Monday, 27 July 2015

Kids in the Kitchen - Boo's Birthday

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen, which is a little different as it was Boo's Birthday and we had a cookery party.

Last year I held a Frozen Party in the garden for her, it was a lovely sunny day and we had loads of games and even some snow! This year, however, I decided to do something different. She invited just a few of her school friends and along with her siblings we cooked the party food together.

I'd recently been sent a lovely party pack from Party Bags and Supplies. Boo had asked for an Animal Jam Cake which I made myself, so I figured that the Safari Adventure Party pack would be ideal. I received:
8 cups and plates, 16 napkins, 1 table cover and 8 filled party bags each containing - 1 soft wild animal mask, 1 clockwork insect, 1 wild animal sticker sheet and 1 wild animal tatto.
The pack is £26.99 to purchase.

I was really pleased with the pack, delivery was quick and the price was in line with other party supply companies. I love the convenience of buying everything together in a matching pack.

I am saving the party bags to give away at the Little Man's birthday in a couple of weeks, but the table looked lovely for Boo's party today.



To start the party we made Rocky Road. The kids enjoyed breaking up the chocolate and biscuits while I melted the chocolate, golden syrup and butter on the hob. I poured a third of the chocolate mixture into a bowl and the kids added the biscuits to the pan, followed by some mini marshmallows. They put the mixture into a tin and poured the remaining chocolate over the top. We then put it in the fridge to set.



We then had a little art activity but I'll tell you all about that later.



Then it was time for pizza! And guess, what? We had so much fun making it I forgot to take any photos! We had a little production line going with one child putting on the tomato base, the next child sprinkling on the cheddar, the next crumbling on the mozzarella and finally adding the pepperoni. We made four altogether with the children all taking turns. I did manage to get a snap of two uncooked pizzas! (don't worry, I didn't cook them on the hob!)



Finally, the thing they had all been waiting for...dessert! I left them with ice cream, fresh fruit, sprinkles and sauce and they each made their own knickerbocker glory!



Before they went home we sang Happy Birthday to the Birthday girl and she blew out her number 8 candle on her Animal Jam Cake.



Then I gave them all a little bag with a couple of pieces of Rocky Road inside to take home.


We had a lovely time and it was great fun having so many kids in the kitchen.

Sending out a big thank you to ET Speaks From Home and her amazing Carrot Cupcake Ice Cream Cones for linking up last week.
Also, thank you to The Giggles Family for their Easy Sweet Green Smoothie Recipe.



So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)





Disclosure: I received the party pack in return for writing about it in my post. All thoughts and opinions are my own




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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Treasure Island

The summer holidays are upon us and it's raining of course. This week we are going to set to and do a little art activity in the hope of winning a lovely prize from The Old Rep Theatre Birmingham. Even if we don't win our art may be shown in their gallery, the kids would be really excited about that.

I'll be writing more about the competition soon and how we get on with our entries, in the meantime here is some information from The Old Rep in case you fancy a way of keeping the kids occupied during the summer holidays.

To celebrate The Old Rep’s upcoming Christmas production, we would like to invite you to design your very own Treasure Island! Whether you dream of pirates, sailing ships, mermaids, buried gold, or something completely different, we want to see what your fantasy island would look like. Let your imagination run wild with colours, paint, glue, glitter – you can use anything you like to create your artistic masterpiece. Make sure it’s bright and eye-catching so it will really stand out!

We are offering a fantastic prize for the winning entry. Your artwork will be featured on the front cover of our Treasure Island programme, which will be available at The Old Rep from Friday 20th November to Sunday 3rd January. The winner will also receive five free tickets for Treasure Island, as well as the opportunity to meet our pirate cast.

However, even if you are not the lucky winner, your picture may still be displayed in the theatre. We are going to create a gallery of as many entries as possible. When you come to see the show you can have fun searching for your drawing, and marvelling at what everyone else has produced.

