What could be a better stocking filler this Christmas than an activity book or two. They are great for keeping the kids occupied on visits to relatives or restaurants, or to enjoy at any time. My kids love activity books, they are the best boredom busters and can be taken anywhere.
Today I’m bringing you two books from the fabulous Alain Gree, Transport and Animals.
Transport Activity Book
This entertaining transport-themed activity book will be very popular with any child that loves things that go! Activities include spot the difference, colouring in and other engaging puzzles to keep children busy for hours on end.
Publisher: Button Books ISBN: 9781787080225 Number of pages: 64 Dimensions: 295 x 220 mm
Animal Activity Book
This fabulous animal-themed activity book will keep young children entertained for hours. The pages are packed with all sorts of beastly business, including dot to dots, spot the difference, colouring in and mazes.
I love that these books are so packed with fun activities. Each page is full of colourful illustrations which invite the child to join in. The books have 64 pages so there is plenty to do. In the middle of each book are four pages of stickers which the child can use in the books to complete to puzzles and pictures.
At £7.99 each book you will get hours of entertainment for your child, and while they are having fun they will be learning too. The books will engage the child with the lovely illustrations and fun puzzles while teaching them skills such as problem solving, counting, observational and motor.
The books require some reading and writing skills so would be suitable for children who have those. There are also pictures to colour and the stickers which can be enjoyed by all children.
Disclosure: I was sent these books in return for my honest review. This post contains affiliate links
We were on holiday last week and stayed at Devon Cliffs holiday park in Sandy Bay, Exmouth. We have been there before and had fond memories of The World of Country Life which is in walking distance from the holiday park.
We were so lucky with the weather while we were away, but the forecast had been not so good for Wednesday, so this was the day we decided to go. If memory served us right, there was just as much to do under cover as there was outside.
As usual, the forecast was wrong and we had another sunny day. This meant lots of fun in the outdoor adventure park. The kids were enthralled with the all wooden combine harvester, which was a newer addition as we did not remember it before.
There is so much to see and do at The World of Country Life, I wouldn’t be able to fit it all in one blog post, but I’ll try and include some of the best bits for now.
A Trip Down Memory Lane.
There could be no other way to describe this than a trip down memory lane.
You get to walk down a replica of a Victorian street, minus the cobblestones (which is a huge plus for wheelchairs and buggies.) They are not just shop fronts either, you can go inside and examine the historical exhibits. There is even a pub with a piano and bar games you can play.
There is so much more in the exhibition centre, from old farm machinery, to fantastic old cars and even a couple of mini trains.
I think you could spend a whole day just walking around the museum. I must have over a hundred photos from in here and I didn’t spend much time looking at the old cars, I left that to Graham.
Well, you can’t have Country life without animals and this place has plenty. You can feed the goats and sheep in the field, they are happy to come for a feed and a stroke. You can’t feed the Donkey but he’s happy to come for a stroke over the fence. There are also ostriches strutting their stuff out in the field.
Over in the Old Farmyard you can meet a mummy pig with her piglets which are just too cute, but my favourite was the two Alpacas, Sven and Olaf. I think I can guess where their names are from.
We were so lucky, we arrived at the goats just in time for their daily walk. It was hilarious, the kids were told to just follow the goats and not pull, but to let go of the lead if they ran off. We were lucky enough not to have any runners, but the kids had a real fun time walking their goats. Some were insistent on headbutting any other passing goat, and some were just too stubborn to move. I’ve got some videos to edit to show how much fun they were having. In the meantime here’s a photo.
There were lots of Birds of Prey to see too. Each day they do a show but we didn’t catch it on our day. We also didn’t catch the ferret racing, but there is just so much to do, and we didn’t have time for everything.
The kids had so much fun walking the goats, we didn’t think that anything would top this. Then we went on the Deer Train. We had been on before on our last trip eight years ago, but I hadn’t remembered much about it. I think mostly because I was 6 months pregnant and not prepared to hand feed the animals, and the girls were a lot younger at the time, two and four years old. This is an amazing experience, but you need to be prepared to be hands on and not afraid of animals getting really close and personal. (oh, and to be prepared to get a bit messy too!)
