5 ways to have fun with your cat
Our house is generally a very chilled out house and I honestly believe one reason for that is our cat.
She’s such a snuggly cat who loves to sit on your lap and when you walk through the door after a busy day, she’s usually there waiting to rub against your legs, purring away.
And when you finally sit down at night, she’s jumping up to curl on your lap.
(or our daughter’s car seat, as this photo shows!)
And that’s lovely because it means I can’t get up to ‘just quickly’ do that thing! I can only give a head scratch and indulge in the dulcet tones of her purring contentedly.
Three years after getting our cat, I struggle to remember what it was like without her around. But what I’m sure of is that she helps bring so much calm to our house. Animals feel stress too. Usually off us and that’s why having fun with your cat is just as important as them having the right cat or kitten food to replace all that energy. Good food and good fun are an integral part of their wellbeing.
And our cat certainly knows how to have fun!
Here are 5 ways we have fun with our cat (helped along very well by some fab cat toys by the Natural Pet Toy Company):
- We use something long and light to dangle in front her eyes, bringing it quickly out of her reach when she moves towards it. Our 7 year old loves playing this game with her. A ribbon or shoe lace work as well as anything. Chances are, they’ll jump up to chase it around. It’s great exercise for them, and fun to watch. You can turn it into a kind of ‘dance off’!
- Roll something along the floor and we watch her go after it! We often hide a treat inside to make it even more fun for her.
- Give her a good scratch and belly rub. It’s so much fun when our cat ‘leans’ in for more rubs and scratches. It’s like a tickle-fest!
- Using the same toy as the ‘dangle game’, we drag it along the floor in front of her, pulling it away from her. She loves to chase it and tries to grab it with her paws!
- And when we’ve all had plenty of fun and games, we settle down for a chill on a comfy chair, encouraging her onto whichever lap she chooses (usually the 7 year olds actually – they’ve got a special bond!). We watch some TV or just chill out and chat or listen to music. Or maybe do some reading while she cat naps. I’ve been known to join her for a cheeky cat nap too…! It’s just as much fun and just as important to chill out together this way. Though I don’t think I’d fit in the home-made cat ‘house/bed’ that our daughter made for her (below)…
If you’re still stuck for ideas, here are some other extracurricular activities to consider…
How do you have fun with your cat? I’d love to hear! Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere .
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Have you got any suggestions for great, educational family days out? Share them in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂
Welcome to ‘The BFG’ review and giveaway!
If you’re looking for a heart-warming story that feeds the imagination of children and adults, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) by Roald Dahl is the book you need.
Well, where do I begin or I should say where to we begin, because our little girl aged 6 loved this book and read it page by page, slowly but surely all by herself.
I admit to being a little concerned about the weird and wonderful words that the BFG uses. Our little girl was a little confused by them but when I explained the reason for these words, she simply said, “Doesn’t he [Dahl] know anything?” There’s no answer to that!
I had never before known the background behind The BFG and the foreword by Lucy Dahl (Roald Dahl’s daughter) gives us a beautiful, cherished insight into how Giant Country came to be.
A lovely touch in the book is an interactive section at the end, where you can learn how to draw the BFG and also draw your very own dream in your dream jar. Here is our little girl’s, which turned out to be a clown pouring water over a cat’s head… she was very proud of it!
Now on to the story: If you’d rather not know too much detail, keep scrolling to the film trailor and giveaway at the bottom.
We begin at the orphanage where Sophie is wide awake at The Witching Hour (when giants snatch and eat human ‘beans’ (beings!). She sees the BFG, who also sees her and promptly pops his huge hand through the open window and takes her from her bed. He takes her to Giant Country to stop her telling everyone that giants really do exist. The rational being (if giants have rational…) that if human beans find out about giants, they would be hunted down and Giant Country would be no more…
The story unfolds and Sophie learns all sorts of weird and wonderful facts about the nasty giants.
It’s not too long until the BFG tells Sophie about the dreams he catches in his dream jars. And Sophie has a wonderful idea.
To stop the giants snatching even more human beans, they decide to re-construct the giants snatching children from the orphanage that Sophie lived before meeting the BFG.
We are taken on an enthralling trip to London and Buckingham Palace, where the BFG ‘plants’ the dream that they hope will help them, into the Queen’s bedroom. Then Sophie finds herself perched on the Queen’s windowsill until Her ‘Majester’ wakes up.
After realising that her dream of the children being snatched and the giants was in fact real, the Queen meets the BFG in an hilarious yet touching moment and they discuss the way forward over breakfast.
Helicopters are rounded up and follow the BFG and Sophie (tucked inside his ear) to Giant Country where the giants are all in a deep sleep… except one. When the her ‘Majester’s’ Armed Forces attempt to tie a rope around one of the giant’s arms, he wakes and an unlikely weapon is used to stun him!
