarium/Safari

Who doesn’t love animals? What better way to celebrate than by going to see a host of exotic beasts up close you wouldn’t normally see at home. There are plenty of dotted around the country, but how about Longleat Safari Park?  It’s the perfect example of a great day out; there is plenty to do around the grounds, see animal shows such as birds on display, chances to hold reptiles and see all the creepy crawlies up close, then finish it off by getting in your car and driving round the actual safari part, getting up-close and personal with the bigger, more impressive creatures.

Museum

Museums aren’t all just old paintings (not that there is anything wrong with that), but it’s not a bad idea to educate the kids in some famous artwork to encourage their creativity. There are loads of different exhibitions on offer, from Ancient Egypt, to dinosaurs to science and technology. There’s no limit to the amount of stuff, often all under the same roof. A perfect way to spend an afternoon and usually free entry!

Castles

There are literally hundreds of castles dotted around the UK.  They are a big part of our history but a good day out is the Northumberland Coastal Route where there are a bunch of castles still in good condition. There’s Bamburgh which is right by the beach, Warkworth, more ruins now and Alnwick, which has been used in a few films including a little known movie called Harry Potter. It also has a fantastic epic tree house and gardens where the kids can learn all different kinds of plants and flowers and there’s even a poisonous plants guided tour section.

Beamish

Speaking of the North East, there is also this brilliant open air museum which is practically a whole town frozen in time. Three times to be precise; The 1820s, 1900s and the 1940s. You can explore what life was like during those times with shops, farms, schools, blacksmiths (with a working blacksmith) and even doctors, dentists and the best part, a sweet shop where you can watch old-fashioned treats being made right in front of you. The staff play in character and can provide information about their respective roles and era.

 

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Have you got any suggestions for great, educational family days out?  Share them in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂

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How a Kinder Surprise moment perked me up ~ #poem

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I was feeling pretty rotten and our daughter picked up on this.

She made me a Kinder Surprise ‘get well soon’ present from some of her treasured My Little Pony haul…

Trust me, that’s special!

She carefully wrapped it all up in tissue and presented me with something to perk me up.

And it did.  Well, wouldn’t it perk you up?!

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And here’s a poem inspired by my ‘kinder’ surprise 🙂

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‘There’s nothing else quite like it…’

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When you’re feeling poorly and want to stay in bed,

When you have to get up and face the world instead,

When your daughter makes something for you to make you right as rain,

When it makes you smile and feel like ‘you’ again…

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It’s really such a simple thing that comes right from the heart,

It fills your heart with lots of love and that’s a great start,

It’s not on prescription and it’s completely free,

It’s the best medicine and it’s from her to me…

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It’s filled with lots of love and cuddles and kisses galore,

It really is addictive; it keeps you wanting more,

It’s unconditional love, for when you’re feeling low,

It gets rid of the nasty bugs and gives you a warm glow…

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There’s nothing else quite like it for when you’re feeling blue,

There’s no better way I know to make you feel like ‘you’,

There’s a natural drug that’s guaranteed to fight the bugs,

There’s a medicine that’s filled with lots of love and lots of hugs!

By Carol Cameleon 2016

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Has your child (or anyone) done something similar to perk you up?  What makes you feel better?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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Why lego is good for imaginative play

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Our daughter loves lego!

And I can see why because I used to love lego too.  I never had any ‘fancy’ construction kits.  Just the standard pieces.  You know, in a variety of sizes and colours.

My favourite thing to do was to build schools and out of the remaining pieces, I would make families!  Our girl likes to role play schools too. I’ve got seriously happy memories of doing this and whiled away many a happy hour in my lego world!

Our daughter does the same and it’s wonderful to see her imagination at work.  Lego is such an interesting concept isn’t it?  It can literally grow with your child:- from the chunky lego babies use to hone their fine motor skills, to the ‘themed’ packs which come with a picture of a princess castle or a car garage on the front.  To the packs which are literally just the bricks and basically tell our children to ‘get on with it’.  And they do!

They construct stairs and towers and robots and houses.

And gardens…

Here’s a short vlog to show what she thinks you could put in a garden…

Obvious really! 😉

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The imagination knows no bounds and lego is a great way to feed this.

It never seems to fail to encourage me as an adult to ‘let it go’ either; there are still occasions when our little girl will ask me to play lego with her.  I get down on the floor with her and let my imagination take me where it chooses to go.  Whether that’s back to school by way of role play or simply by building a tower.

Lego can be very relaxing and therapeutic… until you stand on a piece!

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Have you got fond lego memories?  Do you play lego with your child?  What’s the best thing you’ve made?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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How to adapt learning to the changing seasons ~ #BoredomBuster

As the seasons change, it can be quite difficult to get our daughter outside.  The lure of the kitchen table to do seasonal crafts, the lure of the screens, the lure of the snuggles on the sofa!  And why not?  All of these are great ways to spend your time.

But here at VirtuallyAllSorts, we’ve been adapting our learning to the seasons!

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At the present time, our daughter loves role playing (among other things), particularly schools.