The Deer Train
The train is open carts pulled by a tractor and everyone climbs aboard expectantly. The train then rumbles along and the driver, through speakers in each cart, tells you about the unusual sheep in the field. Then he tells you about the deer and llamas that you pass as the train goes around in a circle then stops.
While circling the driver has thrown out feed for the animals and they come rushing over. Then the driver walks up and down the cart filling everyone’s hands with feed and the animals get right up close to fill their tummy’s. The deer are so beautiful and friendly and once they’ve moved on, the llamas come up for their turn. Finally it’s time for the babies to feed, there is a pecking order here.
The cart was filled with squeals and laughter as the animals came up to feed. Hands and clothes got mucky and I remembered what I’d forgotten before. The girls had been terrified last time, and I couldn’t feed, so we’d huggled up in the middle of the cart to avoid them! This time though, was amazing. Even better than the goat walking!
We had fond memories from our previous trip of the large pirate ship play area, which is indoors on a bed of sand, so great for any weather. The ship can keep kids playing for hours, there is so much to explore and once their imaginations get going you’ll find them role playing their own pirate adventures. Well, that’s what my kids did. I remembered joining in last time, holding my then two year old, Boo’s hand and helping her climb the decks and walk across the rope bridge. This time they didn’t need any hand holding and Graham and I enjoyed a nice cup of coffee while they played.
A Great Day Out
The World of Country Life is really worth a visit, it’s a fabulous day out for the kids but there is loads for the adults to enjoy too.
The kids (and Graham) also had fun on the air bouncer and the huge slides. There are also swings, roundabouts, trampolines, soft play centres, bouncy castles, sand pits and so much more.
Accessibility is really good, I had no trouble at all in my wheelchair, although the battery was getting very low towards the end. Pushchairs would be no problem at all, and there are plenty of paths if the grass gets wet or muddy. I had to transfer from the wheelchair to go on the Deer Train but there is a sheltered area to leave wheelchairs and pushchairs. There are two steps up onto the train cart and the seats are wooden and hard inside.
The pricing isn’t too bad either, it’s £55 for a family of five (£45 for four), which is great value. I checked my Kids Pass the day before and found out I could save on two of the kids tickets, a total of £22.40! Once inside they have a few rides dotted around that will eat up your pound coins (conveniently we didn’t have any, but the kids were fine with that anyway.) We didn’t have food there but the coffee was reasonably priced, and you can always take a picnic, there are plenty of tables both inside and out you can use. We had to pay an extra £1.50 for the Deer Train, but you get the food included (Which is normally £1 a bag) It’s really worth it.
I saved over £22 on admission to The World of Country Life with my Kids Pass. You can save too on all sorts of attractions and eateries. You can try Kids Pass for yourself for just £1 for 40 days.*
Disclosure: I am a KidsPass Mumbassador. *If you don’t cancel your account at the end of your trial you will be charged the full membership.
During the half term we took a trip to the local Wildlife Conservation Park, on the Pershore Road in Birmingham. I’ve written about our visits there before and I wasn’t going to write about it again until I read this post by Captured By Jade on Memories. It made me realise that this is exactly what I want my blog to be, a record of memories, something we can look back on and enjoy. So, even though I’ve written about the Wildlife Conservation Park before, this was a new memory to treasure and record. Also, just look at how my children have grown since our first logged visit back in 2014.
If you don’t have time to look, here’s a peak!
The Old and the New
I’ve been visiting the Wildlife Conservation Park for about 30 years now. I used to take my older children when they were youngsters. It was originally known as the Nature Centre, then the Nature Reserve and now the Wildlife Conservation Park. I’ve seen it grow and change with many different species of animals and growing gardens and wildlife areas. (I do wonder when they’ll upgrade the toilets though.)
This time we had some new animals to see including this creature which didn’t have an information plaque and we have no idea what it was. When it moved it kind of reminded me of a cross between a rabbit and a deer. I have asked Mr Google what he thinks and I believe it might be a Patagonian Mara.