The BFG and Sophie are branded heroes and The Witching Hour ends forever….
There are so many lovely moments in the story but here are our favourites:
One of my favourite parts was the chapter ‘The Author’ which I found so very clever and just perfect. I won’t go into it any more here, but will let you enjoy the moment for yourself.
Our little girl enjoyed when the BFG meets the Queen:
Will it be repulsant snozzcumbers, Majester?, the BFG asked. [when The Queen asks him if he would like some breakfast]
We’re both looking forward to seeing this part in the film.
Other favourite parts were:
Enjoying a beautiful friendship blossom between the BFG and Sophie.
BFG’s protection of Sophie.
Sophie sitting in the BFG’s ear when travelling around.
It’s endearing how The Queen is kept ‘regal’ in the story.
In summary: Quite simply a perfect story which is everything a story for children should be ~ full of occurrences that are not explained because our imagination ‘explains’ them for us. Like when the giants don’t wake up even when one giant is ‘stunned’ by a secret weapon.
In all honesty, I’m not sure who’s more excited about seeing the film adaptation more – me or our little girl. But one things for sure – the film of The BFG offers the perfect solution for those inevitable cries of, “I’m boooored” in the Summer holidays (and beyond…) and the perfect chance for family time. Because children and adults alike will love the book and the film! 🙂
I just hope they’re not serving up ‘snozzcumbers’ at the cinema!…
Here’s a trailer for the film…
Now onto the giveaway, which is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 22nd August 2016. Good luck to you 😉
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Welcome to THE Whizz Pop Bang magazine review and giveaway!
(with offer code too!)
Question: What do you get when you cross a 6-11 year old child with an “awesomely amazing science” magazine for kids?
Answer: Learning galore in an interactive environment. Which means happy children and parents too! 🙂
When our little girl (aged 6) showed an interest in science, we decided to try Whizz Pop Bang science magazine. We had seen it advertised on social media and knew that she would love to get something just for her, addressed to her, through the letter box.
We felt that she would likely learn (without realising) and it would encourage her away from a screen.
It sounded like a win-win to us.
And it was.
We were very impressed with Whizz Pop Bang.
Whizz Pop Bang is aimed at 6-11 year olds (and appeals to older readers too!). The first issue that she got was about volcanoes. This really appealed to me in all honesty! They’ve always fascinated me and one of my favourite subjects at school was geography. By reading this issue with our little girl, I refreshed my memory and learnt new volcano facts too!
In fact, I looked forward to reading the magazine on my own terms after her bedtime!
Our little girl is rapidly approaching 7 and some of the terminology needed explaining but she did really well with her phonics sounding out and blending and needed little help with the bigger words. In my view, the longer words are a bonus because our children can never read too much and it has helped to expand her vocabulary as well as learn facts about science.
Another thing that I loved about the magazine is that it encouraged questions too. In my view, our children can never ask too many questions (okay, maybe except at bedtime!..) We tell our little girl to always ask questions.
I’m not entirely sure how the creaters and designers have done it, but they have managed to create a magazine that’s fun, factual and age-appropriate to it’s target market. Getting the balance right between keeping the age range of 6-11 year olds engrossed is tricky but they’ve done it.
Maybe it’s the regular sections the magazine has:
Interviews with experts relevant to the particular issue
Activities (we were inspired to create an insect hotel!)
‘Ask’ Y – where robot Y answers childrens’ questions (our little girl has thought of lots already!)
Quiz (with answers on a separate page!)
When the Minibeasts issue came through our door, our little girl was at school but at home-time, the TV didn’t get a look in! As soon as she saw that she had a new issue of Whizz Pop Bang to read, she wanted to get stuck in!
We really enjoyed the pepper experiment and she couldn’t wait to tell daddy all about it 🙂
The magazine is a very welcome addition to our household and there are plenty of experiments to spread out over the month…. to keep you going until the next issue! As the website says, the magazine contains:
✓ Hours of educational fun each month
✓ Exciting experiments to try at home (I’ll soon be blogging about the pepper experiment and the pitfall trap!)
✓ Expert science writers
✓ Engaging layout and illustrations
✓ Gender-neutral content
✓ Linked to the National Curriculum
✓ No advertising
✓ No screens
✓ 36 printed pages of good wholesome science fun!
It’s very reasonably priced too, at £2.92 per magazine when an annual subscription is ordered.
And for one lucky reader of my blog, the amazing team at Whizz Pop Bang are giving away a 3 issue bundle (see the rafflecopter giveaway below).
Not only that, I’ve also got an offer code relating to a paid subscription which entitles the bearer to one free magazine on top of your subscribed issues. Simply go to the subscription link for the magazine website by clicking this link
and enter the code FREEBIEVAS
Now onto the giveaway, which is open to UK entrants only and ends at 12am on 18th July 2016. Good luck to you 😉
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