To enter the Treasure Island art competition, you need to submit a picture of your fantasy Treasure Island to The Old Rep by Saturday 10th October 2015. This can be done in two different ways: either post your artwork to Treasure Island Art Competition, The Old Rep, Station Street, Birmingham, B5 4DY, or scan your picture and email it to treasureislandart@oldreptheatre.co.uk.

This competition is open to children of up to 12 years. Please make sure that you include your full name, age and a contact telephone number with your entry. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that we will be able to return your picture.

The winner will be chosen by a celebrity judge in November, so keep an eye on The Old Rep’s website  and Facebook page.

What are you waiting for? Get creative and design your very own Treasure Island to be in with a chance of winning!

To enter, you need to submit a picture of your fantasy Treasure Island to The Old Rep by Saturday 10th October 2015. This can be done in two different ways: either post your artwork to Treasure Island Art Competition, The Old Rep, Station Street, Birmingham, B5 4DY, or scan your picture and email it to treasureislandart@oldreptheatre.co.uk.

 For more information about the Treasure Island, or to book tickets, visit www.oldreptheatre.co.uk or call 0121 359 9444.

Do let me know if you enter, and Good Luck!

My Sunday Photo - July 25 2015






































Welcome to Birmingham!

This is one of 89 big owls that have arrived to brighten up the streets of Birmingham and we are on the trail to find them all (well, most of them, hopefully) There are also 121 smaller owlets to find!
Our current finds total 14 Big and 12 Little Hoots.

I wrote a post the other day showing how we got on with our first venture. We have know been out to do some in the City Centre, so for my Sunday photo this owl, Welcome to Birmingham, was the obvious choice.
I also, love the way you can see the reflection of the library building in the window behind it.






OneDad3Girls

Thursday, 23 July 2015

The Big Hoot Birmingham 2015

A few weeks ago while enjoying a coffee outside a cafe in the Custard Factory I was watching two ladies wrestle an owl from a car. I couldn't help I'd have just been in the way, but I did give them a round of applause when the owl emerged. The owl was really quite spectacular and I assumed it was for some art installation. That's usually what you see at the Custard Factory, no point going there for custard.

Then the other night I was watching the local news and I saw more of these owls, lots more of them and they are all over Birmingham until 27th September. They are part of the Big Hoot, a Celebration of Creativity in Birmingham. There are 210 owls in all, 89 giant owls and 121 owlets. The Big Owls were created by artists from Birmingham and beyond, whereas the owlets were created as part of The Little Hoot Education program.

At the end of the trail the giant owls will be auctioned to raise money for Birmingham Children's Hospital. (Our second home for the past two years!)

If you want to do the trail you find all the information on the The Big Hoot website including maps which you can download. You can also download the app. to your phone to help you find the owls and track your progress. There are incentives offered along the way.

I think it's a great way to get the kids motivated during the holiday. We have already been out owl hunting and found four giant owls and eight owlets.

Our first find was Buttons, at Cadbury World. A delicious looking owl that looks like he's coated in chocolate buttons. He is located outside Cadbury World so you don't have to pay to go in, but of course the kids will want to!






































Our second owl was Blodeuwedd, found in the park. 






































Then came my favourite owl so far, The Owl and the Pussycat Went to Sea. The detail all around this owl was amazing, truly beautiful. I am a fan of The Owl and the Pussycat though.

























Then we found the beautiful Owl of Athena outside a library.






































These are the eight owlets we found on the Little Hoot trail. 








































We had so much fun finding them and seeing how wonderful they were, we can't wait to go out and find some more. I hope you have enjoyed my sharing them too.



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Dragons at the Crumbling Castle, Terry Pratchett - Book Review

Way back in the early 90s I was introduced to Terry Pratchett by a friend at work. I was hooked instantly and now have an incredibly collection of his works, mostly his Discworld series but I do have other books, including some he had written for teenagers which I have been waiting to introduce to my children.

Sadly, the great fantasy author passed away on March 12th this year. This doesn't mean his books can no longer be enjoyed though, and I'm sure he will still gather many more fans in the future, my children included.

I have now begun my introduction of the Great Sir Terry to my girls with his book of short stories for children, Dragons at the Crumbling Castle. For me it has been a great insight into the younger mind of the author as many of these stories where written before his major books.