We saw a lot of the usual animals like the otters and monkeys, wallabies and flamingos. The kids went into the darker buildings to look at the snakes and the nocturnal animals. I preferred to wait outside soaking up some sunshine.
A lovely new addition was the wooden play park which the kids loved. They were able to run around and swing like the monkeys.
We had a wonderful day and now I’m wondering when my young ones will get too old for this place? I don’t think I need to worry about that, Daddy still loves it, even at his age 😉
Do your kids love animals?
This book is sure to please, My kids love it and are always flicking through and saying ‘oh look at this!’
Hardcover: 128 pages
Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Publisher: Liberty Street (7 July 2017)
Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 1.6 x 31.4 cm
Author: Charles Ghigna
The ickiest, stickiest, blobbiest, oddest animals in the world are the ones kids really want to know. Packed with more than 200 vibrant photographs and fun facts about animals with unusual behaviours, strange appearances and remarkable stats, this deluxe gift book is perfect for established readers (ages 8 and up) or anyone who loves animal facts. Animal Planet’s fascinating exploration of animal oddities introduces young animal lovers to some of the most astonishing, gorgeous and obscure animals in the world – including some brand new discoveries!
This is a colourful, fascinating book with loads of photographs.
This page shows lots of small photos with snippets of information. Other pages have less but bigger photos, and some have just the one huge photo…these are usually the grossest animals! The book is informative, but mostly it will keep the kids fascinated which is an excellent way to learn. I bet there are plenty of animals in this book that even parents will not of heard of!
It’s not a book to read from cover to cover in one go, but it is one to pick up over and over again and enjoy new facts and photos each time. My kids love it, even the Little man. The adults in the house have had a look through too, it just arouses curiosity.
The book is large, hardback and the pages glossy and show the photographs well. This is going to be a favourite book in our house for a long time and we have to give it a big thumbs up.
We visited Hatton Adventure World for the first time for Halloween. I can’t believe we have not been before we are really not far away in Warwick, and it’s such a lovely place to visit. We were thrilled to be invited to visit again for their Enchanted Christmas Kingdom which is open every Friday evening and weekend in December and 20th to 24th December 2014.
When we visited it was very cold and we even had spells of rain and hail, but there was still lots to see and do. There is entertainment in the form of Zoobee’s Christmas show in the family theatre, The Wise Men’s Falconry Shows and stories in Festive Scales and Tales.
We started our day with a trip to the Farmyard favourites area which is covered from the elements. The kids love meeting the animals and The Little Man was really taken by Bubbles the Donkey who is 54 years old and actually older than mummy! We saw Bubbles again later for the live nativity.
Then there was the Guinea Pig village which was made up very festive with lots of Christmas trees and snow.
We then made our way over to watch the live nativity, but just has it was about to start the rain pelted down and we had to take shelter. We did go back and the children really enjoyed the nativity and singing along with the Christmas songs and carols.
Then it was time to visit Santas Workshop, but first we stopped to admire the reindeers.
The Grotto was really lovely. We started off by writing our letters to Santa and posting them in the special postbox.
Then we walked around the workshop seeing the elves hard at work making presents and cookies and wrapping them up ready for the Christmas deliveries.
Then came the very special visit to see Santa. I had filled in a form so Santa knew a few details about my children before they went in to see him. He was a very impressive Santa with a kindly voice. The children were totally in awe of him and he had them grinning from ear to ear. Well, apart from the Little Man who was a little wary at times, especially when Santa asked if they had been good. Then Santa pulled out a special book and because they were on the Good List they were each given a key to the special Toyshop.
In the Toyshop the children were allowed to use their keys to purchase a toy of their choice. They thought it was brilliant.
Before we left we had a walk around Hatton Shopping Village which is an adorable selection of shops selling all sorts of pretty things. We particularly liked the sweet shop. Also, there was a craft market to browse with hot roasted chestnuts available. It certainly made it feel like Christmas.
Once again we had a lovely day at Hatton and I’m certain we will be visiting again.
We were invited to visit Hatton Adventure world for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
A little Note About Positive Reviews on Raisie Bay
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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