Since moving house, we haven’t had the chance to do much to pretty up our garden.  It’s quite a small garden but it has potential.

Potential for exploring, for using imagination, for building insect hotels!

Due to its size, we do have to think outside the box.

It’s all concrete and there’s no room for a swing.  Despite this, we have prettied part of it up successfully by painting a wall all different colours.

When our girl says she wants to play in the garden, she often says she’s bored out there.  So despite the obvious change of seasons, we recently popped her easel outside.  She can think outside of the box and so can we!

It’s perfect for her to role play her schools, as you can see.  All she needed was her coat and she was happy as anything for ages 🙂

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And a happy little girl makes for happy parents!

 

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What do you do to think outside of the box when it comes to space – inside and out?  Have you got any other suggestions for a boredom buster?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from clicking on a link from my blog, I get to receive some happiness too… at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks..

Relish Autumn ~ #poem

 

There’s something so cosy when autumn comes knocking on the door; sitting and chilling with it raining outside.

After a perfect summer, I feel ready for autumn now and I’m celebrating it with a poem…

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Relish Autumn

The hats, scarves and glove sets are in the shops,

Summer sales are on show too.

I love the change of seasons,

From green leaves to a golden hue.

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The leaves that curl and crisp,

As they dangle in mid-air,

It’s journey’s end for them,

As they float to no-where.

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But does their journey end

As they meander to the ground?

There’s life after death

Where inspiration can be found.

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Artwork can be created

in many, many ways;

Like atmospheric instagrams

Of ‘kicking through leaves’ days!

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And you won’t find a family home

With small children living there

Without a fridge door full up

With art to make an ‘Autumn Fayre’.

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Take a piece of ‘living art’

Created by our daughter;

A snapshot of our memories

And our mini park adventure!

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So as you wave goodbye to summer

And the lazy, hazy days,

Relish autumn’s millionth leaf,

Natural beauty in many ways.

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By Carol Cameleon

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What do you love about autumn?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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How a pocket money plan nearly backfired!

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Our daughter (6 years old) has been learning about the value of money since she was around 4.  We started off by giving her small jobs to do each day.  She then had to tick a box at the end of the day, so that by the end of the week, she would receive money depending on how many boxes were ticked.

Real money.

We’ve continued with this and each week she decides what she would like to spend her hard-earned coins on.  But recently, she’s seen the benefit of saving her coins to enable her to buy something better.

Enter stage right ‘Moosey’ a Kinder Surprise fluffy toy with little chocolates.

 Normally, our local shop sells groceries, magazines and general every day stuff.  Like local shops do.  But the other week, they introduced their ‘seasonal’ aisle… including Moosey and friends!

Our girl asked me how much the toy was.  So we looked at the label together and she said, “499 coins”.

I told her she would need £4.99 to buy the toy and asked her how much she had got in her purse at home.

Not enough was the short answer.

Now, I could have caved in and told her she could pay me back with her pocket money next week.  But what’s the point in that when you’re trying to teach your child the value of money and encouraging to save instead of spend every week?  Spending just because they can.  Granted, she’s 6 but money’s a serious thing later in life.  If she can learn not to spend what she hasn’t got, then I think we’re teaching her a real life lesson!

Back to the story – we happened to go into the shop again a day or so later and Moosey was still there.  So our girl asked if she could do some extra jobs at home.  What a little entrepreneur!  And she did do a couple of extra jobs but she still didn’t have enough.  Besides, the Bank of Mum and Dad isn’t a blank cheque…

Nearly a week later and she noticed that Moosey was gone.  Big whoops!  We asked a member of staff (the manager in fact – that’s how much she wanted Moosey!) and were assured they would usually get more Christmas stock in.  They even offered to try and order one just for her!

But on the sly, I went in several days in a row to see if there was any update, to receive a woeful shake of the head from said manager.

Things were not looking good.  This plan of not backing down and not caving in was back-firing!

…until I browsed the good old internet and yippee – I found Moosey!  Available in quite a few shops actually!

That weekend we happened to be in a Tesco that we don’t often go in.  I left our girl with hubby browsing while I nipped off to teh seasonal aisle.  And. I. Found. Moosey!.

I went back to find our girl and hubby and told them to follow me…  her little face lit up when I showed her Moosey sitting patiently on the shelf, waiting for her 🙂 (well she’s on our stairs in the picture but you get the idea!)

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Cute, isn’t he/she?  (Our girl tells us ‘she’.)  It’s no wonder that this fluffy toy caught our daughter’s eye in the local shop.

So, it was a happy ending in many ways ~ I didn’t cave in and act as her ‘credit card’.  And our daughter learnt the act of patience, saving and that good things (often) come to those who wait!

So, readers, that is how a pockey money plan nearly backfired! 🙂

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Has something similar happened to you?  How do you approach pocket money and savings with your kids?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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This post contains affiliate links which means that if you buy something from clicking on a link from my blog, I get to receive some happiness too… at no extra cost to you 🙂 Thanks..