Throughout the book you can see Sir Terry's style emerging, not quite the genius I have come to know through reading his books, but a fabulous introduction for my children. My older daughter, Star, who is almost ten years old and on the autistic spectrum seemed to enjoy the stories the most. She had her favourite parts which have been repeated over and over to anyone who will listen. For some reason she was particularly tickled by the Chilliblainian national anthem 'God Save Us All' from the story the Abominal Snowman. She cottoned on to quite a lot of the word play which both surprised and delighted me, a true Pratchett fan in the making.

The book is a compilation of fourteen short stories. Some are shorter than others, some are better than others, they all have that distinct Pratchett humour running through them.  The first story, Dragons at the Crumbling Castle has a young boy setting off to save a castle from Dragons... there is no-one else available at the time. On the way he meets up with Friday Knight the Fortnight and a Wizard called Fossfiddle and together they save the day..and the castle.  We also have an introduction to The Carpet People with two short stories which were later turned into a novel. There is a great story about  the Abominal Snowman of Chiliblains, who like photobombing, and the small town of Blackbury get more than they bargained for when they discover the  Blackbury Monster. There is lots of fun and word play in Hunt the Snorry and Dok the Caveman.
One of Star's favourite stories was the Great Speck where we have a whole world on a speck of dust, she will tell you with excitement all about the Someone and the Anyone who become the Everyone and saved the King and Duke.

We have thoroughly enjoyed this book and I would recommend it for children aged 8 and over. It's great for reading alone or together at bedtime. I'm sure we'll be reading it many times over.


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of Dragons at the Crumbling Castle to review, all thoughts and opinions are my own


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Monday, 20 July 2015

Kids in the Kitchen

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. This week my little chef Boo made some scones at school and brought a recipe card home with her. So, of course, she wanted to make some more at home. I don't mind, I love scones!

First let me say thank you to last weeks linker. Again we were joined by D from The Beesley Buzz and he had an amazing treat for us in the way of Chocolate cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting...and I see that Little Miss T ate the last one!! Thanks for joining in, I hope we are joined by some more children next week especially as the holidays are here, or fast approaching (depending on where you live!)

Need some inspiration? Every recipe ever linked up to Kids in the Kitchen can be found on my Pinterest Board


Follow Anne's board Kids In The Kitchen on Pinterest.

Scones

Ingredients:

225g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
60g cold butter cubed
25g caster sugar
120ml milk

a little extra milk to glaze

Method:

Preheat oven to 200C/gas6
Put the flour and salt into a large bowl
add the butter and rub in
Add sugar and mix in
Add milk and stir
tip mixture out onto floured board and knead lightly
Roll out to about 2cm thick
Use a round cutter to cut out scones
Put on a greased baking tray and glaze with milk (or egg)
Bake for 12-15 minutes




Now, I'm not sure what happened but Boo's scones came out a little flat. I think she may have been a little over zealous with the kneading, and perhaps she rolled it out a little thinner than she should. So, instead of cutting them in half, we put two halves together with jam and cream. Delicious, all the same :)




So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)





Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.




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Sunday, 19 July 2015

My Sunday Photo - July 19 2015







































The Little Man's first ever school sports day. The weather was drizzly but we still had loads of fun. there were no real prizes or medals, the focus was on exercise and fun with celebrations afterwards. Everyone got a medal!
Sadly, it was the only sports day event that went ahead as the weather took a turn for the worse and the girl's sports days both got cancelled.

Photo's were not allowed but I was told I could take a photo of him alone after the event.

Linking up as usual with Darren from OneDad3girls blog, who has not been feeling too well, so sending healing thoughts his way x

OneDad3Girls


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Friday, 17 July 2015

School Days, Past, Present and Future!

As it's almost the end of the school year I've decided to do a kind of round-up post of how school has gone for us so far.



Past

It seems like yesterday when Star was starting nursery. It's always an emotional time letting them go. The school backed on to our garden and you could hear the children at playtime. I would sit in the garden listening for her voice I missed her so much. I still had Boo at home though, a very content little girl who was incredibly easy to look after.

When Boo started nursery I'd just given birth to the Little Man, literally! There's no easier way to make friends in the playground that taking your newborn with you on the school run. Boo and Star both loved those early days at school. I was getting used to them being away, especially with a newborn to look after.

All to soon it was the Little Man's turn to start. Yes, it was very soon, he was only two years old and the health visitor had suggested I started him for two days a week at a pre-school because he was behind in his development. He was only just starting to walk when he started and had a vocabulary of just one or two words. I'm sure he would have caught up at home but he loved being with the other children at pre-school and he blossomed. By the end of the term he was on par with all his peers in his development.

Then we moved house and everything changed.

Boo and Star started a new school and it was a little hard for them at first, particularly for Star who was having problems with her neck by then. 
The Little Man started his new nursery and settled in fine, but then halfway through the year the teacher left and they had to get used to a new one. That's very unsettling for three year olds.

Eventually, because of her health Star stopped going to school and was taught by the hospital teachers, first in hospital and then at home.

Present

Boo, started a new year and found a teacher that she really liked and suddenly blossomed. She had always been a little slower than the other children but this teacher worked wonders with her and now she has caught up, if not exceeded her peers. 

The Little Man started reception class and it's been a little mixed. He's definitely bright, despite his slow start in life he is now a quick learner and his reading and writing is amazing for a four year old. His teacher is very fond of him, it's hard not to like him because he is very cute and says the cutest things...but...he's also incredibly mischievous and always getting into trouble. He's not a bully and never picks on the other children, but he does naughty things like put things down the toilet that he's not supposed to, and paint things he's not supposed to. He very much reminds me of my eldest son who was always in trouble at school. Maybe it's a boy thing?

Star finally went back to school in January this year and although it may have been a bit of a bumpy ride she seems to be doing okay. It's a shame that the school has been a bit of a shambles, even since January she's had three different teachers. I know that sometimes these things can't be helped but that school does have a lot of teachers leave. 

Future

After much debating we have decided to leave the children in their current school. It's certainly not the best school in the area but if we did move them it would be difficult to find all three of them places in the same school. We are most worried about Star, but she really doesn't want to move, she has just one more year left in the school anyway. Then Boo, sometimes she's happy, sometimes she's not. She has progressed so well educationally since being there (Which is quite a surprise) but often has trouble with the other children who can be quite nasty and Boo is a very gently person. She says she doesn't want to move but if things do not improve next year she may be persuaded once her sister has gone.

The Little Man will be spending the most time at the school. I know they are trying to improve the school and hopefully they will do. I've seen improvements since my children started but they still have a long way to go. I do not want my Little Man turning out like some of the older kids at the school which I fear may happen if I leave him there and nothing changes. So, like Boo, I'm giving him one more year and then considering changing again.

Then we are faced with choosing Star's Secondary School which opens up a whole new kettle of fish. I've already tried to get her into a local Autism School but they turned her down. I will keep trying to find her someone suitable, but at the moment she has her heart set on going to the local secondary school, which is not much better than their primary school. I've been in this situation before so I know what to avoid and what to do if it all turns out wrong for her. I would like her to stay in mainstream for now, but with her medical conditions on top of her autism it may not always be possible. 


A Little Word on Being Ready for School

All three of my children are summer babies. Star was born at the end of August, The Little Man, early August and Boo, late July. I had reservations when Star was about to start school and I put my feelers out over the internet. The response I had was incredibly positive, it seemed that very little people had experience of problems with August born children starting school straight after turning four. It's now five years later, and even though Star has autism and has medical issues she is still not struggling with her school work. She's not the brightest in the class, but she's not in Special Needs either, the only time she has had any extra help at school it has been because of her autism, OT, and physical disabilites, PT. Then, Boo was just four years and five weeks old when she started school and she did struggle a little at first, but soon caught up to her peers. Changing schools made a big difference to her and she has come on so much since doing so. She's never had any extra help in school. The Little Man has just left reception class and I was actually advised to put him into the school system early because he was considered a slow learner. Being with other children has helped him grow and he doesn't need any extra help and is actually showing signs of being the brightest of my three children at school.  So, in my honest opinion, I do believe that summer babies are not at a disadvantage when starting school at just turning four years old.