Tempting the tastebuds ~ #FloraLunchbox Challenge

When the lovely people at Flora sent me a lunchbox to cram full of goodness, I was looking forward to tempting our little girl’s tastebuds.
As part of the #FloraLunchbox challenge we also received a ‘lunchbox builder’ which was really handy to have on hand when planning the week’s lunches.
By using the guide, it ensured that our girl (and us too!) had one each from the sections main, snack, fruit or veg (or both ideally!)
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All parents know the importance of a healthy and balanced diet.  So what do you do when you’ve got a picky eater who then goes to school and you have no way of encouraging them to ‘eat up’… except by what goes in their lunchbox?  You can cram them full of fruit and raw veg with their after school snack OR you can explore the ideas from Flora which covers all sorts of lunchbox tips including how to get kids to eat veggies, a 5 day lunchbox plan and a lunchbox builder (which I found really useful).
Our little girl’s school does encourage the younger children to eat up by giving out stickers (all kids love stickers after all!) but the question is, how many of those children have a nutritional and balanced lunch to eat in the first place?  It was a real concern to learn that a study by Flora found that only 1.6% of children receive a packed lunch that meets nutritional standards set for school meals.  Surely that means that a large proportion of our children are not getting the nutrition they need to grow and develop as they should do.
In light of that, it’s reassuring to know that:
  • Every tub of Flora contains plant oils, such as sunflower, rapeseed and linseed oils.
  • Flora is lower in saturated fats than butter (Flora Original – 80% lower; Buttery – 71%; Light – 78%).
  • It provides a source of healthy Omega 3 and 6 which are essential fats that contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels and are also needed for normal growth and to support the development of children.  I’ll high-five that!
  • Flora also recently launched Flora Freedom which is a 100% dairy free product, is free of preservatives, artificial colours and flavours, and like the rest of the Flora range is approved by The Vegetarian Society.

Win-Win!

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Fortunately, our little girl (6 years old), has always been a healthy eater.  She loves her fruit and veg but she’s not very adventurous.  So it’s no surprise that her lunchbox ‘menu’ has been a bit haphazard and desperately rotated week by week in the hope of adding some variety.  (Yes I do have a weekly ‘packed lunch planner’ because who wants to be using their brain at 7am or before when they’re doing the lunches?!  No hands up there then!…)
We had some fun thinking up some ideas.
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 This post is an entry for the #FloraLunchbox Linky Challenge, sponsored by
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Disclaimer: Written in collaboration with Flora ~ all words and opinions are my own.

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Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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How to make pencil toppers ~ #BoredomBuster activity

When our little girl was given a ‘Go Create’ animal puppets craft activity pack, she couldn’t wait to get stuck in.

The picture on the outside was for puppet but imagination knows no bounds with our daughter and she often thinks outside the box.

She set-to, asking for gloopy glue (eeek!).  When I offered to help with the glue, I was shunned!

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I don’t mind mess, in fact I love when we get the crafting paraphernalia out but ‘gloopy’ glue…  Would pritt stick do? NO, it had to be the messy version.  The one that always dries round the nozzle between sessions, is a nightmare to declog before a new session can start and takes ages to dry!

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Despite my trepidation, I did as I was told and kept out of the way.

The end result were ‘pencil toppers’ and they’re not too shabby!

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So, readers, that is how you come to make pencil toppers! 🙂
What do you think?  Do you fancy having a go yourself?  Have you made anything similar?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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How to prepare for your child’s chosen career

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I’ve talked before of how adventures between our little girl and her daddy give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.  Particularly when I know she’s been thinking of me.  Their one-on-one time is important. Vital, even.

Just as vital though, is time as a family.  This quality time makes me feel fuzzy in equal measures, just in different ways.

Like the time we found ourselves on the beach and our daughter busied herself making and creating.

When I asked her what it was, she said, “It’s a seagull bed!”

Of course it is.  I can see it now! Can you? 😉

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A seagull bed… clearly 😉

 

At the last mention, our daughter’s chosen vocation was to be a singing vet, among other things – so that she can do alternate singing and vet days (love her!)

Therefore, it makes sense to make a seagull bed, doesn’t it? 🙂

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Has your child ever done anything similar?  Perhaps something that put them in readiness for their chosen career?!…  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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Why are these sweets so special?

When I collected our little girl from school on the penultimate day of year 1, she was clutching a little bag.  On it was a hand-written note from her teacher and inside it was a little bit like a party bag – with little gifts such as a notepad, stickers, pencils, rubbers, pens…

and a packet of sweets!

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Everyone in the class got one of course and it was a really lovely gesture from the teacher.

A gesture that will remain in our daughter’s memory for years to come – she really did like her teacher and she helped her settle into her new school.

Over the summer we convinced her that life is ever-changing and getting a new teacher is a part of the ever-changing life.

When our daughter gave me one of her sweets, there were 2 left.

She decided she would give them to her cousins, who she dotes on.

How sweet is that?!…

What sweet things has your little one done?  I’d love to hear!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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