However, research has shown that these children are having difficulties and many end up in Special Needs or needing extra help. So the School Admissions Policy is being reviewed to make some changed for these children. 

Currently, if you hold back a summer born baby from starting school at four years old, when they start at school they go straight into year 1, missing out reception class. I believe this instantly puts them at a disadvantage. Parents would choose to delay their child because they are not ready, but then they have the extra pressure of catching up on a year, I can see how they fall behind their peers in these cases.

So, under the current system you have a mixture of immature children starting school and children being held back for a year finding themselves starting at a later level. It's hardly surprising then that a survey has shown that these children are not doing so well as the others.

I really do believe it's down to the individual child, but I've seen reports of so many summer born babies thrive by starting school in reception class at just turning four years old.

If a parent really thinks their child is not ready then I agree, they should be allowed to start a year later in reception class, otherwise what is the point? 

All the children will be sixteen by September of year of leaving school, so what is the problem?

For me, the only problem is the way this has been portrayed, it just adds extra concern and worry to parents of summer born babies. 




The Reading Residence

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Wednesday, 15 July 2015

I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends

I've never been one for having lots of friends, I do find it difficult to make new friends, but the ones I have I hold dear as they mean so much to me.

"As we grow up we realise it's less important to have more friends and more important to have real friends" -unknown

Sometimes I feel a little jealous of those with friends that are always popping around each other's houses, having nights out, doing their shopping together, never doing anything without consulting the other one first. But only a little jealous, I've been there, done that and it only made me feel uncomfortable. I'm the type of friend that is there whenever you need me, so long  as it's not 24/7. I don't do long, long telephone calls either. Maybe back in the day before we had mobiles and text, but not now, I'd much rather send off a quick text then meet in person for a good chat.
Shopping, I prefer to do on my own, although if you want me to tag along to appointments or give you a lift, I will if I can.

"Friendship is not a big thing, it's a million little things"

So, I guess I'm not the best type of friend but I'm not a bad friend either. I'll never tell anyone your secrets, spend the whole time we are together moaning about how bad my life is, stop you from chasing your dreams or steal your fella. I'll help you whenever I can, listen whenever you want me to and if you want a night out, just because I turned you down last time, don't stop asking I won't always say no.




Friends are important in our lives because they help us to be happier. There is nothing I like more than catching up with my friends and having a chat, my spirit feels lifted and any worries and problems I may have been having at home can be forgotten for a while. It doesn't matter how awful your problem seems, if you talk it over with a friend they will see it in a different light and be able to give you guidance, show you things you hadn't noticed before and help to make things better. Even if you don't go to your friends with your problems just being with them can help lift you up and make you feel happier and healthier. Friends are like a tonic that enrich and invigorate our lives. 

"A Sweet friendship refreshes the soul - Proverbs 27.9"
I watch my young children make friendships all the time. Sometimes they find it easy, other times they find it hard. They argue, they make up it's all the way that making friends work. The ones that stick around are the ones that truly are friends. I teach my children to respect their friends and then hopefully they will be respected in return. It doesn't hurt anyone to be nice to someone and being nice can make you a new friend.

"Every new friend is a new adventure...the start of more memories - Patrick Lindsey"

It's the International Day of Friendship on 31st July 2015 and I'd like to dedicate this post to all my friends. Even those I haven't met yet xx


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Disclosure: This post is produced in collaboration with TheCircle, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Kids in the Kitchen- Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. I had a surprise this week when Star said she wanted to cook, she normally doesn't want to take part without a lot of persuasion. She'd been playing a game on the computer (on Friv) and had come across a recipe for chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. So she wanted to make them.

First of all let me say thank you to last weeks linker, the Brilliant Chef D who won a competition with his beautiful Father's Day Cake. Well done D :)

I love it when you share your posts they are a great source of inspiration and I like to keep them all together on my Pinterest Board. The linky is open for a month so there is plenty of time to join in, and if you don't know what to make then check out the pinterest board.


Follow Anne's board Kids In The Kitchen on Pinterest.

Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Makes 18 large cookies


Ingredients:



  • 200g butter
  • 300g soft brown sugar
  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 60g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 125g chocolate chips


Method:

  • put the butter and sugar in the bowl and beat until soft and smooth
  • add the eggs and beat again.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients, flour, cocoa powder and and baking powder and mix together
  • fold in the chocolate chips. 
  • grease three baking trays and dollop the mixture in large spoonfuls, six to each tray (you can make them neater circle shapes but don't squash them down too much, and make sure you leave plenty of space in between each one)
  • bake in a preheated oven at 180C/gas mark 4 for 10-12 minutes
  • Leave to cool on baking tray

We really enjoyed the cookies and Star really enjoyed making them. We had some chocolate chips left over so we sprinkled them over the cookies while they were still warm.





So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)





Thank you for reading, if you like my blog then please Subscribe to Raisie Bay
You can find out more about Kids in the Kitchen by clicking here.




Thanks for stopping by my blog, let's stay in touch, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and I love following back.


Monday, 13 July 2015

A Day Out at Hatton Adventure World

Hatton Adventure World is becoming one of our favourite places to visit, even though I'd not been there before last year! We first visited for pumpkin picking and have been back to see Santa and the nativity play. Then last weekend we were invited by Toyz World to play on some bouncy castles in the grounds at Hatton, with entry tickets provided for our visit afterwards.

There is always so much to do at Hatton it's difficult to fit it all into one day. As this was the warmest day we had visited we spent a lot of time in with the sand and diggers. In fact I truly believe my children would have been happy to spend the whole day there.

























We also spent time with the animals. It was the first time that the Little Man had fed the goats and he was really timid at first, I think he thought he was going to lose a finger.








We spent some time panning for gold which is always fun and you get a free medal when you collect 10 pieces of gold. Then we had ice cream before venturing over to the playground.



Star was beginning to get really tired and we couldn't risk burning her out completely so she went for a relaxing walk to look at the birds with her Daddy while I took the other two to play on the little fairground rides.


Before we left we had a very short browse around the shops. Daddy and I keep saying that we will come here one day without the kids so we can look properly, but we haven't done so yet. Star had spotted some bath bombs though and despite her aversion to bubble bath she seems to enjoy bath bombs so I bought her a pack to share with her sister.

It's so lovely that we are able to get out and about again. We tried to get out last summer but with Star being either in her halo or cervical collar it was difficult to find things to do. She is much better now but still has so many difficulties that a fun day out is, well not so much fun anymore. I think it's important that the other two do not miss out though, and Star needs the fresh air and exercise even if it does wear her out so we will continue to do as much as possible. I don't like to focus on Star's difficulties too much here on this blog but I do have a blog dedicated to her journey and I have blogged this day out from a different perspective over there if you are interested to see.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall 

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Disclosure: Not really needed, we did receive free tickets to Hatton but I have not been asked to write about our time there. All thoughts and opinions as usual are entirely my own. 

Saturday, 11 July 2015

My Sunday Photo
































It's summer time!
Step away from the screens, unplug the computers, put on your shoes and let's go out.
A walk in the park is a breath of fresh air, so much to discover, so much space to run around.
Then we can go and play in the playground and grab an ice cream from the van.
This is summer time.


OneDad3Girls

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Thursday, 9 July 2015

Toyz World BeBop Fun - Our Bouncy Day!

When the sun is shining there is nothing we like more than getting outdoors and having some fun. We were thrilled to be invited by Toyz World along to their BeBopfun event at Hatton. The Kids had a very important job to....play on bouncy castles!

There were two bouncy castles waiting to be bounced on over in a field and the kids couldn't wait to get stuck in.

There was much fun and laughter to be had!




















Toyz World had created a survey asking parents if their children spent more or less time playing outside than they used to when they were kids and more than half of them agreed that it was less. It's a new generation, one ruled by screens and computers where kids are more likely to interact online than they are in the playground.

Does this mean that children are losing their sense of adventure? All you have to do is take your kids outside to play and you will see their imaginations spark up and the adventure appear. I wrote about this recently when I had to persuade my reluctant (and to be fair, not very well) nine year old to come out with us to visit a local outdoor attraction. Once we arrived she forgot about everything and immersed herself into a world of wonder and imagination, at the same time getting some well needed fresh air into her lungs.

When I was a child there was no technology like there is today (no seriously, it was THAT long ago) and I spent most of my time outdoors, even if it was just in the garden with my nose in a book. I like to ensure my children keep a balance. They can have time on the computer, but if the sun shines then they should be playing out too.

ToyzWorld sell some fabulous outdoor toys and their bouncy castles are really great.
The two that my children helped to test out at Hatton were the the BeBop Spin Combo and the  BeBop Fortress. Both had great slides which the kids loved and areas you could put balls or water. All the kids just couldn't wait to get bouncing.





















































The bouncy castles can be purchased from Toyz world and come with a fan to inflate them as well as a carry bag and repair kit. They also have anchor pegs to keep them in place.

At just under £400 each the price is not inflated (sorry, couldn't resist the pun!) but if it did seem expensive you could always pool with neighbours or family members and share.

So, do you agree that children don't spend enough time outdoors these days? What do you do to encourage your children to play out? I bet if you asked them they would love their own bouncy castle, I know mine would!


Disclosure: We were invited to Hatton to try out the bouncy castle for Toys World, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Kids in the Kitchen - Monsters University cupcakes

Welcome to this weeks Kids in the Kitchen. We had a busy weekend, which is when we do most of our cooking, so we didn't have much time in the kitchen. However, while doing a quick supermarket dash Boo spotted a cupcake mix which was only £1 so we bought it and I let her and the Little Man make some Monsters University Cupcakes.

Now, I know I like to promote learning in the kitchen but there are still things to learn from cupcake mixes. They are quick and easy to make, but you still have to read the instructions. I left them to it with very little supervision and they did a good job. The only change they made was to add some colouring to the icing.

Kids in the Kitchen is a weekly feature on Raisie Bay and usually at this point in the post I give a shout out to those that have linked up the previous week. Unfortunately, there wasn't anyone so fingers crossed you will join us this week.The linky is open for a month and if you need some inspiration do check our Pinterest Board.

Follow Anne's board Kids In The Kitchen on Pinterest.

Monsters University Cupcakes.


Ingredients:

I packet of cake mix
1 egg
6g butter
3 tbs water

Method:

Here is Boo reading the packet instructions



She started by turning on the oven. Then she fetched a bowl and put the mix in along with the butter egg and water and whisked it all together.

Then the Little Man joined her and they took it in turns to fill up the cake cases which they'd placed on the baking tray.

Boo put them in the oven, under supervision and we waited around 12 minutes for them to cook.

Then the icing was made by mixing the packet mix with a little food colouring and water.

They both had fun decorating the cakes.




So now it's over to you, get in the kitchen with your kids and come and share what you've cooked,
I'd also be mighty grateful if you included my badge in your post so others can see it and come along and join in. (although adding the badge is not compulsory to joining in)





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A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay



Some people only write reviews when things go wrong with products, which is good because it lets people know that there could be potential problems. I've also seen negative feedback with say things like, I had to return this item because the colour did not suit me...is this useful?

I write reviews on most items I buy because I like to give genuine feedback. If I have a genuine problem with a product I will write my review in the appropriate place.

I write reviews on my blog too, but they are mostly positive. Why? Because I only write reviews for the things I've loved. If I don't love them I let the person who sent me them know with details why and then let them decided if they would rather me write a negative review or not write one at all. It's always the latter.

This is my blog, my place and I'll let you know about the things I love. If you want to find out what other people have hated about the product then you will need to look elsewhere.

My reviews may all be positive, but they are still genuine.
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